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The Maori Party’s commitment to democracy

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, May 16th, 2009 - 59 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, greens, labour, maori party, national/act government - Tags: ,

In an epic last-ditch defence of Aucklanders’ right to be consulted on the removal of their democracy, Labour and the Greens are currently filibustering the government’s enabling legislation in Parliament by forcing a vote on thousands of new amendments.

Their objective is simple, they want to get the bill off to a select committee and some hearings in Auckland so the people can have a say on the future of their democracy. National can delay the bill to let this happen, or they can have the opposition delay it for them.

This is an extreme situation – the government is removing people’s democratic rights under Parliamentary urgency – and unorthodox measures like this are entirely justified.

But apparently this commitment to democracy is a little too much for Tariana Turia:

Mrs Turia left the debating chamber in anger yesterday after Labour forced votes on almost 1000 largely trivial amendments to a bill to set up a transitional authority and create the Auckland Council.

After she walked out, the Maori Party did not cast votes on the remainder of the amendments Labour had put forward as part of its filibuster strategy to draw out the passage of the bill in protest against National’s use of urgency.

Mrs Turia said her party was strongly opposed to the legislation, but said Labour had taken it too far and was wasting taxpayers’ money and valuable constituency time.

“But for the first time ever, I walked out of the House totally disgusted with this behaviour, which Labour thought was very amusing.”

I’m more than happy for Labour and the Greens to use a few cents of my tax dollars to defend democracy. That’s what good oppositions do.

But then Turia has the mana of her party’s deal with National to worry about, doesn’t she? And that’s clearly more important to her than the democratic rights of Auckland Maori.

[ps. Check out channel 94 on Sky TV if you’ve got it. It’s great political theatre.]

Update: gobsmacked points out the Maori Party have continued to vote with Labour and the Greens on this. So this was just a tantrum from Tariana Turia, not a change in Maori Party policy.

59 comments on “The Maori Party’s commitment to democracy”

  1. Forgive me: what democratic rights, precisely, are being “removed”? The right to be represented by multiple layers of local government? Or is there a clause in one of these bills taking the franchise off women?

    Or is it that we’re talking about the “right” to have everything the Opposition can’t vote down in Parliament go to referendum? Can you point me towards the part of the Royal Commission’s report recommending a referendum on this stuff? Or even a draft question for such a referendum?

    Good Oppositions don’t trivialize the House, putting up joke legislation, like renaming Auckland’s Council the “Rodney Hide Memorial Council” or the “Funsized Council”—and yes, an amendment to a bill is an attempt at legislation, even if you know it’s gonna lose. It’s not the cost of this that annoys me, it’s the implicit disrespect for Parliament.

    • Anita 1.1

      Try s49 of Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act. Residents have a right to vote on reorganisations, National is taking this right away from Aucklanders.

      • s49 exists to stop councils from reorganizing themselves without mandate. Parliament has authority to do this without referendum.

        • Anita 1.1.1.1

          Parliament can give itself the authority to do just about anything without a referendum. That’s hardly an argument.

          If parliament passed a law mandating detention and execution of all left-handers would you say it’s not removed anyone’s rights?

          • BK Drinkwater 1.1.1.1.1

            Not quite sure I buy this argument, but could be persuaded.

            s49 of schedule 3 establishes a process, rather than a right per se. There are plenty of things in these bills I’m not wild about, but I think a lot of the “democracy under attack” stuff is overheated. Clearly, I need to read more, and think more about it.

            I’m not a huge fan of the bills or how the government’s been trying to handle them. I’m even less of a fan of the filibuster. It’s too tacky for words. I failed to make this clear in my original comment. Apologies.

    • Ron 1.2

      I think it’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Our democratic process is pretty straight forward and urgency bypasses it. I am a lot more concerned about the implicit disrespect shown by NACT is deciding to push through such an important bill under urgency. While they’ve talked about a referendum (I’m no fan myself and both sides drag out the referenda idea when they don’t get their way) the Opposition have more clearly said “Send this bill to Select Committee and the fillibuster stops.

      • Anita 1.2.1

        What’s wrong with passing a bill under urgency?

        I think your complaint is probably that it didn’t go to Select Committee. Bills often have stages passed under urgency, it’s a normal process. Using urgency for one or more stages of a bill doesn’t prevent Select Committee consideration.

  2. wtl 2

    Simple: The right to be able to make submissions on a piece of legislation that will affect me and more than a million other Aucklanders.

    • There’s opportunity to make as many submissions as you like on the more important bill, the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill.

      Note that the transition authority isn’t replacing the councils in Auckland at all; it’s just what its name says it is: a transition authority. Read here for the list of its “draconian” powers.

      • Anita 2.1.1

        Have you checked out Subpart 3? It dissolves the existing councils. Are you gonna tell us that this is not important?

        • BK Drinkwater 2.1.1.1

          Totally my bad. I withdraw, and beg forgiveness. Embarrassing. Will go think.

          • BK Drinkwater 2.1.1.1.1

            OK, I’ve had a better chance to read everything, and also to watch Angels and Demons; I’ve had a mixed night.

            Subpart 3 dissolves the existing councils on November 1, 2010, i.e. in time for the new Auckland council to have an election. That’s a little bit different to “the councils get dissolved and the transitional authority becomes all-powerful immediately”.

  3. outofbed 3

    Or the right of R Hide to oversee every tiny bit of spending of the democratically elected Auckland councils for the next 18 months
    The transition authority gives Hide draconian power
    3% of the vote WTF??

  4. outofbed 5

    Yeah resume at 2pm fascinating stuff
    I have a new found respect for Mallard

  5. felix 6

    It should be noted that Pita Sharples arrived in the house last night and cast votes on behalf of the maori party – I think he was casting 3 votes each time?

    So there would seem to be some disagreement in the maori party on whether to support the filibuster.

    The greens were only casting 4 or 5 of their votes too. I guess when you’re in bed with the governing party you can’t rock the boat too much, eh?

  6. outofbed 7

    The greens were only casting that number of vote because they were the only green Mps in the parliament at that time

    • felix 7.1

      Um, no. Meteria was the only green mp in the house at the time. The votes were split, as the maori party’s were.

      • gingercrush 7.1.1

        139 Procedure for party vote
        (1) In a party vote—
        (a) the Clerk asks the leader of each party or a member
        authorised by the leader to cast the party’s votes; parties are
        asked to vote in the order of the size of their parliamentary
        membership:
        (b) a party’s votes may be cast for the Ayes or for the Noes or
        recorded as an abstention, and a party may cast some of its
        votes in one of these categories and some in another or
        others (a split-party vote):
        (c) the total number of votes cast for each party may include
        only those members present within the parliamentary
        precincts together with any properly authorised proxy votes:
        (d) after votes have been cast by parties, any Independent
        member and any member who is voting contrary to his or
        her party’s vote may cast a vote; finally, any proxy vote for
        a member who is voting contrary to his or her party may
        be cast:
        (e) the Speaker declares the result to the House.

        151 Casting of proxy vote
        (1) A proxy vote may be cast or an abstention recorded on a party or
        personal vote only by the person who has authority to exercise it.
        In the case of any dispute, the member exercising a proxy must
        produce the authority to the Speaker.
        (2) In the case of a party vote, proxies may be exercised for a number
        equal to no more than 25 percent of a party’s membership in
        House, rounded upwards where applicable, but at least one proxy
        may be exercised for a party.
        (3) In the case of a party vote, proxy votes may be exercised for a
        party consisting of two or three members only if at least one of the
        members of that party is within the parliamentary precincts at the time

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          and…?

          • gingercrush 7.1.1.1.1

            Well the reason Maori Party were casting 3 votes was one Maori MP in the house. And two other votes making up the 25%.

            In regards to the Greens. One in the house. 4 or 5 votes making up the 25%.

            I’m sure Graeme could explain it all easily. But as you often point out. I’m not that smart.

          • felix 7.1.1.1.2

            Oh I see, thanks. I still think you’re a daywalker though.

          • Graeme 7.1.1.1.3

            A party may cast a vote on a party vote for each of their members who is within the parliamentary precinct (the Beehive, Bowen House, the House, Parliamentary Library etc.); they can also cast votes for up to 25% of their members who are not with the precinct.

            This means that, if National is casting 58 votes, then at least 44 of their members are within the precinct. If the Maori Party are casting 4 votes, that means 2 of their members are away. On those occasions where Labour is casting 25 votes, this implies 27 members are away from the House (10 for whom they can cast proxies, and 17 for whom they cannot).

            I say “implies” because I’ve been wondering for a while now whether Labour have been deliberately voting low despite having at least 32 of its members within the precincts so that National will let some of its members go out/home, and then Labour could cast all its votes and defeat the bill…

  7. outofbed 8

    I guess when you’re in bed with the governing party you can’t rock the boat too much, eh?
    Yeah we are in bed with the Governing party that’s why we put out this

    The Green New Deal


    co authored by Gerry Brownlee

    • felix 8.1

      I understand the point you’re trying to make but it’s absurd for you to deny that we’re in bed with the nats.

      And when you get in bed with the nats, you get fucked.

  8. Swampy 9

    Labour, and everyone else, know full well that there is going to be a full select committee process and public submissions and everything happening with the rest of the laws coming in, getting this one together quickly without a long drawn out select committee process is an obvious move just to get the ball rolling. And that is mostly what it is about. The Transitional Agency does not abolish the elected councils. It does not say what the council is going to look like. It just sits there to keep an eye on things until the rest of the process which will have full public submissions coming in has happened. The elected councils will be going about their business as usual with some additional compliance requirements with the Transitional Agency. So this is all nonsense.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      To get the ball rolling (or stop it completely) is what the referendum that we’re supposed to have by law is for not undemocratic bills passed by petty dictators under urgency.

    • r0b 9.2

      Labour, and everyone else, know full well that there is going to be a full select committee process and public submissions and everything

      We know full well it will be a meaningless charade. This government has been very clear right from the start that it doesn’t intend to listen:

      But Mr Hide made it clear those who opposed the plans for the Super City and how it was being structured should prepare to be disappointed.

      Also:

      Auckland Mayor John Banks said Mr Hide was prepared to listen to everyone who had something sound and sensible to add to the debate. “The structure of the proposition won’t change. What will happen now is we’re going to get a coalition of agreement on how we should build more democracy into those community boards.

      Mmmm yes, community boards with no powers. Very democratic.

      This profound arrogance already makes a mockery of the promised select committee process and “public consultation”. They are already trying to force that process to be so narrow as to be meaningless – according to this National party press release:

      The second Bill will go through a select committee process ending in September. Among other things, it will lay out the structure of the Auckland Council and the Local Boards, and make the Local Government Commission responsible for deciding boundaries. The third Bill will deal with more of the details. As the second and third Bills go through select committee, Aucklanders will get a chance to have a say about the region’s structure.

      If you feel strongly, I urge you to contribute to this process. I’m interested to know what you think about the number of at-large councillors and the responsibilities you think the Local Boards should have.

      That’s it. Nothing about the powers of the new uber-mayor. Nothing about the local councils (recommended by the royal Commission and dumped by John Key). Nothing about the gutted Social Issues Board. No, that’s all decided. Comment is called for only on stuff that doesn’t matter. “Consultation” National style.

  9. Nick 10

    This bill is simply about putting the transition board into place as recommended by the Royal Commission. You don’t need a select committee process for that. Is Labour against that Royal Commission recommendations? Or just the ones they can’t implement?

    I would have liked a select committee process for the bill passed under urgency by Labour validating, retrospectively, unlawful election spending at 2005 election. You spent $800K of our money then, unlawfully, and your wasting $700K of our money daily on this filibustering.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      I really do wish you RWNJ would stop and think for a change. The 800k wasn’t against the law as it was understood until the GG changed the rules after the election.

      I’d prefer to spend 700k/day on keeping our democracy than to throw it away the way NACT want us to.

    • Anita 10.2

      Any evidence of the “$700k”? Or was it just a rhetorical device?

    • Quoth the Raven 10.3

      Nick – Did you forget about National’s “GST miscalculation”?

  10. Swampy 11

    Now what is really happening here?
    1. Most of the amendments being put up by Labour are totally frivolous, like the different names being suggested for the city council. These are all separate amendments to the same clause. Labour cannot have any credibility with either the frivolousness, or contradiction, of the amendments.

  11. outofbed 12

    some additional compliance requirements with the Transitional Agency.
    Like what ?How much is it going to cost ? Why only 4 members of the Transitional Authority,? Who chooses them? who do they answer to /
    etc etc

  12. Swampy 13

    2. The issue is not attracting much attention outside Parliament and political blogs, frankly. It is not the issue Labour makes it out to be. And that means any sane person has to look hard at what it is really about, and what it is really about, is that Labour perceives its own power base in Auckland to be under attack. Probably there is a lot of truth in that, but it is very self seeking for Labour to put up all this nonsense, they need to learn that they really are the opposition, and that they lost the election.

    I’m waiting for Labour to lose the next election, as will obviously be necessary, for them just to get it into their head. They are in opposition, they lost the election, and they should stop their arrogance and behave themselves. This filibustering is pretty well unprecedented in NZ. Labour has to remember they put through a whole pile of even more controversial legislation under urgency in their own time, and there was not the huge delaying tactics that they are putting up to this legislation. This is just totally childish stupidity by the Labour Party.

    • felix 13.1

      Careful, you’re criticizing the National party’s filibustering while in opposition.

      Go do some reading before you embarrass yourself further.

  13. Swampy 14

    It is all under public scrutiny and will be under huge political scrutiny.

  14. Swampy 15

    What obviously matters to Tariana is that Labour is wasting time and money, they are not going to stop the Bill from being passed.

    If the Opposition doesn’t like the law, their role is to produce constructive worthwhile amendments to it. I’d love to see what reason George Hawkins gave for the multiple contradictory amendments to the council’s name for example. Those are the waste of time.

    Now the fact is that Parliament is a court, and that kind of time wasting is not allowed in any other court in the country. This is a debate on a law. It is not a General Debate, and as such it is supposed to be about constructive process of forming a law, which is not what Labour is doing.

  15. dave 16

    ….. therefore Labour has got no right to moan about democracy when it is trying to subvert the democratic process – ie, we have a parliament that’s main aim is to pass laws. If parts of parliament don’t like the law, or the porcess, they can either vote against it or provide constructive amendments.

  16. gobsmacked 17

    Public opinion, a guide for beginners:

    1) Number of people whose votes in the Auckland council elections 2010, and parliamentary elections 2011, will be influenced by:

    – the ‘Super City’ legislation
    – the rushing through of the legislation
    – the lack of an opportunity to express their views on the legislation
    – the cost of the legislation
    – the consequences of the legislation
    – the candidates who supported all of the above

    Thousands.

    2) Number of people whose votes in the Auckland council elections 2010, and parliamentary elections 2011, will be influenced by:

    – filibuster tactics in May 2009 which they barely noticed and have long since forgotten

    Approximately nil.

    If National/ACT (and their troops on here) don’t understand that, I can’t help them.

    • felix 17.1

      You can’t help them anyway until they accept that they need help.

      • gobsmacked 17.1.1

        Perhaps the Auckland rates bill 2011 (aka NACT’s suicide note) will include “water, sewage and filibustering”?

        Money, it’s the only language they understand.

  17. Swampy 18

    Oh, and try reading the legislation:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2009/0035-1/latest/versions.aspx

    There is hardly anything in it. The guts of it is to be filled out by the rest of the legislation that is going to the select committee.

  18. gobsmacked 19

    Incidentally, the Maori Party have been voting consistently with the opponents..

    Eddie’s post is out of date. It was a Tariana-tantrum, not a change in the party’s stance.

  19. burt 20

    Eddie

    When National were filibustering over the EFB it was a bad and childish thing. Why is it a good thing now Labour are doing it ?

    • lprent 20.1

      Because at the time National were supporting electoral reform, but were unable to prevail in select committee with their arguments. In the post you referenced…

      No Right Turn has picked up on this too, and sums up the situation well:

      These are not the actions of a serious, responsible party truely interested in reform. Rather, they are the actions of a self-interested party eager to please its rich mates and rort and abuse the electoral process to buy their way to power, just as they tried to do in 2005.

      In this case Labour, the Greens, and the Maori Party are saying that there has been no consultation through a select committee. This bill changes the governance of Auckland BEFORE any consultation has taken place

      burt: Do you think that select committees should be bypassed and legislation that changes the biggest city should be rammed through under urgency?

      • burt 20.1.1

        No, select committee should not be bypassed. NRT cracks me up, no wonder comments are not able to be made there.

        Not many people would say “rort and abuse the electoral process to buy their way to power, just as they tried to do in 2005.” with reference to National and expect to be taken seriously.

        • r0b 20.1.1.1

          NRT is completely correct Burt. There was a reason Don Brash had to step down, if you recall, and that reason was the public outrage at National’s tactics in the 2005 election…

  20. gingercrush 21

    WTF is a daywalker?

  21. dave 22

    it is because Labour is doing it. And Eddie is a Labour person

    • lprent 22.1

      Interesting – where did he say that? You can provide a link? Tim over at Tumeke thinks that he is, but like you, without any particular reason or evidence.

      That gets perilously close to being an attack on one of my posters on their own site. Read the policy. You know how seriously I take offense to that type of attack.

  22. Swampy 23

    Ah yes Gobsmacked, but effectively Labour has launched its campaign to win the 2010 Auckland Council and Mayoralty elections. That is what the whole process will be about. I hope they lose. I hope that in 2010 people remember how the Labour campaign was launched and how bitter and divisive the Labour Party’s tactics were.

    I think that most of what the Opposition is claiming for this piece of legislation is all a load of rubbish. John Key is a sensible politician who is not about to sign his electoral death warrant. He has shown that time and time again up to this point. He is clever enough to see that the best political outcome is to be able to show how bitter and divisive Labour was throughout the whole process (as it will be, it is scarcely credible with this huge campaign on a trivial piece of legislation that they are going to cool down for the rest of it) which will cost them dearly in 2010 council elections and 2011 national elections.

    So not a lot of cleverness for Labour, not a lot of intelligence, has been Hodgson needs to make way for some new political strategy.

  23. jarbury 24

    So the bill is now seriously referes to Auckland as Tamaki Makau Rau? A Rodney Hide amendment…. bizarre.

    And the Maori Party voted against the amendment… even more bizarre.

    • Lew 24.1

      Jarbury,

      And the Maori Party voted against the amendment even more bizarre.

      Not that bizarre, since Tāmaki Makaurau doesn’t refer to all of Auckland; only to the isthmus and immediately adjoining areas.

      L

  24. Burt – Did you read the post you linked to. It is clearly attacking Bill English saying one thing then doing another. He said they would not filibuster, and they did. simple. Don’t start inventing your own history.

  25. Swampy – “This filibustering is pretty well unprecedented in NZ”

    What!!! hahahahahahaha you are kidding right? Try reading any history of the New Zealand Parliament.
    I suggest John E. Martin’s ‘The House’

  26. dave 27

    lprent If I provided a link I`ll be banned. So perhaps I`d better not do that, because you`ll view that as an attack on one of your own posters – and I don’t do that sort of thing. particularly as you said my last post was “perilously close to being an attack”. which of course it wasn’t.

  27. It’s pretty much over now: the bill’s in third reading. A big batch of amendments from Jacinda Ardern ruled out of order by Rick Barker.

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    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    5 days ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    6 days ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    7 days ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    1 week ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bloody Great Political Story (From A Parallel Universe).
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
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    2 weeks ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
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