Thanks for the Piss, Collins.

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, April 26th, 2014 - 108 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, drugs, Judith Collins - Tags: , , ,

So, Collins has bowed to the alcohol lobby and backed off from introducing minimum alcohol pricing legislation.

If such a policy was enacted in an intelligent fashion, it would have little or no effect on the back pocket of a majority of people who drink, or on the majority of products sold.

On the basis that minimum pricing would not come in the form of a tax, and would therefore merely bump up the sale price of very cheap and nasty alcoholic concoctions, I can’t really see why anyone (other than the alcohol lobby seeking cheap and fast profit from shit products) would object.

Alcohol sold through pubs is already priced at a level that would exceed any minimum price per unit level. Most wines, beers and spirits sold at retail are also already above any minimum pricing level.

So, off the top of my head, it would seem that some loss leader wine discounts at supermarkets and cheap, bad quality RTDs / beer would be hit by such legislation.

Is that such a bad thing?

On any other drug, we’d be railing against ‘cut’ or poor quality product and seeking a way to ensure a degree of quality/purity that’d prevent bastards from pushing bullshit.

So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?

108 comments on “Thanks for the Piss, Collins.”

  1. karol 1

    Well said, Bill.

    My post was more focused on the Oradiva conflict of interest with an added point about the way Collins slipped the alcohol pricing non-decision under the radar.

    But, clearly some commenters are more focused on either getting cheap piss, or supporting the cheap piss industry.

    • Paul 1.1

      Supermarkets
      Corrupt politicians
      Sport

    • adam 1.2

      The conection is whey alchole. Whey, that bloody anoying byproduct the industry is stuck with, which is really quite expensive to clean up – unless – oh wait, add sugar and get the dumb public to drink it.

      Add lots of bad whey puns –
      whey to go
      whey better than dumping it
      who would thought of that whey

      I’ll stop now, but the corruption is more deep than the price of milk.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Cheap vodka worked very well for the Soviets Autocracy.

    Unlike the African AIDS epidemic, however, Russia’s demographic wounds were self-inflicted: the culmination of centuries of bad governance through vodka politics. The exhaustive 2009 study in The Lancet concluded that, were it not for vodka, Russia’s mortality figures would look more like those of Western Europe instead of resembling war-torn areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Were it not for vodka, Russia could have at least escaped the gut-wrenching post-communist transitions of the 1990s with a healthier population—more like the Hungarians with their wine or the Czechs with their beer—instead of being mired in demographic decay.

    Consider Poland: a neighboring hard-drinking Slavic nation with its own storied vodka traditions. Poland also suffered the pain of post-communist transition. Yet while Yeltsin and Putin ignored the vodka epidemic in the 1990s and 2000s, Poland consistently increased excise taxes on the far more potent vodka as part of a concerted effort to migrate to safer, fermented wines and beers. Partly as a consequence, Poland has not suffered the same demographic calamity that has befallen Russia.

  3. So, Collins has bowed to the alcohol lobby and backed off from introducing minimum alcohol pricing legislation.

    Or to put it another way, she hasn’t bowed to the wowser lobby.

    …some loss leader wine discounts at supermarkets and cheap, bad quality RTDs / beer would be hit by such legislation.

    Is that such a bad thing?

    No, that’s not how it works. If you want the government to dictate supermarket prices, you have to explain why it’s a good thing – and not only a good thing, but such an awesomely good thing that we should go with the on-the-face-of-it really crap idea of having the government dictate supermarket prices.

    So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?

    Because we’re not all middle-class people with generous disposable incomes. It’s no skin off my nose if shit drinks cost more, because I don’t buy them – these days. Back when I was flat broke before the end of every week, I made sure to buy the most alcohol for the lowest price when I went shopping for it, and I would have loved supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks. Do we not have any broke people these days?

    • karol 3.1

      So while loss leading on alcohol, how does keeping the cost of necessities higher help those on low incomes?

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1

        If alcohol’s given a minimum price, household necessities automatically become cheaper?

        I mean, I’m not sure I agree with Psycho Milt’s point, but your reply doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          If I run a store and offer a loss leader, the idea is to get you in there and spending on other items that have been increased in price to cover my ‘loss’ on the bait.

          Bread used to be favourite. And always situated at the back of the shop so that you’d pass all the other tempters on your way to ‘saving’ money.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1.1.1

            But would the increase in alcohol necessarily lead to a reduction in price of other necessities? Or would the supermarkets just operate at the same level?

            I’d suspect it’s the latter considering the lack of competition. That’s why I doubt there’s a strong connection between the costs of necessities and the price of alcohol.

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.1.1

              True enough that the focus for loss leaders would shift. But at least one source of distortion in pricing would have been removed aye?

              Anyway. The point was that cheap alcohol isn’t cheap if the discount is transferred to other products – not that ending loss leading alcohol would reduce other prices.

              late edit – Also loss leaders are always</i. on popular products…alcohol, dairy, bread etc….so at least the focus would be food

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.2

        So while loss leading on alcohol, how does keeping the cost of necessities higher help those on low incomes?

        Leaving aside the question of whether it’s a supermarket’s job to help those on low incomes, there’s the question of what “help” means. Like I said, when I was broke I would have loved supermarkets loss-leading with alcohol, because I bought alcohol every week and hardly ever bought fruit or veg. I would have considered that to be helping me.

        However, if by “help those on low incomes” we mean “help those on low incomes buy the things that we think they should buy instead of what they want to buy,” then the government can stay out of it – Judith Collins is a Minister of the Crown, not our mother.

    • Bill 3.2

      Pscho, I was brought up in a country where a six year old could walk into the local sweetie shop and buy a can of shandy. I checked and am a bit amazed that it’s still the case (0.5% alcohol). I’m sure you can extrapolate and compare with RTDs, the idea of providing ‘tasters’ and actual gateway arguments.

      I’m also an enthusiastic drinker and definitely not one of those “middle-class people with generous disposable incomes”. I’m one of those “broke people” (There you go. We exist) who fully gets and lives by the ‘bang for buck’ mindset. But that doesn’t mean I fill up on woeful shite. And it often is woeful shite. If I’m seeking ‘bang for buck’ on beer, I want to be drinking beer and not some cheap and nasty shit filled with corn sugar and fuck knows what in the way of additives alongside bugger all alcohol that has me pissing all night all for the sake of a hang-over from hell the next day.

      Put another way, when I did other drugs, there were some very cheap options that would most certainly have satisfied any measure of getting ‘bang for buck’…eg, solvents. Never went anywhere near them though.

      • NZFemme 3.2.1

        Hmmm. Using the minimum pricing of $1.20 per standard unit of alcohol as the benchmark (as per the MoJ Report as reported in the Stuff article) no RTDs that I could find advertised today fall under that pricing. Example, the current April Specials for Thirsty Liquor:

        http://www.thirstyliquor.co.nz/Home/LiquorSpecials.aspx

        The only items which would be affected were the Black Heart Rum (1 Litre 37%) and the Seagers Gin (1 Litre 37%) – Incidentally, both are Independent Liquor Products, makers of the majority of RTDs (Woodstock, KGB, Cruiser, Cindy’s, Cody’s and a bunch of others)

        Note: I’m using the following calculations:

        Amount of drink in litres (Vol) x Percent by volume of alcohol (%) x Density of ethanol at room temperature (0.789) multiplied by $1.20

        e.g: Black Heart Rum 1 x 37 x .789 = 29.19 standard drinks x $1.20 = $35.03 (currently on sale for $30.99)

        Using that same calculation for a bottle of wine, (say 12.5% ABV)

        .750 x 12.5 x .789 = 7.39 standard drinks x $1.20 = $8.87

        That’s still a really cheap bottle of wine even for a supermarket.

        A 12 pack of 330ml 4% ABV Beer:

        3.96 x 4 x .789 = 12.5 standard drinks x $1.20 = $14.99

        So yeah, honestly? Introducing minimum alcohol prices per unit/standard drink at the levels the report suggested is probably going to have SFA effect.

        I can really only see this affecting cask wine in supermarkets, and super cheap spirits. It won’t touch RTD’s (God I hate agreeing with Collins – prove me wrong eh )

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          Not too sure about your formula. The one I’m aware of is Minimum Price per Unit (MPU) x strength of alcohol (S) x volume (V) x 100.

          Don’t have a calculator to hand, but that would make a 12.5% bottle of wine $11.25 (120 x 12.5 x 0.75 x 100) as opposed to your $8.87….a price difference of $2.38 or somewhere in the region of 20% (I think)

          Numbers aren’t my strong point, so maybe some smarty pants with a calculator could double check that calculation 😉

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            The ‘2 x 4 packs for $20’ deal on Woodstock would be below the legal minimum of $11.26 per 4 pack.

            The ‘White Label’ and ‘Shingle Peak’ also appear to be below any proposed legal min ($9 and $11 respectively)

            I agree the increases aren’t so significant per se, but they do kill off some of the advertising that’s built around those ‘psychological feel good’ factors that rely on staying below certain $ sums. eg…2 for $22.60 just doesn’t quite work the same from an advertising angle as 2 for $20.

            And flooding the market with sub $15 bottles of wine just lacks the (for some) appeal present in sub $10 bottles. Suddenly it feels as though you’re paying for it

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree the increases aren’t so significant per se, but they do kill off some of the advertising that’s built around those ‘psychological feel good’ factors

              Well, there’s an idea, just kill off alcohol advertising, full stop.

        • karol 3.2.1.2

          NZFemme, the review that Collins ignored was more focused on the long term impact of cheap alcohol. It has to do with encouraging binge drinking – pre-loading by young people before heading to a social event, etc. It takes into account the addictive capability of alcohol.

          It is a pretty comprehensive review, and looked at various options, particularly the relative impacts of setting a minimum price compared with raising the exise/taxes on alcohol – and also the impact on society via harmful drinking practices, the impacts on consumers, the industry, retailers, etc. There are pros and cons all round, but, the review concluded that both excise and minimum pricing or a mix of both would result in benefits to society – especially the reduction of harmful drinking.

          It does depend on how much tax is imposed. But, generally the excise option produces more tax revenue and is thus considered more beneficial to society. And the excise option is considered to generally reduce harmful drinking practices more across the board.

          Andrew Little is critical of the government response to the report and says:

          “The Ministry’s report actually said there are net benefits with minimum pricing for alcohol whether it’s done by regulating a minimum price or increasing excise duties.

          “There is no question increasing the price and preventing discounting and loss leading reduces consumption.

          “Doing this in a targeted way aimed at products intended for young people, such as RTDs, and outlets that just want to move stock quickly, it would be possible to reduce consumption in those parts of the market where the risk of damage is greatest.

          Little is saying that increasing taxes is an indirect way of implementing minimum pricing.

          • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.2.1

            There are pros and cons all round, but, the review concluded that both excise and minimum pricing or a mix of both would result in benefits to society – especially the reduction of harmful drinking.

            I don’t doubt it would result in benefits to society. So what? Discouraging participation in sports, or euthanasia of the infirm elderly and the disabled would benefit society, but that doesn’t mean we should do it. Whether someone else gets drunk or not is none of our business.

        • Thanks for doing the math, NZFemme. I just had a look in my recycling bin and I’ve been drinking Rekorderlig cider, approx 1.6 standard drinks, purchased on special for $4.99 at the supermarket – well over the suggested minimum. Yet we’re meant to be worried about the RTDs which are more expensive and can only be purchased at liquor stores?

          • karol 3.2.1.3.1

            Andrew Little reckons there are ways of targeting RTDs.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.1.3.1.1

              My question is why target RTDs? I’ve not seen any convincing arguments for RTDs being the scourge which creates/sustains our binge drinking culture. As NZFemme says below, young drinkers are far more likely to split a bottle of vodka between them. It really does read to me like RTDs get assumed to be ‘young people’s drinks’ or ‘not proper alcoholic drinks’ and thus get scapegoated.

              Another irony about RTDs is that they get talked about like they’re all Vodka Cruisers – brightly coloured and sugary. In fact the ones I’ve seen most often – including being confiscated from young adults at the doors of nightclubs – are the bourbon-and-cola variety, which taste utterly vile even if you’re into that kind of thing.

          • NZFemme 3.2.1.3.2

            Rekorderlig.. yum. (I like the elderflower and lime, heh)

            Actually, I think Bill’s formula might be the correct one. I was using an industry formula to ascertain the standard units of alcohol by volume of container, alcohol %, and density at room temp, and multiplying that by the minimum price discussed in the Stuff article.

            BUT – RTD’s, in my opinion, are kind’a being painted as the most problematic – for young people and binge drinkers and I actually don’t agree with that perspective. I’ve worked in the alcohol industry for a wee while, first as a visual merchandiser for Independent Liquor, and now, part time as a Duty Manager in a local liquor store while I’m studying.

            Sales of RTD’s are not simply the purvey of the young new drinker. We sell more RTD’s than any other drink, and the store I work in has an older customer base for the most part. (30 +) During O weeks etc when we do see more of the student base, I’ve noticed they are actually more inclined to purchase straight spirits – vodka or bourbon typically, and split the cost between them. They’re also Brand aware – their more likely to buy the same brand whether it’s on sale or not – unlike our older customer base.

            Yup RTD’s are sweet. (So is rekorderlig! 🙂 )But so are NZ Wines in comparison to their European counterparts. It’s well known in the wine industry that NZers have a sweet tooth, and our winemakers have taken note and produce accordingly for the NZ market.

            And it’s easy to forget this in the indignition that swirls around RTD’s but your gonna get a whole lot more pissed on a 12.5% bottle of wine, than the equivilant volume of RTD’s of which the highest industry percentage is 7%.

            • Bill 3.2.1.3.2.1

              So, having a think about all of this because the minimum unit price doesn’t really seem to stack up. And raising the $1.20 to (say) $2 or even $3 would potentially create all manner of inequity in terms of access to the drug.

              I suspect that NZ may well have higher prices on its cheap drinks (on a lower wage rate) than (say) the UK, where a 50p ($1) minimum price per unit has the whisky assn up in arms.

              So I’m wondering whether the alcoholic beverages industry is simply gouging the NZ public due to a lack of cross border competition, or whether tax and excise is far too high. As an example of price difference, a pint (568 ml) of real ale in the UK costs about $6 at today’s conversion rate, and that’s substantially cheaper than my experience of NZ pubs.

              That aside, I detest the marketing of RTD’s and the enormous profits generated by them, regardless of who consumes them and how much they consume. My reasoning for that is the same as it is for any other drug. I want, and we deserve, honest, uncut and unadulterated product. (That includes Rekordilig btw, that just might be the only ‘cider’ in the world made from spring water instead of apples!) And sure, maybe that just makes me an odd-ball purist in some eyes. But I would no more relish having access to cheap coke that was cut through with fillers than I do distilled or brewed alcohol that’s awash with liquid fillers, or that has misleading labeling attached. (Why is Rekordilig, for example, allowed to be called cider when it ain’t made from apple juice?) I’d be mightily pissed if such cheaper faux brews and distillations pushed genuine brews and distillations into unaffordable niche markets due to their cheaper production costs.

              As I said before, I’m not exactly the kind of person who’s against alcohol consumption. I despair, for example, at the abstinence approach that comes from the 12 Step Programme for those with acute alcohol and/or drugs problems. That sets too many people up to fail in my opinion and would be better geared towards harm minimisation and helping drug users get back to social modes of use wherever possible.

              Meanwhile, if alcohol consumption habits are causing health problems for numbers of people in NZ, and taking the bottom end out of the market wouldn’t achieve anything for any of them, then….what? Or if the behaviour around alcohol is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise, then….what?

              • karol

                Some good points in there, Bill.

                I’m going by the conclusions of the alcohol pricing review, which is mainly aimed at minimising harm caused by alcohol to individuals and society. The evidence does point to pricing and/or excise as a good way to minimise social harm.

                Meanwhile, if alcohol consumption habits are causing health problems for numbers of people in NZ, and taking the bottom end out of the market wouldn’t achieve anything for any of them, then….what? Or if the behaviour around alcohol is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise, then….what?

                And, in the wider society, there does seem to be resisitance to accepting problem drining does cause a lot of harm – in contrast to regualr moral panics about drugs.

                BTW, some claim that RTDs were intiially designed to target women, as they tended to drink less than men. This 2013 report claims:

                There is strong evidence about the appeal of ready-to-drinks (RTDs) for young people, particularly young women. Young people, both female and male,are the most common consumers of RTDs, and those who drink them are more likely to be heavier drinkers than those who do not. In one study RTDs made up 70% of the alcohol intake of 14–17-year-old girls45. RTD consumers typically drank more in a session, and more often in a year than those who drank other spirits, beer or wine
                […]
                Public disapproval of drunkenness is higher for women than for men. However, heavy drinking has become the social norm for many young women, with traditionally male drinking patterns setting the standard. Some young women perceive drinking as a sign and result of gender equality, as well as a way of resisting
                traditional constructions of femininity. RTDs and other products have been designed and marketed specifically to attract these female consumers

                However, this 2012 article claims that RTDs with higher alcohol content are most frequqntly consumed by male tradespeople.

                • Bill

                  The problem with a pricing solution in the form of higher taxes is that it absolutely limits access to the drug for those on given, lower incomes. And that’s a different outcome to merely lifting the price of ( and maybe killing off) the bottom (arguably skody) end of the market. Which is academic due to the already seemingly high cost of alcohol in NZ.

                  Raising prices across the board will, like with tobacco, merely hammer the poor and inflict all manner of further financial related stresses. I’m against that being applied to alcohol in the same way as I was, and remain, against it being applied to tobacco.

                  And alcohol…remembering a former teacher (now dead) who extracted alcohol from boot polish to satisfy his cravings…

                  Anyway, the question goes back to why we use alcohol and other drugs and why some of us use them excessively. Unless that is, we want to treat symptoms rather than the causes (assuming that there are underlying causes).

                  • karol

                    One of the underlying problems is to do with the logic of consumer society – the aim of businesses to encourage consumption via products that have addictive potential.

                    • Bill

                      Yeah, okay. But altered states betray a desire to escape reality, even just for a short while because, perhaps, it really is that bad. Now, what makes it so bad? And why do we accept or tolerate having a society that fucks so many of us up so much? Or, put another way, how do we get around the compulsion to conform to social norms that we know at some level to be damaging?

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.2.2

              And it’s easy to forget this in the indignition that swirls around RTD’s but your gonna get a whole lot more pissed on a 12.5% bottle of wine, than the equivilant volume of RTD’s of which the highest industry percentage is 7%.

              Except that the combination of synthetic flavours, high sugar and high caffeine content is designed to keep RTD drinkers going through 2L to 3L worth in a night. You can’t drink that much wine (usually) in one evening, but you can do so relatively easily with RTDs.

              The food technologists who formulate the RTDs know exactly what they are doing.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.3

            One other thing about Rekorderlig “cider” – it’s not cider. It’s not fermented from fruit juice. It’s a flavoured RTD. And it is illegal for supermarkets to sell RTDs.

            • Melb 3.2.1.3.3.1

              I thought they already didn’t sell it.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.1.3.3.2

              Well you’d better start calling Crimestoppers then. 🙄

              • Colonial Viper

                Well you’d better start calling Crimestoppers then. 🙄

                I’m getting a feel for how seriously you take our alcohol laws.

                • You have no idea. But you are throwing around words like ‘illegal’ without backing up your statements, and despite a lot of evidence to the contrary.

                  (And no, before you even start, I’m not suggesting that supermarkets never break the law. I am however suggesting that when things are as readily available and prominently advertised as Rekorderlig cider is in supermarkets, it’s something the police would’ve caught on to a long time ago.)

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The product is an RTD. It is illegal for supermarkets to sell RTDs. Your casual attitude to this law breaking isn’t helping. Your assumption that ‘if it’s illegal surely someone else would have done something about it by now’ is problematic to say the least.

            • NZFemme 3.2.1.3.3.3

              And yet, it is sold in supermarkets. At least, some of the basic flavours are. (eg: pear, apple)

              One of the reasons RTD’s have been so heavily promoted in Liquor stores is because with beer, wine and cider being available so cheaply at supermarkets, Liquor stores couldn’t (and can’t) compete. RTD’s offer a point of difference to their consumers that allows the liquor stores to claw back some of their competitive advantage. Unless you live in Southland, in which case you can’t buy alcohol in supermarkets, and all the liquor stores are run buy community owned trusts. Profits get fed back in to the communities themselves.

              Incidentally, it’s interesting to note that the consumption amongst youth is actually decreasing according to the ministry of health.

              http://www.alcohol.org.nz/research-resources/nz-statistics/new-zealand-drinking-patterns

              The decrease was happening prior to liquor law changes over the past year.

              [B:- In response to Karol’s observation, I’ve taken the liberty of unilaterally deleting the identifying email address from your handle. Hope that’s okay by you.]

    • Bill 3.3

      Also in reply to psycho milt….bad product sometimes results from distilling and brewing. It’s just one of those hazards that comes with the territory. Funnily enough, with RTDs I can conceivably just pump shit product that would have been formally dumped because of its poor quality, in alongside a plethora of mixers that will mask the awfulness of the failed alcohol base and….potentially make more profit from the shit than what I would from good stuff. Then maybe, I’d be tempted to just focus on producing shit and ‘hiding’ it amongst a plethora of cheap flavourings. Now, that’s bang for buck, aye?

      • Psycho Milt 3.3.1

        Thing is, we’re still missing a step here: the one that bridges the gap between not liking liquor companies selling shit drinks or supermarkets loss-leading on alcohol, and a requirement for the government to act on your dislike. “I don’t like supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks, therefore the government must do something to prevent it” is a non sequitur.

        • McFlock 3.3.1.1

          Not in a democracy, it’s not.

          Folk write articles like this, build popular support, and apply pressure to politicians to act. The fact that they want it is reason enough to consider it. Government serves the wishes ofthe people.

          You might bring up some unlikely counter-example to that principle, but I don’t think it really applies to the Hogarth-esque desires of supermarkets and booze barns.

          • Ergo Robertina 3.3.1.1.1

            Hogarth-esque desires? Hogarth was critiquing the harms of excessive drinking, not giving it his approbation.

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Really? Wow. That negates my entire comm- never mind.

              • Ergo Robertina

                I agreed with your comment. It doesn’t negate your argument to clarify Hogarth’s intentions.

          • Psycho Milt 3.3.1.1.2

            Folk write articles like this, build popular support, and apply pressure to politicians to act. The fact that they want it is reason enough to consider it. Government serves the wishes ofthe people.

            The fact that it might succeed doesn’t alter the fact it’s a non-sequitur. If enough people decide they don’t like Muslims and the government should bar immigration from Muslim-majority countries, the government might well do it but that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone involved has a good, logical reason why the government should do it.

            • Ergo Robertina 3.3.1.1.2.1

              What then is the role of government? You’re conflating reducing social harms of alcohol with governments enacting racist immigration policy, a strawman argument.

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.2.2

              But you said : “I don’t like supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks, therefore the government must do something to prevent it” is a non sequitur.

              In a democracy, if enough people say “we don’t like X”, then it follows that the government must do X. Regardless of whether the principle is qualified with exceptions or moral imperatives, that is the main principle of democracy.

              And soma-piss isn’t in the same moral ballpark as religious equality.

              • RedLogix

                And soma-piss isn’t in the same moral ballpark as religious equality.

                Nicely put. While I am by nature a social liberal – I find this tendency to bundle all these disparate issues into one grey homogeneous ethical blob rather disturbing.

              • Populuxe1

                Only to a point. I’m with John Stewart Mill on rejecting arguments for strong paternalism, but soft paternalism – default laws for example – is ok. There’s also the matter of constitutional protections – if enough people say “we don’t like Jews”, “Homosexuality should be illegal”, “Women shouldn’t have the vote”, we exist within a framework of national and international principles and agreements that would hopefully prevent our government from acting on stupid populist bullshit.

                Leave my cheap booze alone thanks, life is shitty enough

                • “Women shouldn’t have the vote”

                  Reminds me – the eligible male voters of Switzerland rejected female suffrage in referenda until 1971. It was democracy as described by McFlock, but it wasn’t a good thing.

                  • McFlock

                    Yes, because a minimum price for alcohol is totes-like disenfranchising half the population… /sarc

                    Seriously, what’s the problem with government regulating prices of a substance in order to minimise social harm?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Indeed – but I think McFlock is talking about some airy fairy theoretical democracy rather than the nuts and bolds ad hocracy of the real world

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not the one equating prevention of using alcohol as a loss-leader with religious oppression.

              • You’re conflating reducing social harms of alcohol with governments enacting racist immigration policy, a strawman argument.

                I’m applying a principle. Principles are a good thing to have when you’re considering fucking with other people’s rights to enjoy their lives as they see fit.

                In a democracy, if enough people say “we don’t like X”, then it follows that the government must do X. Regardless of whether the principle is qualified with exceptions or moral imperatives, that is the main principle of democracy.

                So, if enough people decide they don’t like poofters, we make it illegal again and that’s democracy in action. Well, yes – but a democracy functioning merely as a tyranny of the majority is a pretty low-functioning one. In a less crap democracy, a government would look at requests for action against something people don’t like and say “tough shit” unless those people can come up with some logical, principled basis for that action. “I don’t like it” lacks either logic or principle.

                • McFlock

                  In a less crap democracy, a government would look at requests for action against something people don’t like and say “tough shit” unless those people can come up with some logical, principled basis for that action. “I don’t like it” lacks either logic or principle.

                  Other way around – in a less plummeting down an absurd slippery-slope argument because we’re talking about minimum prices for alcohol (not anything in the Human Rights Act) “crap” democracy, a government needs to find good reasons to not follow the will of the electorate.

                  The electorate could decide to rename “Monday” “Fuckmylifeday” for no reason other than most people hate mondays – government should follow that, unless it can find a decent reason not to.

                  • Populuxe1

                    And again you’d be wrong – I refer you to the petition in the US to have Justin Bieber’s greencard revoked. No democratic government is actually under any obligation to act on something frivilous. Similarly the Death Star petition. The government is only obliged to consider the request. If, for example, it would only be a waste of resources or cause diplomatic problems or whatever, they are perfectly right to say no.

                    • McFlock

                      indeed.

                      But the principle is that unless there’s a good reason to not do it, it should be done.

                      Unlike milt, who argues that the electorate needs to justify itself to the government before anything gets done. Which is a funny idea of democracy, theoretical or otherwise.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I have yet to see any evidence of a democratic mandate for this in the first place. There hasn’t been a referendum.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, we’ve moved on from here into milt’s assertion that even if it had demonstrated majority support, the government should ignore it unless the majority comes up with a good reason to do it. In principle.

                      Basically, the diversion away from the fact that eliminating alcohol as a loss-leader would be a good idea. See article for reasons.

                  • It’s not a slippery-slope argument, it’s a basic principle – if you want your demands for government action against some group to be taken seriously, you should have an argument for that action that consists of something more than stamping your foot and declaring you don’t like it. That principle applies, regardless of whether the action under discussion is as trivial as depriving young Munter of a discount a business wants to offer him, or as serious as rounding up all the Jews and gassing them.

                    • McFlock

                      Not when the government answers to you. Which, in a democracy, is the people. In that case, the government needs a good reason to say “no”.

                      And it’s not a demand for action against any group. At the very least, it’s removing the privilege that supermarkets have over on-licences, who already have minimum price restraints to stop excessive consumption (try 50c shot promotions in a bar and see if you don’t get a visit).

                    • Not when the government answers to you. Which, in a democracy, is the people. In that case, the government needs a good reason to say “no”.

                      In the case under discussion, “supermarkets shouldn’t be allowed to loss-lead with product x,” the government has a choice of good reasons to say “no,” said reasons being, as the case may be, “what the supermarket charges for a product you’re not buying comes under the heading of None of Your Fucking Business Matey,” or “‘The supermarket isn’t charging me enough’ is not a legitimate complaint, Sunshine.” What’s missing is the reason the government might say say “yes.”

                    • McFlock

                      the government has a choice of good reasons to say “no,” said reasons being, as the case may be, “what the supermarket charges for a product you’re not buying comes under the heading of None of Your Fucking Business Matey,” or “‘The supermarket isn’t charging me enough’ is not a legitimate complaint, Sunshine.” What’s missing is the reason the government might say say “yes.”

                      Um – those reasons are bullshit.

                      And the reason the government might say “yes” – reduction in alcohol-ralted harm – has been explained to you repeatedly.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  ‘I’m applying a principle. Principles are a good thing to have when you’re considering fucking with other people’s rights to enjoy their lives as they see fit.’

                  You’re confusing freedom for individuals with freedom for corporate interests.
                  And the freedom of the former has to be constrained to a certain degree as the price of living in a civilised society.

                  • You’re confusing freedom for individuals with freedom for corporate interests.

                    Confusing them in what way? The proposal is that shoppers should be deprived of a discount that might otherwise be offered to them – the freedom of the individual is directly in play here.

                    And the freedom of the [individual] has to be constrained to a certain degree as the price of living in a civilised society.

                    That is a completely meaningless statement. The phrase “to a certain degree” is a blank canvas onto which you could chuck anything.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Because it gives freedom to corporate interests to profit from binge drinking.
                      Corporates have narrow objectives and motives, whereas individual freedom is a more nuanced and troubled concept.
                      The freedom to shop is only one freedom.
                      What about the freedom of taxpayers, road users, and others who are forced to pay for the resultant harms?
                      The drunks who smash themselves and others on the roads, or randomly attack people in the street?

                    • Because it gives freedom to corporate interests to profit from binge drinking.

                      I’m not sure if anyone’s told you this, but alcohol is a legal drug in this country. Profiting the from making and selling of alcoholic drinks is not a crime, or even an offence.

                      What about the freedom of taxpayers, road users, and others who are forced to pay for the resultant harms?

                      What about them? Are you saying it’s wrong to have a no-fault, public health system and emergency services? Should it all be user pays? After all, what about the freedom of those of us who aren’t fat who are forced to pay for diabetes treatment and stomach-stapling operations?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      The public health system has to serve other needs as well, and patients attending an emergency department would probably prefer to do so with fewer drunk patients and shorter waits for their own treatment.
                      And with some harm minimisation and fewer victims, the public health system will be better able to rehabilitate those who continue to have car crashes/head injuries etc as a result of excessive drinking.
                      Also, why are you privileging the freedom of supermarkets to cross subsidise and distort the market, which impinges on the viability of bars and clubs?

                    • RedLogix

                      I think you are confusing the ‘right to shop’ with ‘human rights’ Psycho.

                    • The public health system has to serve other needs as well, and patients attending an emergency department would probably prefer to do so with fewer drunk patients and shorter waits for their own treatment.

                      Sure. And there may well be patients who’d prefer the shorter wait for treatment they’d get if the ED didn’t have all these darkies, sportspeople, careless home handymen or bad drivers in it, but the health system doesn’t give a shit what a patient thinks about that and nor should it.

                      Also, why are you privileging the freedom of supermarkets to cross subsidise and distort the market, which impinges on the viability of bars and clubs?

                      My argument “privileges” nothing. If bars and clubs want to use one thing they sell to cross-subsidise another thing they sell, good luck to them – anyone in a live band knows bars and clubs cross-subsidise.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘And there may well be patients who’d prefer … but the health system doesn’t give a shit what a patient thinks about that and nor should it.’

                      Yes, in direct on the ground service provision the system will triage according to need. However, just like citizens in a democracy, patients have the right to be attended by a health system that is not swamped by excess numbers of patients with alcohol related presentations when sensible harm minimisation measures could alleviate some of the pressure. And these calls often come from health professionals.

                      On the question of cross subsidisation, every business does this in some form, but it’s a question of market power, and unfair advantage.
                      That is why we have a commerce commission, or do you believe it to be a big-state draconian imposition too?

      • finbar 3.3.2

        RTDs are the equivalent of the much discussed man made Psyco drugs,Man made in chemical factories.Not in traditional old school breweries.Even the mix of cola or whatever are chemical concoctions.

        • Bill 3.3.2.1

          I’d be more than happy to see actual standards applied so that if you are selling (say) bourbon, gin or vodka, then it must be a container of bourbon, gin or vodka with no adulteration…bye bye RTDs 🙂

          And legislate on ingredients so that gin is actually gin, and bourbon is actually bourbon etc.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 3.3.2.1.1

            Because the answer to young people (allegedly) buying pre-mixed bourbon-and-cola in a sixpack is to make them buy bourbon and cola separately … and mix them themselves, meaning the drinks are probably far stronger? What problem exactly are we fixing here, Bill? Because it sounds like the problem is ‘young people are drinking in ways I don’t find normal’.

            (I’ve looked online for ingredient lists for common RTDs and have failed. If you or finbar have any evidence of these drinks being ‘man made in chemical factories’ I’d be very interested to see it.)

            • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.1.1.1

              If you or finbar have any evidence of these drinks being ‘man made in chemical factories’ I’d be very interested to see it.)

              Please ask any qualified food technologist.

              The next question you should pose to said food technologist is – where is the food grade alcohol in these RTDs sourced from?

              What problem exactly are we fixing here, Bill? Because it sounds like the problem is ‘young people are drinking in ways I don’t find normal’.

              Where ‘not normal’ is drinking 10-20 standard drinks in a sitting.

              • Populuxe1

                Ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol – it’s just a molecule. Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol – it’s just a molecule. Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade

                  Uh, no. Manufacturers do not buy these materials molecule by molecule.

                  In industrial quantities, you can’t get the levels of purity that you can with lab reagents, so your assumption is incorrect to start off with.

                  Ethyl alcohol can be purchased in bulk in various industrial grades, food grades and also pharmaceutical/lab reagent grades.

                • David H

                  “Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade”

                  Diluted with Something? Really? Something? Some of this, some of that, some of the other.

                  Did you even read, what you had written?

              • I’m not the person making claims about the contents of these beverages, and despite this I’ve already tried to find evidence for them.

                And your assumptions about what’s a ‘normal’ level of drinking are assumptions which don’t even match your own statements upthread.

                10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers – and by your own unsubstantiated comment above, people are commonly drinking 2-3L a night, which is about 2 sixpacks … or 20 standard drinks.

                So is drinking 2-3L of RTDs a blight ravaging our young people, or is it ‘not normal’?

                • Colonial Viper

                  10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers – and by your own unsubstantiated comment above, people are commonly drinking 2-3L a night, which is about 2 sixpacks … or 20 standard drinks.

                  A vodka cruiser comes in at just 1.0 or 1.1 standard drinks because each bottle is only 275mL. I think you made the assumption that they are 330mL. So your statement that “10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers” is, politely, shite.

                  When was the last time you even had a Vodka cruiser FFS. Redo your math according to the facts and you’ll find out that my estimate is fairly spot on.

                  • Please don’t assume anything about me, Viper, it’s inevitably incorrect.

                    I googled “vodka cruiser standard drinks”. The statistic I found must have been for a different jurisdiction.

                    And the last time I had a Vodka Cruiser was last May, at a friend’s birthday party. How about you? Or are you too pure to sully your lips with the vile liquid?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK, so next time you have a drink, pause for a sec and take note of what it says on the bottle, the number of standard drinks is printed right there.

                  • NZFemme

                    Depends whether you’re buying cans or bottles. 7% (250ml) & 5 % (275ml)respectively.

                    12 Pack of cans would be 16.5 standard drinks. (1.38 units of alcohol per can at 7%)

                    6 pack would be 8 standard drinks.

                    • NZFemme

                      Meant to say too CV, during uni parties like the Hyde St Party here in Dunedin, glass isn’t allowed – so cans, casks, and kegs are the default. Cruisers, Cindy’s and KGB’s are the highest sellers, and the cans always run at 7% at 250ml – 2% higher than their glass counterparts.

            • Bill 3.3.2.1.1.2

              erm…I’m reckoning young people are drinking in much the same way I did when I was younger. I don’t really see that as a problem per se.

              As for the ingredients of RTD’s being ‘man made in chemical factories’ well, I didn’t make that claim. I think the closest I came to saying anything like that was in pointing out that cheap beers are often full of corn sugar (bad hangover city) and various additives, be they colourings or whatever.

              I think the answer to the rest of your comment is in the one I typed above before seeing this (3.2.1.3.2.1) @ 5.29

              • Naki Man

                The ethanol is made in a dairy factory not a chemical factory

                • Colonial Viper

                  A dairy factory IS a chemical factory. Unless you want to tell me which part of a dairy cow makes purified alcohol.

                  • Naki Man

                    It is just a bit misleading to say ethanol is made in a chemical factory when Fonterra call it a dairy factory.

                    • felix

                      Is it a factory that produces chemicals? I think it’s acceptable to call that a chemical factory.

                    • RedLogix

                      Over a decade ago Fonterra had more than 1000 different specified products it could make from milk.

                      Milk has been called ‘white crude’ – a modern dairy factory can be best thought of as very analogous to an oil refinery. Both use intensive process technologies to variously split the raw milk into it’s many components and then either further refine or re-combine into different products.

                      But it’s not wholly accurate to characterise either an oil refinery or a dairy refinery ‘chemical factories’. While some portion of those 1000 different milk derived products will involve gross chemical reactions – that is not what is at the core of what happens inside a typical Fonterra factory.

                      What goes on is more in the nature of separating, recombining, heating, evaporating, filtering, centrifuging, culturing and packaging – and while these do imply important changes to the structure of the milk – no-one in the industry thinks of them as a ‘chemical process’.

                      There isn’t a black and white line here – and I’m not sure of the details of exactly how Fonterra finally derive ethanol. At that point it might well be fairly termed a ‘chemical process’ – but that can’t be generalised back to everything happening inside a dairy factory.

                    • felix

                      Thanks RL.

            • David H 3.3.2.1.1.3

              @ Stephanie Try to break the problem down. Ie: to Bourbon: Alcohol, grains, sugars,the usual. And then Cola, and here is a link with enough ingredients to keep you happy for more than a while.

              https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=ingredient+list+cola&client=opera&hs=AIg&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=XoFbU7j-OYzKlAXM74CQAw&ved=0CG4QsAQ&biw=1093&bih=536&dpr=1.25

              • Colonial Viper

                People who aren’t knowledgeable about food and beverage formulation and manufacturing usually have a hard time understanding that many of the “ingredients” in these products are not foods of any kind and are frequently completely synthetic or highly artificially processed. Caramel colour for instance, a key agent in drinks like colas, has absolutely nothing to do with caramel that you might make in a saucepan.

        • NZFemme 3.3.2.2

          Umm, Finbar, you do realize that all ethanol is a neurotoxin right? Regardless of where it’s made – 18th copper still or 21st Century stainless steel?

  4. Bearded Git 4

    High taxes on alcohol have helped keep consumption low in Sweden. The taxes have been less effective than they might have been because of cross-border sales from other EU countries (see incredibly long link address below).

    Cross-border sales would not be an issue in NZ. It follows that raising alcohol taxes significantly is likely to be effective.

    https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgul.gu.se%2Fpublic%2Fpp%2Fpublic_courses%2Fcourse44889%2Fpublished%2F1302796242835%2FresourceId%2F16917418%2Fcontent%2F1a120e0f-4aab-4ab9-926f-930ba025555f%2FAlcohol%2520Tax%2520Sweden.pdf&ei=Mg9bU6WcEMSlkQX6yoDgCw&usg=AFQjCNFeKbx3VQ138iO8LJtXf-kgu99nng&sig2=ommXjvjkMydqVVLH1SCDog&bvm=bv.65397613,d.dGI

  5. Once was Tim 5

    “So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?”
    We’re talking about Judith Collins right?
    The answer should be obvious – it’s to do with what the Frogs refer to as ‘nouveau riche’.
    It encompasses most of the modern-day Neshnool Pardy these days.
    The good thing is its destined for self-destruction. The only problem is WHEN – but watch them squeal like stuffed pigs when it does all come to grief

  6. captain hook 6

    anybody with a face like that would like as much cheap booze as they could get!
    tee hee.

  7. Melb 7

    I’ve seen everything now. Standard posters and commenters advocate for improving the bottom line of alcohol producers through enabling them all to charge a minimum price.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Newsflash: driving down volumes sold is not conducive to alcohol industry profits.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        especially when it’s the supermarket that takes the loss of lower prices (“loss leader”), not the wholesaler.

      • Melb 7.1.2

        Newsflash: The Ministy of Justice reported stated that enacting the minimum pricing proposal would have added $130 million in profit for the alcohol industry.

        The volume sold would be lower, yes, but the prices sold at would be higher – with all of that price increase being pure margin directed to the bottom line of booze companies. Try thinking an idea through to it’s conclusion next time.

    • David H 7.2

      No Fuck Knuckle. Unlike you, we don’t like seeing what cheap booze is doing to our young and not so young.

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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago