The Herald soils its pulpit

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, July 31st, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: human rights, law and "order", Media - Tags: ,

Thundering from the pulpit is a fine old editorial tradition, and The Herald has often held forth on the rule of law. Starting with the basics:

The law must be upheld…

The law matters, as The Herald feels perfectly comfortable pointing out to those it feels need the advice:

If the law is enforced impartially and professionally, people feel confidence in, and allegiance to, a state. If, however, [it isn’t] the rule of law is undermined, and anarchy is a logical prospect.

The law applies to everyone:

…those who make the laws should not break them – any of them.

And a very timely reminder:

But public opinion does not decide whether the law has been broken: the courts do.

This one isn’t an editorial, but it certainly makes an important point:

But the law is the law and the failure of the responsible authorities to comply with the letter, let alone the spirit, of the act raises the question of “who regulates the regulators”.

You get the idea. Ten minutes with Google will turn up many more examples. It’s Motherhood and Apple Pie stuff. Who could disagree? Which is why I was so surprised and disappointed when The Herald soiled it’s pulpit so badly on Wednesday:

Minister right to give public all the facts

There you go. Minister right to break the law. Easy as that (for a National government of course). And it gets worse:

The crux of this issue is whether the information now released by Ms Bennett is relevant to their case, or merely an attempt to intimidate, as critics say.

Ahh – no. The crux of the matter is, did the Minister break the law. And it certainly seems that she is in violation of the Cabinet Manual, the Privacy Commission guidelines, and the Privacy Act. So shame on you, Herald editorialist, for your cavalier disregard for the law, and for your mealy mouthed sucking up to National’s excuses. That editorial was a disgrace.
–r0b

52 comments on “The Herald soils its pulpit ”

  1. vto 1

    I read that editorial and thought it made a lot of sense.

    But laws should certainly not be broken – and no doubt if it transpires that a law was broken Bennett will suffer the consequences (unless Key performs as Clark often did at times like this)

    • snoozer 1.1

      And you will vehemently oppose him if he does.

      But I’m trying to think of time when a Labour minister was found to have broken the law and wasn’t sacked… any clues?

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Dalziel wasn’t sacked because of a breach of Privacy. She was sacked due to the fact she was caught out in a lie regarding leaking of information.

  2. Gosman 2

    This is not playing out how you on the left would like it.

    You might very well be right about the legality of the issue but politics is about more than legal issues.

    Bennett might very well get found out by the Privacy Commisioner to have breached the law but if she increases the popularity of the government as a result of her actions then it is unlikely she will get anything more than a slap on the wrist.

    You might not like this, and by all means keep pushing the line that this is somehow the end of democracy as we know it in NZ, but unfortunately for you the reality is this is not something that will cause much long term problems for the Government.

    • snoozer 2.1

      So, breaking the law is OK as long as it suits your political agenda. Oh, OK!

      • burt 2.1.1

        Yes tha appears to be how it works. Partisan people support it in their own team and go crazy when the other team do it.

  3. Maggie 3

    Expecting a newspaper to support an individual’s right to privacy is like asking a fox to vote for stronger chicken coops.

    An interesting spin from the Right this morning: Doesn’t matter if its legal so long as its popular. Gosman has a very low opinion of this current government, it seems.

  4. Relic 4

    It will be interesting to revisit Gos prediction in a few months time. Bennett’s apparent offending should be pursued to the end of all available processes and forums.
    a) because it is the correct thing to do in any event and..
    b) precisely to demonstrate to the squawk back hordes and online snipers that objective reality does matter

  5. The Herald shows it has grasped at the core issue but that it is unable to navigate the ethics and jurisprudence.

    I have just blogged on this issue myself, the core issue is that the state is not above the law. The state must follow the Privacy Act and keep the promises it makes in its contracts. If it does not like a law or a contractual term then there are proper steps to deal with this – unilaterally breaking the law is not acceptable.

    It doesn’t matter is Labour did it/would do it using some other method. If it wrong then it stays wrong when Labour does it too – someone else doing it does not make it right.

    The other issues are all secondary to this fundamental one.

    I am somewhat libertarian. I do not share the political views of the writers at the Standard. I am opposed to state funded welfare, I absolutely agree that the amount people on benefits are paid is information the public, who is paying for it, should have access too but I will not overlook a government acting as if it is above the law because it suits my politics.

    Feel free to stop by MandM (my blog) and read what I have to say on the matter. Sadly,you will not find many right wing bloggers saying the same thing.

  6. vto 6

    I been away and no doubt this issue has been thrashed to bits on here. But some 2c says that, as Gosman says, whether or not a law has been breached is quite immaterial to most all NZers on this matter.

    This issue slices right to the heart of the nature of the welfare state in NZ today. This glimpse confirms what many people get very irate about – namely those on welfare often getting more money than those who work to pay for those on welfare. It exposes what is an inherent unfairness. It grates. And it wont go away until certain unfairness in the system is purged, despite the extreme left bleating on about beneficiary bashing and talkback radio punterness.

    • Derek 6.1

      It won’t be immaterial when the next Labour government uses this precedent to release IRD information on anyone who complains about their tax policies, or releases the medical records of people who complain about the health system.

      • vto 6.1.1

        I’ve got it! They should simply retrospectively change the law to make that which is illegal legal. I seem to recall a Helen Clark precedent along those lines…

        no?

        • Derek 6.1.1.1

          So now you’re descending to burt’s level of argument. I’ll take that as an admission you’ve got nothing to bring to the debate other than to run cover for National’s abuse of power.

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            exactly. it is a waste of debate given that ALL parts of the political spectrum indulge in it.

            Helen Clark. Paula Bennett. all the same..

          • SJ Hawkins 6.1.1.1.2

            Actually Derek you just used the exact same argument.

        • roger nome 6.1.1.2

          vto/Burt:

          Labour bad, National good? btw – the Auditor-General changed the conventional interpretation of the law, Labour simply restored the convention by closing the loop hole which was unpicked by the AG’s judicial activism.

    • Relic 6.2

      Uninformed mob rule by talk back bears little resemblence to well informed majority decision making. I for one am not going to be voted off the island by such oafs. That is why the Herald editorial is a shocker. It is a laugh when righties call for no welfare and a minimal state, they always draw the line at cops, jails and armed forces to protect their sorry arses. Abolish welfare? fine, I hope you enjoy your next car jacking at the traffic lights.

      • vto 6.2.1

        what are you on about mr relic? your post is a horrible tangled morass of assumptions and smelly generalisations.

        in fact you sound like talkback yourself

    • snoozer 6.3

      most people on welfare do not get this much. These women have several kids (in fuller’s case several chronically ill kids) to raise, that’s why they are entitled to extraa. Unless you would have the kids starve.

      And I note that she gets $35K a year to support herself, 3 daughters, 2 of them with medicial conditions, and try to do training to get off the benefit. it’s hardly a fortune

      • vto 6.3.1

        I realise that but you miss the point. Point being people who work to pay for these women very often get less themselves. With similar stress points in the fambly budget.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.3.1.1

          Very true vto.

          Does that mean though, that they(we) are right to think that beneficiaries therefore get too much?

          • vto 6.3.1.1.1

            In some cases yes absolutely. Others I’m sure not.

            When a working family gets less than the same family not working then yes.

            And imo it is this point which is causing the public to not mind Bennetts transgression. The bigger issue of who’s paying and who’s getting what and the relative equity has risen to the surface.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Could it not be that wages are too low?

            • SPC 6.3.1.1.1.2

              What a lot of nonsense – this perpetuation of the myth that there are more generous amounts paid on the benefit as compared to wages. That may have been true back in the 1990’s when minimum wages were low, but Labour changed that. .

              The minimum wage is $12.50 an hour – so the minimum wage is $25,000 for any single worker.

              If that worker has a partner and/or children they are eligible for WFF support which is GREATER than that available for a person on a benefit.

              Advocates for beneficiaries note that it is in families where there is no working adult that child poverty continues to exist because they are excluded from the MORE generous WFF provision.

              It is however hard to quantify a case by case comparison because of variables. The level of accomodation allowance (also available to working families) and support for sick children are not specified in the bald figures $500 (no more than the minimum wage for a single person and to support a parent + child/children) or $700 (a parent and 3 children – 2 sick).

              I think I can say that any adult on the minimum wage and renting a house for them and their 3 children would be on more than $700 under WFF.

        • roger nome 6.3.1.2

          Really? Can you please show me an example? I find that very hard to beleive.

      • Pat 6.3.2

        $35K net, after tax, in the hand etc

        Whilst I would agree it is not a fortune to try and raise a family on, it exposes the wider welfare debate.

        1. As vto points out, it grates with people in similar family circumstances but who are working fulltime and earning similar or less.
        2. Does such a person end up being welfare dependent because her prospects of getting a job that earns more money than this are slim (e.g. the original training allowance issue).
        3. Where are the serial sires i.e. fathers and do they escape financial liability too easily.

        At the butt ends of the debate spectrum are Douglas and Bradford. It is best to ignore both of them and let the normal humans engage in the debate to find a way forward.

    • Maggie 6.4

      What’s the “certain unfairness” vto? Are you arguing that anyone on welfare should never be paid any more than the lowest paid worker?

      Is the politics of envy at work here? I thought that was a crime of the left, not the right.

      This argument is based on the belief that people on welfare don’t work and contribute nothing to society. A solo Mum bringing up three kids isn’t a worker, apparently. It is the simplistic belief that the only valuable work in society is paid work.

      This is the argument that people on welfare are lesser human beings than those who are not on welfare. That a beneficiary has no entitlement to either dignity or privacy.

      • vto 6.4.1

        No maggie that is not my point at all. The unfairness is when, all else being equal, the working family gets less than the non-working family. Its very simple.

        • Maggie 6.4.1.1

          So, vto, your position is that a family on welfare with three kids should never be paid any more than the lowest paid working family with three kids.

          Why? Because its unfair.

          Why is it unfair? Because people paid to work are more valuable than people who do unpaid work.

          Sounds like a straight lift from the ACT handbook.

          • vto 6.4.1.1.1

            sheesh maggie, of course. And who said anything about “doing unpaid work”?

            A man gets disgruntled when he toils all day and finds that his pay packet is raided to pay for his neighbour, who is not working and is in the same circumstances, and his neighbour gets more then he does

            I’m not sure how else to explain such a basic human trait. Do you think this disgruntlement is not a reality?

          • vto 6.4.1.1.2

            one other thing maggie. Value is measured in many many ways, not just financial remuneration. For example, Mums are pretty much the most valued members of society (along with some others). Their value is reflected in many many many ways. It would be a sorry day if the value of Mums was solely exhibited through money money money.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.4.1.1.2.1

              I’m sure we’ve all noticed the love, over these last few days..

            • vto 6.4.1.1.2.2

              ha ha, quite so mr bookie

            • roger nome 6.4.1.1.2.3

              “Mums are pretty much the most valued members of society (along with some others). Their value is reflected in many many many ways.”

              Such as? would you be happy to accept these forms of remuneration for the paid work you do?

            • vto 6.4.1.1.2.4

              Have you not got a mum mr nome?

              noodle

  7. burt 7

    did the Minister break the law

    Ask the minister if she did. I hear lots of support comes from this site for minsiters who decide they didn’t break the law and that we should move on.

    Ha… Who needs the courts when parliament is the supreme law maker and understands the intent of the law much better than any court.

    • snoozer 7.1

      ” I hear lots of support comes from this site for minsiters who decide they didn’t break the law and that we should move ”

      examples?

      or just what you want to believe to justify your own support for someone who has broken the law and trampled on people’s rights?

      Bennett is not all of Parliament. Parliament hasn’t ruled on whether or not Bennett broke the law, and it’s not that institution’s role to do so.

      By your logic in the second paragraph, which directly contradicts the first paragraph, an MP could never break the law, which is clearly not the case.

      • felix 7.1.1

        burt’s pretty sure that everyone here said “move on” about some horrible thing once but he can never seem to remember where when asked.

        It definitely happened though.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The news cycle moves along in days, or hours.

    The legal process does not. It takes its time. Paula Bennett is in serious trouble with the law. Not being today’s lead story makes no difference to that fact.

    But, to make things easier, here’s a cut-out-and-copy-later comment for the dittoheads. Feel free to use this when Bennett loses her job:

    “John Key … decisive leadership … Bennett liability … had to go … high standards … something about Winston Peters … stupid woman … never liked her anyway … outrageous behaviour … well done John Key for sacking her …”

    (You’re welcome).

    • Gosman 8.1

      Bennett is not in serious trouble with the law unless you are saying that the penalty for a breach of the Privacy act includes jail time and she is likely to be given the maximum for her actions.

      Now putting on your sensible and rational hat here, (a bit of a stretch for some I must admit;-)), do you really think Bennett is going to get anything more than a strongly worded telling off if it is proved she broke the law?

        • Pat 8.1.1.1

          Exactly Gos. If required Key will wet the bus ticket to give her a good old slapping, but he isn’t going to sack her for this.

          BTW – Good to see you fighting in the same trench for a change.

          Pat (ex SM Michael)

        • Gosman 8.1.1.2

          So a liberal law lecturer posts an opinion that Bennett could be sued and suddenly it becomes a fact?

          If it did happen it would just feed her support because it would paint the person suing her as more of a money grubbing individual.

          BTW Didn’t Lianne Dalziel get sued for her actions with that Sri Lankan woman? What happened in that case.

          (Nice to see you too Pat/Michael)

      • Maggie 8.1.2

        Well, Gosman, I guess what sanctions are applied to Paula Bennett if she has found to have broken the law will depend on the integrity of the current government.

        In other words, don’t hold your breath.

        • Gosman 8.1.2.1

          Yeah keep up with that line and perhaps you can convinced a couple of hundred people of the correctness of your view. In the meantime Bennett will have got the support of many many more who, while not agreeing with her methods, think she was right to highlight the amount of money these two women were receiving from the state.

    • SJ Hawkins 8.2

      Hmm, here’s the other version for the dittoheads should the privacy commissioner find Bennett not guilty.
      “We told you so”

  9. dave 9

    perhaps we can have a law that means that politicians can break the privacy act, but specify in that law that police have discretion as to whether to prosecute if it thinks that such lawbreaking should not attract the attention of prosecutors. But to do that police will have to prosecute ministers and, at least until Nov 2008, they have been above the law.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    If the law is enforced impartially and professionally, people feel confidence in, and allegiance to, a state. If, however, [it isn’t] the rule of law is undermined, and anarchy is a logical prospect.

    We wish.

  11. SPC 11

    The Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett (approved of by the PM) behaved in the breach of privacy matter in a similar way to the former government when they used Leaders Funds during the 2005 campaign.

    As we know the Herald supported the Auditor General in upholding standards for the party in government (and other political parties) on that occasion.

    I guess the Herald only believes in the operation of standards applying to all only some of the time. Or in other words – they support some of the people being above and beyond accountability, some of the time.

    This has parallels to the issue of provocation – apparently it’s a matter of how dare people on benefits challenge their betters/bosses in government (this being the provocation). The Herald is as reliant as the government for prejudice against beneficiaries for acceptance of their party line. Just as the provocation defence before a jury often only works where there is prejudice against the victim.

    Normally the media takes issue with any sign of hypocrisy and exposes this to the public. But here where a Minister is posed as a former DPB recipient now in a successful career, and a case of the government preference for a hand up not a hand out has worked – decides to take away the MInisters own career path the TIA. This very Minister presided over the change in policy.

    Now imagine what would happen if the ex state house tenant John Key was PM of a government which decided to return to market rents … and those unable to afford this and in state houses protested. Would his Housing Minister release details of the tenants involved as part of the political debate.

    If a company asks for a lower tax rate, will it’s IRD details be released to the media or are some details protected by privacy because National respects them, but not those dependent on the state for income or housing support.

    If that does not declare a double standard of citizenship before the law in this country and accepted by the media estate (Herald and Dom Post), what does?

    It smacks of discrimination based on employment/class status (and lets note the Law Commission itself supports age discrimination against voting sovereign citizens of age 18 and 19). Instead of being affirmed the Bill Of Rights/Human Rights Act of this country is being continually challenged.

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  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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