The Natives are Getting Uppity

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, March 29th, 2022 - 33 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, colonialism, defence, Diplomacy, FiveEyes, International, jacinda ardern, Pacific, Peace - Tags:

Jacinda Ardern is “gravely concerned.” Peeni Henare was ‘”caught off-guard.”. Barnaby Joyce feels “intimidated.” Solomon Islands PM Sogavare found it “insulting to be branded as unfit to  manage our sovereign affairs.” I think he is right.

Where are all those fine words about democracy we love to preach to others? This is the 21st century, not the 19th, and the independent Solomon Islands government is entitled to make its own arrangements as it sees fit. This doesn’t sound to me like the “new net” going fishing in the Pacific, rather the old net bottom-dredging. Neo-colonialism under the security blanket.

The draft agreement between the Solomon Island and China apparently states:

“China may, according to its own need and with the consent of Solomon Islands, make ship visits, carry out logistical replenishment in, and have stopover and transition in Solomon Islands, and the relevant forces of China can be used to protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in Solomon Islands.”

I can see why both the Solomons and China may have an interest in protecting the safety of Chinese personnel and projects. Riots in Honiara last year targeted the Chinese community, and China does take an interest in and look after the safety and concerns of its diaspora. I’m not at all surprised that the Solomons government would appreciate the help of Chinese police and defence personnel is assisting them to keep order. I am sure the Chinese community there will also appreciate it.

Predictably, Taiwan lobbyist Anne-Marie Brady was all over the Australian media ramping this up as “poking the panda.“. In her view, everything China does to protect the interests of its diaspora is malign. But ship visits do not a naval base make – we know this as the  destroyer USS Howard crept into Wellington harbour late last year. The politicians, the pundits and the lobbyists on both sides of the Tasman have gone way overboard on this issue. It does them no credit.

Personally, I’m far more concerned about the Australian government’s proposals to build bases for their nuclear submarines on the east coast of Australia. That will do far more to destabilise the Pacific than a few ship visits to Honiara, or some China-friendly police training. Also, the prevailing winds are westerly.

33 comments on “The Natives are Getting Uppity ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    Australia (and NZ too for that matter) haven't always been as good friends of the Pacific as they might have been. Had we been, we might have more reason to protest. If China is behaving with what was typical circumspection before Xi began rattling sabres over Taiwan, there is nothing to be concerned about. China has not been inspired to join or emulate the Putin approach thus far – in fact they seem to be distancing themselves from it.

    Shirvan of Caspian Report floats an issue NZ might need to concern itself with New Zealand at the centre of big power play – YouTube – but unless there are solid indications the Solomons are the thin edge of that particular wedge, we ought to be careful not to overdo the colonial era presumptions.

  2. Peter 2

    I liked the comment about China looking after the safety and concerns of its diaspora. And will do it in its own way of course.

    I presume Hong Kong is part of that diaspora. How's that "looking after" going?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Or the Chinese diaspora in Australia and NZ for that matter. A very convenient principle this is.

      What shits me is that if it was a western nation doing exactly the same thing, Smith would be predictably ranting anti-imperialist lines. Indeed this is exactly the window of opportunity the CCP has exploited here – because Aus and NZ have not gone in full noise neo-colonial and have to a large degree respected the sovereign operation of the Solomon Is govt – it left the door open for the CCP to buy them outright.

      • Blazer 2.1.1

        You either respect independence and sovereignty or you …don't.

        Speculation on what M.S may or may not say if X or Y occurs does not bolster your…argument,whatsoever.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.2

        Well RedLogix, unless you have discovered time travel–who knows what Mike Smith might say in future?

      • Mike the Lefty 2.1.3

        Neither did China seem to care much about its diaspora when Chinese businesses were sacked during the Tongan riots of 2006. But perhaps Tonga wasn't strategically important enough for them to give a toss.

        The Chinese government doesn't do anything out of benevolence, but only if it involves money and power – mostly for the benefit of China.

        I suppose I could be accused of being racist and anti-Chinese, but I have a Chinese spouse and relatives who have told me the same thing more than once.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Agree with Mike Smith on this one. The usual Sinophobic suspects, and rather obscure NATO and US sponsored think tanks and associations are now appearing in media channels.

    NZ, and Australia in particular, have hardly covered themselves in glory over the years with the 5 Eyes backdrop always present in relations with Pacific nations.

    And who is kidding who about imperialist threats–as far as us ordinary people can know via internet search, US Imperialism has approx 750 acknowledged off shore bases and military facilities, PRC perhaps 5!

  4. SPC 4

    That's good of them Rio Tinto relied on Indonesian troops to loot Western Papua.

    Now given that the local administration of one of the islands wants nothing to do with China …

  5. Byd0nz 5

    Ho Hum. Well it could be that a ‘New’ New World Order is coming with China at it’s core. Certainly would be better than the stale’ World Order’ run by the US that has only benefited the rich one percent of the World and after all this time the gap has widened to a chasm.
    This restless native of planet Earth is getting uppity(someone’s nose)

    Surely with the multi billions of weapon construction and sales that represent waste and war, that money could have been used for maintaining infrastructure and the well being of the Worlds’ people. This ‘New’ New World Order could not do worse, coz there’s no worse than worse and the US World Order is certainly the worst.

  6. Ad 6

    Hearing their PM say they are competent to manage their international affairs is laughable.

    The Solomon Islands is regularly considered very close to being a 'failed state'. It has collapsed into civil disorder multiple times since 1998, and is otherwise propped up by foreign countries' aid and development and by the ADB and World Bank.

    Australia and New Zealand have willingly provided the majority of local funding and security support since 1978, with further funding from Japan and the EU.

    When they get to vote, about 25% of them are offered bribes for their vote. 21% have bribed to get a public service in the last 12 months.

    Solomon Islands – Transparency.org

    They have governments that have done nothing but fail. Their population is riven with ethnic tension and their leadership has done nothing about it. Out of their entire Parliament, 4 are women.

    No one expects anyone to be grateful, but no one expects them to make it worse by inviting the Chinese military in either.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      The most likely outcome of sitting back and allowing this deal will be a pivot by Australia, NZ and the USA to supporting the aspirations of self-governance of the Melitans – and thence to a low intensity civil war which will be allowed to fester along until ANZUS "humanitarian intervention" is required. Or they could call the deal off and take the aid from Anglosphere and Japan and live in reasonable peace.

      The Solomon Islands will stay firmly in the Australian/NZ/USA orbit. They can learn that the hard way, or the easy way.

  7. The Solomons want to have their cake and eat it too.

    "Sogavare said his country was grateful for this security arrangement, which would remain “intact”. But it faced security challenges “so great that there are sufficient space for everyone”, he said."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/128202394/solomon-islands-pm-rebukes-nz-australia-over-china-security-deal-dismay

    I think New Zealand and Australia should immediately pull all aid, and let the Solomon Islands call on China next time a hurricane comes through. Lets see how that works out for them.

    • Blazer 7.1

      It would work out really well I expect.

      If you look at Fiji, where regime change occurred at gunpoint and despite outrage from ANZUS ,Bainimarama faced down their threats and their attitude changed.

      I see no reason to suggest any different outcome in the…Solomons.

    • Ad 7.2

      NZ never withholds storm emergency aid for political reasons.

      • Blazer 7.2.1

        Haha…

        '

        'The Fiji Government released a new draft constitution two weeks ago, which paved the way for its first democratic elections since a 2006 coup.

        Mr Key, who leaves for the Marshall Islands tomorrow morning, said: "On face value we accept that much of it is heading in the right direction."

        The constitution includes a clause giving immunity to all of those involved in past coups.'

        Key: NZ will accept immunity clause for Fiji coup leaders – NZ Herald

      • tsmithfield 7.2.2

        Why not? Especially when they have a new partner with the capability to sort that sort of stuff for them. Its not like they have been left to fend for themselves if China is as benevolent as they think.

        • McFlock 7.2.2.1

          You're saying the quiet bit out loud again.

          While I wouldn't be surprised if Ad were being a tad sarcastic (aid often being a part of foreign policy, albeit its use more as positive reinforcement rather than its removal as negative negative), explicitly stating that one will happily let citizens of the nation die because of their government's geopolitical realignment might just come across as being a little bit brutal.

          The more intelligent conventional move is to supply as much aid as is needed, covering everything with the supplier's branding. This helps with stock control in a chaotic environment, as well as tells everyone exactly how nice one is.

          • tsmithfield 7.2.2.1.1

            It probably does sound a bit brutal. But so are the potential consequences of having a Chinese Base on the Solomon Islands.

            Probably the diplomatic way to handle it would be to signal to the Solomon Islands that we intend to scale back our support in light of their decision and advise them to seek humanitarian guarantees from China to fill the gap.

            If the Chinese are forthcoming with those, then we probably aren't in any different position to what we were going to be anyway.

            If not, then they may want to give their arrangement with the Chinese second thought, and give us some guarantees about the future scope of Chinese involvement in the Solomons.

            "Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest thing in the nicest way" Isaac Goldberg

            • McFlock 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Yeah – generally the nicest way. Not the most brutal.

              The exception is when it's close to war, in which case one says many things in order to dissemble one's true intentions and thus screw up the opposition's cost/benefit analyses and force distribution.

              Scaling back assistance – even just offeres of such – for the Solomons is essentially ceding our regional influence to the Chinese geopolitical sphere. It also removes the ability for the Solomons to move between the global power structures should they want to.

              Remember, the Solomons are doing the same "grass when elephants fight" dance as we are.

              • tsmithfield

                It is a difficult one. And I do understand the risk of ceding further control to the Chinese. But, on the other hand, I think the action by the Solomons is highly disrespectful of the longterm beneficial relationship that NZ and Australia has provided the Solomons. So, I think there should be consequences for that.

                One thing the situation in Ukraine has shown is that trying to placate aggressive state actors just emboldens them more. So, by doing nothing, the message is that we won't do anything if China decides to exert influence on other local democracies in the area.

                My understanding is that China tends to influence more by long term loans etc that give them strings they can pull. I am not so sure they are big on humanitarian aid and financial support in the way that NZ and Australia provide. So, it probably is an aspect that we can leverage on.

                So far as we are concerned though, we are in danger of being caught under China's spell. We are very vulnerable with the amount of trade we have with them, hence the very diplomatic way we criticise China for human rights abuses in their own land.

                I am thinking there needs to be a "democracy" trade bloc, where countries that support free democracies try to trade with each other as much as possible. This would give an incentive for dictatorships around the world to become more democratic in order to prosper.

                Nothing is easy in all of this.

                • McFlock

                  Part of it is whether we've neglected our own aid budgets, or mis-targeted them over the last decade or two. This can materially affect the strength of democratic institutions in an unstable region of the Pacific.

                  There is also often an intrinsic problem with needs-based aid: assistance goes to the regions most in need, and those regions are often most in need because of domestic politics. One doesn't win the favour of governments by materially supporting their opposition's strongest areas.

                  But that is also too simplistic an interpretation, which doesn't even approach the motivations of key decision-makers. Were they bought by PRC, or did China step in when AUSNZ fucked up the relationship – were we patronising with many micro-indignities? Or is this simply a consequence of Aus in particular being too closely aligned with the US, and the Solomons want to step back into the middle? Does the agreement give as much carte blanche for PRC troops in the Solomons as some seem to fear, or is that a mistranslation or omission of key parts?

                  In general, I think we need to focus on rebuilding the relationship rather than assuming we can punish them for daring to see other people. We all still have to live with each other in the South Pacific.

                  But there's a reason we have foreign ministry wonks and area specialists – relationships are easy to destroy, and take decades to rebuild.

                  • tsmithfield

                    I agree we probably need to increase what we do for our neighbours to increase influence in the region. But I think we should take a strategic approach to that and tie it to maintaining democracy in the regions.

                    Probably one of the big concerns for me (besides the longterm strategic concerns) is that the Solomons, wanting to have Chinese troops present to "protect Chinese infrastructure" as I saw reported, could well be just a proxy to put down dissent in the Solomons, and undermine democracy. We don't want to see that spread.

                    In that sense, we don't want to be in a position where any aid we give is simply enabling and supporting repression of democracy.

                    If that is the aim of the Solomon government, they are playing a very dangerous game IMO. Because China may not necessarily settle for just being a tool of the Solomon government.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, both parties know the other's game, I reckon. But these are interesting times.

                      I agree we shouldn't help prop up a non-democratic regime, but the Solomons probably aren't there yet. And that would just make us more careful about what aid we provide.

                      In some regards, the treaty might give carte blanche to Chinese forces to advance from their base to secure Chinese-owned businesses (or go even further) if there is further unrest. On the other hand, it might just be the equivalent to enabling US troops to shoot trespassers on US bases in Guantanamo or other facilities around the world.

                      The agreement creates more intensive geopolitical friction in the area, which means NZ needs to make more careful and subtle moves.

  8. Corey Humm 8

    Solomon islands can't even handle their domestic affairs , have you forgotten last November and that we're helping them till May?

    Big Grant Dalton vibes from this post. As in bugger NZ. The big money is overseas i guess… Good grief.

    This is about one thing and one thing only it's about an increasingly imperialistic and hardline China buying off countries in the south Pacific to get a foothold and now they have one.

    Ill always give this blog a lot of credit for allowing both sides of the debate though…. But maaaate have you ever taken a critical position of China? Ever?

    All I ever see from you Mike is whataboutism directed at the west and deflection in defence of China whenever human rights abuses, genocides, authoritarianism, workers rights abusers, govt disappearances or any of the war and peace sized lost of CCP human rights and international laws are mentioned its always deflection and what aboutism.

    I'll get banned for this I know but my goodness.

    Defending the militarization of our region on fake woke talking points is pathetic.

    We live in this region and we have a right to criticize just as we did with aukus.

    You attack NZ and Australias criticism for events going on in our region as Colonialism? Sweet but what about China's neocolonialism? Hmmm? That's what flooding poor nations with all this unrepayable cash for strategic infrastructure is and the fact the USA has done it doesnt make china doing it any better.

    The Chinese people are wonderful people who have contributed so much to this planet.

    The CCP are blood thirsty scumbag authoritarians.

    If this gets me banned so be it.

    Atleast I'm not a tanky.

    • Mark 8.1

      "Sweet but what about China's neocolonialism? Hmmm? That's what flooding poor nations with all this unrepayable cash for strategic infrastructure"

      So simply investing in other countries is neocolonialism? Has China forced any country to agree to its investments. Has China invaded any country to force trade or economic relations against the will of other countries?

      It appears that the one with neocolonial attitudes are people like you, who arrogantly assume that independent non-Western countries do not have the nous to decide on how to conduct their own foreign affairs and requires the intervention of the West to put them right.

  9. Mike Smith 9

    What's a tanky?

  10. theotherpat 10

    and the CCCP has another foothold on our backdoor…..the Solomons will regret this….their fish stocks will be pillaged and whatever development/money given by the CCCP will be used to hang them with….just like in sth america and africa….and if i have to hear again "oh the imperialst USA etc have done this and this " i will puke…yeah they did it and we know it was "wrong" and is not to be used as an excuse for the CCCP to do the same…….i wonder where the money trail goes……………

  11. Grafton Gully 11

    Religion is a factor too and could be a major, given Manasseh's piety.

    "His Excellency Li Ming, applauded acknowledged Prime Minister Sogavare as the initiator of the relationship between our Churches and Churches in China."

    https://www.solomonstarnews.com/prc-ambassador-applauds-pm-for-initiating-relationship-between-our-churches-and-churches-in-prc/

  12. aj 12

    The only religion that counts is money.

    The Ukraine – a decisive transfer of the balance of power from west to east

    Kishore Mahbubani predicted that it will be an Asian 21st century. Prior to 24 February 2022 the progress of the transition of the balance of power from West to East was progressing as a drawn-out process occurring over a decadal timeframe. However, the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is rapidly accelerating this process – an own goal. There is a good chance that 2022 will in hindsight be viewed as the decisive tipping point. Unfortunately, the penny has not yet dropped with Western governments and their compliant media of what their actions have triggered. Enlightened self-interest suggests that a major change in direction is required in the West, Australia included, to make the best of a bad situation.

    https://johnmenadue.com/cameron-leckie-a-decisive-transfer-of-the-balance-power-from-west-to-east/

    Pepe Escobar looks at the bigger picture. Is the world undergoing a transformation as bold as he suggests?

    How Mariupol will become a key hub of Eurasian integration

    The INSTC’s main players are Russia, Iran and India – which are now, post-NATO sanctions, in advanced interconnection mode, complete with devising mechanisms to bypass the US dollar in their trade. Azerbaijan is another important INSTC player, yet more volatile because it privileges Turkey’s connectivity designs in the Caucasus.

    The INSTC network will also be progressively interconnecting with Pakistan – and that means the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key BRI hub, which is slowly but surely expanding to Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s impromptu visit to Kabul late last week was to advance the incorporation of Afghanistan to the New Silk Roads.

    https://thecradle.co/Article/columns/8480

  13. esoteric pineapples 13

    Enjoying your articles Mike

  14. Mark 14

    Great article Mike.

    The Australians are butt hurt because they no longer have the power to enslave Solomon Islanders and other Pacific peoples to work on Queensland plantations like they use to, and the former subjects of Australian enslavement are exercising their right as full sovereign nations to have relations with other nations such as China that were also once under the Western colonial jackboot.

    Blackbirding: legacy of anger in Solomon Islands | RNZ News

  15. It does not make sense for the author to cite the content of the agreement between the Chinese Solomons.

    The author can read China's constitution, which states that everyone has freedom of speech.

    The irony is that if the author went to "China where he doesn't have to worry about",

    he wouldn't even have a chance to publish this article about hugging a panda,

    because he can't just go online.

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  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
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