The “Choice” Mantra

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, December 16th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: ,

Nick C, in my Government Spending Ideology post, had an interesting comment about the right’s perspective on such things.  In it, he said:

“[T]he reason that those on ‘the right’ generally call for lower government spending and lower taxes is that we believe we get more choice when recieving[sic] services from the market.”

I see a great misnomer in the concept of “choice”, which is popular with many politicians (it was certainly the mantra from both parties in their 2005 election when I was in the UK).  Choice often doesn’t gain us anything.

I don’t want a “choice” of schools, I want my local one to be the best possible. I don’t need it to be better than my neighbours – I want every New Zealander to have the best possible education. Partly that’s altruistic, but even if every bone of my body is selfish, I’ll do better if I’m in a highly educated society of achievers.

I don’t want a “choice” of doctor, or hospital, or even medical treatment. I’m not in a position to choose who or what’s best, so I just want the highest quality we can achieve and afford (cost being a particular issue with modern health care). I don’t see I deserve better than anyone else, so I don’t see that I should get a choice that disadvantages someone else.

I don’t want a “choice” in my national infrastructure either. I don’t need 2 roads / sets of rails / lines of fibre between me and everyone I might want to be in contact with. I don’t see any second option as helping me at all, it’s just consuming the nation’s resources.

I don’t want a “choice” in my ACC entitlement, or welfare benefits – I just want the community, through the government to support me when circumstances move against me; help me back on my feet.

In a lot of these things “choice” merely equates to me getting something better at someone else’s loss. Which equates to those with the wealth and education getting the best choices, which quickly evolves into a privileged class and an underclass1 caught into a poverty trap.

I’d rather no “choice” and a focus on getting everywhere the best we can, particularly on those basic services that everyone should have.

(I’m quite happy to have choice on my washing powder though, although I’m not sure that does me any good either – I don’t really know which one works best for my buck, and they all claim top-billing…)

1 [ Remember John Key’s “underclass” he was going to help?  They’re poorer now. ]

35 comments on “The “Choice” Mantra”

  1. Bored 1

    Good work Bunji, I have for so long been puzzled about the ideological obsession with choice. In business and my personal life I often buy on the basis of utility, fit for purpose and appropriateness for what ever parameter is needed. in a material sense our choices are mind bogglingly broad for what is really required.

    In the case of services I buy for specific needs which in the case of social needs such as educaation are normally easy to define and scope. As you note, social services dont require choice, they require delivery within set parameters. I dont buy, I use, I dont purchase directly, I pay tax to socialise the cost. I expect a uniform output for me and everybody else. Every time we put choice into this equation up goes the price and down goes delivery except at exponential price for those who can afford. That is economic madness, highly innefficient.

  2. Got money?
    You deserve the best.
    They can have the rest.
    Choice!

  3. Carol 3

    The right wing “choice” mantra has become a way for getting people to hand over more money, now that most people in developed countries can get everyting they need at an affordable price. Ater WWII manufacturing became increasingly more efficient, so it became possible for most people, in contries like NZ, to buy a washing machine, a car, a TV etc, etc. So how to get them to spend more money? Businesses started to produce more customised products – and with these, through brandimg they attached a sense of identity (often status-linked) to the array of “choices” in the market.

    But some people have become addicted to such choices, so they need to keep spending and spending on each new gismo. In the end, this is a limited choice. What about the choice not to spend? and not to get sucked into the status symbols attached to many of the consumer choices?

    Also, the range of choice is limited. I have little say in what’s produced as consumer “choices”. The wealthy, who can spend most money, have most influence on what’s produced. I’m like bored, I just want to buy things that are useful to me. Sometimes I end up making things out of the bits that are on offer, because no one is making an item I want to use.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      As well as promoting ‘commodity fetishism’ and boxing day sales, lets buy it! choice is used as a deliberate ideological tactic to discourage collective behaviour and thinking. It’s all about ME, I choose not to join a nasty union and organise to get wage increases off bosses, I (ME) choose to sign up for Working For Families and get cash off the money go round from other taxpayers.

      At some level of course people should be able to have an orange one instead of a silver one if they so desire, but it is madness to claim for example that choice exists in any form other than an artificial one in power generation and supply fer crissakes, a most obvious case for no choice required.

      The concept of ‘choice’ is also essential to cultivating new aspirational, yet struggling, tory voters. Advertising is sometimes hilarious particularly the banking and insurance industry pompously peddling their ‘products’, “we understand you, a custom package just for you” (and the other several million kiwis that are required to have bank accounts).

  4. Bright Red 4

    choice can make you poorer if you’re choosing between essentially identical products that will give you basically the same level of happiness because making a choice is a cost.

    compounding this many businesses that are offering the same product intentionally offer a range of differing plans to make comparison hard so that you’re less likely to swtich providers. Adam Scott, author of Dilbert invented the time for this market tactic – confusopoly http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=confusopoly

    small businesses don’t want ‘choice’ in ACC because that would be an extra cost in deciding between the slew of plans that will be offered for trivial gains (if any, once they pay for the insurers’ marketers, lawyers, and profits).

    Likewise, I don’t want to go to the supermarket and be confronted with 50 brands and types of toothpaste – I just want a super toothpaste but instead of offering that the supplies try to confuse and segment the market, which means I have to spend time choosing.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Yup. Good points.
    There is also the issue of ‘false choices’ that we must be vigilant in detecting and rejecting.

  6. Carol 6

    And when it suits them, the corporate and political powers that champion market “choice”, limit our choices:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4461413/Raging-against-credit-card-politics

    I am labouring with futile anger towards my chosen credit card company. Why am I seething? Because Visa chose to limit my political freedom by blocking me from sending a contribution to the Wikileaks fighting fund.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Of course they do – the only choice that most people are allowed to make is the choice that benefits the few. I consider “choice” in many areas to be a way to hide the fact that you have no choice. Me being with Orcon for my ISP is such a non-choice as the service is still delivered over Telecom’s network.

  7. Olwyn 7

    The right-wing emphasis on choice comes from wanting us to treat freedom and consumer choice as if they were the same thing. Never mind if the SIS is allowed to spy on you as they see fit, there are 30 brands of cereal in aisle five from which to pick your breakfast of choice. In fact the SIS must be permitted to spy on you if we are to preserve our precious freedom in the field of breakfast.

  8. Dave Christian 8

    Thank you for this post. It explains a great deal.

    I don’t want choice to get something better than others do. I want choice so that everyone can have the best possible.

    With choice, suppliers of goods and services are motivated to provided the best possible quality/value in order to avoid losing customers to competitors.

    Without choice, quality/value declines over time because monopoly suppliers have different incentives. Monopoly suppliers inevitably devote significant resources to telling everyone what a great job they are doing. Observers have no way of telling for sure if their claims are true or false. Government backed claims have a ring of authority. Tellingly, monopoly suppliers always claim that introduction of choice would be a disaster; By which they mean that it would be a disaster for them.

    Of course, people with spare money (not a large group, but there are some) will spend extra to get better services, but those without wealth (the majority) will also get higher quality services with choice. The quality/value of your washing power has improved much more over the past 50 years than the quality/value of any government monopoly service.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      “The quality/value of your washing power has improved much more over the past 50 years than the quality/value of any government monopoly service.”

      evidence?

      In 1960 you couldn’t get most of the routine medicial treatments that the public health system delivers today.

    • Bunji 8.2

      “With choice, suppliers of goods and services are motivated to provided the best possible quality/value in order to avoid losing customers to competitors.”
      I don’t think many teachers or doctors think in such terms.

      “Monopoly suppliers inevitably devote significant resources to telling everyone what a great job they are doing.”
      In fact the neo-liberal economies of NZ and US spend the highest proportion of their GDPs on advertising. It is with choice that people need to spend lots to convince others that their product is “the best”. However they often work by a confusopoly, so people can never know which is truly the best – witness Teresa Gatung’s comments.

      But I’m not against all choice. Where people regularly buy something that they can tell what works for them it is a powerful tool for improvement. Often the inefficiency of building 2 of everything overrules any usefulness of competition. I certainly wouldn’t want a monopoly in private hands (ie not a public trust/mutual or co-operative or govt-owned) – without a community-based ethic there will always be rorting; but with a community based spirit a monopoly can be to the benefit of all.

      Washing powder has improved massively over the last 50 years. I’m not sure the quality of my milk or sandwiches has improved anything like the quality of my teaching, hospital care or policing over the last 50 years however – they’ve all improved hugely too.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      I don’t want choice to get something better than others do. I want choice so that everyone can have the best possible.

      But choice doesn’t actually give you that – research and development does. So, if we want the best washing powder we get the researchers to develop it and then a factory to make it. The researchers keep researching and, as their research produces results, the factory is updated to make the new improved version.

      This option has a number of efficiency benefits: No waste produced by advertising, the best researchers are going to be working together sharing information so that research isn’t duplicated and all the ideas are going to be heard and investigated (bringing in “competition”). You get the best washing powder at the best price.

  9. Richard 9

    I’ve sometimes seen right wing people offer things like Food Courts as “progressive” and “modern” examples of “choice”; as in you can choose whether to eat a burger, or sushi, or a kebab, or a curry, or a roast.

    Which does not really equate to choice in a meaningful sense.

    • Luxated 9.1

      I hope that isn’t the best example of choice they can think of. Because I’m not sure a choice between several different flavours of food poisoning is quite what I look for at lunchtime.

      captcha: best, hardly!

  10. A 10

    Bunji, you’re missing or understating the central argument for restricting choice, which is that in certain cases a system of free choice leads to outcomes that are collectively self defeating for the choosers.

    For example, if the military were funded via a system of choice, the rational thing for self interested people to do would be to refuse to pay, because you still get the benefit if others pay, and are no worse off if they don’t. So hardly anyone pays and we all end up worse off. Compulsory taxation stops us falling in to such collective action problems.

    The great mistake of the political right, and the reason why they are more or less hopelessly deluded, is that they do not understand that universal individual wants do not necessary ensure provision of universally desired goods. It’s why I cringe every time I hear some halfwit say something like “why do we need tax when everyone can just pay for whatever they want?”.

    As an obvious example, education is funded via compulsory taxation because it has significant externalities such as the burden that individual illiteracy places on the rest of society. Most of the big ticket items for the welfare state are either like education, or are forms of insurance, which also suffer from market failure.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand this simple idea has no business trying to talk politics. Unfortunately, that includes most people of a politically conservative persuasion. If they all shoved off and found something else to do, it would be possible to have meaningful public discussion of political problems, and perhaps actually get somewhere. As it is, the tragedy of human politics is that the rest of us spend most of our time trying to deal with these apes and their ridiculous notions.

    • Bunji 10.1

      Very good points. Yes, I definitely missed putting that part of argument in there – thanks for picking that up.

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.2

      More recently the earthquake in Christchurch showed how strongly choice can work or not work. I feel for the old people who having paid insurance all their lives and never claimed stopped paying their house insurance premiums because they were struggling financially.

      I’ve seen the same happen to old people with medical insurance as well – they’ve paid for many years but can’t afford it when their health deteriorates and they actually need it. There’s no thanks from Southern Cross and their ilk for all the premiums they have paid over the years.

      In fact medical insurance is a pretty good example of where choice is very limited – mainly because the private sector only does those things it can make money from.

      I’ve yet to see the person who goes to a private hospital when they have their stroke, or their heart attack or their serious car accident. I’ve seen a few people at Middlemore having their botched cosmetic surgery sorted out though.

      I have a son with a spontaneous genetic disorder. His choice of medical insurance is nil. I even tested out an insurance broker to see if any company in Australasia would insurance him – not a single one.

      Part of the choice of the private sector is to deny their services to people. That’s no choice at all for the person needing the service.

      • Vicky32 10.2.1

        AFAIK, private hospitals don’t do emergency surgeries! (Not cost effective). My youngest and cleverest is a nurse at the Cardiothoracic unit in Welly.)
        Heart attack victims are all happy to go public – they don’t want or need a choice, neither do they (thankfuly) need insurance!
        Deb

  11. For me this is another conundrum. I agree wholeheartedly with the post. But at the same time, the alternative vision it offers never comes to pass. So what’s a viable third way?

    Throw more and more money at hospitals and roads etc till they become “better”? That then devolves to an argument about what proportion of that money gets taken from the “rich” in taxes versus what gets taken from the poor in benefits cuts etc.

    There’s no doubt a boost in funding would help some aspects of Bunji’s utopia to come to pass but there’s a whole host of other, non-monetary factors that are also standing in the way.

    I’m loathe to bring up an example lest the thread derail into debating its validity but if we’re talking quality schooling then – speaking as a former Board chair and then teachers’ union spin doctor – one of the biggest problems is the lack of reward for excellent teachers and the die-in-a-ditch union attitude to the protection of lousy ones.

    People get sick of the dysfunction in the public system – which is due to a web of vested interests, from politicians’ posturing for re-election right down to petty office politics at the customer service level – and give up, figuring they’ll just pay for a private provider, upon whom their “customer” status imposes some accountability.

    Yes, choice is often a false perception. But the demand for it needs to be addressed if we’re to stop the waste and duplication.

    And that’s going to require some major attitudinal shifts right across the board, and amongst some structures most resistant to change.

    • Descendant Of Smith 11.1

      Of course if businesses really wanted choice then consumers should be able to choose what they wish to pay for the goods being sold – each could then buy according to their means and needs.

      There’s a current software bundle doing this at moment:

      Total revenue: $659,924.29
      Number of purchases: 90,289
      Average purchase: $7-31
      Average Windows: $6-09
      Average Mac: $8-25
      Average Linux $13.71

      Top price paid to date is $2,000.

      I’ve noticed as the promotion has gone on the average continues to lift.

      I’ve paid well above the average cause I can afford to do so as have many others.

      So how bout it – give me some real choice.

      • I remember when I lived in the country just outside of Cambridge. Our neighbours would put a big hopper of fresh corn at the gate and an honesty box. I think they wanted 20c a cob or somesuch (this was the late 80s).

        The people who’d stop, grab bucketloads of the stuff and – if they were feeling especially generous – drop in a few silver coins, but mostly nothing, were always those in the late model cars. If an old jalopy pulled up, they’d always pay full price, or as close to it as they could afford – you’d see them hunting in the ashtrays for extra change.

        Nowadays I have a tradesman friend who says he’s happier working in lower socio-economic areas than the posh ones. The rich evidently agree a price and then, having had the work done, try to pick holes in the quality and/or want to pay in post-dated cheques and/or are mysteriously never home to pay at all, etc. The poor will either pay, or ask to pay in instalments, and actually do pay.

        That’s why I’m a little wary of anything that relies on good nature and honesty… it seems inversely proportional to wealth in many (though by no means all) people!

        [Perhaps geeks really are different to normal folk 😉 ]

    • A 11.2

      Here are some responses, Rex.

      To increase funding of the health care system is not the only way to improve it, but neither are attempts to increase efficiencies. Funding things like better pharmaceuticals, more equipment and more procedures will do much to increase social welfare by improving quality of life and lowering wait times. These things cost money. In fact, health care is probably the biggest bang that we get for our buck, since a well-funded health care system adds years to people’s lives and quality to those years. One only need look at the improvements in cancer treatments over the past 50 years to see how much has been accomplished. Whenever I hear someone complaining that health costs are ballooning, I can’t understand what the problem is. Of course they are ballooning, but the benefits are obviously worth it.

      As to where the money should come from, it is pretty obvious. Vast sums of money are spent on competitive consumption in New Zealand for very little gain in public welfare. Many people spend large amounts of their income on competitive consumption goods simply in an attempt to “keep up with the Joneses”. This is wasteful. A progressive income tax functions as a means of damping down this competition, and will thus be a boon to most New Zealanders.

      If people don’t want to pay the tax, then let them leave. I grow tired of hearing their whining, and would rather see them gone. Lord knows, New Zealand is close to the top of the human development index, so there aren’t that many places to go where things are genuinely better. There are enough hard working people who would like to immigrate to New Zealand to replace them.

      The simple problem with New Zealand teachers is that we pay peanuts, and we therefore get monkeys. Among all the groups of university students I have taught, the trainee teachers are without doubt the worst and the stupidest. You want better people, I’d offer much more money in exchange for completing competency assessments.

      But even then, New Zealand still has one of the best education systems in the world. Imagine what could be done with better teachers and more resources.

      As for the “resistant” problem, I think you are correct in that the parental demand for choice and accountability is driving the dysfunction, and I would argue that this is the main cause of the dysfunction and what is driving it is competitive consumption in education. I can’t really see that problem being solved any time soon, as the upper middle class more or less have a stranglehold on educational advantage in New Zealand (and much else besides), and those people get very authoritarian when they feel their social capital threatened. Their worst nightmare other than their hysterical fear of poverty is an education where their children must compete as equals with gifted working class kids.

  12. BLiP 12

    If choice is so good, why can’t I have a choice about whether or not to eat genetically engineered frankenstein food?

  13. Descendant Of Smith 13

    I might also add that if choice is so good why can’t food be labeled with country of origin so I can choose where my food comes from or why can’t my pork purchases clearly tell me whether they have been raised in sow crates? Why did those toys just recently pulled not have a label saying contains lead paint?

  14. Richard 14

    A commonly used argument in favour of choice and the free market is that it motivates producers to compete, creating efficiency. I think the opposite is true. All businesses strive to make money, and if you’re busy competing then you won’t make any money. Instead, all businesses try to create a monopoly for themselves (or at least do their best to avoid competition). Examples: power and insurance companies pricing plans avoid competition by making it hard to compare price. These might be examples of “market failure” but I think all businesses strive to operate in a failed market.

  15. Jenny 15

    You have money, you have the freedom of choice.

    You have no money, You have no freedom, You have no choice.

    You have no “choice”, but to become a wage slave of those who do have money, no matter how they got this money, they may be the worst criminals, or the most undeserving heirs of money.

    If you don’t like the conditions of your servitude, you might chose to join with others in the same situation to withhold your labour.

    The rich supporters of “choice” will then scream blue murder for the government to legislate against this particular “choice”.

    Calling on the police and sometimes even the army to suppress “choice”.

    On the other hand these rich supporters of “choice” vigourously fight to preserve and extend their freedom of “choice” to sack you at any time, and plunge your family into poverty, even for no reason at all in the first 90 days.

    To increase their power of “choice” over the rest of us, those with money sometimes choose to over-rule democracy itself. By removing everyone else’s right of choice, they increase their own.

    The ultimate dream of right wing pro “choice” hypocrites in ACT is:

    If you have no money, You get no choice, You get no Justice, And you have no voice.

  16. Nick C 16

    “I don’t want a “choice” of schools, I want my local one to be the best possible.”

    But what is the best school? There is no objective answer and we may want completely different schools for our kids. I might want a school that incorperates a component of religious education into the curriculum, you might not. I might want a school with an emphasis on arts, you might want one with an emphasis on academic achievement. I might want a Rudolf Steiner school, you might think that sucks. Choice is important because people do have different preferances. Some of the commenters above say that choice in markets is all illusionary and all products are basically the same. You’re entitled to that view but clearly most consumers see differently and vote with their wallets for a large variety of products.

    The other thing you cant ignore is that choice is a much better mechanism of providing accountability than voting. If you think National provides shit hospitals but good schools, and Labour is the reverse, what are you supposed to do? You only have one party vote and you have to give it to someone.

    • Jenny 16.1

      “Choice is important because people do have different preferances.”

      Nick C

      Translation: By “different preferences”, Nick of course means, different sized wallets.

      The other thing you cant ignore is that choice is a much better mechanism of providing accountability than voting.

      Nick C

      Translation: Nick C is making the sort of typical statement often mouthed by the extreme right. The extreme right parties like ACT, loathe democracy because it infringes on the power of money.
      Democracy allows people who don’t have money to have some of the political power, that usually only belongs to the rich and powerful. Democracy allows the rest of us to put a check on the choices of the rich and powerful as they negatively affect everyone else.

      • Nick C 16.1.1

        No, by different preferences i mean prefer different goods and services, activities, etc. Of course there is inequality but I think there are better means to address that than govt provision of services which strips choice, such as a guarenteed minimum income.

        • Jenny 16.1.1.1

          “…by different preferences i mean prefer different goods and services, activities, etc.”

          Nick C

          Nicksy You do a better job of translating yourself, than I do.

          All these different goods and services, activities, etc. to be available only at some schools and not at others, eh, Nick.

          Choice

          Well who wouldn’t want to send their children to these better schools?

          Oh I forgot, this sort of choice is only available to wealthy families. You, old right wing elitist you. How smug these parents will feel, having the power to exercise the sort of choice, denied to less well off parents.

          • Nick C 16.1.1.1.1

            Who do you think gets into the best schools at the moment Jenny? Do you think its the poor brown kids from South Auckland who get into Auckland Grammer? Do you think the kid who grew up in a gang home in Stathmore gets into Wellington College? Or is it the wealthy family who can buy an appartment in Parnel or Khandallah just to get into the right zone or both pay their income taxes and private school fees? Whats worse is that there is simply no way out for these kids. Even if their parents are willing to make huge financial sacrafises, they are quite literally imprisoned in their local school by the government.

            I want to give these kids a chance, you dont.

            • Jenny 16.1.1.1.1.1

              “Who do you think gets into the best schools at the moment Jenny? Do you think its the poor brown kids from South Auckland who get into Auckland Grammer? Do you think the kid who grew up in a gang home in Stathmore gets into Wellington College? Or is it the wealthy family who can buy an appartment in Parnel or Khandallah just to get into the right zone or both pay their income taxes and private school fees?”

              Nick C

              I don’t think I have misunderstood you on this Nick. All your talk about personal choice has been about ramping up the inequality that you so aptly describe.

              How does having schools with differing qualities and costs help those who don’t have the ability to meet these costs?

              You ignorantly claim, “…if their parents are willing to make huge financial sacrafises,” they could afford these schools.

              Like a lot of other rich and privileged people you seem to think that poverty is just a bad “choice”.

              Nick your defence of inequality and your instinctive distaste for democracy, naturally go together because you can’t have inequality without suppressing democracy.

              “…choice is a much better mechanism of providing accountability than voting.”

              Nick C

              In your own words Nick you oppose choice through voting because it does not depend on how rich you are. Nick you only want choice for the privileged, those who have the money to “choose” the best schools and private hospitals.

              You oppose high quality social provision of schools or hospitals, freely available to everyone on principle.

              Opposing social provision, means opposing democracy, because high class social provision is immensely popular with the majority of voters.

              Claiming that a graduated system of health provision and education based on the ability to pay, gives choice, is a lie, the facts are, this sort of system removes choice from the vast majority who are forced to put up with a second, or even third class treatment depending on their ability to pay.

              We only have to look to the US to see this inequality in action, where millions of people have no health insurance because the wages are too low to afford it, and so get zero health care. Where’s their choice?

  17. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 17

    Maybe you made some good arguments. I will never read them because I could not get past your misuse of “misnomer”. Maybe if you had had the choice of going to a better school…

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    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    4 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    1 week ago