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The Dear John Letter

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, May 13th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: class war, don brash, john key - Tags: ,

This letter is getting more media attention than it deserves, because its basically Brash regurgitating his 2025 task force stuff. Key and the Nats have, quite rightly, ignored it once, and they’ll ignore it this time too. But I guess it’s fun how it has the right wing “true believers” all hot and bothered. So, for what it’s worth, here is Don Brash’s letter to Dear John…


Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

12 May 2011

Dear John

It was with a very heavy heart that I felt obliged to resign my membership of the National Party and to seek the leadership of the ACT Party.

I reached my decision after watching with mounting dismay the performance of your Government.

You made great play of your ambition for New Zealand, and your determination to close the trans-Tasman wage gap and staunch the flow of our best young minds to more successful countries.

Yet you have done almost nothing to fulfill that ambition, and now appear to have given up on that goal.

I have not.

Why are you continuing Labour’s wasteful spending?

In Opposition, we both railed against the Clark Government’s squandering of our people’s hard-earned resources:
– the waiving of interest on student loans, which Bill English rightly called “an election year bribe on an unprecedented scale”
– the way the high marginal tax rates of Working for Families create an incentive not to work harder
– the exorbitant cost of KiwiSaver subsidies
– the unaffordable move from subsidizing doctors’ visits for the poor and chronically ill to subsidizing higher earners’ visits as well.

Yet your Government has done almost nothing to wind back this spending. Two and a half years on, the ratio of government spending to the size of the economy is higher now than it ever was under Labour.

As a result, the Government is borrowing over $300 million a week. That’s $300 added to the debt of every New Zealand family, every week.

That is totally irresponsible. It’s what Labour voters voted for, not National voters.

Why are you stopping young people from working?

In Opposition, National opposed getting rid of the minimum youth wage. One member, I recall, went so far as to suggest this was the route to communism.

You knew the worldwide pattern, as I did – that most employers will not hire teenagers if they’re forced to pay them the same as adults.

Yet in Government, you actually voted against a bill to bring back youth rates. You deprived another 12,000 young people of the chance to get a foot on the job ladder. Instead of allowing them to work for $10 an hour, you consigned them to the dole for $4.50.

That’s what Labour voters voted for, not National voters.

Why did you change your position so completely on the Emissions Trading Scheme?

In Opposition, we both hammered Labour for seeking to be world leaders in combating greenhouse gas emissions. We argued on behalf of our farmers – the lifeblood of this nation – that instead we should be fast followers.

Yet in Government, you’ve introduced the world’s first all-sectors, all-gases Emissions Trading Scheme, sending farmers the message to turn wealth-generating farm land into idle forests.

That’s what Green voters voted for, not National voters.

Why are you ignoring reality on superannuation?

In Opposition, I argued the crucial need to gradually raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation, so that it will still be there when people need it.

Every informed observer agrees with me on this. Many other developed countries, including Australia, have already bitten the bullet and announced plans to raise the age of eligibility.

Yet you have promised to resign as Prime Minister rather than face up to this need to secure New Zealanders’ future.
This is just as irresponsible as Labour’s interest-free student loans or middle-class welfare. You are condemning older workers to a sudden shock, or younger workers to intolerably high taxes.

That’s what New Zealand First voters voted for, not National voters.

Why are you widening, not closing, the trans-Tasman wage gap?

In Opposition, we both expressed grave concern about the widening wage gap between New Zealand and Australia.

You gave an excellent speech just before the 2008 election committing any government which you led to bridging that gap.
After the election, you agreed to set up a Taskforce to advise how best to achieve that goal by 2025. You appointed me as chairman of that Taskforce.

Yet to date, you’ve dismissed virtually every recommendation the Taskforce has made. I’ve asked several times if we could meet and discuss our two reports. Each time you’ve declined to meet me.
From time to time, you’ve reaffirmed your commitment to the goal. But there’s not the slightest sign that you’re taking it seriously.

Now you’ve abolished the Taskforce. And of course, the gap continues to grow.

Nobody voted for that – certainly not National voters.

Why did you abandon National’s commitment to equal citizenship?

In Opposition, successive leaders of the National Party have argued for treating all New Zealanders as equal before the law, and for abolishing separate Maori electorates.

Most of your voters would have assumed that a National Government would take those policies seriously.

Yet in Government, you have:
– retained the privileged position of Maori under various statutes
– ratified the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (which even Helen Clark refused to do)
– created an unelected Maori Advisory Board for Auckland
– created a special Maori advisory committee for the Environmental Protection Authority
– made no moves to abolish separate Maori electorates
– pushed through the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, despite having pledged to pull the Bill if it did not have broad public support – which it certainly did not.

That’s what Maori Party voters voted for – certainly not National voters.

Why are you running New Zealand for our opponents?

And so John, I’m forced to agree with those who say you are not running the country for the benefit of all New Zealanders, but for the former Labour and Green voters who crossed over to you in 2008 for, effectively, a three year trial.

And, of course, for the Maori Party MPs, for whose support you seem prepared to trade away a vast treasure chest of our nation’s coastal mineral wealth.

Needless to say, honouring some of your commitments would have required courage. Reversing Labour’s immoral election bribes would not have been easy.

But you have spent the last three years building up probably the greatest reserves of prime ministerial popularity in New Zealand history. What’s the point of cultivating such influence unless you plan to use it to help our country?

And if you won’t use it now, in this time of crisis, when will you?

So many people hold you in high esteem. Surely you should easily be able to convince them of the urgent need for responsible economic management. After all, every New Zealand household is having to tighten its belt at the moment.

I’m sure they’d support the need to cut wasteful spending, given that we’ve suffered the worst international economic crisis in three generations and two devastating earthquakes.

To be borrowing more than $300 million every week – most of it from foreign lenders – is unconscionable right now. New Zealand’s total overseas debt is already up there with that of Spain and Portugal, and continues to rise.

The electorate gave you a mandate to reverse the excesses of the Labour Government. You had an international environment which demanded firm action.

With ACT’s five MPs, you had a comfortable majority in Parliament. You could have implemented all your pre-election policies.

And so, with deep regret, I felt I had no alternative than to resign my membership of the National Party.

Sincerely,
Don Brash

36 comments on “The Dear John Letter”

  1. tc 1

    exit stage right…..next up the rt hon shonkey will read the next chapter of the business rountables script for the 2011 election.

    The hollow men pretend they don’t love each other…..do me a favour, it’s all an act, pardon the pun.

  2. Interestingly the pdf information indicates that the letter was written by someone called “John”.  I wonder what this can mean?
     
    At Red Alert Trevor Mallard has posted on Simon Lusk and the takeover of ACT.  National’s fingerprints, particularly Banks’ and Joyce’s are all over it.
     
    This letter is IMHO the start of the PR job to distance the two parties and obliterate the impression that ACT has been taken over by National.  It probably also represents the continuation of infighting within National about why it has not gone as far as some think it should.  ACT is merely a front for the hard right in National who want to implement right wing policies but are frustrated at the lack of progress.

  3. toad 3

    Dear Don

    Why don’t you just fuck off and stop pushing your RWNJ dogma onto us?

    Sincerely,
    Toad

    • Peter Rabbit 3.1

      Don’t see Don pushing anything on you or NZ. He is simply putting forward an alternative position to the the other political parties. Voters will either accept it or reject it in November.

      Like the Mana party the way I see it the more political parties and viewpoints that end up on Parliament the better for the NZ public.

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        From the HardTalk interview, I had observed John Key would perform better being interviewed on SoftCo*k.
        From Don Brash’s letter, the content can be regarded as TalkCo*k.
        They must think voters really stupid to fall for this hard right – soft right poppycock.

        So Brash is taking up letter-writing and penpalling with his political sockpuppet in public while they are in cahoots out of the public eye? Puh-leazze

  4. HitchensFan 4

    That racist old fool John Ansell surely?

  5. HitchensFan 5

    Dear Don

    Thanks for your letter.

    I hereby advise you that I will be standing in Epsom in November.

    I look forward to seeing you on November 27th at the ACT disestablishment function.

    Yours,

    JK

    • RobertM 5.1

      An act part disestablishment function on 27 Nov. It would be thrilling- the new puritans are incapable of drowning their sorrows. I once attended a Roger Douglas function- a ticket only, charged political gathering with half the current act caucus. Them seemed to find even my consumption of a single Heinekin shocking. As for the ex members- the party old boys are doddering – on the Radio NZ National 4pm chat session,Stephen Franks expressed outrage that his enjoyment of functions, marriages etc was ruined by the modern music ( invented about 1963!) they played, drowning out the old boys conversation. Franks favourite memories seems to be watching large rabid eels feed at the Taumaranui sewer outlet. Despite the talk of Foreman and Dons love child the act party are about 15 years past there wife and husband swapping days.

  6. All this letter will do is bring the very red-neck vote from the Nat’s thus the Nat’s can then move a bit more to the Left (on paper) so as to pick up some Labour votes. This has Crosby -Textor written all over it.
    I just hope the voting public does not fall for this , but I worry that they may.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Vote for John, get Don for free.

      • Jim Nald 6.1.1

        Hate to contradict you but when it comes to donkey, it won’t be free but will come at a price.
        A big price that taxpayers will be paying for.

    • Tangled up in blue 6.2

      Or . . . some of the moderate National voters who shifted from Labour circa 2008 are scared back to Labour.

  7. Anne 7

    There’s more to this than meets the eye. Read Mallard’s Red Alert posts on the topic over the past week including today’s..

    The key sentence:
    The prize now is the anti MMP campaign for which resources are now being organised. $100k +.

    I’m sure that’s the current aim of the exercise. Discredit MMP and get rid of it. Replace with a supplementary voting scheme which will be set up in such a way it will, in practice, be a return to an FPP-type election. That gets rid of the the pesky small parties like the Greens, Maori Parties and ACT. Then National – with the financial support of the rich pricks – will reign supreme forever.

    Now what are the MSM media going to do about it? Put NZ and it’s democratic processes first – or themselves? I hope it is the former but fear the latter.

  8. tc 8

    Anne, there is no media of note anymore in NZ simply mediums for delivering the owners message.

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    John Campbell on the twitter:

    Parties Dr Brash doesn’t like: National, Labour, Maori, Greens, NZ First. But United Future escaped his wrath. Grr! The Don Dunne coalition!

    Also, this picture of “Don, with all the folk he likes:”

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/112/286182283_a39cf845f2.jpg

  10. Treetop 11

    Just heard Brash on Newstalk zb. Pretty much said that National is a defacto Labour government as they have continued with Labours main policies. The reason for continuing Labour policy is because if they do not they will not get voted back in. Labour increased public spending by 43 % in their last four years according to Brash.

    Brash did not raise the cost of tax cuts for the top 20 % who really don’t need it. Every time Brash is interviewed lately he mentions the $300 million being borrowed every week.

    • Carol 11.1

      Treetop @5.46pm: In which Brash shows his utter contempt for democracy!

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      Wonder how much Brash’s/National’s 2005 election tax cuts would have cost us?

      • Treetop 11.2.1

        I have to wonder how much the public spending would have been in 2005 under Brash?

        To me the real difference between Labour and National is that Labour improve the cost of living across the board due to reaching the mass with public spending and National improve the cost of living for the top 20 % by reducing public spending to pay for their (top 20 %) tax cuts.

  11. Dear Don:
    Go away. You’re in charge of an electorally unviable political party, prone to dysfunctional outbursts of fratricidal infighting.

    Moreover, you are an inflexible ideologue and your hardline neoconservatism is not what New Zealand needs right now. Newsflash, you bald bozo- New Zealand’s population is a fraction the size of Australia, we don’t have access to their abundance of mineral resources, and the sort of low wage, non-unionised economic prescription that you favour will result in accelerated outflow to Australia, Western Europe and North America.

    Furthermore, your populist Maori-bashing drivel loses sight of one important fact of electoral arithmetic. ACT only has one pinion seat, Epsom. If somehow Richard Worth had retained the seat in 2005, ACT would have been obliterated altogether. As matters stand, at least Turia and Flavell will be returned to Parliament, providing me with an insurance policy should your extremism succeed in denying the centre-right majority government in its own right.

    Added to which, you’re only doing this out of sour grapes because I displaced you as National leader. I think you need to have a good hard look at our counterpart Cameronian Tories and Harper’s Canadian contingent. Incrementalism and stealth win elections. That’s why I’m PM and you’re just a divorced baldie languishing on the sidelines these days.

    Push off and don’t slam the door on your way out.

    Yours in annoyance,
    HRH John Key.

  12. >And, of course, for the Maori Party MPs, for whose support you seem prepared to trade away a vast treasure chest of our nation’s coastal mineral wealth.<

    Maori would be lucky to get tailings, the so called mineral wealth would* be going to Don and John's mates.
    Except peak oil is going to put all those plane in the WPB 😉

    Some of what Don is proposing is from someone who has a slightly better understanding of what peak oil and total global economic collapse is all about, as opposed to smile and wave, at least Don has some idea this picnic can't continue.

    Unfortunately Don doesn't quite get it. but so few of us do.

  13. Georgecom 14

    Don castigates National for running the country to suit Labour and Green voters. Agreed Don, totally unacceptable. Key should be running NZ to suit the 2.5% of voters who voted for ACT.

    Or, you are an arrogant man pushing failed policies which are 2 decades old.

    • Aye.

      Although two decades or two centuries?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        When was the Han Dynasty?

      • Carol 14.1.2

        I saw, but didn’t have time to listen to, Brash on the Beatson interview this morning on Stratos while I was getting ready for work. He looks like a relic from a bygone era – like an old British colonialist, for instance, or maybe an antipodean version of Boris Karloff. Brash was sitting upright and stiff, looking awkward but kind of smug. He does look weird and out of place in contemporary NZ – like he’s parachutted in from somewhere else.

        Goff was the second person interviewed. I hope it shows again, I’d like to hear the interviews.

  14. Armchair Critic 15

    Dear Don

    Thank you for resigning as a member of the National Party. You were not a hit as the leader of the party, you will not be missed as a member of the party.

    You have asked a series of questions that demonstrate, at a fundamental level, why National were doomed to failure under your leadership.

    Spending
    One of the reasons National won the 2008 election, under my leadership, is that we promised not to change many of Labour’s flagship policies. We had to swallow a few dead rats to get into government, but at least we managed to form a government.
    Many people wh voted National did so because we promised to be Labour-lite – these people are National voters.
    Your failure to understand this is why you were such a poor leader of the National Party. Or are you just jealous that you didn’t think of it?
    Youth Unemployment
    You say you believe in one law for all, yet you believe that young people should not be subject to the same legal protection as adults.
    Through a combination of poor economic management by Dr English and the global financial crisis, unemployment is high at the moment. All you are really suggesting is that some adults should be unemployed so some teenagers can have a job. These adults are more likely to vote National than the youths. Our majority is small enough and we can’t afford to lose to many votes or it will be 2005 all over again, and you know that didn’t turn out good for National.
    NOTE TO SELF – rely less on people with PhDs for economic advice.
    ETS

    We mostly argued with Labour about how to manage climate change, not whether it should be managed. Because we know that the vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is occurring. Unlike the vast majority of economists, who have trouble agreeing on anything.
    The emissions trading scheme was necessary, because National signed up to the Kyoto Protocol in the 90s, and it’s a good way to direct subsidies to farmers. A fair bit of National’s vote comes from farmers, so we need to keep them on side and a handout from the government goes a long way, as you may recall from your recent work on the 2025 taskforce. Thugh it appears that that sop wasn’t enough to keep you on side.
    Superannuation
    Reality on superannuation is that old people vote, and superannuation is important to them. Crap on them at your own risk.
    Catching Australia
    The 2025 Taskforce report wasn’t worth the paper it was written on, and none of the suggestions would have helped NZ catch Australia. Ever. It was widely panned and it would have been political suicide for National to endorse it.
    Equal Citizenship
    Hone Harawira, who is not famous for his tact or diplomacy, walked all over you on Close Up, and made you look like an uninformed bigot. Many New Zealandes see straight through your racism, many of them vote National.
    Your trick of linking issues to parties look at things the wrong way. A party that does not appeal to Labour voters, NZ First voters, Green voters, Maori Party voters and appeals to a small minority of National voters is doomed to irrelevance. I wish you all the success you deserve as the leader of that party.
    The Armchair Critic
    pp John Key

  15. Mike 16

    Hey but for a bit of fun value, why not publish all the remaining ‘open/secret’ letters doing the rounds in ACT?

    Chris Simmons
    ACT Party President
    Friday 13 May 2011

    Dear Don

    Your letter to the Prime Minister today entitled “Dear John” inspired me to write this to you.

    Since you’re a new member, you might not know that I only recently became the ACT Party President after the former President, Dr Michael Crozier, resigned in curious circumstances shortly after defending Peter Tashkoff’s right to remain a member after publicly calling Rodney Hide to account for the same things that you’ve since stated in the media (like he was toxic and his brand was tarnished etc). I guess your ascent to the leadership has now proved these things to be fundamental truths which we all agree with. I hope that Peter isn’t too peeved because we really need some quality candidates right now! Actually any members would be good but Winston and Kyle are squeezing our market a bit since David Garrett cocked his leg on ACT.

    Anyway, I can understand why you might be a bit wary of me at the moment. After all, in response to your audacious public loss of internal monologue to Tracey Watkins, I was compelled (some have said scripted) to say that you were just playing to your own ego and that you were an old man that has been passed over by the National Party previously, have not had your words heard on the 2025 taskforce by the Prime Minister… angry, … grumpy and this is your attempt to try and destabilise ACT.

    But I want to go to Parliament as an MP and so I can’t do the honourable thing and fall on my sword because of those words. I know there’s a clear conflict of interest in being President and wanting a top list placing but I was told it would be OK (before you came along anyway).

    So no hard feelings huh? And you are top of my priority help list after Rodney OK? BTW if there’s anything that you are still really peeved about like the love child rumours, the baseless Heather Roy rumours that caused you to change your mind to Boscawen at the last minute or the Hide ministerial warrant games; you should ask someone who might know more than me like Bruce Haycock, Brian Nicolle, Stuart Wilson or Chris Diack (I have a few more names and some emails and texts if that will help!). There were also a couple of staffers in Bowen House who used to talk pretty freely (if inaccurately) to the media over the last couple of years but I understand that they lost their jobs when Boscawen ceased to be a Minister.

    You’ll appreciate that, as a business consultant, I would be in big trouble financially if you and your extensive business networks blackballed me. So, in a way, I guess I’m begging for my income as well as my list placing.

    The rest of the Board and Caucus are going to write to you separately over the next little while.

    Best Regards,

    Chris.

  16. Tanz 17

    Agree with Don’s letter, entirely. If Don had become PM instead of John, the country would be in recovery mode. All John wants is popularity and the status quo, exactly what he has.

    But Don is right –

    John is not implementing any of his pre-election promises, he basically has betrayed the people who voted National in 2008. Labour go soft on John, I’d say, because he pretty much fits their mould, and hasn’t dismantled anything they put in place, and is basically just coasting along. No smiling assassin, after all. Where’s the courage?

    Don, in my view, he wanted the job for the status and glory, but not to actually change anything, or to honour his pre-election promises.

    I’ll not vote National as long as John remains the leader, I’m so disappointed witih the result. Smile and wave, nice man, but watery weak.

    In it for the popularity. How sad is that.

    History will be the judge. NZ continues to spiral into the mire. Scary. Holyoake would be aghast, as would Muldoon. National voters betrayed and lied to, anything for perks and puff. Yikes. Now that’s hollow.

    Go Don. My vote goes to Act. I kn ow other former Nat voters who feel pretty much the same. Despair.

  17. randal 18

    looks like old don has gone to warp 11 on the di-lithium drive.

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    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 I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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