The Culture War Coalition

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, March 29th, 2024 - 53 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, Culture wars, david seymour, national, nz first, paul goldsmith, politicans, same old national, winston peters - Tags:

We have just had yet another week of the Government manufacturing culture wars and picking fights. It really makes you wonder why they are there. Did National Act and NZ First MPs really get into politics to be grumpy and divisive and manufacture dissent? Or is this a cover so they can complete the real reason they became involved in politics and this was to enrich their already wealthy backers?

In no particular order we have recently seen:

  • Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Paul Goldsmith telling Te Papa to take down the defaced Treaty of Waitangi display even though he has no power to direct the Museum on what it should display. Christopher Luxon apparently had no idea that this was happening.
  • Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announcing the end of work on establishing a Sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands a proposal that actually started with John Key. According to Jones “[t]here’s far too much misinformation, and I’ve had to put up with green muckery over this issue. There is already a host of protective measures there.”
  • The announcement of brutal cuts to the Ministry of Pacific People which may see the numbers working there being slashed by 40%. This is way more than a 6.5% cut in funding. It really makes you wonder what the Government has against Pacific people. I guess this is not surprising when you remember that before the election David Seymour threatened to blow the ministry up.
  • Having an absolute melt down on the fact that Auckland University has a space for Māori and Pacific students. Winston Peters claimed rather bizarrely that having the spaces was comparable to the Klu Klux Klan. Not to be out done David Seymour claimed that the spaces were segregationist.
  • And Simeon Brown extending his tacky little culture war on cycleways by extending the attack to public transport with proposals that will increase the cost of living for all users of public transport.

Perhaps the most bizarre culture battle involved attacks on Hectors dolphins. This involved Russell Coutts, whose loyalty to the country was displayed when he left the Team New Zealand sailing franchise so that he could sail for the Swiss competitor Alinghi. He was then dumped from Alinghi after repeated violations of his duties which included refusing to helm Alinghi when requested to as well as his undisclosed involvement in the planning and development of a new race series.

He then set up the SailGP race series and elected to host a race in Lyttleton Harbour in the middle of a Hector’s Dolphin sanctuary. The presence of dolphins forced the cancellation of a race after the marine mammal management plan that SailGP had developed itself was applied. Coutts then publicly railed against the plan which he said had been “forced upon us” and said that he found “it astonishing the amount of influence iwi have over the authorities here in New Zealand”. He then questioned the expertise of Otago professor Liz Slooten and had a crack at the local harbourmaster.

David Williams in Newsroom has provided this perceptive comment:

[Williams] made the analogy about people not being allowed to drive because there’s a chance of being killed on the roads. “Inherently, as a society we accept an element of risk in our daily lives.”

The comparison is a weak one – even before you realise roads have traffic lights and speed limits to protect people. 

SailGP is operating, with a fragile social licence, in a marine mammal sanctuary. A better analogy would be allowing Formula One cars to race within a national park, near kiwi.

But this did not deter our leaders from having a rant about the subject. David Seymour repeated the weird analogy that sailing through the sanctuary was like driving a car. Christopher Luxon chipped in and said there was way too much red tape. And Winston Peters complained about power-drunk Government Departments.

Winston has also been busy with his breaching copyright and picking fights with UK musicians. He is clearly one who thinks that you should never let the chance of a culture battle go by.

But the most damaging recent incident raises questions about how solid the coalition is.

Both the Act and NZ First coalition agreements promise to “[r]estore the right to local referendum on the establishment or ongoing use of Māori wards”.

This was recently considered by cabinet with two options, either proceed with the policy or delay it.

Cabinet decided to delay.

A clearly disappointed David Seymour responded by saying that the policy was on track and that he would not engage with leakers. Christopher Luxon tried to blame the public service while at the same time said it was not a biggie. Makie Sherman confirmed that the leak did not come from the public service.

If the policy is not advanced quickly then one aspect, the holding of referenda for Māori seats established under the last Government’s reign will not be able to occur in time for the referenda to happen with the next Local Government elections due in 2025. I bet that Seymour and Peters would prefer that it happened even earlier than that so that elections for these seats in 2025 do not have to be held.

You have to wonder who leaked the news. It is a policy both NZ First and Act support. One wonders if Tama Potaka who must be worried at the damage being caused to Government Māori relations by this sort of redneck posturing may have been involved.

But the past week highlights how obsessed the Government is with petty culture battles while ignoring the big issues. Like dealing with climate change, child poverty and homelessness.

53 comments on “The Culture War Coalition ”

  1. aj 1

    while ignoring the big issues

    They are not ignoring the class war, wealthy vs everybody else.

    Everything else is just a smokescreen.

    • Grey Area 1.1

      Exactly. This is all planned. Of course they are ignoring the big issues. They don't care about them.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Agree with Micky’s piece, little need to add to much of it.

    But one more thing…the attack on EVs really ticks me off, so it was great to discover this organisation, largely funded by benefactors, that says NZ is now at the tipping point of a massive move to electrification of the country.

    A nicely researched and detailed report by Rewiring NZ here…

  3. joe90 3

    And Simeon Brown extending his tacky little culture war

    Where he's going.


    Why did America destroy its own cities? A thread…

  4. Mike the Lefty 4

    The reason for all this should be obvious, but so many ignore it.

    Simply, the political right don't have any answers to the major problems such as child poverty, homelessness and addressing climate change. And what's more they don't care.

    So they divert attention away from their inadequacies by inventing fake wars and promoting cultural division.

    Divide and conquer has always been National's strategy. It continues today. The problem today is that they also brought along the conspiracy theory lobby for the ride and now don't know how to get rid of them now they have become a burden.

    • Anne 4.1

      Add to that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      Its gone to their heads and now their real agendas are being exposed.

  5. observer 5

    From OP:

    You have to wonder who leaked the news. It is a policy both NZ First and Act support. One wonders if Tama Potaka who must be worried at the damage being caused to Government Māori relations by this sort of redneck posturing may have been involved.

    It's very sad to see him on nodding duty, standing behind Luxon while his boss casually throws out insults at the very same groups Potaka was proud to be part of (like Maori students' groups at university, where he was a leading light).

    It's also pretty feeble that reporters can't be bothered to ask the very obvious follow-up Qs. There is literally a Minister standing behind Luxon who has previously called for – indeed, worked for – the things that the coalition now slams.

  6. Michael P 6

    This isn't the government being obsessed with petty culture battles. Surely there are people on the left (for lack of a better phrase) who can see this stuff for what it is. The government is just doing smart politics. They clearly understand how the vast majority of their voters as well as many others feel about these sorts of issues and are using that knowledge.

    I'm going to jot a few notes on how the Government and also the people who voted for the government might see some of these issues.

    In regards to the Treaty vandalism – Who supports the vandals? – A tiny minority of NZ voters. Seymour and Peters are simply letting their voters know that they have the same thoughts on these matters. As for Paul Goldsmith, the majority of people won't care less about the nuances in language around whether he is trying to tell the museum what to do, etc, they will just agree with him on this matter. This is obvious surely???

    Shane Jones clearly states one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) for this decision is due to the fact that in 1992 the government granted fishery property rights to all tribes that had valid claims on the Kermadecs. He states that if this marine reserve had gone ahead then the Iwi involved would have taken major legal action to protect their property rights. He also states that there are plenty and adequate environmental protection laws already in place for the Kermadecs. Who will care about the government canning this policy – Green Party and voters, Some of the Labor party and some of their voters. Who will support this action – the affected Iwi and everyone else.

    In regards to he Ministry for Pacific Peoples. – Spending over $40,000 just for the CEO's leaving party. I remember when our CFO left the company I worked for around 25 years ago. (I won't name the company but was / is one of our biggest. He got a morning tea put on for him with a nice cake and a card. Probably cost less then $250. Many voters will remember these morning teas for staff leaving the company and will be pretty riled up hearing about the $40,000. Then there's the other $50,000+ for 4 breakfasts! This is bread and butter stuff for National and partners and they know their voters care about these things. There are 160 or so employees and the average salary works out to around $125,000. This is twice the median for all New Zealanders and way more than the average. Surely the ministry's work force isn't made up entirely of very high paying senior roles? Sorry but it's just not a good look and easy points with their voters for the Government.

    In regards to the segregated space at Auckland University. I would say (and it's just an opinion of course) that a large majority of voters would be furious at this sort of thing being rolled out at universities in NZ. So again, easy stuff for the government parties to get support from their voters. Regardless of the politics on this one, I'd really like to hear a convincing argument from anyone at all outlining why segregating groups based on race like this (Just like how things used to be…) is a good idea. Further to that does anyone possibly know why whichever staff member or group at AKL university decided to do this thought now would be a good time?!

    in regards to the clean car discount. This was an unpopular policy with many voters, especially those on low incomes who are stuck with their "gas guzzlers". These are the voters the Labor Party takes for granted. They'd love a brand new EV but will never be able to afford to buy a new car full stop. What they see is their hard earned tax dollars going to give rich people thousands of dollars in discounts on their flash new cars. It simply seems very unfair to them. (and it is isn't it..)

    In the climate change stuff – If Labor is smart it will have a set of policies based on the science. What it shouldn’t do, IMO, is try and score points against the Government in regards to climate change. They should let the Green Party be vocal in attacking the Government in this area. Voters who are really passionate about climate change and view it as the number one issues in the world, etc probably mostly already vote for the Green Party. The Labor Party isn’t going to gain old voters back or new voters to switch from the Government because of this issue.

    From the Government's perspective none of this stuff is about being grumpy and divisive and fighting culture wars. It's just smart politicking for them, making easy political points with much of this stuff being handed to them on a plate for them to communicate to their voters.(as well as many who may not have voted for them maybe too.)

    I wish the Labor party was capable of smart politics but at the moment they don't seem to be able to read the room to save themselves.. They need to get some advisors on board quick smart that aren't all from the academic world and may not have all of the so called necessary university qualifications, but can read the room. Labor need a drastic change in tactics if they want to come close to gaining office next election (IMO)

    I do agree 100% with the author though when it comes to little cry baby Russell threatening to take his toys and go and play somewhere else. The guy's a big dosser!

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      "In the climate change stuff – If Labor is smart it will have a set of policies based on the science. What it shouldn’t do, IMO, is try and score points against the Government in regards to climate change. They should let the Green Party be vocal in attacking the Government in this area."

      This is complete bollocks Michael, consistent with most of your rant.

      Labour (notice the spelling) should and in fact MUST be fully involved in the debate on CC. This is not a matter of "scoring points". National, ACT, NZF, TPM and the Greens should ALL be involved in this debate and there should be a consensus on how to reduce emissions. This is an issue that cuts across party politics-the planet is burning up.

      If the Culture War Coalition is being so smart, as you claim, why is it fairing poorly in the polls-surely the shortest honeymoon on record. We are looking at a one-term government.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        'This is complete bollocks Michael, consistent with most of your rant."

        Thanks BG. Saves me saying it except that I will;

        A load of bullshit. Labour along with the Greens have always based their CC policies on the science. Its the other crowd that don't, and that's because much of it is more than their shriveled brains can absorb.

        I saw the mis-spelling of Labour too. Doesn't give me confidence in the author's post.

    • Rose 6.2

      A well put together and considered response to the Op-ed. Like it or not, this is what the left is up against. Generically, the biggest difference between the left and the right at the moment is the right are listening to what the people want, the left still insist on telling us what we need.

    • observer 6.3

      "A large majority of voters would be furious at this sort of thing being rolled out at universities in NZ. … Further to that does anyone possibly know why whichever staff member or group at AKL university decided to do this thought now would be a good time?!"

      It's not being rolled out now, it's been there since the 1990s. It has been part of student life for many prominent Kiwis, including Efeso Collins and Tama Potaka, amongst many others. Anyone could dress something up as being "separatist" for headlines, as long as they don't actually bother looking beyond the slogans. Anything from Whanau Ora to the Maori battalion, if we want to be dicks about it. Which sadly, they do.

      • You_Fool 6.3.1

        This! I read the OP and then Michael's response and thought… this isn't a new thing. I went to uni late 90s / early 2000s and there were pasifika and Maori clubs and spaces… pretty sure there was a specific student union too (or at least division of the student union). There was an Asian union and club too. Pretty sure this was all when David Seymour was at uni too… can't remember that being a problem. In fact i remember the concept being a plus to the libertarians during the universal vs voluntary student union membership debate

        so why is it a big deal now?

    • observer 6.4

      Also to Michael P:

      If this is "smart politics", as you claim, why is it opposed by National's Education Minister in Luxon's cabinet? Isn't the more obvious explanation that it is 10% politics for ACT and NZF, but very bad politics for National, who are losing their own MPs

      Auckland University Māori and Pasifika area: Education Minister Erica Stanford disagrees with Deputy PM Winston Peters' stance | Newshub

      • Dolomedes III 6.4.1

        Erica Stanford's disagreement with Seymour and Peters means the Nats are "losing their own MPs"? That claim is almost as OTT as Seymour's KKK comparison. Stanford is a well-known social liberal, she will disagree with Peters about lots of things.

        And Michael P's post is hardly a rant – its possibly the least ranty post in this thread. People are just shooting the messenger.

        • observer

          She disagrees with the PM. From the same party.

          Seymour and Peters will do what they can get away with, but the price for Luxon will be high. If you don't believe that then just wait, we can discuss it after National MPs have had enough. Watch.

    • Mike the Lefty 6.5

      Hi Michael P.

      Another reminder that you haven't replied to my challenge of your claim that the Hurricane Poua rugby team are taxpayer funded.

      Unless, as I suspect, it is a hot air claim that you cannot substantiate, like a lot of your claims on this site.

    • mickysavage 6.6

      Good attempt.

      You miss the point about Goldsmith. He has no power to do what he tried to do. And he must know it, he is Minister of Justice.

      Good to see that on the one hand you want us to respect the treaty and on the other hand you want us to accept a version of the treaty that has been almost universally panned by anyone who knows anything about it.

      You seem to be very upset about the Ministry for Pacific Peoples employees being paid reasonably well. It was set up in the 1980s and continued under both shades of Government.

      As for the segregated space at Auckland it appears this was started under a National government. And a National Minister has come out and said that they are being silly.

      I did not mention the clean car discount. But it was outstandingly successful. And it increased the uptake of electric vehicles into the fleet and the numbers have since plunged. Using resentment to stop a policy that was working is the height of stupidity especially given the size of the problem we are facing.

      In the climate change stuff Labour should have policies based on the science. Which it has. Any scientific analysis of this Government's policies shows that they do not. Saying it should "follow the science" and then not detailing how it is not suggests that you are blowing smoke.

      From the Government's perspective none of this stuff is about being grumpy and divisive and fighting culture wars. It's just smart politicking for them, making easy political points with much of this stuff being handed to them on a plate for them to communicate to their voters.(as well as many who may not have voted for them maybe too.)

      Don't you have a problem with this? Don't you think that the Government should be acting in the national interest and not playing these games?

      And your idea of "smart politics" appears to be what is popular and not what is right.

      Finally I agree with you about Russell. Kia kaha.

      • You_Fool 6.6.1

        Micheal is right that the current government is playing politics… and they are playing the game smart. What they are doing is not moral, but it is keeping the debate on topics they might be able to win. If the debate was on the actual issues of our society they would lose (as was shown during their lacknof honeymoon)

        Right now it is all smoke and misdirection to try and settle stuff leading up to the budget…

    • SPC 6.7

      In regards to the segregated space at Auckland University. I would say (and it's just an opinion of course) that a large majority of voters would be furious at this sort of thing being rolled out at universities in NZ. So again, easy stuff for the government parties to get support from their voters. Regardless of the politics on this one, I'd really like to hear a convincing argument from anyone at all outlining why segregating groups based on race like this (Just like how things used to be…) is a good idea. Further to that does anyone possibly know why whichever staff member or group at AKL university decided to do this thought now would be a good time?!

      It's been the practice there for decades and while the media has mentioned this a few times in the past few days you still have no idea.

      A classic case of those barely informed about an issue sounding forth on it.

  7. Phillip ure 7

    Note to moderator:

    I was wondering why I am unable to bring up the cursor..on the general thread..?

  8. Michael 8

    Of course but Labour played into the Right's hands with its fixation on identity politics. It lost any capacity to rally people together through notions of solidarity. An atomised, individualist world is one where the right triumphs. And here we are.

  9. Adrian 9

    Wrong Michael P on the EV rebate, people who cannot afford a new EV WILL be able to afford one when the ones bought under the scheme come on to the second hand market. You may not know this as it appears from a lot of your other silly comments that you may be a little slow, but people who cannot afford new ICE cars now do however buy them on the secondary market. Well, fuck me dead, who would have thought that.

    • Rose 9.1

      Take your point but not exactly helpful when, for example, last year my wife's $3000 Damio breaks down and we struggle to afford a replacement while my boss on over $200000 buys at Tesla significantly subsidised on the tax payer dime. I think that is the point Michael P is making.

      • weka 9.1.1

        so the car you can afford is the same price it would be with or without the subsidy, and the subsidy is to shift NZ to EVs via getting rich people to buy the early ones that are expensive, as part of the global effort to prevent collapse os the biosphere that we are dependent upon.

        What's the problem exactly?

        • Rose

          No problem. My boss said there are some very nice but expensive accessories you can get for a Tesla. He showed me a video of the techno coloured light scheme you can get for the thing. Very impressive. He certainly appreciated the tax payer subsidy.

        • You_Fool

          The problem is what the right play into… someone got something I didn't… humans are not very good at long term thinking or planning sometimes..

          The good thing is that people did support the idea when it wasn't being used as a political trash can by the right… once they decided to use it to score points it stopped being a supported policy and people started being sulky likenthe right wanted… almost like if something gets repeated enough it becomes fact…

          • weka

            probably true. I think it's also a tool in resisting climate action and they're playing into that as well.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    So far as the dolphins and the yachting are concerned, I have only seen emotional and idealogical arguments raised in that respect.

    I haven't seen any analysis of what risk the dolphins are actually exposed to due to the yachting, and how that compares to the day to day risk they deal with in terms of lots of boats on the water, many with choppy propellers etc.

    Given the size of the course, and only the small surface area of the foils tends to be in contact with the water, the chance of yachts colliding with anything inert that is dolphin-sized, a floating log for instance, is probably vanishingly small. Then taking into account the fact that dolphins are able to move out of the way, the chance of a dolphin fatality may be negligible.

    There are around 15000 Hectors dolphins over 1 year old, so they aren't anywhere near as endangered as the Maui dolphins.

    So, if say the risk of a dolphin fatality was one every 10 years, would that be acceptable to allow the racing to go ahead unhindered?

    • joe90 10.1

      , I have only seen emotional and idealogical arguments raised in that respect.

      There is no argument.

      SailGP signed a contract. Coutts had a sook because SailGP was obliged to comply with one of the terms of the contract.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        That is true. But, I am looking ahead in terms of whether the SailGP event can or should be held at Lyttleton again. And, I think that is where the risk analysis is done before contracts are drawn up and signed.

        And the contract might specify the acceptable risk. For instance, less than five dolphins spotted, the racing continues. Larger than that the racing stops.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Larger than that the racing stops.

          I'd prefer an outcome-based penalty – kill a dolphin with your boat, lose the boat. Howzat for adding a new dimension to this high-tech sport.

          After all, the chance of a fatality "is probably vanishingly small" – "negligible" even – and they're only dolphins. What are they even doing in our water anyway?

          And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

          Pretty sure God was including dolphins in "fish".

          • tsmithfield

            The fact is that we are interacting with the marine life in Lyttelton Harbour all the time in day to day marine activities anyway. So, there is a degree of risk to the dolphins that is accepted by default. And unlike the boat races that last two days, the harbour is used constantly by a wide variety of ships and boats on a day to day basis.

            So, the concept of managing and mitigating risk is something that should be applied in the case of future boat races.

            Firstly, what is the statistical risk to dolphins, and how does that compare to daily risk they are exposed to from human activity in the harbour. Secondly, is the risk acceptable within an environmental perspective while still allowing for a viable racing schedule. And finally, what can be done to mitigate the risk that is there to ensure that dolphins subjected to as little risk as is practicably possible.

            That could include ensuring that races don't take place when large groups of dolphins are present. Or, live monitoring of the ocean while racing is taking place and warning sailors of dolphins in their immediate vicinity.

          • Macro

            And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,

            I've been studying this biblical verse for a while now as I believe that humanity – in particular western civilisations particularly in the recent past have used this for the justification of resource exploitation, particularly over the past 200 – 300 years following the begging of Capitalism and the Industrial revolution. By giving humans dominion over the land and animals, God is giving humanity the right to control and have power over all other living beings.

            When God gave humans dominion over the land, he gave them responsibility too. Humans were created to be stewards of the land, ie:

            • to use it
            • to look after it
            • to protect it

            Dominion means humanity’s right to control and have power over the land and all other living beings. Stewardship refers to the responsibilities to the land that come with the right and power.

            If we look at all the Modern Christian Translations of the Bible we would find that without exception every one of the translations follow the common teaching that the word yiredu comes from the root word radah which means dominion, or to subdue, to rule over, to tread upon like in a winepress. However how does this fit with the 2nd chapter of Genesis where God tasks humans with the care of the Garden? Perhaps there is another interpretation of the old Hebrew word which gives a different meaning? There are in fact 2 or three different meanings or interpretations of the original word and perhaps the root word is really yarad.

            If we look at the history of the theology of creation perhaps the the fault lies with the Masoretes.

            The Masoretes were groups of Jewish scribe scholars who worked from around the end of the 5th through 10th centuries. Each group compiled a system of pronunciation and grammatical guides on the external form of the biblical text in an attempt to standardize the pronunciation, paragraph and verse divisions, of the Hebrew Bible for the worldwide Jewish community. Had they put a tsere (two dots) under the Resh they would have the root word yarad which means to come down or lower oneself. The original had no dots. Perhaps it is more correct to use root word yarad (to lower oneself) rather than radah (to rule over). In the original Hebrew the word starts with a Yod which is a picture of a heavenly messenger or yarad which means to lower oneself and not a Resh which means to rule over.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              yes Thanks for taking the time to provide that background – very educational.

            • Traveller

              The original words and language are important, but so also is context. The words just before the ones you quote say this:

              "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: "

              There are two things here:

              1. We only have 'dominion' over the natural world because that 'dominion' is God's to give and He gave it to us.

              2. We are to use that 'dominion' as God would use it.

              The idea behind the word translated 'dominion' is about the natural order of things – that humanity is the pinnacle of God's creation; we are here as God's representatives, to exercise dominion as He would. Of course we've failed, as we have in so many ways. But then we come to Easter…

            • SPC

              This is a vast topic.

              One aspect is this – when humanity stopped living within the natural environment as hunter gatherers, they began to form permanent settlements – grow crops and domestic flocks (the Cain and Abel metaphor).

              This was the dominion on earth of humanity – especially as this impacted on other species, reducing the area they had for their natural habitat on the planet.

              Another is that humanity will develop the awareness that it can build a better "civilisation" for future generations. And while doing this ultimately become cognisant that the planet is a finite resource.

              Thus building a better civilisation will lead to a society that operates within its natural constraints. This means greater planning and less exploitation for profit – the capitalist model is not optimum.

              • Macro

                This is a vast topic.

                Totally agree, I do think however that human separation from the natural world exacerbated dramatically in the past few centuries, particularly in England. Robologic alluded to the modern world view as distinct from the ancient world view here

                I think Traveller in his comment above exemplifies the current contextual reading of that ancient text. ie humans have dominion over creation

                There are in fact two creation stories in Genesis written about 400 years apart. The first known in theological circles as the P story was probably written in the 500s BCE after the Israeli excise in Babylon. The second (beginning at Gen 2:4) but much earlier story was probably written in the 900s BCE this is known as the J story. The two are quite different. What both stories affirm however is that whilst there is something different about humans, yet we remain part of creation.

                Thus building a better civilisation will lead to a society that operates within its natural constraints. This means greater planning and less exploitation for profit – the capitalist model is not optimum.

                The Capitalist Model has replaced the God of Creation with the God of the Market. Take for instance:

                Every species of animals naturally multiplies in proportion to the means of their subsistence…among the inferior ranks of people the scantiness of subsistence sets limits….[which] it can do in no other way than by destroying a great part of the children"

                Adam Smith "Wages of Labour"

                Perhaps the signature moment in the move from an wholistic view of humanity in accordance with the rest of creation was John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government" 1690 where the grounding principle of human right and freedom in private property was espoused. One cannot have a market at all unless individual agents first privately own what they buy and sell.

                Locke bases his central argument for the right of private property on a number of unquestioned premises. The first is that "God has given the earth to mankind in common" ( a communist premise which has strangely eluded free market theorists since). It is a premise implying that no other species except human beings has any rights at all to the earth. The second premise is that "God has given mankind reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life and convenience". Locke assumes without reason that this is "private and individual". This second premise goes against all the reliable evidence that we now possess. However that has not deterred free market believers from their certitudes of doctrine.

                Since "every man has a property in his own person" argues Locke, "the labour of his body and the work of his hands are properly his" So Locke argues, whatever the individual "removes out of nature and has mixed with his labour is his own and therefore his property".

                From there on, it has been all down hill.

          • AB

            Does "dominion over … every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" mean we have the right to tell Russell Coutts to eff off? Seems so to me.

    • mickysavage 10.2

      There are around 15000 Hectors dolphins over 1 year old, so they aren't anywhere near as endangered as the Maui dolphins.

      Someone probably said something similar about Maui's dolphins 50 years ago. Which emphasises the need to act now and not wait.

  11. georgecom 11

    ACT wanting to require councils to hold referendum on the establishment or ongoing use of Māori wards. So if a council HAS maori wards they would need to hold referendum for the wards to continue. Referedum that could cost up to $100,000 a time. What a complete and absolute waste of money. Once again the power drunk ACT party putting in more silly red tape and bureaucracy and costing rate payers more money when there is a cost of living rates crisis.

  12. Dolomedes III 12

    Calling this government a "culture war coalition" is a bit rich, considering the previous government was primarily a culture war government. Examples of their culture war policies: 3/5 Waters the new (biased) history curriculum, absurdly decreeing maatauranga "co-equal" with so-called "Western" science, conversion therapy legislation, gender self-ID.

    As for the outcry about the cuts to the Pacific ministry, I'd love know what essential services are provided by said ministry.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    Two observations on the Auckland university Maori/Pasifiki space confected "controversy". First, the way ACT consistently targets Polynesians – you never see a picture of the Chinese student society sign in Chinese with ACT being outraged it isn't in English as well, or the Indian cultural club meeting being targeted with an innuendo loaded comment. It is pure racism aimed at Maori/PI students.

    Second, ACT would have hawked the image around on SM and then used that to launder it to the MSM to see if it would be picked up. And of course it was, because the desperate desire to survive has seen a complete collapse of basic standards, integrity and commitment to truth in our MSM in favour of anything that'll generate clicks.

    • observer 13.1

      Sadly, Sanctuary is right.

      You only need to compare the coverage of this event, which was quite literally a celebration of a nasty religious conflict in India. The Ministers and media might not have known that initially, but did they want to know? Not much, judging by their own words here:

      Why government ministers’ presence at a Hindu nationalist rally is causing concern | The Spinoff

      None of this headline-hunting is any kind of principled objection to racism, they simply know what plays well with their base, and with their funders. They also know that most of the NZ media have no interest in doing any homework.

      • SPC 13.1.1

        ACT supports majoritarian rule. This is the popular authoritarian adjunct to its neo-liberalism.

        Whether Hindu vs Moslem minority and secular democratic society in India (including Kashmir now under direct rule) or the non Polynesian settler majority here.

        This is how it imbibes the culture war import from the USA.

        • AB

          Yes. There is a simple and effective way to destroy an historical agreement made between a majority (or an incipient majority that became one after 1840) and a minority. You subject it to a majoritarian veto 180 years later. I though ACT were law and order guys, so it’s curious (really it’s not) that they are so keen to tear up a contract that is potentially inconvenient for them.

      • Obtrectator 13.1.2

        Another example of thoughtlessly uttering a politically and culturally loaded phrase, without understanding the context. (C/f recent uses of "from the river to the sea".)

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New catch limits for unique fishery areas
    Recreational catch limits will be reduced in areas of Fiordland and the Chatham Islands to help keep those fisheries healthy and sustainable, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says. The lower recreational daily catch limits for a range of finfish and shellfish species caught in the Fiordland Marine Area and ...
    3 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes hydrogen milestone
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone in New Zealand’s hydrogen future, with the opening of the country’s first network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Wiri. “I want to congratulate the team at Hiringa Energy and its partners K one W one (K1W1), Mitsui & Co New Zealand ...
    19 hours ago
  • Urgent changes to system through first RMA Amendment Bill
    The coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to improve resource management laws and give greater certainty to consent applicants, with a Bill to amend the Resource Management Act (RMA) expected to be introduced to Parliament next month. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop has today outlined the first RMA Amendment ...
    1 day ago
  • Overseas decommissioning models considered
    Overseas models for regulating the oil and gas sector, including their decommissioning regimes, are being carefully scrutinised as a potential template for New Zealand’s own sector, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The Coalition Government is focused on rebuilding investor confidence in New Zealand’s energy sector as it looks to strengthen ...
    1 day ago
  • Release of North Island Severe Weather Event Inquiry
    Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell has today released the Report of the Government Inquiry into the response to the North Island Severe Weather Events. “The report shows that New Zealand’s emergency management system is not fit-for-purpose and there are some significant gaps we need to address,” Mr Mitchell ...
    1 day ago
  • Justice Minister to attend Human Rights Council
    Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith is today travelling to Europe where he’ll update the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Government’s work to restore law and order.  “Attending the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva provides us with an opportunity to present New Zealand’s human rights progress, priorities, and challenges, while ...
    2 days ago
  • Patterson reopens world’s largest wool scouring facility
    Associate Agriculture Minister, Mark Patterson, formally reopened the world’s largest wool processing facility today in Awatoto, Napier, following a $50 million rebuild and refurbishment project. “The reopening of this facility will significantly lift the economic opportunities available to New Zealand’s wool sector, which already accounts for 20 per cent of ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective Summit, 18 April 2024
    Hon Andrew Bayly, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing  At the Southland Otago Regional Engineering Collective (SOREC) Summit, 18 April, Dunedin    Ngā mihi nui, Ko Andrew Bayly aho, Ko Whanganui aho    Good Afternoon and thank you for inviting me to open your summit today.    I am delighted ...
    2 days ago
  • Government to introduce revised Three Strikes law
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to bring back the Three Strikes legislation, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee announced today. “Our Government is committed to restoring law and order and enforcing appropriate consequences on criminals. We are making it clear that repeat serious violent or sexual offending is not ...
    2 days ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced four new diplomatic appointments for New Zealand’s overseas missions.   “Our diplomats have a vital role in maintaining and protecting New Zealand’s interests around the world,” Mr Peters says.    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of these senior diplomats from the ...
    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Ethiopia and Somalia
    New Zealand is contributing NZ$7 million to support communities affected by severe food insecurity and other urgent humanitarian needs in Ethiopia and Somalia, Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters announced today.   “Over 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Ethiopia, with a further 6.9 million people ...
    2 days ago
  • Arts Minister congratulates Mataaho Collective
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Paul Goldsmith is congratulating Mataaho Collective for winning the Golden Lion for best participant in the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale. "Congratulations to the Mataaho Collective for winning one of the world's most prestigious art prizes at the Venice Biennale.  “It is good ...
    3 days ago
  • Supporting better financial outcomes for Kiwis
    The Government is reforming financial services to improve access to home loans and other lending, and strengthen customer protections, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly and Housing Minister Chris Bishop announced today. “Our coalition Government is committed to rebuilding the economy and making life simpler by cutting red tape. We are ...
    3 days ago
  • Trade relationship with China remains strong
    “China remains a strong commercial opportunity for Kiwi exporters as Chinese businesses and consumers continue to value our high-quality safe produce,” Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says.   Mr McClay has returned to New Zealand following visits to Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai where he met ministers, governors and mayors and engaged in trade and agricultural events with the New ...
    3 days ago
  • PM’s South East Asia mission does the business
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has completed a successful trip to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, deepening relationships and capitalising on opportunities. Mr Luxon was accompanied by a business delegation and says the choice of countries represents the priority the New Zealand Government places on South East Asia, and our relationships in ...
    4 days ago
  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    5 days ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    5 days ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    5 days ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    5 days ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    6 days ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    6 days ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    6 days ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    6 days ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    6 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    6 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    7 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    7 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    7 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-04-24T00:27:09+00:00