The descent continues

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, September 17th, 2008 - 87 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

I sometimes have Fox News on in the background when I’m home, it’s good to get wound up now and again. So, I’m used to seeing the most bizarre attack angles masquerading as serious journalism. But I took a second-take when I saw this one because it took a moment to realise I wasn’t looking at a Fox headline, I was looking at the Herald:

“Is Helen Clark’s new campaign photo too glamorous?”

I feel like a slightly revamped Little Red Riding-hood: my Granny has been replaced by a Fox.

[on a more serious note, it’s incredible how misogyny pervades politics still. You don’t see articles on whether pictures of Key are too air-brushed]

87 comments on “The descent continues”

  1. Pat 1

    Helen Clark’s billboard: “Trust me – these are my real teeth!”

  2. Yeah she does. Photoshopped to hell and back.

  3. Billy 3

    weather pictures of Key

    With isobars on his head you mean?

  4. higherstandard 4

    Surely the misogyny you speak of is primarily from the Labour party marketing team/advisors who feel that airbrushing is necessary.

  5. billy, ha! funny I was sure it said whether wen i wrote it.. maybe that devil eddie had a wee edit.

    Pat, infused.. you disgrace yourselves and your political allies

  6. hs. don’t be a dick. a) the image isn’t heavily airbrushed

    b) who gives a damn whether an image is airbrushed or not, of course any picture of a political leader for a billboard is going to look good. hell, all the billboards you see and the pics in your ‘men’s magazines’ are airbrushed. Key’s pics are airbrushed too.. It’s only people like you that feel it somehow matters that Clark’s pics are airbrushed… but please, keep on showing your true natures, all you misogynists, it gives something for moderate people to think about when they consider whether they want to vote for National.

  7. r0b 7

    Surely the misogyny you speak of is primarily from the Labour party marketing team/advisors who feel that airbrushing is necessary

    And when National photoshopped Brash in the last election was that misterogyny?

  8. higherstandard 8

    r0b

    A severe case of Brashrogyny I believe.

    I wonder if they’ll do it for R Douglas Rogrogyny !!

  9. I guess the point they are trying to make, is Labour photo shopping their pictures to try to appeal to the public by making Helen looking better.

    If Labour is doing this, I hope the liberal media tears them a new one.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    SP, I think it is perfectly legitimate to discuss whether a picture accurately represents the person it portrayed. To be quite honest, the picture of Helen Clark looks just ridiculous. She looks nothing like that.

    I don’t suggest that the picture of Helen Clark should capture her in her worst moments, but at least something that doesn’t look so blatantly manipulated. The Labour Party campaign theme is “trust us”. I think such a ridiculous billboard picture undermines that.

    I think you are wrong to dismiss criticisms of the use of that picture as mysogynistic. I think that Helen Clark looks perfectly normal for a 58-year-old woman. I think she dresses smartly, and is very presentable, and takes care of her appearance.

    So does John Key, and Winston Peters.

    Let’s face it, politicians as a whole are not the most photogenic people in the world. Rob Muldoon, David Lange and Jim Bolger did not become Prime Minister through winning any beauty contests. Nor did Helen Clark. I’m not saying she is ugly. She looks quite normal to me. But her billboard picture doesn’t look normal, and when I look at it I think that somebody is trying to portray her as somebody that she isn’t.

    I think that Labour should have put up a picture that people actually associate with her, rather than trying to manipulate perceptions of her by using a picture that people thinks looks very different to her in real life.

  11. randal 11

    hs…take three thorazine and go to bed.

  12. higherstandard 12

    Randal

    Thorazine is

    1. Not available in NZ
    2. A poor choice as a sedative.

  13. randal 13

    tim ellis ..I dont think you have any right to comment on the appearance of nother person whatsoever. in another age you would have been taken outside and thrashed by her champion. if I was to give an accurate description of your churlishness I beleive I would run foul of the laws that gutless little namby pambys like you rely on to make your scurrilous attacks without fear of getting a fat lip.

  14. Pat 14

    SP – what are you getting so wound up about? You cracked the first joke:

    “My Granny (i.e. Helen) has been replaced by a fox”

    [no, Pat. Granny Herald is a nickname for the Herald – ‘The Herald has been replaced by Fox News’ = ‘My Granny has been replaced by a Fox’. SP]

  15. Tim Ellis 15

    Thank you randal. Your anonymous threat to punch me, because I said that Helen Clark looks like a perfectly normal woman of her age and that her picture should represent her, is noted.

  16. Ray 16

    You are off message Steve
    Didn’t you read the memo
    JK name is no longer to be mentioned
    Replace with flip flop opposition

  17. QoT 17

    And we all know, of course, that if Labour *didn’t* ‘shop the picture of Helen, the election campaign would TOTALLY focus on trust and not a series of cheap “Lololol looks like a MAN, dur hur hur” shots. After all, throughout Clark’s presence in NZ politics, I’m certain the majority of comments I’ve heard about her have been about policy and not her looks (with a side of “is ugly ergo LEZZZBIAN”). Yep.

  18. iheartmjs 18

    Talk about not being able to win!

    I’ve lost count of the number of time I’ve heard people say “I’m voting national because I don’t like Helen Clark”. Well, okay, but when I challenge them about the reasons, the answers often include “she’s such a man” and “she’s a lesbian”.

    If she chose an unretouched, plain photograph as her campaign photo this is exactly the kind of crap people would throw at her, but when she appears in a photo which is more aesthetically pleasing, she’s criticised for being “too glamorous”.

    We might as well be saying “I don’t like John Key because he is such a man”. That would be just as relevant and intelligent as the Herald’s article.

  19. iheartmjs 19

    sorry QoT, great minds think alike 🙂

  20. Tim Ellis 20

    Speak for yourself QoT. The portrait photo of Helen Clark at the Beehive website looks perfectly nice and representative to me. I don’t know why they didn’t use it for the billboards.

  21. Dom 21

    Let’s pose an equally useless question about Key – does John Key look manly enough in his campaign photo?

  22. Tim Ellis 22

    That isn’t the question, Dom. The question is whether the picture of John Key looks like he does, and represents how we see him. I think the answer is yes. As to whether the picture of Helen Clark looks like her, or whether it looks substantially manipulated, I think the answer is the latter.

  23. Felix 23

    So we have a slightly manipulated picture of Helen Clark vs an entirely artificial construction of a person in John Key.

    Hmmmmm.

  24. Bill 24

    Welcome to the good old US of A. May the most photogenic/handsome/attractive leader of the various party leaders win the right to fuck us over for a term on Nov 8th.

    Only pretty people know how to rule and make the ugly masses obey.

    Maybe the NZ election campaign should comprise of a catwalk with a couple of asinine questions thrown in at the end before the judges select their overall winner?

    How DOES this captcha work? ‘pretty’ and ‘ugly’ were randomly generated?

  25. weka 25

    Clark’s billboard photo is too poncy for my taste. But then so are most people in the public eye who have to present well (I’m thinking of last week’s NZ film and TV awards, where you used to see ordinary looking NZers, and they now all look like they’re at the Oscars).

    But really who cares. It’s not news. The Heraldfox is misogynist and stupid (that’s probably not news either).

    Captcha: supervis boxoffice

  26. Pat 26

    I think Labour’s marketing people were wrong to try and tart Helen up. She is a long-serving Prime Minister and should be proud of what she looks like and what she represents. This is not a beauty contest and she has nothing to hide. I think Labour would be far better served to portray a quality “normal” photo of her. It would reinforce the Trust message, rather than undermine it.

  27. Dom 27

    Tim – “The question is whether the picture of John Key looks like he does, and represents how we see him. I think the answer is yes. As to whether the picture of Helen Clark looks like her, or whether it looks substantially manipulated, I think the answer is the latter.”

    Um, so have you heard of makeup? Women wear it to make themselves look better. So do some men for that matter.

    And for the record, I saw Key last week. He doesn’t look half as good as his campaign photo does.

    But if you want to define the question I think the real issue here is why we are all wasting our time talking about a photo.

  28. weka 28

    I broadly agree Pat. But if that’s the case then the news item is about how election advertising is changing in NZ. Not if Clark is too glamourous.

    Steve, can you please put up a link to the actual Herald article, as I can’t seem to find it.

  29. Phil 29

    The ‘Hutch’ made a good point on Campbell live a couple of nights ago.

    If make-up and a nice hairdo can make Helen look this good on billboard, why doesn’t she take the time to do that every day?

  30. Vanilla Eis 30

    Phil: Does it occur that she might actually be working pretty fucking hard? I’m quite certain that make-up and a nice hairdo aren’t at the top of her priority list when she gets up in the morning after a couple of hours sleep.

    It’s not a job you could pay me to do, and I’m certain that if I was in her position I’d look considerably more haggard than she often does. Seen any unedited photo’s of Key recently? He looks like shit. Why not just slap one of those up on all of their billboards?

    (P.S: I can hear the cries in the House if they found out that HC had employed a professional makeup artist to attend to her every morning, and she’d probably need a touch-up after lunch/before evening appointments too.)

  31. Draco T Bastard 31

    Here you go weka. Doesn’t have the same headline as what SP screen shotted.

  32. Julie 32

    Thanks for posting on this Steve. Sometimes I just despair about the underlying sexism still in our society, and the denials that it still exists at all. Today looks likely to be one of those days.

  33. Scribe 33

    Applying some makeup and getting a nice hairdo for a photo is fine. Even removing a few wrinkles is no problem, IMHO. Replacing someone’s teeth is just plain weird, and bordering on dishonest.

  34. Tim Ellis 34

    Dom, I’ve never said that Helen Clark should look haggard. It’s a portrait photo, so she should wear make-up. What interests me is why the picture is so very different to her other portrait photos: her picture at the Beehive website clearly casts her in a good light, as it should. But it looks very much like her.

    The Labour Party billboard picture of her doesn’t. I find this strange, since clearly Helen Clark is a very big part of the brand. To put up a picture that doesn’t look a lot like her just diminishes the Labour Party brand.

  35. scribe. fuck off. have you got nothing less pathetic to add?

  36. weka. the headline was different on the frontpage and on the actual article, that link Draco TB gave goes to the article

  37. weka 37


    If make-up and a nice hairdo can make Helen look this good on billboard, why doesn’t she take the time to do that every day?

    Yeah Phil, and all women in NZ should look like they stepped out the pages of Vogue. *rolls eyes*

    You do realise that most people don’t actually look like that?

  38. Scribe 38

    SP,

    What’s the problem? It’s on topic and seems like a reasonable opinion, albeit one that others would disagree with. Regretting posting this thread?

    Thanks for the kind wishes, though.

  39. weka 39

    ok, the Herald was actually talking about someone who took a complaint to the advertising standards authority that got rejected at the first hurdle. And the Herald linked that off the front page with the headline about Clark’s billboard being too glamorous. Because a baseless complaint is news too!

  40. Scribe. the post is about how pathetic it is that The Herald would be obsessed with a politician’s photo, how this wouldn’t happen if Clark were male, and how they are looking more like Fox in their bizarre attacks.. her teeth aren’t even ‘replaced’

  41. Phil 41

    F*ck, and Steve complains that his humour is missed by people commenting here…

  42. Scribe 42

    how they are looking more like Fox in their bizarre attacks.

    Some of the posts on The Standard are looking more like the Daily Kos or the Huffington Post.

    her teeth aren’t even ‘replaced’

    So those are Helen Clark’s own teeth on the billboard photos? Wow, they look different to me.

  43. G 43

    This is too funny… all Helen’s suitors chipping in to protect her ‘honour’… kinda cute.

    Except of course she lost the last shred of honour she had left when she stole our money to steal an election and introduced retrospective law to make the crime legal. Now that’s what I call airbrushing!!! 🙂

  44. G 44

    … and c’mon, Steve, are you so love sick you’ve gone blind?!! She’s been artificially enhanced from smash-mouth to pearlers!! You can add this to her growing list controversies: Paintergate, Corngate, Motorcadegate, Electiongate, Winstongate and now Colgate!! 🙂

  45. r0b 45

    she stole our money to steal an election and introduced retrospective law to make the crime legal.

    G gets his knowledge of electoral process from the back of the same cereal packets as his understanding of climate change I see.

    Just a quick history lesson G. After the last election one party lost its leader due to the piublic outcry at its despicable tactics during the campaign. That party was National.

  46. Anita 46

    G,

    … and now Colgate!!

    🙂

    That is the first use of -gate which hasn’t made me cringe this year 🙂

  47. G 47

    Are you a denier, Rob?! Are you saying she didn’t steal the money, didn’t use the stolen money for a last minute campaign that nabbed the crucial 1%, and didn’t rewrite the law to make the theft legal and avoid a court case that would have convicted her?

    I understand the process perfectly well. You’re the one who needs to be taught a lesson.

  48. randal 48

    gee you are a kreep. I know that and you know that but you dont want to do anything about it. just fuck off.

  49. Anita 49

    G,

    Yes, you’re wrong.

    There are two different issues:

    1) Whether Parliamentary Services misspent

    2) Whether political breached their spending caps by using the PS misspend.

    The first one was the subject of the retrospective validation. No-one could have been charged with theft whether or not the spending was validated.

    The second one could have been the subject of court action (although not for theft) but wasn’t because (from memory) the Police didn’t choose to prosecute within the statutory time limit. A number of parties could have been prosecuted for this.

    Out of interest, where are you figuring National’s broadcasting overspend in? Similarly could have been prosecuted but wasn’t.

  50. r0b 50

    Isn’t it cute to see G so excited? He thinks he’s on to a winner here!

    Are you saying she didn’t steal the money

    Correct.

    didn’t use the stolen money for a last minute campaign that nabbed the crucial 1%

    There was no stolen money.

    and didn’t rewrite the law to make the theft legal

    There was no theft.

    I’m sure you’re going to now bang on and on about this forever. Sigh. Perhaps you could begin by saying who this money was “stolen” from, what law was broken, and by whom?

  51. r0b 51

    With fixed tags:

    Isn’t it cute to see G so excited? He thinks he’s on to a winner here!

    Are you saying she didn’t steal the money

    Correct.

    didn’t use the stolen money for a last minute campaign that nabbed the crucial 1%

    There was no stolen money.

    and didn’t rewrite the law to make the theft legal

    There was no theft.

    I’m sure you’re going to now bang on and on about this forever. Sigh. Perhaps you could begin by saying who this money was “stolen’ from, what law was broken, and by whom?

  52. Anita 52

    Actually, I regret that comment. I am tired of relitigating the 2005 PS spending debacle.

    r0b and burt – can you remember where the epic thread on this is? Maybe we could point to that each time and not have to start from scratch.

  53. randal 53

    anita, egburt and co rely on the fact that fools can ask more questions than a wise man can answer and that you are too nice to give him a friggin slapping which he so justly deserves…I actually think he is colon from twiedme with another id but we will let that one go for the moment. what ever in the long run he’s just another kreep.

  54. Anita 54

    randal,

    Yeah, I just need reminding of that from time to time. Thanks 🙂

  55. G 55

    Inconvenient truths:

    1) The funds were ‘misappropriated’ for electioneering purposes: the money was not theirs; it belonged to the taxpayer.

    2) Labour promised to pay back the $800,000+ then promptly reneged the moment it regained power.

    3) There was yet another prima facie case which the police failed to act upon. (Tui: Helen didn’t strong-arm the cops.)

    4) The Libertarianz leader would have successfully prosecuted her if the court case had been allowed to proceed. It was invalidated by emergency retrospective law – in other words, the illegal made legal.

    Corrupt as corrupt gets.

  56. G 56

    BTW, Anita, National were also guilty (and should’ve been proportionately prosecuted), though theirs appears to have been a genuine oversight of a mere $11,000 as opposed to the massive $824,524 that Labour pinched.

    Anderton and Darnton were the only ones in the clear.

  57. Jasper 57

    Why is John Key hovering over the shoulder of all his MP’s in each and every one of their campaign billboards?
    Is he worried he might get overshadowed by someone that looks less insipid?

  58. r0b 58

    I am tired of relitigating the 2005 PS spending debacle.

    Me too. But I don’t like people spreading lies either.

    1) The funds were ‘misappropriated’

    I thought you said they were stolen G? So that’s the first back down from your lies.

    2) Labour promised to pay back the $800,000+ then promptly reneged the moment it regained power.

    That’s another lie.

    3) There was yet another prima facie case which the police failed to act upon.

    Was that the National GST overspend prima facie case you were thinking of?

    4) The Libertarianz leader would have successfully prosecuted her if the court case had been allowed to proceed. It was invalidated by emergency retrospective law

    He would not have successfully prosecuted “her” because she was not guilty of anything, and the case was thrown out by a separate deliberate vote in parliament – only National voted in favour of the court case proceeding.

    Corrupt as corrupt gets.

    That would be National, who lost their leader as a result of their tactics in the 2005 election.

  59. r0b 59

    I should have attributed comments better in by previous. “I am tired of relitigating the 2005 PS spending debacle’ was Anita, everything else was G.

  60. Anita 60

    G,

    Here is an awesome thread in which all possible variations of the 2005 PS election funding issue is canvassed: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2289

    All your questions will be answered, all your facts checked, all your illusions shattered, all your nightmares arrived at once.

  61. G 61

    misappropriate |ˌmisəˈprōprēˌāt|
    verb [ trans. ]
    (of a person) dishonestly or unfairly take (something, esp. money, belonging to another) for one’s own use : department officials had misappropriated funds.

    i.e. stolen. These funds were NOT allowed to be used for electioneering. End of story.

  62. r0b 62

    Anita, I didn’t think G would have the attention span to digest that thread, but now I guess we’ll see!

  63. G 63

    “He would not have successfully prosecuted “her’ because she was not guilty of anything, and the case was thrown out by a separate deliberate vote in parliament – only National voted in favour of the court case proceeding.”

    That’s like asking the Mongrel Mob to rule on legitimate charges against them: “Hands up youse who think we should be prosecuted… Passed! No case to answer for, eh!”

    Hilarious.

  64. r0b 64

    i.e. stolen.

    Still lying G. Read the thread that Anita linked to above, then get back to us.

  65. randal 65

    jasper…he has been taking lessons from the squibber rodney hide!

  66. r0b 66

    <i. That’s like asking the Mongrel Mob to rule on legitimate charges against them

    Parliament is the highest legal authority in the country G, and you’re comparing them to the Mongrel Mob? That’s a good start.

    Only National voted for the court case to proceed. No other party saw any worth in it.

  67. r0b 67

    G: That’s like asking the Mongrel Mob to rule on legitimate charges against them

    Parliament is the highest legal authority in the country G, and you’re comparing them to the Mongrel Mob? That’s a good start.

    Only National voted for the court case to proceed. No other party saw any worth in it.

  68. G 68

    Right, Rob ~ the highest legal authority in NZ is asked to rule on whether they should be prosecuted for using taxpayers’ money for electioneering purposes. “Ahhh… hands up those who think we did anything wrong?”

    Banana republic stuff.

  69. G 69

    I note that none of youse have denied that the funds were misappropriated for the purposes of electioneering — a direct contravention of the electoral rules.

  70. r0b 70

    Go read the thread linked to by Anita G, all covered there. Bye for now…

  71. G 71

    Run Spot run. 🙂

  72. QoT 72

    *waves back up at iheartmjs* See, now I’m just wondering which of the two MJSs I, too, heart, you mean.

  73. r0b 73

    Run Spot run.

    That’s very good G, well done. Now try the next page.

  74. G 74

    Yeah, look, I know it’s an indefensible position, Rob — Labour broke the electoral rules and stole funds that didn’t belong to them to electioneer a 3rd term — so let’s just leave it at that.

  75. DeeDub 75

    Dammit! Who let G off his string?!

  76. r0b 76

    Yeah, look, I know it’s an indefensible position, Rob

    The only one in an indefensible position after the 2005 election was the National Party and Don Brash. That’s why Don was forced to resign.

    The claims you have made above are not true (some of them are simply blatant lies), and all the issues were thrashed out in detail in this long thread here: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2289

    And there I am certainly happy to leave it at that.

  77. lprent 77

    It is a pity that G never seems to actually read any of the material that people point him in the direction of. Gets a bit boring after a while, so you stop engaging with it.

    I’m kind of viewing it as a surrealistic parody of a human at present. Too intelligent to be a troll (defined as I could program their responses). Too boring to engage with because it spouts lines taken from inaccurate sources and ignores questions about the accuracy or interpretation of the data. That means it doesn’t engage.

    As an viewpoint it beats getting wound up and leaves more time for more interesting personalities.

  78. G 78

    … Jesus that was boring. Okay, read it and I see none of you denied Labour misappropriated the funds for electioneering purposes.

    Excellent, we can move on now in the knowledge your party literally stole the last election.

  79. Dean 79

    “Just a quick history lesson G. After the last election one party lost its leader due to the piublic outcry at its despicable tactics during the campaign. That party was National.”

    Yes, those despicable scumbags, aligning with the chinless scarf wearers who spent their own money to pervert the course of democracy!

    Nothing at all like unions helping Labour candidates erect billboards, is it?

    Sometimes I wonder if you’re not just playing devil’s advocate, r0b, because I honestly don’t believe you’re that naiive.

    But if you like, have another rage against the EB machine. It’s been entertaining up until now to see Labour members and advocates splutter their way through it – including Helen and everyone’s favourite Labour membter, Trevor – so I don’t see why it should stop now.

    For bonus points, get Trev to fly to Rome at the taxpayers expense and give the pope the bash. Even SP would sppreciate that.

  80. Felix 80

    lprent

    It could be a dog. Or a chimp.

    So cute, it thinks it can read.

  81. lprent 81

    G: I missed out the essential smugness level. Probably goes with having a binary personality and knowing it is ALWAYS right.

  82. lprent 82

    Dean:

    Nothing at all like unions helping Labour candidates erect billboards, is it?

    Have you asked the union members if they they were doing it on a voluntary basis or were they forced to do it? I bet no-one has. Instead we have jerk-offs like yourself attempting to denigrate people doing voluntary work.

    I mean what exactly is your point? What can you actually show is a problem in electoral law? People have been volunteering to help political parties for centuries.

    If you have a point to make – then make it. Don’t just sit there and make a comment that is simply a smear of people working. That is simply pathetic.

    a) unsupported in your comment – where is the reference.

    b) doesn’t have a point. What is wrong in the electoral law with people in unions helping a party. For that matter what is wrong with a union helping a party. In both cases the 3rd party rules of the EFA come into effect. They’re easy enough to check on.

    What is wrong legally with union members deciding to help the NZLP or the greens or whomever. Of course they are providing actual voluntary labour, and as we’ve observed, national party and act party members don’t like getting their hands dirty. They prefer using anonymous trusts to launder money from god knows where.

    BTW: Do you have the same attitude to people doing charitable work? To the people who do the ambulance duty like womans refuges? For PTA’s. For me to contribute my time to supporting the NZLP or womans refuges or my nieces or for that matter this blogsite?

    Why not try something different – go and do some voluntary work yourself. From your attitude it doesn’t seem to me like you have.

    Basically there are those who do, and then there are some who just moan.

  83. Dean 83

    “Have you asked the union members if they they were doing it on a voluntary basis or were they forced to do it? I bet no-one has. Instead we have jerk-offs like yourself attempting to denigrate people doing voluntary work.

    I mean what exactly is your point? What can you actually show is a problem in electoral law? People have been volunteering to help political parties for centuries.”

    Have you asked the union members if they were driving union cars at the time? Have you asked them what time of the day it was?

    Have you asked Field if any takeaways may or may not have been purchased?

    No, thought not. Save your desperation for those who are willing to overlook it.

    “BTW: Do you have the same attitude to people doing charitable work? To the people who do the ambulance duty like womans refuges? For PTA’s. For me to contribute my time to supporting the NZLP or womans refuges or my nieces or for that matter this blogsite?”

    You just compared union employees erecting Labour billboards to women’s refuge volunteers. I’m lolling.

  84. Dean 84

    Missed this one:

    “Why not try something different – go and do some voluntary work yourself. From your attitude it doesn’t seem to me like you have.”

    You might just be very, very surpised there, lprent. But I’d hate to shatter your world view.

  85. marco 85

    Billboards and placards are there to create an instant impression as you drive past. Helens billboard barely resembles her, but at the end of the day its her scatter gun policy thats got her into trouble this election not her airbrushed image. National are not much better with their constant pandering to the swing voter. It might be time to get in behind a party that actually fights for what it believes in, now I’m very much a centerist so voting for the Greens isnt an attractive option but at least they have the b#lls to stand up for what they believe in.

  86. lprent 86

    Dean: It was more reaction to the rest of the threads comments on the topic.

    What I was asking was “what is the problem?”. I saw a lot of people saying it was bad – my question is why?

    I expect voluntary work to go on in election campaigns. I do it all of the time for political parties and other organizations. Essentially I saw a lot of comments attacking the concept for no apparent reason.

    Good to hear that you do voluntary work. It is what maintains a lot of essential services (including politics).

  87. Jasper 87

    Randal – Thought so.

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    1 day ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    2 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    3 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    4 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
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    4 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
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    5 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    7 days ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
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    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
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    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Safety upgrades and certainty for Ōtaki highway
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today welcomed the NZ Transport Agency’s decision to fund urgent safety improvements and confirm the designation of the Ōtaki to North of Levin highway. Safety upgrades will be made along 23.4km of the existing state highway, running along SH1 from the end of the Peka Peka ...
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    1 week ago
  • Playing our part to support refugees in our region and the world
    New Zealand playing its part in Asia-Pacific and globally are behind changes announced today to the Coalition Government’s three year refugee quota policy, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “We are proud to be a welcoming and inclusive nation committed to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable people to rebuild ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting thriving inclusive communities
    Creating thriving regions and inclusive local communities is the aim of the Welcoming Communities programme being rolled out across the country, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today. A successful pilot of the scheme ran over the last 2 years led by Immigration New Zealand and involved ten councils across five regions ...
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    1 week ago
  • Takahē population flying high
    Takahē may be flightless but their population is flying high with the official count reaching 418 after a record breeding season that produced an estimated 65 juveniles, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “The population reaching a high of 418 is great news for takahē which were considered ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand makes further climate commitments
    New Zealand is today taking action to reduce the potent global warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, Climate Minister James Shaw and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. “The global agreement to reduce these potent greenhouse gases is another step in New Zealand’s commitment to reduce global warming. It is estimated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago