The secrecy uprising

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, April 15th, 2016 - 29 comments
Categories: Europe, International, tax - Tags: ,

In 1989, David Brin wrote a near-future look (2038) at the world. It was entitled ‘Earth’.  I was just rereading in Northern Italy between the long days of work fulfilling a contract. It is a book that is well-known for its prophetic musing on future trends.

One low likelihood element of the book was the Helvitican War, or the secrecy uprising. In the book, this probably happened somewhere in after 2020 with the increasing radicalization and opposition against all forms of financial secrecy or secrecy in general happening in the 2010s and 2020s,

In my view, the Panama papers are just part of the continuing trend towards that prophecy, with the world population’s increasing irritation with the corrupt,  the wealthy, and the unproductive parasites of a productive world. As one analysis of it said of the precepts of the Helvitican War..

Since writing ‘Earth’, Brin has expanded on this theme and the social issues involved in The Transparent Society. The general thesis is that technology is rapidly expanding human vision, filling the world with databases and cameras.  This threatens to make privacy a thing of the past.  it can also enhance the powers of the mighty (elites of government or money or criminality) to spy on common folk.  Instead of hiding from this trend, the best way for us to deal with it may be to embrace it, by aggressively opening the information flows.  By insisting on watching the watchmen.

This was portrayed in Earth by assuming the world’s citizens became somewhat radicalized in the 2010s and 2020s… NOT toward old-fashioned socialism, but toward insisting that all the secret backroom deals end. Radical transparency is exaggerated in Earth through the metaphor of the “Helvetian War.”  A struggle by the world’s poor nations and middle class taxpayers against the secret banking havens like Switzerland, ending (after much violence) in victory with release of all the financial records.

After watching the way that taxpayers were screwed by the bailouts of the financial and banking system in the global financial crisis in 2007-2008 and the great recession resulting from it have been reacting with increasing irritation and anger towards the secrecy of elites, I’m starting to believe that this vision is more prophetic than unlikely. Just look at the startled and angry reactions that forced this action reported today..

Europe’s biggest nations launched a joint scheme on Thursday to clamp down on tax evasion and corruption, responding to revelations of the rich and powerful stashing money in far-away tax havens in the so-called Panama Papers.

“In the future, nobody should be able to hide behind complex legal structures,” German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said as he unveiled the initiative. “Fighting tax evasion requires a global response.”

The leak of thousands of confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm earlier this month has had political repercussions in many countries, forcing Iceland’s prime minister to quit and putting British Prime Minister David Cameron under pressure over his family’s financial affairs.

Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain agreed to share detailed data on the ownership of companies, trusts and foundations, making it more difficult for actual owners to hide their wealth and income from tax authorities.

and

Unveiling their proposals alongside IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and OECD chief José Ángel Gurría, the five nations committed to establishing a register to detail the beneficial owners of companies, trusts, foundations, and shell companies, making it available for tax administration and law enforcement authorities.

French finance minister Michel Sapin said the joint effort should be followed by even tougher measures against countries that will not comply.

“We have to speed up and we have to implement and we have to have the proper sanctions against those countries that would not join the international consensus,” he said.

This looks to me like the steady movement towards the type of hard line driven by taxpayers to force the secretive corrupt and parasites to cough up. David Brin had the fictional Brazzaville Conference that  was the starting point of the devastating Helvitican War with its unleashing of atomic and biological war in central Europe to prise open the Swiss banking system.

These days the Swiss seem like a less likely target than somewhere with lax banking systems and lenient trust and company structures. We are much more likely. It is clear from John Key’s lackluster and irresponsible  reaction to accusations of our country being just such a loosely controlled tax haven, that we are becoming an target – see Simon’s “Whitewash a certainty in tax haven review“.

Personally, I don’t want our country to be one of the vilified and possibly bombed out nations because frigging John Key likes being “relaxed” about our tax haven pariah status. Let’s make sure that we tax the parasite bastards hard.

 

 


 

I leave you with a reading from David Brin from Earth.

29 comments on “The secrecy uprising ”

  1. Lucy 1

    The problem is that the proposals are just show trials enough to keep the plebs at bay. the wealthy have no intention of paying their share or even a share. A few will be thrown to the wolves – the interesting one is the Iceland Prime Minister – the man from the only country that imprisoned bankers – what message was that sending? Politicians from countries that bailed out the banks are likely not to be there.
    There appears to be not much comment about who benefits from the leaks. There has been a pronounced anti Chinese/Indian elite vibe to this which works to the specific xenophobia that NZ, Australia, UK and US populations will feed off. Then there is the African/Slavic political corruption that feeds the EU and UK narrative.
    As this is only the fifth largest firm then maybe the wealthy Americans and English use other firms. But apart from the dead father of the English PM the people I would have expected to be exposed like pop stars, actors, politicians, the Forbes 500, wealthy families are conspicuous by their absence.

    • This is why it’s going to be a matter of how much political outrage and capital there is in this issue. If the public don’t settle for show trials and shut-them-up reviews and investigations, then there’s a chance. Witness how John Key conceded his shut-them-up review after he realised this is an issue that can take down Prime Ministers. (I imagine he’s checked that his finances are secure from this particular leak and that’s why he stopped at promising a review, if he were actually expecting to be vulnerable personally on this issue I would be expecting a much less managed and far more panicked response. That’s not of course to say there aren’t “unknown unknowns” to the PM’s view of his political exposure on this issue- he might have a family member, donor, or minister who is exposed somewhere in the Panama Papers that he doesn’t know about)

  2. adam 2

    Could not agree more.

    The bubble which the national party have immersed themselves, is ignorant of the rest of the world, and how people across the globe are finding this type of greed repugnant.

    They seem to think that people here don’t find it repugnant as well, and then launch at anyone who questions that meme they have spun around themselves.

    People said Helen Clark was arrogant, and I think she was a bit – but all of her arrogance is but a thimbleful, compared to this current cabinet. I can’t think of week that goes by when someone from the cabinet is not praising greed, or banging on how good it is to filthy rich. Or trying to use the media to hate on poor people, whilst at the same time, snuggle up to the parasites.

    It’s beyond left and right folks. It’s back to are we on the right side of history, or are we on the wrong side.

  3. Bill 3

    Hmm. Off to find that clip from the Prime Minister of New Zealand that appeared (to me) to betray a massive disconnect in his world view.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-key-testy-media-over-link-foreign-trust-you-dont-want-get-your-s-sued-off

    See. They’re legal and that’s all there is to it. No moral dimension involved at all. And so he reckons it’s a cast iron parry to simply point out that journalists would ‘have their arses sued’ if they suggested otherwise.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Some years back in a staff meeting our manager asked “Hands up if you would be happy if everyone knew your salary?” He was expecting to make a point about how privacy mattered; what he didn’t expect was about 15% of the room (including me) putting their hand up.

    The other example that gets mentioned from time to time here is how Norway already puts everyone’s tax records online for anyone to see.

    Here is a question that puts it into sharp clarity. Given that we are probably less than a decade or two away from being able to record every moment of every person’s life … in a massive database … how do you think this would change us?

    Imagine if the database was 100% open and reviewable by everyone. No more sex crimes for a start. No more crime at all.

    I grant you it sounds outlandish, but where we are now is even more extreme when I was born.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Imagine if the database was 100% open and reviewable by everyone. No more sex crimes for a start. No more crime at all.

      I am not convinced. In the past God used to be able to watch everything and even know your most inner thoughts, a bit like Minority Report on steroids. It did not prevent those things you mentioned. In tight communities with a high level of social control, in which there arguably is/was a high level of transparency, we also didn’t see Paradise-reborn.

      If the (presumed) answer is to embrace the technology-driven death of privacy then we’d better re-think the question.

  5. Gabby 5

    Still can’t figure out why the Guardian would actually say that many names would never be released. Whom were they reassuring?

  6. Jenny 6

    There is no such thing as secrecy anymore.

    And just as you suggest Lynne, I think that we should embrace it.

    Not that I endorse John Key’s sinister, “If you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide.” proclamation, related to metadata collection by government spy agencies. Which by his subsequent actions, show that he meant this sort of intrusion to be only one way.

    (The irony for the man who said that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, John Key is extraordinarily resistant to release his tax data to the public.)

    But it doesn’t work that way.

    While we, the general population are supposed to accept the reality that everything we do these days on line and even off line can be monitored. What John Key and his ilk seem to overlook is that this lack of secrecy is more and more becoming two way.

    More than any other threat to the routine secrecy practiced by the world’s elite, financial institutions and government spy agencies, is the threat from within.

    As the Mossack Fonseca and Unaoil leaks show, more and more information of the secretive activities of the global illite are being dropped into the public sphere by anonymous insiders of conscience. Forget hackers, it is only a matter of time before New Zealand has its own Edward Snowden. And all the skeletons will tumble out of the closet for all to see.

    I imagine that the very real possibility that all their illegal activities will be released to the world by one of their own, sends ice cold shivers up the spines of the GCSB the SIS and all the other secretive agencies that spy on New Zealanders.

    Nothing to fear nothing to hide?

    Who for instance are the 88 New Zealand citizens who were being illegally spied on? Revealed in the revelations relating to the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom.

    Can they all be terrorists?

    If so, how come, none of them have ever been arrested, or even brought in for questioning?

    My guess is that we will be surprised by who exactly is on this list.

    I suspect that many will be respected citizens of courage and conviction, who have had the wit to question the status quo.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of them Lynne.

  7. Jenny 7

    XKeyscore or XKEYSCORE (abbreviated as XKS) is a formerly* secret computer system…..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XKeyscore

    *My emphasis, J.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I expect Key’s resistance to such measures is more personal – if he does not possess a trust that the public would not consider clean, the net increase in his personal fortune since becoming PM would probably seem anomalous to those lucky to see a 1% pay increase from one year to the next. An enthusiastic currency trader controlling a nation’s fortunes can stack a lot of zeroes.

  9. Incognito 9

    I know this is not what this post really is about but I’m quite fond of my privacy, not because I’ve got something to hide (no more or less than others, I assume), but because I need my own little space in this World of which I can at least occasionally pretend it is mine and nobody else’s. If this were taken away from me I’d go ‘insane’.

    I suspect that if we demand more transparency from politicians, companies, the ‘wealthy’, etc., this will inevitably lead to further erosion of our personal privacy & space, e.g. increased powers by IRD, GCSB, banks, insurance companies, immigration, potential employers, etc. It is a double-edged sword.

    • Jenny 9.1

      “I suspect that if we demand more transparency from politicians, companies, the ‘wealthy’, etc., this will inevitably lead to further erosion of our personal privacy & space, e.g. increased powers by IRD, GCSB, banks, insurance companies, immigration, potential employers, etc. It is a double-edged sword.” Incognito

      Precisely. “A double edged sword always cuts two ways”.

      Had enough of cliche’ yet?

      How about this one, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”.

      We weren’t the ones who picked up this sword, and for the vast majority of the data sifted and spied on, we aren’t the ones who wield it.

      I find your argument unconvincing, especially the implied threat contained, that if we demand the same transparency of them that the powerful have into our lives, the powerful people you mention will double down on their spying on us.

      Your purchasing habits, your online browsing, your google maps location through your cell phone. Your phone calls. All your metadata. Your privacy has already been breached.

      I got further news for you, Incognito you have got no privacy already. None! So it would be hard to double down on it.

    • lprent 9.2

      I find that I have a pretty strong distinction between secrecy and privacy. The two are not synonymous.

      For instance, there are a lot of things that are well known (ie not a secret) about this site which are private. Many of them covered in the privacy policies for the site – like the IPs and ’emails’ of commenters. The detail is very private and closely held. How we treat the handling of such details is not.

      Throughout the about, there are statements about privacy and secrecy and what we will or will not do. For instance the following means that we tolerate individual opinions by authors (and commenters for that matter), but are very intolerant of individual authors (or commenters) trying to push secret message lines for political parties or organisations.

      We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization.

      But the lines that are drawn are both explicit and explain the exact reasoning

      Some of the authors here use their real names, but others choose to blog under a pseudonym for a variety of reasons. Some of us have professional reasons for doing so, others of us are reluctant to expose ourselves to the kind of personal threats sometimes made online. Those of us using pseudonyms discussed this issue long and hard before we began and came down on the side of anonymity. We hope you can see why. You might also want to contemplate the implications of this link.

      Of course, the link was to Cameron Slater’s site and his personal level of hypocrisy. There are many like him who don’t run clear rules and who are have such a lost moral and ethical compass that they consider that they should be able to do anything they want with regards to the privacy of others, while condemning any anything that might strip themselves of privacy. In Cameron’s case the instances of that kind of hypocrisy are way too many to be bothered listing.

      Or people like John Key. Happy to strip privacy of people on benefits just in case that a few have secret financial matters that they haven’t declared, but totally unwilling to open up to queries in exactly the same manner about his own possible financial secrets when questioned – claiming the right of privacy.

      On the other hand, secrecy only works if there is something to conceal. An insistence on privacy when challenged about good reasons to challenge secrecy is rather suspicious. While we don’t have anything here to conceal (as r0b and Danyl of the Dimpost pointed out here), it is pretty clear the John Key does when it comes to his financial advisors.


      Earth was pretty interesting in that distinction between secrecy and privacy. An early theme in the book was looking at where that distinction was being blurred with respect to adolescents. The rather clever way the Brin highlighted it was to postulate that recording technology had become personal, portable, ubiquitous, highly connected to the net and very very cheap (rather like the functional use of cellphones in fact).

      Instead of adolescents and their older counterparts being obsessed by the crowing rights of twitter, facebook and their selfies of where they are and where they are doing – like this for instance *evil grin*
      https://twitter.com/publicaddress/status/720791545759326208

      In the book, the elderly were infected by both the trauma of the Helvitica War and the obsessions of young hoonish crime needing to be constrained by ever closer surveillance. In fact obsessional levels of surveillance. When groups of young men came hear, the elderly would adjust their TruVus eye cameras, make sure their connection to the net was secure and fast, and proceed to watch every move of the young dickheads hoping that they would do an anti social act like spitting or not putting garbage away just so that they could report the infraction.

      That wasn’t trying to defeat the kind of secrecy that facilitated the widespread tax avoidance and evasion of the parasitic elites of society, it was a simple-minded invasion of privacy by a technically enhanced Mrs Grundy.

      • Skinny 9.2.1

        Very interesting read for me this morning. and gives plenty of food for thought. When I woke up a couple of hours ago, started thinking about my sister who I visited and stayed a night with in Auckland earlier this week.

        There is now only just the two of us left in our family, while we have always been close our relationship over time has become odd, quite superficial. Unspoken rules have come into play. Money, Tax and Trusts, Property are all subjects to be avoided. Anyway the TV News came on and the Panama papers was featuring, including tax haven, dodging tax through trusts. I looked at her and asked did you actually pay any tax these days or is that all taken care of? She just ignored my question and started talking about a mutual friend. So I asked how many millions do you have 20, have you reached 20 yet, probably more than that. She answered something like that. So then I asked again do you pay any tax? She wouldn’t answer then replied “we don’t talk about money you know the rules it is rude”. I persisted rude or shameful? Then it came out, “you have been causing me embarrassment with the trouble your creating, protests anti government stunts. Some of my friends know your my brother, people talk”. Fuck your Tory friends and it is for your sake not mine that we stay in contact because mum made me promise. I despise what you have become as you do I.
        So she has a name, Mrs Grundy. Nice!

      • RedLogix 9.2.2

        Which is well and good Lynn, but still dodges the fact that what is private and what is secret have a very large overlap.

        Anything you want to keep private is by definition a form of secret. Yet many secrets should never be private. Let’s for the sake of clarity assume that all private matters are a subset of all secret ones.

        But where is the boundary? The only way to make the distinction is to dismantle the secrecy and take a look. But in doing so we also destroy privacy.

        Nor can we safely depend on each person to define what is private for them. After all most crimes are secrets the perpetrator wants very much to keep private.

        The invention of rooms effectively created spaces where people could routinely talk and act away from public scrutiny. Prior to this most of human social life was conducted out in the open, with a high degree of collective observation. Those who visit the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies left, are struck at how very little privacy they have. It’s almost always the first thing that hits them.

        Above I made the awkward example about the possibility of recording 100% of our lives; including our sex lives. Of course this seems repugnant to us, but would not seem so weird to a person living in a tribal long house where the whole village slept under one roof. Sure they’re modest about it, but everyone knows. And such societies are also noted for their almost non-existent rates of sex crimes.

        With technology now effectively giving us the tools to virtually dismantle all the walls on all the rooms, where will this take us? Why do we value privacy so much? What benefits does it bring us, even at the cost of the secrecy inseparably entangled with it?

        • lprent 9.2.2.1

          I agree with all of that, but I suspect that much of the solution will lie between what us secret and what is private.

          For instance, I take absolutely no measures against the security forces on this site doing man in the middle collection. For them to use their invasion of the privacy of the communications to this site in any public or even private form for no clear good purpose would eventually result in their defenestration.

          And I would assist. I don’t have to rely on the good new of their hearts. I just have to rely on their own intelligent self interest of wanting to fulfill their role without distractions.

          The political establishment is more of a issue. We do elect a number if fundamentally stupid people. Some of them are probably stupid enough to corruptly misuse the tools of state – think Judith Collins for instance. Or John Key, the NZDF general staff and the idiots in the crown prosecution who used millions of taxpayer funds against Jon Stevenson.

          But such uses are so clearly beyond purpose, like the raid on Nicky Hagers house, that they get pruned by the other parts of the state. And if that fails, well then it is to to reform the state the hard way.

          Hopefully the latter never happens. That is why I am involved in politics.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1.1

            We do elect a number if fundamentally stupid people. Some of them are probably stupid enough to corruptly misuse the tools of state – think Judith Collins for instance.

            And some of them are outright psychopaths and are intelligent enough to hide it which means that they also have the intelligence to not get caught corruptly using state power. This was my first thought when I heard that FJK had deleted his texts from his phone.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.2

          But where is the boundary? The only way to make the distinction is to dismantle the secrecy and take a look. But in doing so we also destroy privacy.

          IMO, the economy is not personal – it belongs to all of us. As such we not only have the right to know what money you have, what taxes you paid and how you spent it as well because we need to associate the use of our scarce resources that are the fundamental basis of the economy.

          Most of the time that data would be agglomerated into information that we could use. Personal details would be kept out of it.

          In the case of a crime then the personal details would also be looked at and the crime traced so that all who participated in it could be caught.

          Privacy kept, secrets abolished.

          Sure they’re modest about it, but everyone knows. And such societies are also noted for their almost non-existent rates of sex crimes.

          That makes sense. If children grow up seeing normal human sexual relations then they’re going to grow up understanding them including the right and wrong. Our society is the exact opposite. We hide those normal human relations and we end up with high rates of sex crime.

          • RedLogix 9.2.2.2.1

            DtB

            Thanks … I can always rely on you for a thoughtful answer. My question above was not in the least rhetorical; I’m genuinely intrigued at this distinction between private and secret. The former we have universally come to regard as a good thing, the latter always a potentially bad thing.

            I completely agree with you about secrecy in the economic sphere, yet even that is troublesome. Exactly what should be in or out? Should for instance price information from rival bidder’s be public domain? In a competitive environment the price card is still the Joker you play close to your chest. That would be a very tough pattern to challenge.

            And how to separate out what is ‘private’ information from what is ‘public’? That too seems like a challenge. And technology changes not only the reach of our surveillance, it never forgets …. extending it’s impact without limit. Should for example everyone’s browser history be public domain and searchable?

            Yet at some level we still value privacy. In many ways it’s a peculiarly modern invention, but one we have become very attached to. Yet rarely do we see a deeper analysis of why. What advantages does it really bring to our lives that make it so important to us?

            As an aside I’m struck by the way the confines of a crowded tramping hut, break down our usual privacy conventions. A small roomful of strangers functions perfectly well with almost no personal privacy; and I’ve never found it confronting. Indeed I rather enjoy it.

            But coming at this argument from the other end; whatever it is we do value about privacy, there have been plenty of illicit interests willing to exploit that into persuading us to believe their dark secrets are also private. And they’ve used that argument to dissuade us from looking. The Panama Papers now rudely informing us that we were conned.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.2.1.1

              Exactly what should be in or out?

              We’re interested in the price paid for the final product and the resources used. We’d also want to know how much was paid to extract the resources and the costs and resources used in processing them but, of course, all that data would be collected along the way.

              Should for instance price information from rival bidder’s be public domain?

              Why should it? We’re only interested in the final sale price. How much each bidder has is already public information (although not open public as I point out above).

              Should for example everyone’s browser history be public domain and searchable?

              Nope. Nobody has a need to know except the police in the advent of a crime in which case they get a search warrant to search the persons computer.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.2.1.2

              whatever it is we do value about privacy, there have been plenty of illicit interests willing to exploit that into persuading us to believe their dark secrets are also private.

              What is privacy? What do we mean by it?

              Indications are that we don’t actually know and this lack of knowledge has allowed the con.

              • RedLogix

                Yes … I think that is the question I’m asking. Privacy is something we all take absolutely for granted, but it’s quite an elusive thing really.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If you have a smart phone, and you ever have it with you in your bedroom or bath room, you have zero privacy.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well, my phones in my room right now sitting next to me so should be able to tell me what I’m doing right?

            • Anne 9.2.2.2.1.3

              Yet at some level we still value privacy. In many ways it’s a peculiarly modern invention, but one we have become very attached to. Yet rarely do we see a deeper analysis of why. What advantages does it really bring to our lives that make it so important to us?

              If I may be so bold as to try and answer one small aspect of this vexatious question concerning privacy:

              From my personal past experiences, its not so much privacy that matters, but rather the ability to be in control of ones’ own life and destiny. The most vicious and distressing form of privacy invasion is the person/persons who – for whatever reason – invade your space in a covert and pernicious manner with a view to humiliating and discrediting you for some kind of personal/career or political gain. There are many documented examples of this type of ‘privacy invasion’ but most never enter the public arena.

              These individuals are more often than not acting as private citizens and are not guided by the rules of engagement as laid down for the state sector agencies. They are the hardest to bring to justice because they don’t abide by any rules, and unless the target gets lucky and is able to produce solid evidence of their activities they almost always get away with it.

              I cannot for the life of me imagine that the state run agencies are the slightest bit interested in our day to day lives. They may be in a position to acquire info. if they were so inclined, but for what purpose? They would die of boredom and ennui long before their efforts bore any fruit. On the other hand, it is imperative that checks and balances are in place to ensure there are no crossing of the boundaries as has certainly happened in the past. And this is where I have some concern. I do not trust this government in particular to always abide by the ethical standards we have come to expect in this area of governance. The Phil Goff affair is one such example and I have no doubt whatsoever that the “PM’s Office” was very much complicit in that unsavoury incident.

              Hope the above makes some sense…

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Thanks … I can always rely on you for a thoughtful answer. My question above was not in the least rhetorical; I’m genuinely intrigued at this distinction between private and secret. The former we have universally come to regard as a good thing, the latter always a potentially bad thing.

    The simple way to view this is from the perspective of the individual citizen versus from the perspective of the establishment power elite/deep state.

    Their view is that you have nothing which is private and confidential, while everything they do, say and plan, should be as secret and hidden as they want it to be.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Their view is that you have nothing which is private and confidential, while everything they do, say and plan, should be as secret and hidden as they want it to be.

      Which is the attitude of people who think they’re special. They’re not.

      The simple fact is that, as far as finances/economics goes, then every transaction needs to be recorded in a public database.

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    1 day ago
  • Tobacco First
    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.
    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024
    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    2 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.
    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    2 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.
    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    2 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again
    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?
    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    2 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network
    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!
    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat
    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Some changes are coming
    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • About fucking time
    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking
    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.
    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?
    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.
    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent
    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    7 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago

  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway
    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    36 mins ago
  • Update on global IT outage
    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership
    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns
    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'
    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs
    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
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