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The Greens’ attack ad

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, July 25th, 2019 - 87 comments
Categories: boris johnson, Donald Trump, greens, internet, Media, national, Simon Bridges, twitter - Tags:

There has been some recent discussion about the Greens satirical ad about Simon Bridges from various sources including from Green members.  Radio New Zealand has the details:

I can understand the motivation of the ad creators.  Bridges is becoming something of a caricature.  Maybe it is intentional.  Maybe the right think that if it works for Donald Trump and Boris Johnson then a local variation may be the approach most likely to succeed.  And the best counter response may be ridicule, although Trump and Johnson have been targets for ridicule for years, seemingly without lasting damage caused.

I would hardly describe the ad as an attack ad.  And I would certainly not call it a sneer ad as Bryce Edwards has.  In fact he buys into right wing attack lines in a way that is really disturbing.  He says this:

The ad is an example of the global phenomenon of “sneer politics”, in which it’s fashionable for liberal elites to admonish and ridicule the ordinariness and ‘uncouth’ elements of political opponents.

It’s very fashionable in metropolitan and liberal circles to sneer at political leaders considered to be déclassé. The likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are ridiculed not just for their reactionary politics, but also for their rather vulgar or even “common” styles and personalities. We call them “clowns”.

Yet these political figures are often very successful for the very reason that they are sneered at. Condescension from liberal elites actually makes them more popular. Famously, when Hillary Clinton labelled Trump’s supporters “deplorables” it actually pushed many voters towards supporting the populist candidate for president.

Everywhere, such sneering has helped to widen the gap between liberal elites and the masses who feel belittled and patronised. In Britain, where Brexit voters have been painted as reactionaries and ignorant, the polarisation has simply become further entrenched.

For many ordinary voters, these “outsider” politicians are appreciated because they come across as down-to-earth. Certainly, such politicians attempt to accentuate or cultivate their ordinariness and “play the clown” on purpose. But regardless of the authenticity of these personas, it resonates widely with many voters who are increasingly distrustful of elites and traditional politicians.

He finishes off by saying this:

For the political left to take on their opponents more successfully, they need to get away from the current urge to denigrate their opponents – this has proved to be a dead-end everywhere. Instead the focus has to be on defeating their actual ideas, and on fostering a focus on progressive solutions to the issues of the day. Hence, in the US at the moment, the Democrat Party has mostly learned this lesson, with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez putting forward some big ideas rather than concentrating on criticising Trump. Such successful leaders are learning to be bold, rather than petty.

His framing is straight out of Crosby Textor land.  “Liberal elites” sneering at “ordinary people” is a neat inflection of what is actually happening, resource powerful elites fooling ordinary people into thinking that they will look after ordinary people’s interests and that progressives are the real enemies.

Edwards’ complete lack of class analysis is disturbing.  The real dividing line is not cultural, it is economic.

And guess what?  The Green Party has spent all of its life being principled and advancing ideas.  This ad is the only ad that I can ever think of where it “attacked” an opponent.  And the attack was pretty lame.

National’s continuous insidious distortions of the Government’s climate change policies deserved a robust response.  Their analysis is disingenuous in the extreme and one step short of misrepresentation.  Sometimes a rational response does not feel sufficient to counter cynical manipulation of people’s fears and prejudices.

By all means lets get to a debate of ideas.  But characterising the Greens as the bad guys and National as the innocent victims after dirty politics, Crosby Textor, Dancing Cossacks  among a whole lot of other things seems to be making a rather large mountain out of a particularly small mole hill.

87 comments on “The Greens’ attack ad ”

  1. vto 1

    my 2c says good on the Greens…

    Any news headline is good for promotion, and I think the Greens should do it again. Get down in the gutter and exchange a couple of slugs with the Nats. Get a couple of headlines, get some Green names better known.

    Take a leaf out of Winston Bjeikle-Peters book… look at all the bull and crap headlines and scraps he has had over the years. Nowadays nobody will recall that bull, crap, or scraps, but they will know his name. The marketing from that bull crap and scraps has been invaluable,

    So to the Greens, get out there and into it again. And soon. Just stay away from the sneering or anything seen as arrogant.

    Get into them I say. Go for it. Do it again. Soon. Don’t wait.

  2. Booker 2

    Yeah I just saw Bryce Edwards column too, and was left wondering why we have to endure such superficial “political commentators” in NZ. Completely agree with the assessment here that his language of liberal elites etc is pure Crosby Textor; seems more like an imported analysis from the US rather than any real home grown content.

    I’m a Greens voter and haven’t seen the ad (sadly, looks quite funny). Seems that the media are up to their usual behavior and trying to make a scandal out of anything to do with politics (and particularly the Green Party). The unspoken consensus seems to be that the Greens are the moral, high ground party, so can’t engage in attack ads, even when it’s taking the micky out of the opposition’s response to current policy being developed. If National do it on the other hand, we’ll it just politics and if you can’t handle it politics isn’t for you.

    Would be good to get some media commentary or reflection on why that is the accepted norm, but commentators like Bryce seem to be unable to engage in that kind of critical thinking.

  3. The great aggregator Bryce Edwards is a bit of a worry at times. Pot calling kettle black much? :

    "…..in which it’s fashionable for liberal elites to admonish and ridicule the ordinariness and ‘uncouth’ elements of political opponents."

    Bryce Bryce Dear Boy….. it's not just the way people lampoon or ridicule linguistically or by way of comedy, but more importantly, also the way they behave towards one another.

    I suppose it keeps him on various MSM rent-a-voice goto lists though

    • woodart 3.1

      your last sentence nails it. anything that keeps a talking head in demand is fair play nowdays.

  4. vto 4

    Gotta say too, the ad is very funny, made me laugh out loud…

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    I think the best reason to pull the Bridges ad was that it wasn't particularly funny. It shouldn't have made it past drafting. There are many Gnats ripe for caricature, or overripe come to that, but such critiques need to be fresh and incisive if they are to have broad appeal.

    Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as “unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous.” And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it. ~ Ambrose Bierce

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    Have you seen the Labour ad that highlights Bridges "principles" around climate change?

    That's elegantly done, using his own words and claims.

  7. Gosman 7

    Ummm… The Greens themselves pulled the ad so they must have thought the criticisim was justified.

    • Pete 7.1

      Or means the kerfuffle wasn't worth it. After all, anything someone might have wanted to gain from it might have been reached by the fuss.

      The big mistake the Greens made was putting up an effort which was easily derided as childish and petty. We expect, National supporters expect, strategies to be far more subtle, sophisticated and dirty than that.

      Funny how the dirtmeisters and their flunkey supporters turn to cry babies so easily.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Who in the National party was complaining about the ad?

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.1.1

          Bridges himself laughed at it – making the comment that his attacks must be having an effect if the left is attacking him personally for his accent.

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.1

            I guess pretending the ad was about Bridges' accent allows right-wingers to ignore what it was actually about.

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.2

            So he wasn't complaining about the ad at all. He was quite okay with it because it highlights the effectiveness of his attacks in his view.

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I expect he was about to go on-camera to say the ad made him very angry because it exposed National's disingenous approach to environmental policy, but a spin doctor collared him at the last moment.

        • Peter 7.1.1.2

          Oh okay, none of the those who got grizzly about it were in the National party. They were simply casual supporters, astute observers who have a sense of what is right and dignified for use in the political war. People actually in the National party were busily chuckling about it all. And my mum's playing first five for the All Blacks on Saturday.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      The Greens were supportive of the ad and it's purpose, until it was pointed out to them that it could be construed to be mocking Bridges' accent, something they hadn't intended. Consequently, they pulled it. Responsible behaviour, that.

      • gsays 7.2.1

        While I agree with you and applaud the pulling of the ad, I question that it needed to be pointed out that it had a mocking tone.

  8. Fireblade 8

    I thought it was an accurate representation of Simon and a good suggestion for his new career after politics.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Chris Trotter has a look at how meritocracy takes to itself the right to demean others on the basis of class. https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-accents-of-power.html

    Twenty-first century New Zealanders are constantly reassuring themselves that their society is a meritocracy. If they apply themselves and acquire the right skills, then there is nothing to prevent them from rising to the very top of the social totem pole. By the same token: if they refuse to work hard and improve themselves, then they cannot expect to rise very high at all. Indeed, laziness and a lack of self-discipline can cause a person to fall deeper and deeper into material and moral poverty. The logic of meritocracy is unforgiving. If you have risen high in society, it’s because you have merit. If you have failed to rise, or, worse still, fallen, it’s because you lack merit. In a meritocracy, success and failure are both self-inflicted conditions.

    So he thinks that while racism is verboten, those who feel they have achieved a higher class and conform to the accompanying standards, then feel superior and scorn those below them, including those who don't speak 'roit'.

    (I am not symspathetic to Simon, but see this example of making play with his accent an example of dissociation with his real faults, which are many. I deplored ReesMogg's high-class tones yesterday, but because he wittered on about Brit standards of fairness and care that all know have been absent for some time.)

    I feel the attitudes of aristocracy have entered those of meritocracy. We are not all equal, oh no, and the complacency that flows from that has rotted the country's moral standard of caring about each other, and respect for the individual, though having to look for the good that remains. Life now is a test, and if an individual can follow the right path they are approved, and those who fall by the wayside might be lucky to find a sympathetic Samaritan*

    The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. It is about a traveller who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan happens upon the traveller. Wikipedia

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=NIV

    I think that our present attitudes prevent humanity in the 20th century from progressing through Maslow's lower levels to social belonging and wellbeing which builds community, but trying to jump past to self-centredness and individualism; intellectualising their life in the name of self-actualisation through materialism and consumption. 'Have a nice life!'

    • Stuart Munro. 9.1

      There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real. Feigning linguistic solidarity with the working poor he means to exploit is no more innocent or admirable than Key's use of talkback radio. The fake All Black fandom vanished as soon as Key's political aspirations did, and given the chance Bridges would be no more faithful – he certainly turned on JLR quick enough.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        What did you think about that former Labour Party leader, Cunliffe, with his mock Pacific Island accent when he was campaigning in Auckland?

        You surely aren't going to say that he was just putting it on are you? A true son of the left wouldn't have done any such thing I suppose.

        I think that the best description of this ad was given by John Ansell on RNZ. I suggest you listen to exactly what he said. They planned to immediately withdraw the ad. That gives them a claim, quite false of course, that they would never intentionally poke fun of his accent. They also don't have to pay to run the ad after the first couple of times, which saves them a lot of money and the MSM, including Red Radio will publicize the ad for them. Win all round for them.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018705478/greens-video-controversy-deliberate-expert

        To bad about the fools who accept the self serving rubbish from the Water Melons MPs.

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1.1

          It is a natural thing for people to assume the accent of those they speak to some degree – it signals active engagement. I rarely heard David Cunliffe speak, so I cannot verify your assertion, but it is safe to say that his courting of Pacific Island votes would have been less cynical than Simon's. The accents of camaraderie in his case are necessarily less treacherous than those of a corrupt and venal Gnat trying to seduce a population away from policies that serve their interests for the benefit of an incompetent troupe of buffoons.

          • Red Blooded One 9.1.1.1.1

            I think you're right about slight changes in accent, SM. Wasn't it Bolger who was known for his on and off American accent. None of which will placate Alwyn of course who is enjoying wallowing in his outrage.

            • alwyn 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Bolger was notorious for drifting into the manner of speaking of whoever he was talking to. It wasn't just people from the States. It was anyone.

              I wonder what he would sound like if he was talking to Boris?

              And I really don't wallow you know. For the sake of New Zealand I wanted us to have a competent lot in the Beehive. Unfortunately I was right in my judgement of their abilities when I considered who to vote for in 2018. The CoL really are a mean-spirited incompetent lot.

          • alwyn 9.1.1.1.2

            I suggest you listen to this effort by Cunliffe.
            https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+david+cunliffe+avondale+market+2011&rlz=1C1NHXL_enNZ818NZ818&oq=youtube+david+cunliffe+avondale+market+2011&aqs=chrome..69i57.25431j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            He starts off in what was his normal voice. They he drifts off into what he obviously thought was a Pacific Island's way of speaking. Try listening at about 1 minute, 30 seconds.

            As far as your comment about Bridges go it is rubbish. Bridges always talks in that way. It is about as silly as complaining about Keith Holyoake's, or Jphn Key's accents. They always spoke in the manner they used in their speechs.

          • JohnSelway 9.1.1.1.3

            " It is a natural thing for people to assume the accent of those they speak to some degree – it signals active engagement "

            Also body language. You can tell when someone is actively listening as people mimic the actions of the speaker. It was a trick I used when I used to work in sales. Get people to mimic large, open actions and they become more open to whatever you're selling. If you use small, closed body language people will feel more closed off from whatever you're selling.

            • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Accent borrowing is not always conscious. I believe it's a learned behavior, and that people with strongly different accents experience a degree of cognitive dissonance so that adopting an accent to some degree makes one more intelligible to listeners. Conscious accent borrowing can mean different things however.

      • JohnSelway 9.1.2

        " There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real. "

        Is there? Where would I find this being questioned?

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2.1

          Right here on the Standard John.

          • JohnSelway 9.1.2.1.1

            so you and…..?

            • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Just me.

              • JohnSelway

                So by "There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real" you mean you question it is real.

                But anyway – he has spoken the same way since he first came on the scene. His accent is fucking awful but it is definitely his.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  Bridges has spent the greater part of his career in the company of educated people, graduates, transacting complex matter with other educated people. The linguistic norm for such professions lies in the direction of a moderate RP, as does most academic English. It is possible that, for the purposes of persuasion, he learned to broaden that accent to communicate 'downwards' to clients or juries.

                  • JohnSelway

                    If that is the case, and it is pretty heavily speculative, he probably did it without thinking.

                    I used to work in sales and I would without thought match my lingo to whomever I was speaking with. As mentioned above Cunliffe did it that day when he was addressing the pacific island community. I don't think he did it on purpose.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Bridges could be expected, in the normal course of events, to develop a less pronounced accent. It's true he spends a great deal of time in the company of the ignorant (and backward) National caucus, but several of them pretend to some level of education also – notwithstanding their performance in government.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Yeah but he has reached an age where you pretty much have your accent and cadence pretty locked in for life. I mean, shit, look at the way Christopher Walken speaks.

                      And there are very well educated people in National. Someone not following your own politics doesn't mean they are uneducated and backward (though some of the commentators at Kiwiblog…well, they ain’t too clever. But the same could be said about some of them here too)

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      It is not so much age as culture that locks in linguistic change.

                      There may have been some educated folk in National, but clearly not calling the shots. The history of failure and decline argues against it.

                      They were big frogs in a small pond, a pond so small that Muldoon's or English's negligible economic talents could be represented, like aether, as a fact in the absence of contrary evidence. The rest of the world had no such illusions, which is why Bill English has gone on to work for Woolies Australia rather than the IMF or the like.

                    • JohnSelway

                      " There may have been some educated folk in National, but clearly not calling the shots. "

                      On the contrary – the quiet ones are the ones you need watch for. Those are the ones with the machiavellian streak on their side.

                      As to English, he was a brilliant policy wonk. And don't assume just because he works at Wollies that it is the extent of his abilities. Maybe he didn't want to uproot his family to go work so far overseas which the IMF would have no doubt required. That's a little bit of class snobbery stating he works at Wollies because he wasn't clever or talented enough to do anything else. If I said the same thing about a tradie you'd rightly call me out

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      It's a reaction to the degree he was hyped John. The MSM and the Gnats tried to sell Bill as a fucking mastermind, but his results, consistently falling short of Treasury projections, showed him to be in fact very ordinary. The average tradie doesn't run his mouth off about what a fiscal genius he is, and if he did, and didn't deliver, his own mates would be the first to take him down a peg.

                      The Key Kleptocracy was a bonfire of National credibility, and their failings should be pointed out frequently, if only to encourage the incumbents not to underperform as egregiously.

                    • JohnSelway

                      I respectfully disagree.

                      But you know, not because I think you're an idiot or anything. I just don't quite agree.

                      It happens. One thing we can agree on is that Bridges accent is so kiwi that it sounds like a paraody of what a kiwi sounds like

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    The Gnats' only growth strategy was immigration, and not quality immigration, but low wage and speculator immigration. It failed to produce productivity growth (of course), and created other problems all over the place, notably in housing. As AGT begins to bite, immigration will steadily become even less tenable as a growth strategy.

                    It takes prodigies of willing suspension of disbelief to interpret the Gnats as anything other than lazy, greedy, fools. They certainly produced no evidence to the contrary.

                    Those of us who expect, as is our democratic right, an enlightened government, are disappointed with the Coalition. The Gnats fell as far short of good governance as Nero.

  10. The likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are ridiculed not just for their reactionary politics, but also for their rather vulgar or even “common” styles and personalities.

    What a fuckwit. Trump and Johnson both come from privileged backgrounds featuring expensive private schools and lucrative careers courtesy of their fathers' connections, and yet it's supposedly me who's the "elite" here? Awesome class analysis there, dude. Yes, the "elite" are sneering at us schlubs who have to actually work for a living, but the "elite" consists of Trump, Johnson et al, not middle-class liberals.

  11. Rapunzel 11

    I don't vote Green but am not sure why they pulled it, possibly realised they were "stooping" to take that tack but by comparison it is tame compared to what comes from that ¼ incl the person featured comments and accident liking and low-brow talk about his own MPs. Love to be a fly on the wall to hear the real opinions and/or see them out in the open they would likely make your hair curl.

  12. Ad 12

    Another "emotional staffer" will hit the street.

    Time for focus on the Green delivery in government. Its campaign time not crap attack time.

    FFS.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    Leave the petty shit and attack ads for the right.

    Higher standards should be set by progressives.

    • gsays 13.1

      Well said wags.

      Foolishly, I expect leadership from those in Wellington. Upon watching the 'ad', I was left with the feeling they were taking the piss out of Bridge's speaking, not his politics.

      Reeked of playing the man not the ball.
      Edit: I see Dennis has said the same thing centimetres below and hours earlier.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    I saw James Shaw on the tv news explaining that it was negative feedback from Greens supporters on social media that resulted in the decision to pull the ad. I have no problem with political satire – would like to see more, actually – but I suspect the perception that the Greens were playing the man rather than the ball prevailed.

    Satirising simple Simon's speech seems silly stereotyping, so sucks sufficiently, sadly. The good news is that it indicates a split in the leftist Greens leadership cabal: those intent on demonising opponents whenever possible versus those who did actually mature as adults. But I hope the latter give the former some kind of media playpen in which to fool around – any propaganda with creative flair is worth the effort, and the more pertinent the better. Design in plausible deniability to prevent contamination of the greater organism, of course…

    • Gabby 14.1

      What's wrong with Slick's speech franko?

      • Dennis Frank 14.1.1

        Nothing. Dude has the right of free speech. Up to him how he uses it. Dunno where he gets the accent from. Law school?? Media ought to sic some academic linguist sleuth onto it, track down the source..

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          Perhaps the accent covers the fact that Simon comes from some exotic background. Get Professor Higgins onto it.

        • Gabby 14.1.1.2

          You reckon it's distinctive do you franko?

    • gsays 14.2

      Lovely esses there Dennis.

  15. Red Blooded One 15

    I wonder how many that are now clutching their pearls over this ad used to lower the pitch of their voices while they referred to "Uncle Helen".

    Having said that I don't think this ad was mocking his accent, just representing it. Oh they were mocking him alright, and rightly so, but not the accent.

    I wonder when the next man-splaing barbeque ad will be rolled out.

  16. Chris T 16

    Pretty humorous

    Left party try to do ad to show the right can get "triggered" as much as the left. Right just laugh and say it is funny. Heaps of left get "triggered" by it and demand Left party remove it.

    It is kind of self triggering

    • Rapunzel 16.1

      You reckon? Simon grins like a loon regardless if he's not barking at anything passing – less of a thick skin more just "thick", it certainly hurts he failed the "fan boy" test and atrracted no one he's just not letting on.

      Oh to be a fly on the wall at that particualr conference, how much room will there be for reality with the "elephant" filling the room. I feel a little for Bridges – and he will have the biggest smile painted on his face – gobble, gobble.

    • gsays 16.2

      Not a lot to argue with there Chris.

  17. One Two 17

    TG's attack ad…

    Indicates a severe lack of discernment…

    Edit: whomever(s) signed off on it…should be moved on. Swiftly.

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      whomever(s) signed off on it…should be moved on. Swiftly.

      Not so easy. The Greens preach transparency in governance. That stance would carry weight if they practiced what they preach. I bet they will take great care to evade transparency on who made the decision!!

      My guess is that it was authorised by the Executive, which is a sizable group, but I suspect approval of the caucus was deemed essential by them too. Collective responsibility works well because everyone hides behind everyone else. No visible target…

  18. CHCoff 18

    Why the F did the Greens give National their parliamentary questions then?

    Who the F do the Greens, think should be the National leader instead, do they want John Key back??

    talk about running around with your….oh well, never mind.

    Anyways, for the next stuff up, instead of the BS saloon explanations, it would be better to just say we got it wrong i'd say. Making up stuff on the hoof in the media environment doesn't really differentiate when media is not govt., & the Greens don't really need that much more of a fade to go into electoral oblivion, which would be a dis-service to the value their option provides in the process of democratic govt. to a relatively differentiated and engaged significant voting block of the NZ public.

    • Stuart Munro. 18.1

      It is in part a matter of enjoying a degree of cabinet collective responsibility, and also no doubt not fruitlessly antagonizing coalition partners. Unfortunately, as the inept Simon shows at every opportunity, the Gnats don't have the talent for rigorous questioning, and far from holding the Coalition to account they concentrate on a wankfest of gotcha nonsense.

      The public are the losers as the Gnats couldn't run a bath, much less hold a more responsible (but nevertheless by no means irreproachable) government than themselves to account.

  19. Rapunzel 19

    The fact is that the government and therefore every NZer is having to deal with a very duplicitous party who continues to to try to extract every minute perception through the use of weasel words and lying by omission in exactly the same way they did for nine years. Is it any wonder fewer and fewer people trust them, let alone to run the country?

    Read: "National plays politics while accusing Transport Minister Phil Twyford of 'playing politics'

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12252783

  20. R.P Mcmurphy 20

    Bryce Edwards if probably right but that does not alter the fact. that he is a national party suckup.

    The picture he sponnsored of Jacinda as an old person verges on reprehensible.

    • Rapunzel 20.1

      If he did he's not fit to be considered an "independent" political commentator then in a paid position in MSM. Surely, possibly he did it as an example? Did he? I used to read his columns but did feel the tone had gone a bit odd, it seems that that was the case.

  21. AB 21

    By making so much of Bridges' way of speaking, the ad just muddies the water. Basically, the Nats are opposed to any action on CC that might cost their supporters, members or donors any money. And in aggregate, this group of people are already the wealthiest sector of society. Why not just say this out loud? Are we really so afraid of talking about social/economic class?

    The Nat's method in this, as with CGT, is to focus on what software developers call 'edge cases' – rare scenarios at the margins that require lots of additional development time and add to the complexity of the software architecture if they are to be handled well. But legislators can't use that approach to edge cases – more complex legislation just spawns even more edge cases, not to mention loopholes for lawyers to drive buses through. The middle class media (MCM not MSM) happily goes to town on these marginal scenarios, undermining the whole initiative. It seems to be causing a weird form of legislative paralysis right now.

  22. Motuboy 22

    “Basically, the Nats are opposed to any action on CC that might cost their supporters, members or donors any money.”

    More correctly, the Nats (and their supporters) are against ineffective (and pure virtue signalling) actions like the exploration permit ban which will actually raise global emissions. The tax that will keep poorer people driving old dungas will probably raise NZ emissions, too, so there is plenty of fodder for Opposition.

    When these regressive actions penalise everyone with no Envinonmental benefit, only fools will support them.

    Green, Red & Woke Fools…

    • …the exploration permit ban which will actually raise global emissions.

      One can only ponder the level of cognitive dissonance it must take to hold the view that the best approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to discover and exploit new fossil fuel supplies. I had assumed that National's approach to climate change was a disingenuous one in which they fake concern about it because they're aware AGW-denial is voter repellent, but comments like this make me wonder whether might be something genuinely delusional going on.

      The tax that will keep poorer people driving old dungas…

      Then again, you read stuff like that and reconsider, because surely they're just taking the piss.

      • Incognito 22.1.1

        That commenter is new here and I have a feeling they will nail their colours to the mast in no time. In fact, they already have. As the saying goes: it will be just a matter of time …

  23. peterlepaysan 23

    When the Greens stop behaving like children and act like adults they will attract a lot more electorate respect.

    So Simon Bridges has a distinctive accent!

    We all have distinctive accents. We can all be satirised via accents or mannerisms.

    Politicians are always fair game. If the childish Green philosophy was to be truly adhered to the cartoonists would be banished, caricatures are hurtful. Diddums.

    There have been countless "send ups" over centuries using mannerisms to identify people.

    A lot of comedians must wonder what the Green Curia think about their behaviour.

    The Greens have just satirised themselves, very well.

    They should be congratulated.

    Self humiliation is pure martyrdom for a cause. Rapidly becoming obscure.

    The natz PR people would be loving it. Simon is in the news again without having to do anything.

  24. esoteric pineapples 24

    People in New Zealand, especially reporters, don’t understand what an “attack” ad is. It is an advert made and paid for, by third person or organisation attacking a political party.

  25. peterlepaysan 25

    The media, as usual. have to over egg the sponge.

    Attack ad it was not. Satire, yes.

    Hey it makes the media hacks look/ sound so important.

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  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    1 day ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
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    1 day ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
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    2 days ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    2 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
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    2 days ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Honey exporters busy meeting surging demand
    Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.   “The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers more wellbeing support for young people
    Thanks to more than $10-million in new services from the Government, more rangatahi will be able to access mental health and addiction support in their community. Minister of Health Andrew Little made the announcement today while visiting Odyssey House Christchurch and acknowledged that significant events like the devastating earthquakes ten ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government eases visa restrictions for visitors in New Zealand
    Two month automatic visitor visa extension for most visitor visa holders Temporary waiver of time spent in New Zealand rule for visitor stays Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration ...
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    6 days ago
  • Push for sustainable tourism gathers pace
    The Tourism and Conservation Ministers say today’s report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) adds to calls to overhaul the tourism model that existed prior to COVID19. “The PCE tourism report joins a chorus of analysis which has established that previous settings, which prioritised volume over value, are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government extends dietary supplements regulations
    The Government is providing certainty for the dietary supplements industry as we work to overhaul the rules governing the products, Minister for Food Safety Dr Ayesha Verrall said. Dietary supplements are health and wellness products taken orally to supplement a traditional diet. Some examples include vitamin and mineral supplements, echinacea, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to join the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime
    The Government is joining the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (the Budapest Convention), Justice Minister Kris Faafoi and Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark announced today. The decision progresses a recommendation by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack to accede to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment round in 2021 for Queen's Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker announced today that an appointment round for Queen’s Counsel will take place in 2021.  Appointments of Queen’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint Queen’s Counsel in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government support for businesses kicks in
    The new Resurgence Support Payment passed by Parliament this week will be available to eligible businesses now that Auckland will be in Alert Level 2 until Monday. “Our careful management of the Government accounts means we have money aside for situations like this. We stand ready to share the burden ...
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    1 week ago
  • Final preparations to ensure Phase 1 of the vaccination rollout is ready to go
    A dry run of the end-to-end process shows New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is ready to roll from Saturday, when the first border workers will receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The trial run took place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch yesterday afternoon, ahead of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Free Period products to be available in all schools and kura
    From June this year, all primary, intermediate, secondary school and kura students will have access to free period products, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. The announcement follows a successful Access to Period Products pilot programme, which has been running since Term 3 last ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government accounts remain in good shape
    The latest update shows the Government’s books are again in better shape than forecast, meaning New Zealand is still in a strong position to respond to any COVID-19 resurgence. The Crown Accounts for the six months to the end of December were better than forecast in the Half-year Economic and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New DOC strategy champions responsible enjoyment of the outdoors
    The Department of Conservation’s (DOC) new Heritage and Visitor Strategy is fully focused on protecting and enhancing the value of New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic heritage, while also promoting a sustainable environmental experience, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It has been a quarter of a century since DOC first developed ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to conclude its deployment to Afghanistan in 2021
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare have announced that New Zealand will conclude its deployment of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to Afghanistan by May 2021. “After 20 years of a NZDF presence in Afghanistan, it is now time to conclude ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori to Succeed in Trade – International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organi...
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. This is a special time in our country. A little over a week ago, it was the anniversary of the signature by Māori and the British Crown of Te Tiriti O Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), a founding document in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on the arrest of former dual citizen in Turkey
    The Government is in contact with relevant authorities in Turkey following the arrest of a former Australian and New Zealand dual citizen there, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Contingency planning for the potential return of any New Zealander who may have been in the conflict zone has been underway for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Household incomes rise but more work needed
    Figures released today by Stats NZ show there was strong growth in median household incomes in 2020, before surveying was halted due to COVID-19. Stats NZ found the median annual household income rose 6.9 percent to $75,024 in the year to June 2020 compared with a year earlier. The survey ...
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    1 week ago
  • Business support under COVID resurgence confirmed
    Legislation will be introduced under urgency today to set up a new Resurgence Support Payment for businesses affected by any resurgence of COVID-19. “Since the scheme was announced in December we have decided to make a change to the payment – reducing the time over which a revenue drop is ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes appointment of new WTO Director General
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor congratulated Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her ground-breaking selection as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization last night.   Dr Okonjo-Iweala will be the first female and first African Director General of the organisation.   She has a strong background in international ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on promise to working low-income families
    From 1 April 2021, people getting a benefit will be able to earn more through work before their benefit payments are affected, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Overall, around 82,900 low-income people and families will be better off by $18 a week on average,” says Carmel ...
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    1 week ago
  • First batch of COVID-19 vaccine arrives in NZ
    The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in New Zealand this morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. The shipment of around 60,000 doses arrived as airfreight at Auckland International Airport at 9.34am today. “The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s arrival allows us to start New Zealand’s largest-ever immunisation programme,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on alert level changes
    Good evening Cabinet has met this evening to make decisions on our response to the three cases reported earlier within a household in Auckland. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out some further information we now have relating to these cases. New Zealanders have enjoyed more freedoms for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First ever nationwide funding of mental health services for Rainbow young
    For the first time, the Government will provide targeted nationwide funding to services that provide mental health support to Rainbow young people Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced. The announcement fulfils an election commitment to allocate $4 million specifically targeted to Rainbow mental wellbeing initiatives aimed at young people. There ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Billion dollar milestone for regional economies
    A significant milestone in support to the regions has been passed with more than one billion dollars pumped into economic development projects to back local jobs and businesses. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash says the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) has now invested $1.26 billion in regional projects since ...
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    2 weeks ago