The apparatus behind the curtain – Part 2: The mainline

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, February 11th, 2024 - 60 comments
Categories: david seymour, Deep stuff, Media, spin, taxpayers union - Tags:

In part one of this, I drew back the curtain to reveal the Atlas Network.

I mentioned David Seymour’s strong connection to this network and touched on his involvement with an Atlas-connected lobby group in Canada, which I hope more information comes to light about.

Today I want to talk about another Atlas aligned connection, one that I call the apparatus mainline in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The reason I call it that is so much of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation that many on the right buy into and believe comes through this group.

It is also because this group is a link to many other smaller so-called “community advocacy” groups.

That group is the Taxpayer’s Union.

Jordan Williams heads up this so-called union, founded in 2013 by National Party pollster David Farrer and Williams.

They have been a part of the Atlas Network since at least 2016, alongside the New Zealand Initiative.

ATLAS NETWORK – NZ ORGANISATIONS
OrganisationYear
 20032004200520102011201220142015201620172018201920202021
Education Forum 11           
Maxim Institute11111111      
NZ Business Roundtable 11           
Taxpayers’ Union        111111
The NZ Initiative     111111111

Source: DeSmog webpage on the Atlas Network

A quick note – the above table shows the Maxim Institute being part of Atlas Network from at least 2003 until 2015. This coincides with Maxim being led by Greg Fleming, who is now the National Party MP for Maungakiekie.

But back to the Taxpayers’ Union.

Cindy Baxter in her Newsroom story said Jordan Williams was “quite the hero at Atlas”. He attended their “MBA training” in 2015, which is probably the same training David Seymour went through in 2008, and he was awarded a fellowship in 2018.

Source: Atlas Network. Jordan Williams with other 2015 Think Tank participants and Atlas Network staff.

Atlas are quite the fanboys of Williams and the TPU, having written about him a number of times.

Interestingly,  and despite the Taxpayers’ Union having declared its association with Atlas, Williams is not a big fan of having that connection so clearly laid out in public.

On the platform formerly known as Twitter, a post suggesting questions for journalists to ask David Seymour resulted in a poor attempt from Williams to call the post “absolutely cooked”. Amusingly, most of the replies challenged Williams about the TPU’s connections to Atlas.

The reality is we need to ask these questions.

As University of Auckland associate professor of law Timothy Kuhner said to David Williams, we need more transparency around groups like the TPU and their connections to global networks like Atlas.

“What we’re seeing is an increase in the number of ways that people can influence electoral outcomes, and the formation of public opinion, free from public scrutiny.”

As well as being the executive director of the TPU, according to his Linkedin profile, Williams is also a director of The Campaign Company, as well as the co-founder and board member of the Free Speech Union. He was the FSU chair until the end of 2022.

The Taxpayers’ Union was revealed to be the group that registered the website domain name www.motherofallprotests.nz for Groundswell, the “fringe agricultural group” whose tractor protests clogged up motorways during 2022.

According to David Williams, the ownership of that domain (which appears to no longer be live on the internet) was moved to The Campaign Company.

This Williams company prefers to work away in the dark too.

It does have a website, but strangely for a digital marketing company, there is zero promotion of previous campaigns and testimonials from happy clients.

Instead there is a holder page with a “contact” form to fill out and a brief sentence:

“We provide digital campaign services to political and commercial clients across the globe. We combine political experience and local understanding with international best practice and technology to offer a best-in-class service across our four key competencies.”

Screenshot of The Campaign Company website

Questions need to asked by our journalists and a spotlight shone on Williams, the TPU and their backers like Atlas.

After all, the TPU are behind the Stop Three Waters campaign, and the Stop Central Planning Committees amoung others.

These two campaigns were adopted by the conspiracy theory community, so-called “equal citizenship” groups like Democracy Action and people involved enjoyed giving the perception that the campaigns were grass-roots when they were anything but.

Authorisation boilerplate at the bottom of the Stop Three Waters website.

Ironically, in the wake of the current government’s scrapping of Three Waters, the TPU are now attacking councils for proposing double digit rates hikes to try and fund the infrastructure spend that the Three Waters proposal would have covered.

And the TPU are attacking the Make It 16 campaign, and are wading into the current Te Tiriti debate pushed by fellow Atlas alumni David Seymour.

In December 2023 they brought Lord Daniel Hannan over to New Zealand for their 10th birthday.

While here, he gave a talk on equality and the Treaty that was attended by a number of coalition MPs.

Yes, one of the script-writers of Brexit was telling our newly elected government MPs what Te Tiriti, our founding document, was all about.

Not surprisingly, it was a speech that was shared by another Atlas connected group, the New Zealand Initiative, as well as the racism-pushing blog Bassett Brash and Hide.

Sadly, this kind of thing will continue.

Expect more attacks on our democracy by Atlas Network connected lobby groups and think tanks and all the affiliated groups.

As such, given the influence from Atlas on Williams himself and on the TPU, and given the influence the TPU has on the political right, their nefarious actions need to be highlighted and have the transparency spotlight shone on.

We cannot rest. Our nation’s founding document and our unique, beautiful democracy are at threat.

Be informed. Help others get informed.

  • Seddonville Miner

60 comments on “The apparatus behind the curtain – Part 2: The mainline ”

  1. Thanks for this. Being informed matters. Has PM Luxon any ties?

    • Anne 1.1

      Indirectly he must have ties. These are the people who are informing him behind the scenes. David Farrar, Jordan Williams plus a further bunch of characters whose identities are not as yet known to us, but who have links to these Atlas Network outfits. For instance, I was not aware that the National MP for Maungakiekie, Greg Fleming was part of the Maxim Institute off-shoot.

      The evidence thus far suggests they are infiltrating the right-wing parties in NZ with the ultimate view of becoming the majority within those parties. My God, they have to be stopped before they lead us into a modern day fascist state.

    • CharlieB 1.2

      He doesn't need to.

      That's kind of the point.

      All that needs to happen is that he does as he's told, and says what he is told to say. Those with the actual ties such as Bishop, Willis, Seymour and others will write the script.

  2. adam 2

    Atlas a co-operative of corporate cock suckers.

  3. Ffloyd 3

    Seymour and Act surging up un the latest Taxpayers Union Curia poll. They’re coming for us. Quite unsettling when it is obvious that Seymour has strong connections to Atlas. WT Heck?

    • Anne 3.1

      Never forget Curia is owned and run by David Farrar who has connections to the Atlas network. Even though they reflected the same trends as the other polling companies, it was noticeable over the years that Curia's numbers were quite often more generous to National.

      • Ghostwhowalks 3.1.1

        I wondered about that too

        However the polling results for last election as given on Wikipedia shows national election result was 38.8% while the pre election numbers from curia were around 35% with highest 35.9%

        • Anne 3.1.1.1

          I too, noted their polling was more more in line during the lead up to the last election. I also think there was a last minute swing to National prompted by the relentlessly negative campaign from the right which the tabloid media had been more than happy to accommodate.

  4. Ad 4

    If you look at the impressive donor lost for the Greens this time around, there is the beginnings of a renewed haute-bourgeoise campaign machine to contest the TPU and National's key funders.

    I could run off five key families in Otago who would be good bundlers if approached the right way.

    Back in the Helen Clark era, fundraising was just huge fun. The age of the rockstar insider bundler. Unfortunately that's 15 years ago for Labour.

  5. feijoa 5

    Aha

    That Lord whasisname spoke about equality and the treaty

    There's that word equality again. It's a very difficult word to argue against.

    That is the key word they are using- even Luxon used it. They are going to hammer the word EQUALITY over and over until everyone's drunk with it and the treaty is gone in the name of 'equality'. Job done.

  6. A few other threads:

    • NZCPR (NZ Centre for political research) run by Muriel Newman is publishing anti Treaty (and expensive) nationwide propaganda – its funding is unclear
    • Hobsons Pledge (Don Brash) is another ACT-adjacent org undermining indigenous rights
    • Matthew Hooten and Chris Trotter are scribbling increasingly bizarre and paranoid rants

    Covered pretty well by Josh Drummond

    Plus there is the whole landscape of cookers/ fringe voices who buy into all kinds of crazy shit fed by QAnon & anti-vax groups, whom I suspect are being encouraged to sow confusion by Russian or Chinese covert psy-ops

    • Obtrectator 6.1

      Did we ever agree on a term to replace "cookers", which a short time ago was coming to be regarded on this site as opprobrious?

      • The” misleading and misled”
        Those who do it purposefully, and those it affects.?

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.2

        Nope, we didn't. What was made clear by the moderators, is that anyone showing a pattern of behaviour, such as regularly using certain words or phrases that others had objected to, would be warned, then booted off, if need be 🙂

        • gsays 6.1.2.1

          Despite being told several times you continue with this disingenuous crap.

          The repeated pattern of behaviour is correct, with the intent to limit another's input or to dehumanise them, is what some object to.

          My objection, particularly to your usage, is the othering.

          There are wounds that need to heal and we face BIG issues.

          We need to unite and having people in positions of power and leadership splintering and othering just sets us back, time after time.

          • Robert Guyton 6.1.2.1.1

            Very judgemental of you, gsays, given you claim to know why a person might use a certain word of phrase.

            Perhaps weka might clarify 🙂

            • weka 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Indeed I might. One of the things to understand here immediately is just how much the mods hate moderation being misrepresented.

              What was made clear by the moderators, is that anyone showing a pattern of behaviour, such as regularly using certain words or phrases that others had objected to, would be warned, then booted off, if need be 🙂

              let's break this down.

              1. the issue isn't about words others object to.
              2. It's when a word or phrase is used as a pejorative and this causes problems for the commentariat
              3. when it came up some weeks ago, cooker was being used as a vague catch all derogatory term
              4. when this was pointed out, the derogatory nature of comments continued sometimes using different words.
              5. because the term wasn't clearly defined, it looked to me (the mod at the time) that it was being used in a way that would fall foul of the Policy: "… tone or language that has the effect of excluding others"
              6. specifically, it wasn't being used at other commenters, but was being used in a way that passively included them
              7. this is consistent with other language that has limited placed on it here. You can't consistently refer to feminist groups as feminazis for instance.
              8. the reason for that is that using the term feminazi is inflammatory and would cause derails as well as putting women off from commenting
              • Robert Guyton

                "It's when a word or phrase is used as a pejorative and this causes problems for the commentariat"

                How is that determined, I wonder?

                More than one commentator?

                More than 10?

                Asking with regards, "strident".

      • weka 6.1.3

        as a mod I'm not too worried about its use here by roblogic. He is using the term as a descriptor (and quite specifically), not a pejorative.

        He could have left it out and just used 'fringe voices' but he is clearly pointing to the beliefs a certain group of people hold and what influences that, rather than just othering them as crazy people.

        This is a very important sociopolitical dynamic in many countries now and it's important we have ways to talk about that dynamic without excluding people from the conversation ("tone or language that has the effect of excluding others")

        • roblogic 6.1.3.1

          I will be more circumspect in future — I was attempting to make a point about a significant portion of society who aren't merely critical of mainstream narratives but seem to have departed altogether from a coherent worldview and have sunk into paranoia

    • gsays 6.2

      C'mon rob, there is no need for Russian/Chinese psy-ops nor QAnon to be agin the Covid vaccine nor to have a dissenting opinion on the mandates.

      Recent history, for any citizen is enough to be wary of Big Pharma. Purdue/Sackler family.

      "Pfizer set a record for the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind with $2.3 billion in 2009"

      https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturers/pfizer/

      From the same link:

      "Prempro

      Nearly 10,000 women filed Prempro breast cancer lawsuits against Pfizer. By 2012, Pfizer settled most of the claims for more than $1 billion".

      • roblogic 6.2.1

        Big pharma has mixed motives — intended to serve a public good, but subverted by the profit motive.

        But that is a side issue from the resounding success of vaccines as a public health measure, and the importance of unity in order to achieve herd immunity from avoidable diseases that are making a comeback now

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1

          Well expressed, roblogic.

          I'm interested in why those who are anxious about Big Pharma, also attach themselves to the grab-bag of nutty idea available through Telegram, Groundswell Radio etc. thus inviting the epithet you used.

          • weka 6.2.1.1.1

            Meanwhile, the nutters at the British Journal of Medicine banging on about the problems with big pharma and the whole evidence based medicine enterprise.

            As an example, if you find yourself constantly late, disorganised, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities—which could refer to all of us—you might have adult attention-deficit disorder. You will be pleased to know that there are at least four different medications currently available for this condition. You could argue that the pharmaceutical industry is becoming equally good, if not better, at manufacturing diseases as opposed to drugs.

            https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2014/12/04/carl-heneghan-evidence-based-medicine-on-trial/

            The thing about the rabbit hole people is that they know something is wrong, and they are right about that. But for some reason they eschew rationality and evidence in favour of what feels right to them. My theory is that they are Gaia's response to the hyper-rationality of the late stage capitalism that is hell bent on destroying the planet.

            • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1.1.1

              " My theory is that they are Gaia's response to the hyper-rationality of the late stage capitalism that is hell bent on destroying the planet."

              I agree that there is evident, a Gaian response to … what you said, but it sure as Gaia isn't rabbit-hole diving! She's not so flakey as that!

              Rather, the rekindling of interest in the natural world and its myriad agents, and the worlds of indigenous communities is what Dr.Gaia orders for the dazed and confused 🙂

              • weka

                I think so too. The problem is that civ is driving so many people crazy and once it gets to that point it's very hard to remedy while the cause is so insistent. Fear seems to be a big driver of response now.

                More and more these days I think collapse is the only way we get out of this alive so to speak. We being the ones committed to the wellbeing of all life. If everyone going crazy (and that's not limited to the rabbit hole people) could have respite care in nature, much would change and probably reasonably quickly. A slow collapse where people have time/space to choose a different response, go sit in the forest instead of worrying about maintaining the crazy lifestyle.

                I still have faith in the powerdown though, where collapse could be more like giving up civ for something better. And I agree that the rekindling of interest in the natural world and indigenous ways is absolutely crucial to things working out.

              • weka

                the myriad agents 😁 Psyops from nature 💚

      • weka 6.2.2

        C'mon rob, there is no need for Russian/Chinese psy-ops nor QAnon to be agin the Covid vaccine nor to have a dissenting opinion on the mandates.

        I think this misses the point. I don't think it's controversial now to understand that there are groups that jump into conflicts for their own purposes.

        So yes, all sorts of problems with big pharma and parts of the left have this weird position of treating big pharma as angels which makes it harder to talk about the power dynamics and corruption. But Qanon and foreign nation state agents exist too, and have their own corruption and methods.

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.2.1

          "… parts of the left have this weird position of treating big pharma as angels".

          Can you back up that claim, weka?

          • weka 6.2.2.1.1

            it's been my experience with a large number of conversations online, many on TS, but elsewhere as well, where tolerance for criticism of big pharma is low. Somehow the critiques of the influence and/or corruption of big business fall away when it comes to pharmaceutical companies.

            It was palpable during the early years of the pandemic, when it was very difficult to raise questions about vaccines without being met with a full court press of resistance. But I used to experience long before that and often enough to name it as a specific dynamic.

            • Robert Guyton 6.2.2.1.1.1

              "Angels" though?

              My experience is different. The "lefties" I spoke/speak to, are aware of the potential and real failings of so-called Big Pharma but rather than baulk at vaccinating for Covid, reasoned that vaccinating was over all, the best option. My pals didn't at any point express a view that Big Pharma was/were angels.

              As an aside, many of them also utilise natural medicines whenever they can, but would doubtless agree to the use of Big Pharma's anaesthetic gas, should they require major surgery, as I suspect gsays would also.

              Those same people know that Big Oil is far from angelic, but continue to use their products; needs must.

              • weka

                I think we are talking about different lefties. I'm talking about the ones who think natural medicines are quackery.

                Big pharma as angels is a figure of speech intended to convey the belief basis to some people's position on medical science. Sometimes I also refer to the science is god people. It doesn't mean that they believe that big pharma can do no wrong, it means that their fundamentalist philosophical beliefs create an argument where science is the best we have. It creates a competition between the different ways of knowing and assigns all the other ways of knowing as not only lesser but wrong and even evil.

                Jerry Coyne would be an example of the position generally. It's very irrational. I have no idea where he fits on the political spectrum but there are lefties for whom serious critique of big pharma is very challenging.

              • gsays

                "Those same people know that Big Oil is far from angelic, but continue to use their products; needs must."

                How very Trotteresque of you.

                As for comparing the novel mRNA vaccine (approved under emergency conditions by the FDA) with a compound that has been used since 1846, I wonder if disingenuous is a star sign.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Those people know that Big Pharma is far from angelic, but continue to use their products; needs must".

                  Eschew oil products entirely, earn the epithet, "crackpot".

                  Eschew pharmacy products entirely, earn the epithet ******

                  🙂

            • roblogic 6.2.2.1.1.2

              I was fairly pro-establishment because vaccine hesitancy is a significant health risk in itself

    • Anker 6.3

      I think you will find that Muriel Newmans published material is about the Treaty of Waitangi, written by Sir Aparana Ngata. One of the great Maori leaders of all time

  7. Ghostwhowalks 7

    In the period around 2005 I was working at a place not far from Maxim HQ in a residential part of Waikowhai in Auckland . This was a large site the former Keith Hay homestead. The zoning I noticed was residential , but could be used for commercial if the property was also being lived in. Maxim didnt with about 6-8 staff only working there. I raised a complaint with then Auckland City Council that they were breaking zoning rules.

    The answer that came back was that I was correct but Maxim would use the 'educational purposes' part of residential zoning to run a business from the site . I think they are still there

  8. Higherstandard 8

    Comedy gold

    [There are a number of people who spend considerable time & effort to keep this site running and create content. There are quite a many people who make an effort to have a decent conversation on this site. There are a few trolls who lower the standard of The Standard with their trolling. Trolling is no laughing matter. See you again the day after the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will have ended – Incognito]

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    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    4 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    7 days ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago
  • National calls in its preferred consultants (again)
    The Government has called in the same economics consultancy that worked on its aborted foreign buyers’ tax to now help design a replacement for Three Waters. Castalia Advisors’ Managing Director, Andreas Heuser, is to head a Technical Advisory Group that Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says is to “contribute specialist ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Daughters of Derbyshire: Accepted
    A very nice bit of news on the writing front. My 4300-word historical fiction piece, Daughters of Derbyshire, has earned itself an acceptance. The acceptance? The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast: https://alpennia.com/lhmp/essays/lesbian-historic-motif-podcast-index-episodes To clarify (and it’s probably worth clarifying, given my recent output, like Blackberry Picking), this is not a sex ...
    1 week ago
  • That was Then, This is Now #30 – Lobbyists, transparency, and National's confusing messages
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.That was then…"We'd also like to see a transparent, publicly accountable register of who's doing the lobbying and who they're lobbying for." - Nicola Willis, National deputy leader (in Opposition), 4 April 2023This is ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
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