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The definition of irony

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, June 20th, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , ,

When a band who sued after their work was famously plagiarised by a certain leader of the National Party is themselves sued for plagiarism. All it needs now is for National to sue the guy suing Coldplay and they’ll have completed the circle.

[Creaky Boards’ song vs Coldplay’s] [John Key DVD soundtrack vs ‘Clocks’]

44 comments on “The definition of irony”

  1. The Herald seems to have missed the irony, though. Funny that.

  2. vto 2

    Completely off topic but dunno where to post it…

    Two items in the media today and yesterday caught my attention as subjects I rant about on here sometimes.

    Firstly, Winston Peters comments re “lazy peacock-strutting” pacific island men. A common subject of mine relates to this – will he get away with it or will he be labelled racist? And how would the answer to that question alter if the same utterances had come from, say, Gerry Brownlee or, um, John Key?

    It will help to illustrate the issue of what races are allowed to comment on other races. In this racist world. Touchy subject eh, but gotta be brave and stand up for what you believe is right.

    Secondly, Cullen comes out saying ‘it appears the economy shrunk earlier this year’. This illustrates a matter I have thought for years – namely that those in Wgtn are always a few months behind the 8-ball as to what is going on in the rest of NZ. It was crystal clear to those in business in the first few months of this year that the economy had effectively simply stopped. (not a dig at wgtn, just an observation)

    Which is unfortunate, because so many people get harmed financially when times like this strike. And this downturn imo is one of the best examples of ‘perception becoming reality’ that I have ever seen. Or, put another common way, one of the best self-fulfilling prophecies ever.

    2c

  3. A thought on the completing the circle of plaguiarism… would this constitute a ‘menage de twits’?

    On vto’s attempt to debate other issues, have the standardistas thought about open debate threads?

    That said, I’m not sure that you have represented Peters’ remarks accurately, vto

    The captcha suffered Mayor reminds me that I would like to express my best wishes to Len Brown for his recovery.

  4. lprent 4

    vto: lagging – the problem is the lag in reporting of statistics and taxes. When the minister of finance or reserve bank or stats department report they are working off consolidated data from businesses. It is always months late.

    Businesses have sales people with feelers out into their customer base. They can look at their accounts receivable – the usual key indicator is slower payments. They have much faster notifications about what is happening in their business and their customers. But it is a limited viewpoint.

    I’m afraid I’d hate the government policy to work off rumor. Different business sectors have different cycles. For instance where I’m working it is pretty good at present, but our next door business is having problems.

    I’m happy for policy to be made on consolidated stats, even if they are late. Economies do not turn fast. Also I hate chicken little thinking – panic always causes lousy results.

  5. r0b 5

    Completely off topic but dunno where to post it

    Interesting comment from you vto – good stuff.

    Two items in the media today and yesterday caught my attention as subjects I rant about on here sometimes.

    Two items caught my attention too – both cyclists getting killed. Be careful out there people. But on to your comments vto.

    Firstly, Winston Peters comments re “lazy peacock-strutting’ pacific island men. A common subject of mine relates to this – will he get away with it or will he be labelled racist?

    Winston Peters is a racist who makes racist comments. This is one of them in a mild way I guess, though the factual content of the claim that women to almost all of the domestic work in the PI community is arguably true.

    Secondly, Cullen comes out saying ‘it appears the economy shrunk earlier this year’. This illustrates a matter I have thought for years – namely that those in Wgtn are always a few months behind the 8-ball as to what is going on in the rest of NZ. It was crystal clear to those in business in the first few months of this year that the economy had effectively simply stopped. (not a dig at wgtn, just an observation)

    Not so sure about this one though. Everyone in business has a finger on the pulse of their business and related, but not necessarily an overview of the big picture – how other parts of the economy are performing. Wellington does get that. But it’s not an exact science! Treasury forecasts are ludicrously wrong some times. This stuff is hard.

    ‘perception becoming reality’ that I have ever seen. Or, put another common way, one of the best self-fulfilling prophecies ever.

    Yes, interesting effect that. Which is why some people get concerned about the distribution of the ownership of mass media in this country. When you can create your own perception you can create your own reality. I think there’s a fair bit of this going about just now…

  6. Phil 6

    Adding to Lynn’s comments; GDP data is not, in and of itself, “collected” through Stats NZ. It’s actually another aggregation of other data collections from enterprise surveys, administrative databases, prices, employment data, merchandise trade data, investment data, so on and so forth.

    The National Accountant boffins have to wait for everything else to be finalised before they can bring it all together. It’s a long and time consuming process that is totally underrated by the eventual users of the finished product.

  7. vto 7

    Iprent and Phil, of course. By its very nature reporting of stats and trends must follow the events themselves. And it would be foolish of Cullen to comment before being certain of these measurements and stats -imagine if he passed comment based on what I or others ‘see’ in business, and then it turned out to be not quite right or not the full story. Wouldn’t be a good look for him. It’s just an observation of mine.

    But an observation that seems to hold true for politics as well. Clark seems to have missed the lay of the land a few times over the last year or so. That may be due to other things too tho.

    But the one that truly interests me is the Peters “lazy peacock-strutting” pacific island men. rOb, you see it as a mildly racist comment. How is that?

    It seems today that generalisations are banned. Nobody is allowed to generalise about any group of people. I struggle with that, as generalisations (which are by their nature not the entire picture) have been a coping mechanism of life on planet earth since day dot – example, an antelope will generalise about a lion. A group of women and children will generalise about an approaching group of young men.

    Generalising can be dangerous and lead to racism etc. Or rather, be a convenient excuse to act in a racist or other abusive manner. It is a fine line, but I don’t see the problem in what Peters said, if he believes it to be true. What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter. Like the academic who recently got pilloried for similar statements about pacific islanders.

    Just feeling things out and testing my brain waves…

  8. T-rex 8

    What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter.

    The problem is that it IS racist vto. Being factually correct doesn’t change it.

    “Racist” tends to get thrown around as a generic label equivalent to “bad person”, people forget what it means, and why it’s bad.

    Peters is probably right, but not useful. It is racist, and is bad, despite being technically correct. All it does is tar any pacific island men who AREN’T strutting around like peacocks with the brush of prejudice. It is divisive.

    All targeted policy comes out of generalisations about a particular demographic. The issue is how you present it.

    You’ll notice the Maori party doesn’t generally get up in arms when someone says “Whanau is important to Maori, and provides mutual care and support within the wider family”. That is a completely racist statement. However it’s not particularly racially discriminatory, which is the issue people should actually be worrying about when it appears.

    I’m waffling a bit here because I haven’t bothered to structure this.

    I think the general rule should be:

    “If you identify an underperforming (in whatever way) sector of society, then deliver targeted support in a way that doesn’t devalue their perceived contribution. Otherwise you’re just kicking people who are already (on average) down”.

    I dunno actually.

    How do you modify behaviour without making people feel harassed? You don’t. Cost of life.
    You don’t have to be a name-calling asshole about it though, which is what Peters is doing. I’ve got no problem with the approach when dealing with specific cases, but it pisses me right off when used on generalisations.

  9. Man… only you could pass this off as news. Slow day huh?

    And seriously screw cyclists. They act like they want to be killed. Riding over bridges right on the road, always on the road. I will hit one some day. Not on purpose either. They seem to be idiots. Big generalisation here, but I drive 700km a week so I get my fair share close calls.

    Speaking of which, I’ve crashed 3 times. All caused by other people

  10. Lew 10

    infused: Frivolous Friday.

    L

  11. higherstandard 12

    r0b

    I don’t think Winston is really a racist – he merely says things that are or may be viewed as racist for political gain, with his asian bashing not gaining any great support he’s now off on another tangent to see if it attracts any attention. Let’s face facts the man has no shame and will try to hold onto power by whatever means necessary.

    Re Cyclists – agree completely – I seem to recall when I was riding in Europe that many of the countries there have very strict laws regarding the respect motor vehicles have to show to cyclists – perhaps we need something similar in NZ ?

    Infused …… Damn your eyes Sir !!

  12. r0b 13

    vto: But the one that truly interests me is the Peters “lazy peacock-strutting’ pacific island men. rOb, you see it as a mildly racist comment. How is that? It seems today that generalisations are banned. Nobody is allowed to generalise about any group of people.

    I don’t have time for a properly considered reply vto. Short form; yes we all do and must generalise. Generalisations are not in and of themselves racist (I stated one above). Extreme racism is overt attacks (and it often gets the facts wrong). Mild racism is harder to recognise, it states generalisations of varying truthiness, but like humour it is all in the delivery, and like pornography most of us know it when we see it.

    but I don’t see the problem in what Peters said, if he believes it to be true. What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter.

    Context, history, delivery. Sorry I’m in a rush.

    Just feeling things out and testing my brain waves

    Good on ya.

  13. r0b 14

    And seriously screw cyclists. They act like they want to be killed.

    Up yours.

    (I’m a much more militant cyclist than socialist!)

  14. Of course Peters is being racist. The comments disparage Polynesian culture. They are designed to provoke rather than contribute to measured and informed discussion, as is blindingly obvious from the language used and the forum in which the comments were made.

    Nor does being Maori himself let him off the hook on that score.

  15. T-rex 16

    Hot question – Is it racist (or unreasonable) to say “Traditional polynesian culture, if applied in the NZ social and economic environment, involves an unfair division of responsibility and effort between Men and Women. This unfair division is inappropriate in NZ culture, and should not be endorsed or even tolerated.”.

    I’d argue no. It is not racist as it discriminates against a social philosophy (and hence only those who hold said philosophy are labelled), NOT a race in general.

  16. vto 17

    T-rex, that is what I am getting at. I dont think his comment is racist, just as the exact example statement you use was not at the time considered racist when it was applied to euro/nz culture in breaking down similarly ‘unfair divisions’ here in the past.

    As you say, it is a statement about a culture, or a particular social philosophy. Which just happens to be in a different race. There would be no problem with Peters’ statement if it concerned one segment of euro/nz culture today (eg lazy preening males within euro/nz).

    Where it gets confused imo is that such statements can be used as an excuse to download some racist beliefs. As I said before it is a fine and diffult line to draw.

    And this confusion point allows people to also accuse people of racism when in fact they are not.

    It all stifles debate and the ability for any culture to adapt, grow and change if people are too scared to point out flaws in another culture for fear of being incorrectly labelled a racist.

  17. vto 18

    Hey, nobody has offered an answer to my question – how different would the reaction to Peters’ statement have been if it had been made by Brownlee or Key instead?

  18. Phil 19

    “(I’m a much more militant cyclist than socialist!)”

    Note to self – if you’re going to try and kill r0b, make sure you do it properly first time…

    Keep looking over your shoulder dude. Once we automoblists rid the world of mopeds (which in sanskrit translates as “too shit to go on the motorway”) cycles are next

    =P

  19. J Mex 20

    The Creaky Boards song is better!

  20. mondograss 21

    To talk to vto’s other point about Cullens comment. Wasn’t he derided by Key for earlier this year saying a technical recession was possible? And yet what are we seeing….?

  21. Tane 22

    vto, I expect Peters is ignored because it’s expected from him – we all know he uses race to drum up support from racists, and we’ve all condemned him for it. There’s nothing new to add.

    If Key or Brownlee said it they’d be completely off-message and harming the brand they’re trying to sell the public, not to mention in more of a position to cause harm. That would be worth commenting on.

  22. vto 23

    true tane true

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    Phil, once we militant cyclists / oil speculators make petrol too expensive we will rule the streets!

    vto, intersting thoughts. I interpret the Cullen one differently, and part of it is based upon what you said.

    You mentioned a self-fulfilling prophesy. I imagine Cullen, for economic reasons, and no doubt a dash of political expediency, didn’t wish to say that there would be a recession several months.

    I think you’ve mistaken that for not knowing there was going to be a recession. The way to clear this up would be to look at the man’s actions – has he acted as a Finance Minister of a buoyant economy, or one that is trending downwards. I’d say it’s the latter.

    So I disagree that moments like this hurt people, as you suggested, words and actions being very different things.

  24. vto 25

    true mr pilott re Cullens commenting.

    Re hurting people I was referring to the downturn, not any actions or words of Cullens.

  25. r0b 26

    Note to self – if you’re going to try and kill r0b, make sure you do it properly first time

    Well I’m flattered!

    Keep looking over your shoulder dude. Once we automoblists rid the world of mopeds (which in sanskrit translates as “too shit to go on the motorway’) cycles are next

    Here’s a prediction for you Phil. In about 30 years time the only fossil fuel powered vehicles in NZ will be in museums. But cycles will be everywhere.

  26. T-rex 27

    re: future of cycling – I want one of these with a crash cage and a beefed up engine. http://www.aerorider.com

  27. vto 28

    rOb, here’s a prediction for 30 years. Fossil fuel cars will certainly be in the museum. But cars powered by something else will be exponentially greater in number than today. And smaller and lighter and ridiculously efficient. (I like silver linings). And cyclists will still be shaking their fists at carz.

  28. T-rex 29

    vto – check out my link. Best of both worlds.

  29. vto 30

    mm interesting. They will need power to carry me and my mates at least 300km with boards and gear for a day at the beach. Good start though.

  30. Matthew Pilott 31

    vto – read Paul Roberts’ The End of Oil. I implore you. I’ll even lend it to you!

    Hydrogen Fuel Cells are it.

    My Happy Little World has centralised renewables (I.e. NZ’s hydro/geo/wind/Tidal Stream) generating electricity purely for electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen is distributed throughout the land and fed to community-based fuel cells which generate electricity, thus eliminating the national grid and transmission losses. Hydrogen is also sent to fuel stations to power cars’ fuel cells (sorry r0b).

    It could happen in this lifetime, but certain companies have a vested interest in wringing the most out of the fossil fuel industry – Roberts’ said the investment in said industry topped a trillion easily. Maybe several trillion, can’t quite remember. Big number, that. $1,000,000,000,000. So they’re not really looking Beyond Petroleum (there’s a sick f’n joke if ever), I’m afraid.

  31. zANavAShi 32

    Lew: Frivolous Friday.

    Hehehe my thoughts exactly (you sodding thought thief you) 😛

    If only I had three brains to keep up with the three threads here today that are keeping me in hysterics 😀

    Z

  32. T-rex 33

    Matt – I’m replenished enough to respond now.

    Hydrogen fuel cells aren’t really it. Maybe a good solution for portable power, and possibly a not-so-good solution for load levelling (they’re expensive and not amazingly efficient), but a terrible solution for base load power from base load sources.

    Why would you convert electricity to hydrogen, then ship the hydrogen, then put the hydrogen into storage, then convert it back to electricity? It’s infrastructurally intensive and grossly inefficient and horrible expensive.

    Transmission losses aren’t bad at all, and modern transmission systems make them even less. Even with existing tech, they’re still far less than even a single stage of the hydrogen power cycle you describe.

    My money is still on batteries (or ultra caps) for cars.

    The hydrocarbon industry is going to fade away despite the money tied up in it.

    Though I just bought a couple of thousand bucks worth of Babcock Brown Power shares, so hopefully its twilight years last a wee while. Lights have to stay on in the meantime 🙂

  33. zANavAShi 34

    Matthew (deviating from my Friday frivolity for a moment to add a serious contribution) I don’t think it is well known, but there has actually been a lot of research on cheap hydrogen generation by oil companies but their interest is not for fuel purposes but to enrich crappy-grade oils (same theory as saturating crappy-grade cooking oil with hydrogen atoms to make faux-butter) and extend their monopoly over world energy as far as possible beyond the natural conclusion of peak oil.

    Personally, I think we should be looking way beyond the technology of the combustion engine cos it’s ’19th century technology which hit the peak of it’s evolution about the same time as the peak oil was predicted. But if we must persist, then am only in favour of decentralised generation of hydrogen for fuel purposes – smaller scale closer production to the source of use.

    (reverting to frivolity again)Centralised hydrogen generation… Hindenburg flashbacks anyone? (((eeeeeeeeek!)))

    Cheers
    Z

    PS: Screw cycles I wanna pony! 😛

  34. Lew 35

    r0b: “Here’s a prediction for you Phil. In about 30 years time the only fossil fuel powered vehicles in NZ will be in museums. But cycles will be everywhere.”

    Ok, in the grand tradition of booze wagers*, I reckon this is a call big enough for me to bet a case of the customary beverage of 2038 on. R0b, I’ll buy if so, you buy if not – and the onus is on the loser to track the winner down, out of a sense of civic honour.

    * (I already have a case of beer against Monty on the 2008 election, but as yet he’s not had the balls to agree to it.)

    L

  35. r0b 36

    Sure thing Lew, I like a wager as much as the next punter. Though my odds of being here in 30 years to resolve the wager are not that flash, especially if I keep cycling.

  36. T-rex 37

    I’d missed that rant you linked to Lew. I agree. Labour couldn’t market itself out of a wet paper bag – I think your points are pretty consistent with what ‘Sod was saying the other day on Brand Key?

    Probably people like us should spend less time here, and more time coming up with clever publicity. Did you see that “budget 2008” thing? Could it have been any more crap?

    I agree that so long as democracy is one-person-one-vote rather than one-dollar-one-vote the left has no excuse for losing an election. They are just so godawful at conveying their message. To be fair they’re trying to manage the country, while National isn’t even coming up with decent plans for how they would hypothetically manage it, but still…

    To clarify re: the EFA… if I do volunteer activism in support of labour, do they have to count it as a funded activity at some equivalent rate?

    Ha! Steve! Captcha was “reject Notion” – Right on captcha!

  37. Lew 38

    T-rex: Yes, the rant was along much the same sort of lines as Brand Key, but was before and more off-the-cuff than Sod’s uncharacteristically excellent post.

    Yes, the opposition always has the advantage of not having to actually run the country, allowing it to focus on a campaign, but that’s not as strong as the incumbent advantage of actually having your policy make real differences to the lives of voters.

    Another rant I did a couple of days ago centred on how the government (and Labour in particular) seems to think that it (rather than the media) has the ability to promulgate messages to the electorate, which has resulted in a degree of media hostility which doesn’t come down to the structural biases most people complain about, but simple business practice on the part of commercial media operators. In a nutshell, I think the government should be taking a more symbolic, branded approach to their policy and image; they should be making their messages much, much more media-friendly; and they should start to take back some of the terminology which has been turned against them, re-legitimising the business of government which has been successfully been cast as waste or nanny-statism or crony socialism.

    But I’m already too busy to be volunteering my time for this, and I’m also not labouring under any delusions that I’m a greater expert than, say, Simon Pleasants or any of the folk whose actual careers are based in working this stuff through.

    L

  38. Sod’s uncharacteristically excellent post.

    Could you have made that praise any more faint?

  39. T-rex 40

    “and I’m also not labouring under any delusions that I’m a greater expert than”

    Maybe that’s the difference. I’m HELL arrogant, I’m sure I could do better than what’s being done now. But the other half of me thinks that the strategists on the left are simply biding their time, and National is going to get king hit in about 6 weeks. That’s what I’d do.

    I might put some effort into it though. Viral marketing through humour has hugely empowered the loner+computer. Generally I’d rather go mountainbiking, but I don’t want some pro-big-industry-polluter-social-destruction-morons f*cking up my mountainbiking in 20 years time so some investment is possibly justified.

    Cheer up Sod, I thought it was great.

  40. zANavAShi 41

    T-rex says June 21, 2008 at 8:15 am: “…I agree. Labour couldn’t market itself out of a wet paper bag…”

    Actually, I disagree. And I have historically been a very strong supporter of Helen and Co’s branded image.

    Going on the impressions I get from overseas friends who frequently gush comments like “OMG your prime minister is amazing, I saw her canoeing in a documentary on our travel network last week” and “Wow you guys are so lucky to have a leader who’s setting an example to the world about global warming” and “How cool that you guys have a woman leader with the balls to not blindly follow the US/UK into war” I dare to suggest that Helen has done an impeccably fine job of stamping her “brand”…. on the global political landscape.

    If only her image consultant peeps would put the same sodding effort into giving a shit about how the NZ people she is supposed to be accountable to – peeps who are not entranced by the glamorous tourist shots of her walking the Milford track, or oblivious to the way she is backing down to big business in an election year over what really needs to be done to achieve a serious global warming action plan – perceive her.

    I remember feeling really pissed off when I saw her interview on BBC HardTalk earlier this year. It was a great interview and Helen presented herself well, which I initially gave full credit for to the top class BBC interviewer (as I muttered my usual mantra about how bad the NZ media sucks – which it does, to be sure) and it wasn’t till later that the underlying cause of my annoyance became apparent…

    Helen (or her marketing peeps, or both) seem to care more about cultivating the way she looks on the international stage than she does to those of us who elected her. And if their strategists think they can pull a rabbit out of the hat closer to the election on this I think they are sadly mistaken.

    My (uneducated) guess is that they are banking on getting a boost in the same way they did with Brash at the last elections… that Key is gonna make a really REALLY big tory fuk’up.

    Just my 2 cents (and I wouldn’t wager any more than that either hehe) 😉

    Cheers,
    Z

  41. T-rex 42

    So to summarise – Helen/Labour to a good job of representing NZ to the world (which is part of their job as a govt), but a lousy job of representing themselves to NZ (which is part of their job if they want to stay a govt).

    Overseas friends don’t vote in our elections.

    Labour need to work on how they sell themselves here. Most of the people I know (who aren’t unkind or selfish people) are pissed off about paying tax to dole bludgers, the increase in perceived crime, the power crisis and (most of all) that Clark/Labour are so unapologetic about all of the above.

    Now, those who do some research realise that ALL of the above are complete non-issues. Tax to bludgers is trivial, I imagine we could cut the entire benefits scheme and get f*ck all in the hand from it… ignoring the fact that bludgers is more a fantasy than a reality and no one really denies the necessity for a safety net (unless they’re really stupid, like Bryan). Crime is being addressed in the best ways we know how. The ‘power crisis’ is a myth, and in as much as it’s real it’s certainly no fault of the govts!

    People dislike Labour because they’ve been tricked, and they’ve been tricked because (to date) Labour have been trying to fight back in the wrong way.

    I doubt anyone who went and saw Cullen at drinking liberally the other week could criticise either their ethics or their successes. Why don’t they find a way to get that image into the public eye? As far as I can tell, they’re not. I know a huge number of people who are on seriously low incomes and think they’ll be better off under National!!! AS IF!!!

  42. zANavAShi 43

    And a very fine summary it was too T (can’t call you Rex anymore cos I notice there’s another Rex here hehe). Just wanna add two things from my own personal perspective:

    Firstly, I come from a family that has supported Labour for generations – since there was a Labour party – (my dear ole gramps was a personal friend of Big Norms since childhood even and those are the days we remember most fondly) so I dunno that I’ll ever get to the point where I will “dislike” them… but I have certainly become disillusioned.

    What I dislike is that I feel tricked that in voting for Labour (as a leftwing party) we got a centrist party – in the very same way which I dislike the Nats whom if we voted for them as a centrist party we know it’s gonna be way right of what we thought we were signing up for.

    I dislike that rightward creep that seems to have happened in worldwide politics since 911 (or maybe it was happening before then, but I’m no historian…) which reminds me of the way the fashion industry fudges dress sizes today – where what was on the rack in the 1960’s as a “size 16” now sits on the rack labelled as a “size 12” cos they don’t want the public to be horrified by them for providing an accurate measure of how fat the population at large has become.

    And secondly I wanted to add that I think Helen markets more than just NZ internationally, I have the distinct sense that she uses the global popularity of the NZ brand to boost her own personal profile – and in a way that reminds me of how Hillary Clinton has groomed her own personal brand since she decided to make a run for the US presidency. I heard somewhere Helen was looking at some high-ranking UN position when she finally retires from NZ politics, so this would make sense I guess.

    On the other hand tho (and to echo the comment you made about Cullen au naturelle as he appeared at drinking liberally) maybe the image we see of Helen on the international stage is closer to who she really is (in her own kinda au naturelle political ideals self). The small part of me that hasn’t succumbed to disillusionment yet hopes this is the case – cos I really miss that Helen. The Helen who would not bow down to pressure and apologise for a comment about the Iraq war not happening if Gore had won – how many of you can honestly say you weren’t thinking the exact same thing, yes?

    Yikes I just realised how off topic I’ve been aiding this thread to travel, so I think that means it’s time for me to STFU now hehehe 😀

    You are (mostly LOL) a damned good read tho T-Rex. Cheers!

  43. Lew 44

    Sod:

    No, I genuinely thought it was a worthy and insightful post, and quite different from your usual matter, hence `uncharacteristically’ 🙂

    Z/T:
    `the other half of me thinks that the strategists on the left are simply biding their time, and National is going to get king hit in about 6 weeks. That’s what I’d do.’

    It’s not what I’d do, but I do hope so.

    `Most of the people I know (who aren’t unkind or selfish people) are pissed off about paying tax to dole bludgers, the increase in perceived crime, the power crisis and (most of all) that Clark/Labour are so unapologetic about all of the above.’

    My italics above show the important bit for me – this is what my point about re-legitimising governance and social democratic ideals is about. The Nats and others have succeeded in changing `safety net’ in the minds of voters to `kiwis paying tax to dole bludgers’, and other issues are similarly maldefined. The government aren’t apologetic because they should not be apologetic, but until they are able to control those terminology heights people will always think they should be.

    `So to summarise – Helen/Labour to a good job of representing NZ to the world (which is part of their job as a govt), but a lousy job of representing themselves to NZ (which is part of their job if they want to stay a govt).’

    Quite right. Nobody ever built a better country from opposition.

    `I know a huge number of people who are on seriously low incomes and think they’ll be better off under National!!! AS IF!!!’

    Yeah, but if we presume at least some rationality, people hold this belief for one of two general reasons: 1. they’re right (which I reject); or 2. they haven’t been convinced otherwise. A would-be government’s job is in the first place to convince the electorate that its vision will improve things, and then to implement that vision and actually improve things. Clark’s government did the first very well in 1999 but has singularly failed to do it since; in my opinion they’ve done an exception job at the second all the way through, but it looks like they’ll not get the chance to continue it because of the failure to do the first consistently throughout.

    L

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    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    1 day ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 days ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    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 saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    16 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    19 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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