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The challenge to the reeferendum result

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, December 8th, 2020 - 57 comments
Categories: democratic participation, drugs, election 2020, referendum - Tags:

It was announced yesterday that a number of New Zealanders were going to take the reeferendum result to court.

From Radio New Zealand:

A legal bid is under way to get the results of the cannabis referendum thrown out.

A group of more than 350 people is asking the High Court to void the vote on the Cannabis and Control Bill, claiming poor and inaccurate information generated confusion among voters.

It also claims the Electoral Commission reinforced that misinformation.

The bill that would have legalised cannabis was narrowly defeated, with 50.7 percent of voters voting against it, and 48.4 percent for it.

Drug Reform advocate Blair Anderson is one of the people taking the case. He told Checkpoint New Zealanders heard far too much from the “no” vote during the campaign and said there was a failure to correct misinformation.

“We saw ads in the mainstream newspapers of things like dopey dairies, which people will remember had cannabis leaves all over it, with kids on skateboards in front of it.

“There was no such provision within the actual legalisation and control bill to do that. In fact, it was specifically excluded.

“There were the things like ‘gummy bears, the menu for kids’ and various others that were publicised in mainstream media and social media and so forth.

“Notwithstanding the fact there was also what I call almost stage-managed presentation of people that were obviously smoking a joint in hoodies, whereas in actual fact, we have a mainstream concurrence with the use of cannabis. Our own health and development study here in Christchurch – four out of five respondents in that study have used cannabis in their life. And obviously, most of them have come to no harm,” he said.

“There was an expert committee that was assembled, and part of its function was certainly to correct any misinformation.”

But Anderson said problems extended beyond what he calls the failure of that committee.

“Even to the extent that we heard that the Medical Association didn’t approve of the bill, and then at the end of the period, just after the bulk of people had voted, had come out and said quite the converse.

“That opportunity to explore these things was not taken by mainstream media for the greater part. We never saw the advocacy, anywhere in the electoral process, for instance, of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party that had participated in nine MMP elections, and no one was consulted as to what they thought the referendum should look like.”

The proposal is an interesting and novel use of the law.  Under the Citizen Initiated Referenda Act 1993 the Court has “jurisdiction to inquire into and adjudicate on any matter relating to the application in any manner that the court thinks fit”.  At the conclusion of the hearing the Court  “must determine whether the indicative referendum is void because of some irregularity that in the court’s opinion materially affected the result of the indicative referendum”.  It can also effectively do a recount but the grounds advanced here do not suggest that the count itself was inaccurate.

There certainly was a one sided feel to the campaign and as noted by Weka the New Zealand Medical Association did a somewhat impressive about face on its view of the referendum.  But I do not think that a private organisation changing its view is going to be reason to upset the referendum.

The case will be interesting.  But cases involving judicially analysing the democratic process tend to be somewhat fraught affairs as America is currently showing.

57 comments on “The challenge to the reeferendum result ”

  1. Andre 1

    That's the best exercise in irrelevance I've seen for a while.

    Just for starters, referendums are completely non-binding …

  2. Phillip ure 2

    I am still trying to get past/over that 'one-sided campaign'..

    we had the no-campaign peddling reefer-madness bullshit…outright lies..

    and where were the refuters of that bullshit..?

    where were all those usual suspects we have seen over the decades being the/a face of pot ..

    at the time they were most needed ..their fucken 'moment'..

    they were nowhere to be seen..

    the pro-cannabis campaign was beyond useless ..

    it was bloody invisible..

    leaving the stage/pulpit solely to the reefer-madness peddlers..

    I want to know w.t.f. happened..?

    (and a special bucket of contempt for that patrick gower..

    for that (boomer-ex-user scare-tactic) of peddling that big fucken lie..

    that weed now is much stronger than it used to be..

    it isn't..

    but just that lie from gower likely swung the referendum ..

    but really..the reason the no's won was down to the screaming incompetencies for those meant to be running the pro-campaign….

    who were they..?

    does anyone even know that ..?

    • Tricledrown 2.1

      Phillip the pro cannabis lobby lost all its money due to covid19 so could not put up a decent campaign

      • cricklewood 2.1.1

        The yes campaign was awful, pretty much an example of how not to run a campaign if you ask me…

        Messaging like this "To put it bluntly if you vote no we can't be friends," was never going to bring people around from no to towards yes. It would more likely entrenched the no vote.

        A better campaign would have no doubt swung the few percent they needed.

      • Phillip ure 2.1.2

        @ tricledown ..

        do you how covid made them lose all their money .

        and were their lips sewed shut…?

        did they lose all the media contacts they have ammassed over the decades..?

        I don't believe they had no ways to refute/call out those reefer-madness lies..

        like I said…

        it was their moment..

        supposedly what they have been agitating for/working towards for decades…

        and they fucken choked..

        • gsays

          Apologies to Afroman:

          I was going to help organise in support of the referendum, but I got high..

          • Phillip ure


            yeah..I have had that thought…

            I just can't figure how/why they so choked..

    • Chris T 2.2

      (and a special bucket of contempt for that patrick gower..

      for that (boomer-ex-user scare-tactic) of peddling that big fucken lie..


      How hard is it for people to Google what a fricken boomer is?

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    It seemed a bent process in terms of the advertising that is for sure, would be interesting to find out the Nope campaign funding sources–USA? Liquor industry? Family First? Destiny Church? The pro lobby mainly got funding from its public appeals.

    NORML, ALCP, Make it Legal, Greens and others, all seemed to just stop campaigning during the COVID Lockdowns, and maybe ran low on money too going by my email inbox. As the election neared the traffic seemed all Nopes way. And the PM playing coy likely denied the few percent needed to get legalisation over the line.

    RNZ had some very dodgy “experts” interviewed, telling straight out lies about mental health effects of Cannabis. Paddy Gower really is the journalistic version of dog shit on your shoe. A shame as this was the most information rich Referendum ever held in NZ–with longitudinal studies, and all sorts of information from Drug Foundation and some years of overseas experience.

    It seemed that the Govt. once they had satisfied their agreement with the Greens to hold a referendum, just went silent and hung it out to dry. The proposed legislation dealt with just about any possible eventuality involving Cannabis use, manufacture and sale. Excellent, but, it made it hard to have a strong focus on any one aspect of Cannabis to run a coherent campaign on. Andrew Little and the PM’s strong statements within seconds of the specials vote count being announced revealed their true position on weed in my view.

    But whether this court action will get anywhere…it was a combination of factors that led to such an annoyingly close vote, and a great shame for personal freedom and scores of start up businesses who were awaiting “Green for Go”.

  4. Sabine 4

    IF we only had a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners, that would do great things with the capital it has.

    In the meantime in the US under Biden they have a good chance to legalise weed on a federal level. Never mind all the other countries that seem to have understood that weed is not a reason to fuck up peoples lifes for ever.

    If only we had a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners, that could do great things with the capital it has. Sadly, that is not what we have in NZ. We have a government, with a full majority and no pesky coalition partners that can do fuck all it appears. And besides, hey, its not hte comfortable white middle class that will be thrown in the slammer, burdened with a permanent police record for growing a bit of weed, smoking or eating it, or gasp even selling a tinny to make a bit of cash, right? Now that sad fate is for the others, the ones that are not white and middle / upper class with access to good lawyers.

    If only we had………………………………..

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Yes, if President Biden gets effective control of the Senate via Georgia and his Deputy’s casting vote, then weed will be legalised and a whole lot of Trump’s damage hopefully undone.

      I don’t buy the majority Labour Govt. line that they have to govern “for all New Zealanders”, I knew it was trouble ahead on election night when the PM uttered those words.

      They should be governing for the working class of this country not placating big business and Nat switchers. After all NZ Labour can go back to the Greens next election if they will have them…

      • ken 4.1.1

        100%, T.M.

        National never governed for "all NZers".

        This ought to be the time for Labour to do the right thing by it's long suffering supportewrs.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      NZ First is the main reason for the referendum.

      • James Thrace 4.2.1

        No. They aren't. The Green Party made the referendum their coalition requirement right from the outset in 2017.

        • mickysavage

          Right you are I was thinking of the right to life referendum.

          • solkta

            It wasn't Green policy to have a referendum but it was NZF policy to do so. From what i understand NZF would not support a law change without one.

            • froggleblocks

              Not according to Chloe Swarbrick:

              First thing’s first: why did cannabis legalisation go to a referendum? Since the early 2000s, Green MPs like Nándor Tánczos and co-leader Metiria Turei have tried and failed to decriminalise or legalise cannabis in a deeply conservative parliamentary arena. Nándor even faced police raids for his openness as a Rastafarian, instigated by his fellow MPs.

              To finally get political movement on cannabis when we were negotiating to form a government with Labour after the 2017 election, the Greens suggested that we take it out of the hands of politicians and into the public sphere.


              • solkta

                To finally get political movement

                They didn't want to do it that way but it was the only way to get the support of Winston First.

  5. NOEL 5

    So the Medical Council did an about face.

    Initially the Drug Foundation and the Greens were claiming it was a health issue and we had create avenues for the addicted.

    When the decriminalisation option was discounted by Cabinet on the grounds there would remain an illicit supply the Drug Foundation started promoting a study that supported legalisation.

    Then it became a choice issue and magically the Gummitt promoted a legal supply chain that was need for the addicted.

    More than one hypocrite here.

    • tc 5.1

      Yup and had JA backed it publicly IMO that would've been enough to carry the 50% as she had the political capital to do so.

      The spectre of patricia bartlett lives on in conservative NZ heartland and that's the hurdle you have to clear.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Too true tc. I have just realised that it is respectability that is of most concern to middle NZ. And that has eaten the heart out of the country, so that thought and desire for fairness, and reviewing strictures against the 'other' doing something that one does not do, are the barriers to forward movement in a rational way.

        When religion is closely examined, it isn't Jesus' teachings that drive Christians and those who think they are sort of morally aligned to those principles. Jesus would never be acceptable today; if he had smoked weed his words would have been received as the utterings of an unstable pot-head.

  6. mac1 6

    Here's a view of the situation from Prof Jack Vowles of Victoria Uni.


    Note the criticism of the quality of the pro-lobby arguments and strategy. "As well, the campaign in favour of change was ill-organised and ineffective, if not naive."

    I voted for change, so I'm not celebrating the failure of this non-binding referendum. But, next time, as Vowles suggests, be prepared to counter what was shown- misinformation, poor strategy, restricted debate.

    I was persuaded by the official presentation of the referendum on an official website, now forgotten- but probably not hugely accessed.

    At the moment, I'm struck by the similarities in the reaction to the referendum result with National here in NZ and some Republicans in the US as they search for blameworthy targets.

  7. And yet — Labour will not use any political capital on this….sad

    • Ed1 7.1

      And that is as it should be. Labour played fair with minor parties, did not allow the referendum to distract from the election (and that is perhaps a good reason why referendums should be help at a different time of the year – perhaps in conjunction with local body elections), and have since shown that they will respect the wishes of the people. The Bill put together for the referendum will not be proceeded with, but there is an opportunity to fix the process for assessment and provision of cannabis for valid medical reasons, including a process of secure domestic production for supply of effective drugs through Pharmac without the appalling blame game and fence-sitting of the Peter Dunne era. Meantime, Labour have other priorities, with inequality and housing being top of mind, but fixing getting ports working; charging trucks the true cost of road destruction, improving rail capacity (with perhaps good rail links between ports around Auckland), as well as Health and Education, where many projects are now underway.

      • Phillip ure 7.1.1

        fascinated to hear that they can't both walk and chew gum at the same time ..

        and this is 'cos they are beavering away at poverty/housing..?…really…?

        and when do you reckon we will be hearing about the results from all that beavering.?

        (colour me surprised . .to hear that..)

        • mac1

          The thing about beavers is that they beaver away a lot of the time under water and out of sight.

          They're great engineers, their change is gradual and long-lasting, beneficial and accurate, using local, natural resources. Their teeth are incisive, self-sharpening and strong. Their endeavours address issues of housing, food and safety.

          They teach their young their skills, continue to work even in winter, and are a great analogy for a political party and its processes.

          • Phillip ure

            sounds like an analogy in support of incrementalism..

            • Ed1

              In these circumstances, I agree it is. What do you think the reaction would be if Labour / Green pushed through the Bill that was rejected by the referendum now? I have identified one issue that I believe could not be said to have been rejected; there may be others, and it is not as if there is not plenty to get on with – some of which does not need to be incremental.

          • Robert Guyton

            Nice allusion, mac1. I concur.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    You'd think that a government dedicated to impoverishing the mass of New Zealanders by corruptly supporting property speculation would recognize the value of soma in their unsustainable dystopia. But that would require a level of joined up thinking we haven't seen in decades.

    Discredited and disheartened, mainstream support for democracy faded away.

  9. bwaghorn 9

    So going to the courts to overturn democracy huh!!

    Donald Trump ould be proud of them.

  10. Ad 10

    If pro-dope lefties cannot respect our democracy, they are no better than Donald Trump.

    We fought hard on the massive petition and referendum against selling state asset sales, and it was a total slap in the face to have the government totally ignore it and sell it anyway. And yet that's what this lot are asking for. Shame on them.

    The more believable path would be to celebrate the medicinal cannabis industry that is now growing and is well regulated, as it should be. Just north of Kaikoura as of yesterday we now have a marijuana plantation the size of 10 football fields. The company is http://www.puro.co.nz


    Stop rebuking voters and start supporting our new and well regulated local companies with their medicinal products.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Indeed, regardless of how you sit on this issue, it surely demands better than this.

      Frankly I'd like to see referendums like this have a somewhat higher hurdle to leap over … say a 65% majority for change.

      • Herodotus 10.1.1

        And what does it say about previous referendums that the governments at the time ignored. And from memory all but 1 previous referendums have a convicting majority supporting them 80%+, unlike this one that was 50:50. And many of a vast minority were happy that the governments at the time did OPPOSE the referendum results.🤫

    • ken 10.2

      You think that 50.7% of the voters should be able to criminalise 48.4% of the voters because they don't approve of what people do in the privacy of their own homes?

      Only 3.5% of NZers identify as LGBTQ, but we were decent enough to stop persecuting and prosecuting that very small minority with the law.

    • froggleblocks 10.3

      and it was a total slap in the face to have the government totally ignore it and sell it anyway. And yet that's what this lot are asking for. Shame on them.

      No, they're asking the court to declare the referendum null and void.

      What happens next is up to the government since this was never a binding referendum anyway. I'm 98% sure they will not have another referendum or even talk about decriminalisation.

  11. Bazza64 11

    I’m not surprised the yes campaign couldn’t get it’s shit together, heavier users of the stuff don’t usually feature that high up on the productivity ladder.

    You could apply this sort of stunt to any election result ( the people were misinformed, lied to, yada yada yada) & it does have Trump like overtones to it. Where do you stop ?

  12. Bruce 12

    From your comment, forgive for assuming Heroin users would feature even lower on the productivity ladder, yet today I read Bob Dylan sold his lifes work for 400 odd million, not a bad earn for someone so unproductive.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1


    • WeTheBleeple 12.2

      Many of our 'stars' on the international stage smoke weed. Can't name names because it's illegal, but these are people bringing in big bucks and PR to the place.

      Heavy users are medicating whatever it is that ails them in many cases, not applying for productivity bonuses.

  13. ken 13

    Very disappointing of our government at first glance, but I think that we're actually in a 'golden age' of cannabis.

    The police have been instructed to not prosecute (if you can believe that), and the government has washed it's hands of any notion of regulation or control.

    Basically, we now have a situation where the government is looking the other way, the police are looking the other way, and the multi million (billion?) dollar underground cannabis economy rolls along unhindered, with tax-free profits only rivaled by the real estate market.

  14. RobbieWgtn 14

    Pot…Kettle. The yes vote advocates for legalization certainly put out at least as much misinformation & inaccurate information to advance their own purposes.

    [lprent: If you want to make an assertion of fact, then provide examples or links to supporting information. If you’re expressing an opinion – then express it as an opinion. What you did here made you look to me as a simple troll. You wasted my time reading your previous comments, and concluding that you weren’t a troll.

    All because you made an unsubstantiated assertion of what could be a fact. Ambiguity carries penalties around here. And as most ambiguity seems to be a tactic, it leaves it completely up to a moderators personal choice about how they want to treat it.

    As a penalty for wasting my time, I’m changing the time on this comment so that it is not the first in this post. That is purely because it looked to me that getting the pole position was your intent – and I don’t like that either. In fact I’m going to make a particular note to myself to observe if you go for first comment again with a throw-away line, and to be hyper-critical about it. ]

    • aom 14.1


    • Phillip ure 14.2

      how about just one feckin' example of these pro-lies…eh .?

    • Chris T 14.3

      The one thing I did see a bit from the yes people was a tendency to try to mix legalisation with medicinal which was already legal.

      Which was frankly misleading imo

      Can't be bothered spending to much time looking on a phone screen, but stuff like this.


      Improve access to patients

      Cannabis can be an effective medicine for some serious conditions.

      Patients should be able to access the medicine that works for them without fear of prosecution. Legal cannabis would mean easier, cheaper access for patients to a wider range of products.

      • Incognito 14.3.1

        Confusing, perhaps, but misleading, no, not if you actually click on the link and read the info instead of a superficial glance at a snippet. Those who want to be misled will be misled and mislead others; those who want to be informed, inform themselves as well as others.

        The evidence is clear that cannabis can be an effective medicine for a range of conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea from some cancer treatments.

        While medicinal cannabis is technically legal in New Zealand with a prescription, there are few products available and they are very expensive because they are not subsidised. Medicinal cannabis products are out of reach of most New Zealanders, even those who have a life threatening or debilitating condition.

        Despite the medical scheme patients are still forced to source illicit products, even though they face the risk of conviction. Legal cannabis would mean easier access to a wider range of products, and would make prices more affordable. Patients will be able to access the medicine that works for them without fear of prosecution.


        • Chris T

          Fair enough, but think we might have to disagree on that one.

          Mind you, there is a fine line between confusing and misleading with lobbying from all sides when it comes to agendas.

          • Incognito

            Yeah, it occurred to me that you might have an agenda.

            • Chris T

              Come on.

              You yourself admitted it was at best confusing.

              The only difference is I think it was probably on purpose.

              Unless of course you think one side is evil liars and the other is the epitome of purity.

  15. Incognito 15

    Andrew Geddis thinks it has zero chance of succeeding in Court.


  16. Patricia Bremner 16

    Actually, that is the Court's role, to examine evidence and give a verdict.

    So why anyone would consider such a case a waste of time perhaps is their stance?

    The issues should be examined, and if unfair, another referendum held.

    Personally, the medical evidence about teens nearly saw me vote no.

    Then the Medical fraternity made a declaration that to me was shockingly late and I realised all was on a knife edge because of pressure from unrepresented Doctors who had started to complain of the issues. So all of that should be examined. IMO.

    • Pat 16.1

      None of that is for the courts to examine (as Geddes points out)….those are in the realm of politics.

      "in short, this legal challenge to the referendum stands no chance of success in court. If the 350 people who apparently have backed it are hoping that three High Court judges might overturn the “no” vote’s 67,662 majority, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

      Alternatively, if they are simply using this case to try and cast public doubt on the referendum outcome by citing various, nebulous “irregularities” with how it was held, then that’s their prerogative. Provided, that is, they’re happy to be running with the same tactic as Donald Trump."


  17. swordfish 17

    Arrogant anti-democratic elitism of an obnoxiously pompous little Upper-Middle Cadre.

    Reminds me of the elite response to Brexit & it's decidedly ugly derision of the majority view (no I didn’t personally back Brexit, but the majority clearly did & the mandate should have been respected without question).

    Indeed, it dovetails with the inherent authoritarianism of the currently ascendant Intersectional Cult, with its mix of crude, cartoonish understandings of reality, aggressive power-seeking self-interest, & a sickeningly smug & self-righteousness tone. Spoiled Brats who never learnt Right from Wrong or how to share is the terminology that instantly comes to mind. But, then, that kind of glib response underplays the on-going anti-democratic danger of this fake, self-interested segment of the “Left”.

  18. Nic 181 18

    The government has no obligation to follow the indication given in the Cannabis referendum. When John Key had a referendum on the sale of assets, ie power company shares, 67% of New Zealanders voted no. John Key sold them anyway. He had to in order to fund tax cuts for his rich mates and donars to the National Party.

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    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    3 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    4 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    5 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    6 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
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  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    6 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
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    6 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    6 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
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    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
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    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
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    1 week ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
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    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
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    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
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    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    2 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
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    4 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
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