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The Standard a decade on

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 28th, 2018 - 113 comments
Categories: blogs, David Farrar, dpf, internet, Media, The Standard - Tags: ,

I recently scored a slot on Red Radio, Planet FM’s regular slot for Labour Party sorts in Auckland. I have had a couple or three interviews myself and I believe it is an important medium to consider. If radio, particularly talk back radio, drives us around the bend then the response should be to not complaint but to provide an alternative.

For my first show I thought I should interview someone who is very rarely interviewed but who has perhaps arguably had more of an effect on left wing politics over the last decade than any other person, the Standard’s own Lynn Prentice.

Researching what to talk about was a trip down memory lane.

History will show that the Standard first post appeared on August 15, 2007. It was a post titled Get your story straight John written by All Your Base.  It had a total of 2 comments and it had 5 unique views.

Get your story straight John

The site was in part a response to Kiwiblog. The left, particularly the trade union movement wanted an alternative voice. And so the Standard was born.

Ten years later there is still Kiwiblog, and the Standard as well as Whaleoil and The Daily Blog as the major political blogs

Whaleoil has clearly seen better days. The Daily Blog has not lived up to the aims of its founder. Kiwiblog still rolls on although the advertising, not to mention the comments, are a real turn off.

Looking back on the past decade the Standard has performed pretty well. At its zenith in 2015 it had 5,700,000 individual page views. Last year it was down a bit but was still at 4,700,000.

Posts follow three basic types. There are the general posts to allow for discussion of any sort. There are the breaking news type posts where the wisdom of the collective can analyse and update news as it develops. And there are the slightly longer philosophical posts where writers present analysis and comment one current issues.

Lprent and I discussed some times when in my view the Standard really stood out. They included:

  • Len Brown and Bevan Chuang
  • The trade union response to Peter Jackson and the Hobbit crisis
  • Dirty Politics
  • Donghua Liu
  • Ponytailgate
  • Jami Lee Ross

One other matter that we discussed was the demise of David Shearer’s leadership and how the Standard has been blamed, unfairly in my view, for this happening.

I believe the site has also had a major role to play in the Labour leadership campaigns.

Authors and commentators almost overwhelmingly supported David Cunliffe in 2013 and this was arguably reflected in the actual result.  And in 2014 when Andrew Little was elected support was more muted and [again reflected the result].

Lynn and I had the chance to discuss the future of the site.  We thought that as long as the site gets a good supply of authors it can keep rocking along.

The site itself I believe offers a rich historical repository of contemporary New Zealand politics.  If you want to understand what has happened during the past decade from a left wing perspective then this site is a good place to start.

Proposals for suggested changes and critiques all welcome.

 

113 comments on “The Standard a decade on”

  1. r0b 1

    How time flies when you’re having fun! Thanks to lprent and all current authors. Anyone out there thinking of contributing, why not start by contributing a guest post or two? An (early) “happy new year” to you all…

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Same to you r0b. Your views and ideas always gold. We will look forward to more as you have time. You help to keep us commenters informed and balanced.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      If you feel like a comeback r0b just yell out!

  2. Booker 2

    Keep up the good work! Although I don’t post much the site is a daily source of news for me, and is sorely needed given the MSM long ago gave up.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I’ve been expecting the re-invention of left-wing politics since the early seventies, so my hope is that this site can help with that long-deferred process. The default position persists because participants share the false assumption that everyone has the same understanding of what it is (or should be). History proves the contrary, of course!

    Social media ought to be more than idle commentary. It ought to provide for pro-active collaboration. Such a design would be more likely to produce political progress.

    “In an an address delivered at an NZ On Air seminar in 2009, then Planet FM broadcast manager Terri Byrne prophesied that by the year 2020 media would have splintered into so many niche channels that the ‘mainstream media’ would no longer exist.” https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/23-11-2018/planet-fm-the-nicest-radio-station-in-auckland/

    “It will not be about ‘them’ becoming like ‘us’ or hopefully by 2020, it will not even be about ‘them’ explaining themselves to ‘us’. Hopefully it will be about all of us discovering who we are becoming as a nation.”

    An old friend of mine (since ’84), Terri recently bailed out as ops manager after 31 years in control, and the successful multicultural medium she established is a credit to her vision and expertise, but unfortunately the msm hasn’t quite died the death she foresaw. Although her prophecy has almost two years left, so maybe. Media niches have certainly continued to proliferate. The challenge for all politicos is how to build collaboration on common ground when media is pulling everyone apart.

  4. cathy 4

    “One other matter that we discussed was the demise of David Shearer’s leadership and how the Standard has been blamed, unfairly in my view, for this happening.”

    I hadn’t realised the Standard was blamed for that. In fact I believe the demise of David Shearer’s leadership was planned from the start and was only waiting on Robertson being ready to make his run.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      To me, The Standard may have been just a part of the backgrounding and profiling of David Shearer giving an understanding of the real man. People noticed the oxymoronic effect of someone being hailed as from the caring side of politics in the UN serving in foreign aid to distressed countries, and then being reported as making a snide put-down about a chap doing something to his roof when he was in receipt of ACC payments.

      This indicated that he belonged to the neo-liberal bent in Labour when the majority of die-hard Labour voters wanted the bend straightened to one of straight and proud, worker-supportive Labour encouraging people to be independent with welfare available for wellbeing.

      That’s my take on what Labour should be about, and politicians have to drive their thinking along these paths to be properly doing their job. The Standard is good in that it enables people to be informed, discuss reactions, examine their own ideas,
      and hear the wild and whacky as well as the informed and balanced, the hopeful possibilities, and the new and old prejudices and decide whether they offer or detract from the philosophy and zeitgeist that drives the swirl of ideas, plans and actions daily.

  5. Jum 5

    ‘If radio, particularly talk back radio, drives us around the bend then the response should be to not complaint but to provide an alternative.’

    Absolutely, and what a great idea. I still keep on suggesting the same re newspapers and what about a broadsheet (as in as little as 1 sheet delivered by paid individuals) giving the facts and Left point of view to offset faction that too many NZers swallow with their breakfast.

    Not everyone has a computer or follows blogs or alternative radio. It must surely be the only reason so many still vote for nats???

    Meanwhile, at least we have The Standard and Radio alternative.

    Your work is much appreciated by me. It’s one of the few things that keep me hopeful for our future.

  6. Kevin 6

    Good site with an excellent range of topics. I miss some of the commenters who no longer participate but the general level of debate is very good. Less nit-picking/hair-splitting comments would certainly enhance the overall experience.

    • lprent 6.1

      Change happens all of the time. You really realize it when you go back to research old posts for upcoming ones and run across the people who no longer write posts or comment.

      But peoples lives keep shifting.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I’m Tinkerbell the quote fairy!!

        We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
        ― C. JoyBell C. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-discovery

  7. Anne 7

    @ms

    The paragraph starting “Authors and commentators almost overwhelmingly…..”, the second sentence doesn’t make sense. Looks like the last bit was deleted.

    Still in Xmas mode….?

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Thanks Annie yes you are right. I did a cut and paste from some notes and did not tidy this up. Will try and drink more coffee before blogging!

      • lprent 7.1.1

        I’m on my first coffee of the day – I think that demonstrates a true dedication to holiday mode.

        However, I may have to resume active life again. At present as well as attempting to start on a new theme for the site, I am considering how I kitten proof the cables for the site.

        Our partially socialised rescue kitten has stopped considering himself to be prey after a couple of days of confinement and a visit to the vet.

        He is now intent on discovering if his teeth can get through USB cords. I’m sure that he will work up to Ethernet and power cords within a short time. Since that will affect my systems (and The Standard) adversely, I think that I need to tidy the cables up with the strong plastic covers that I have had for 5 years without installing. Oh woe is me…

        Mort contemplating the bars of his life – a Collie photo.

  8. feijoa 8

    I always read the Standard regularly, it helps keep a perspective going to balance out the other stuff we are bombarded with. With mainstream media controlled by the rich, it is vital to have this site. Thank you to all involved.

  9. Ad 9

    – Full time editor-in-chief

    – More MP articles

    – More NGO writers

    – More weekly blogs like Guytons one for nice safe spaces

    – Stronger feeds to Greater Auckland and union writers

    – Less whining about the media

    – more film reviews

    • halfcrown 9.1

      Agree with that Ad. Also I would like to see an article/book review section by posters who visit this site as I have been advised of good reading material by others on here.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Why not have an Arts and Events section where anything that is good gets recommended or, perhaps slammed? Saturday thing. A book new or old and still worthy, getting a plug and short review. What’s on, a short report on what happened; how it was? Share the creative side of our lives, our localities, what others are doing and thinking in NZ particularly (no USA, or great power yap). Mainly but not exclusively, positive things that have surfaced and can carry us forward.

        Sunday hopefully – the big thing will be on the near and mid-future things. looking forward as well as backward, bringing them together to be looked at now – the Janus thing. What will we be when we grow up? Are we there yet? Will there be ice cream?

  10. Chris T 10

    It is a shit load less insular and is open to differing opinions than it used to be.

    Which is always nice.

    No one likes one continuous group love in with everyone agreeing with each other.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Oh and what is your purpose in coming here Chris T? To fill in your time? To stimulate your mind as a hopeful means of delaying dementia?

      The idea here, I think, is to have lots of input and get as much informed opinion so we can find a way to proceed over the next 10-20 years as nature changes and deteriorates our living conditions, and our financial system breaks under the strain of its own fantasies and ad hoc machinations.

      We don’t have a lot of group love-ins. But if we can get ideas hammered out that are demonstrably useful after a number of people with similar interests and wishing to learn from each other for a greater good get together, then something is achieved.

      And achievement is necessary. Here once a group can work on ideas and information and others’ experiences, find agreement, give positive feedbacks, then go onto something else, we will have achieved something worthwhile.

      It would be a dreadful waste of this blog if it was dominated by a bunch of smart alecs and fault-finders. They probably would enjoy themselves more socially by going to a pub, drinking some locally made craft beer, and trying to outdo each other as wise-merchants. There are plenty of places to go and practise refining criticism as a physical presence, or on line. If people have no purpose in life except to be like a fly in a bottle, go there.

      • Chris T 10.1.1

        And there I was thinking I had given a compliment about how I thought it had changed for the good.

        Silly me

        • greywarshark 10.1.1.1

          Poor you. Can’t do anything right, so unreasonable of me to take the site seriously. It was basically regarding your poke at love ins. So silly. When we spend much time taking each others’ comments to bits and checking them for poor connections and bad soldering!

          Sneering at the idea of people working together and giving appreciation of others good efforts is not my idea of what sort of society I am hoping to see. So perhaps in a bit more time with say three months of thoughtful opinions from you there will be better understanding.

          • Chris T 10.1.1.1.1

            “Poor you. Can’t do anything right, so unreasonable of me to take the site seriously. It was basically regarding your poke at love ins. So silly. When we spend much time taking each others’ comments to bits and checking them for poor connections and bad soldering!”

            That was what I was complimenting.

            If you spent a bit more time reading my words and a bit less trying to find hidden messages in them you might find you are less uptight and precious, which maybe would hold you back from going on rants like your last two posts.

        • Ad 10.1.1.2

          Don’t worry it won’t be a circle-jerk

      • Chris T 10.1.2

        “Oh and what is your purpose in coming here Chris T? To fill in your time? To stimulate your mind as a hopeful means of delaying dementia?”

        Oh and I missed this bit.

        Is there a specific reason you need me to justify my presence here?

        • greywarshark 10.1.2.1

          Chris T
          Is there a specific reason i can’t pass an opinion on you who pass opinions?
          You sound more like a troll than an interested commenter, and trolls are deadening agents. That is why I question your purpose and presence.
          Are you a troll do you think? Define what you think is a troll and then why you aren’t one?

          I consider the purpose of The Standard is to assist reasoned discussion about politics and society, and encourage people to enter into it. It is a rare blog in NZ which is much needed for the above purpose. Our world as we know it is coming to an end. I want to see society helped to cope with it and get better politicians and those in the managerial class who are creaming off benefits from the capitalist system for themselves. They are trying to do as little to maintain a decent society for the majority of the people as possible. We have to work to stop our society being sliced and diced and sold off. It’s work and occasional fun.

          But I know it is not cool to be serious about serious matters so have a laugh at me, such pretensions. I don’t come here to read facile comments from people who just throw ideas and thoughts around like fast food And if you read to the end I will send you an online chocolate fish, when I can find out how to do it. Just a test to see if you can handle comments bigger than two sentences. So boring of me.

          • Chris T 10.1.2.1.1

            “I consider the purpose of The Standard is to assist reasoned discussion about politics and society, and encourage people to enter into it.”

            This I agree with

            The rest is utter drivel

            Which politicians and those in the “managerial class”?

            How do you even define “managerial class”?

            Plenty of decent hardworking kiwis work their way up to management. There are plenty of left wing managers. Plenty of left MPs who have been managers.

            There are union managers.

            And by all means, take yourself too “seriously”

            • greywarshark 10.1.2.1.1.1

              I won’t read or reply to this as I have had my say and am not able to make any decisions individually. You seem an example of an anomic man full of freedom thunks, brouhaha and hubris and wonder at the importance of yourself to yourself.

              To go on further, arguing uselessly, would make me a troll which I despise, so for mental health I cease this discussion.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      I thought your comment:

      The Standard a decade on


      was quite generous, Chris T. It’s interesting to see though, how very easy it is to misconstrue something someone has said and how things can spin out of control quickly when that happens. I agree that “less insular and is open to differing opinions” is praise for the blog and those who comment here.

    • veutoviper 10.3

      Chris T, as per Robert’s comment, I also though your comment at 10 was a genuine compliment and actually mirrored some of my own thoughts about the site.

      In addition, I consider that your follow-up replies have also very reasonable and low key to the comments that IMO were out of line in questioning your reasons for being here.

      As far as I am aware, that person is not a moderator or administrator here; and therefore has no greater rights to question anyone else’s presence or rights to comment here than any other commenter such as you and I – and is ” not able to make any decisions” individually or collectively in regard to you or anyone else. If it is of any consolation, you are not the only one to have had their presence here questioned by that person recently.

      Kia kaha

      • Muttonbird 10.3.1

        It’s about your motivation for commenting. Mine is social consciousness. The building of communities not disrupting them. Warm safe secure homes for renting families. Proper immigration management and NZ homes for kiwis. A robust and clean ecosystem and rivers largely the way they were before we got here.

        Those are my values. Chris T’s are different and it’s quite right to question why he is here.

        It would be great if you could direct your feuds with other commenters to them rather than the forum at large.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    Trolls should cop bans along with genuine participants who lose control.
    Trolls should be allowed to comment if they genuinely talk to the subject only.

    More background articles would add interest/ book reviews/ suggested topics.
    Invited guest contributors and writers on general or high interest topics would be good.
    Memory lane topics? View the Future topics?
    Thanks TS, you have kept me sane (Ithink!!) during the last 18 months of waiting .

    • halfcrown 11.1

      Sorry can’t agree there Patricia. Take James for an example, he has been called a troll at times and although I don’t agree with his politics, he does put up valid opinion at times. but I think with James the majority of the time it is a wind up to get an re action Treat it as such. The only time I replied to one of his comments I started with the sentence with something like ” I’ll play your silly game James” etc Start off with something like that and it will emmediately takes the wind out of their sales.
      The other thing is, there are a lot of bright people who visit this site and I am sure they can handle or just ignore these trools when they visit.
      Well, that’s my opinion for what It’s worth.

      • patricia bremner 11.1.1

        Fair enough halfcrown. You are right, as reading others comments I realise I’m just annoyed at the interruption to the flow of thought those trite comments cause.

  12. Ankerrawshark 12

    My wholehearted thanks to I prent. And to all the other contributors. I wasn’t that political when I first started to visit the site (circa 2011). I was becoming increasingly concerned about the Key govt. I credit the standard with being hugely motivating for me and increasing my awareness of what’s really going on.

    Happy new year everyone. And thanks to everyone who participates in the standard….I rarely miss a day of it and often I find out what is going on here before anywhere else.

  13. WeTheBleeple 13

    I’d pretty much given up on regular news and all manner of social media till I found TS.

    I’d not like the place so much without the range of people who comment.

    The fact I (and others) have over time toned down internet language/behavior voluntarily, or with a nudge, speaks volumes about the nature of TS at present, and the value of the content and community.

    Kudos.

  14. Westykev 14

    Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary. Been a regular reader for the past 8 years even though I’m a right-winger. Always good to read views different from your own and in some cases my view has changed. Wishing the Standard at least another 10 good years.

  15. Just let it evolve as is. We have seen the result of tinkering – inertia takes over and we end up in the same spot. It is what it is and I love it for that – sure a rest home, sure not many self identified Māori or many minority groups, sure women are represented, and sure the usual left racists and mysogynist wankers abound but it is a beautiful thing – finely balanced and traversing a knife edge of sensibilities it does the job magnificently. Thank you to everyone.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Thank you for your words that add meaning and flavour to the mix marty mars.
      Kia kaha
      Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou katoa.
      Mauri ora!
      (Got those from Omniglot Maori phrases – good for getting started or refreshing
      what I know. Guyon Espiner is such a show-off.)

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        T S Elliot has words to say on how we go around and end up in the same spot but presumably with increased self-knowledge and appreciation of our lives and place, so not exactly the same – not deja vu.

        “We shall not cease from exploration
        And the end of all our exploring
        Will be to arrive where we started
        And know the place for the first time.”
        ― T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

      • marty mars 15.1.2

        Thanks grey. I value your comments please keep them coming. I suppose I am a grumpy bastard but i really want to discuss left options and left thinking – I have less tolerance for farting around indulging James and arguing the same old bullshit with rwnjs. It really is just a waste of everything – but as you’ve said to me my opinion is just that and other people think different.
        I’ve read some interesting comments from so many strong lefties here, I’ve adjusted and readjusted my thinking within my left worldview and I love that. And this forum is good for that, the best in fact.
        Thank you to everyone.

        • greywarshark 15.1.2.1

          mm
          I think that the grumpy bastards here are the ones who are truly concerned about the future and realise how hard it will likely, get. It is seeing the lack of care by people for their own future, and then because of that, the government’s inclination to siphon money away from projects that need doing and be blatantly self-interested, and damn well get away with it. That other people recognise what is going on, and put their precious time into this blog to keep hope and belief in our abilities alive, well it is just marvellous and I think we all keep each other sparking and hopeful.

  16. peterlepaysan 16

    LP called me a troll on this site. I have no idea why. I have never had an apology either.

    Entitlement does strange things to mental processes. Look at the national party.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      peterlepaysan
      Perhaps you made a thoughtless statement, or repetition, and caught Lprent at a crucial level of irritation. I have noticed some cliche’ RW things from you at times. All is not lost, it has encouraged you to think about what you are doing and follow Aristotle:

      “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
      ― Aristotle

      • peterlepaysan 16.1.1

        Is there anything you do not comment about? I am not suggesting you are a “know all”. Just saying.

        i

    • lprent 16.2

      I seldom apologize. I have also failed to apologize to myself when I have dissed myself (that has happened at least twice over the last decade).

      A lack of time along with the numbers of comments tends to make going back through comments a fool’s errand. Typically I’d use the word ‘troll’ when I scan a repeated anti-social pattern that is doing nothing for the discussion and appears to be designed to disrupt it. In other words it is a behaviour pattern that transcends politics.

  17. McFlock 17

    From a purely selfish perspective, I think the commenters and authors on the site have helped make me a better person.

    I’m more aware of differences between people, and how many of my assumptions are born of my privilege. For example, in staff meetings I notice that I sit back more and listen to what others have to say rather than just assuming that my opinion is a valid use of everyone’s time. I don’t think it was on the level of “I am a man and therefore what I say is important”, but more that I just realised that many people have been trained to not say the first thing that enters their brain as and when it occurs to them.

    Some of it is age, maybe. But cheers to everyone for ten years, and thanks 🙂

  18. weston 18

    I,d still like to see an extra venue for people who cant comment during the day . Getting the jist of whats been happening during the day can take a bit of doing if the comments are hitting the 150 mark which they often do .Personally i would like a small space something like a small cosy bar to attend of an evening 30 or 40 comments a bit like this attendance .If as someone suggested moderation was a problem at nighttime the hours could be set at 6 til midnight perhaps ?

    • Andre 18.1

      Daily Review that mickysavage goes to the effort of putting up every weekday at 6pm doesn’t do that for you?

      • weston 18.1.1

        no it doesnt do it for me Andre and much as i appreciate micky,s effort as previously stated, The Daily Review is never gonna be The Nightly Review or whatever it may be called .Im suggesting something NEW !Not as yet another place for the same commenters to say something else after exausting OM etc but for people who Cant comment during the day while and when the (or their )discussion is taking place .Imo theres a disconnect if u cant speak with people at the time they are engaged .I think TS could benefit from the creation of a new venue specifically for night time engagement hopefully not called anything as boring sounding as the Daily Review ! (sorry micky )

        • Andre 18.1.1.1

          So how do you want it to be different to Daily Review?

          Do you want everyone who comments during the day to be excluded from your new forum?

          Do you want every topic that’s already been discussed during the day to be excluded from your new forum?

          • weston 18.1.1.1.1

            nope dont want anyone excluded andre im not big on rules an regs in my case i usually find myself reading the comments that have occurred during the day out of interest without commenting much myself ; if a night time community developed perhaps the daily contributors would act similarly ?Since quite a few people comment quite late in the evening i imagine there could be some engagement from the regulars depending on the topics etc

  19. Cinny 19

    Love TS, it’s the only social media I engage in. I keep coming back because of the intelligent conversation, the humor, the broad range of views and exception knowledge of all who contribute.

    Everyone here, the writers, commenters, left and right, have broadened my mind and enhanced my life. Very grateful for that, big up’s and big thank you’s to ALL.

  20. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

    What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people.

    For mine, it is the commenters who make this place special. If you look at our comrade Bomber’s blog, which often has posts on the same topics as TS, there is no life in the comments section. As I understand it, each comment at TDB is held until released by a moderator. That means that there is no flow, no conversation, no engagement.

    It’s different here. The commentary is effectively live and takes on a life of its own. This permissive approach to debate is vital to the Standard’s success. As WtB notes above, the community has to a large extent self regulated and the moderation workload has dropped considerably in recent times.

    I’d also like to give a nod to the righties who comment here. TS is not an echo chamber and differing opinions make for good debate. It’s great that conservative opinion is not shouted down, but rather, is argued against rationally. Well, mostly!

    The site is better for the contributions from people we don’t agree with, in my opinion.

    Speaking of opinions, it’s obvious from the hundreds of comments in OM each day that there are commenters here who write really well, who spark debate and who have obvious potential to become authors. I’d love to see more guest posts for a start.

    I’m only too happy to work with anyone who wants to give it a go; you supply the words, I’ll find a photo and a headline and let’s see what happens. You may surprise yourself!

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    The Standard is a great forum for “people watching”, or rather, a chance to quietly observe how other people think, reason, debate, argue, present their ideas, “hear” the ideas of others and weigh those up against your own. It’s very good to have your own ideas and perceptions challenged and to recognise how redundant or faulty some of your own views are. It’s also a good chance to learn how to discuss issues in a manner that doesn’t alienate others. Trolls are interesting in that they challenge your views and your temperament; they hold a big advantage over us in that they can employ simple methods that are difficult to counter quickly – most trolling requires multiple responses to nullify; it’s just how it is; Gish Gallop would be a good example. I think it’s not useful to call anyone, “troll” or describe their behaviour as “trolling” as nothing is ever gained by doing so, imo and that shorthand just simplifies and solidifies the problem, in the way that calling someone a “commy” might do. Veutoviper’s response to James recently is the exemplar for addressing such behaviour: informed and well-reasoned, without recourse to name calling, it stopped him in his tracks and drew praise from all over; that’s how ya do it (that, plus elegant mockery, if you can pull it off 🙂
    Aside from that, the authors at TS are to be congratulated for their perseverance in what is a difficult forum; we don’t see the behind the scenes wrangling and tangling, but in a team of political activists, it must be a factor. Lastly, I have to say I reckon the commenters here are great people, bright and buoyant and well-intentioned. It’s fun chewing the fat with you all.

    • Anne 21.1

      The Standard is a great forum for “people watching”, or rather, a chance to quietly observe how other people think, reason, debate, argue, present their ideas, “hear” the ideas of others and weigh those up against your own.

      Couldn’t agree more. A fascinating microcosm of a NZ community with a slant towards the more progressive among us. Having said that, there are times when some of our rwnjs (and I don’t use the term in a negative sense – most of us here are lwnjs) give us a well deserved bollocking and I thank them for that. We, that is none of us, are right all of the time.

  22. greywarshark 22

    There is room for deeply felt intransigence here. Then it’s good to be aware of it and regard it as a rock that is handy for a location place, to which a different argument can refer. The thing is not to spend precious time trying to adjust and change that commenter who is not interested in rationality, just stating theory or possibility. So two quotes could apply to the same person in this case:

    Dorothy L Parker’s:

    “In youth, it was a way I had,
    To do my best to please.
    And change, with every passing lad
    To suit his theories.

    But now I know the things I know
    And do the things I do,
    And if you do not like me so,
    To hell, my love, with you.”
    ― Dorothy Parker, The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker

    and
    ― gerard way
    Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.”
    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-discovery

  23. Bobo 23

    Congrats on the ten years, I used to comment on here in the earlier days but still keep an eye when topics flare up.

    Cheers 🙂

  24. Observer Tokoroa 24

    By their Fruit you shall know them

    The Standard has allowed many of us to express an Opinion. For that alone, we owe a profound Acknowledgement to LPRENT for Hundreds of Thousands of Topical Articles, Conversations; and Digital References. On a Daily Basis !

    Many knowledgeable writers have stepped forward to give of their Expertise, and to table important issues. Adding Stature to our Blog of Aoteroa Blogs. Micky Savavge has been one such Writer.

    Gradually, during the past 10 years, ruthless death bearing Capitalism is losing ground – across the Democratic World. Only pathetic Monsters hang on to Capitalist Crap and destroy their Nations.

    The Trolls – who inevitably have shallow lives and swamp the blank spots on here, are a comic copy of the Putins, Aristocracies – Trumps. They simply cannot understand that all humans have a right to equality. They are a very grumpy lot. Wealthy people always are.

    The Standard allows the Trolls their stupidities, within bounds.

    I doubt there will be any Capitalism left in ten years time . Well Done The Standard. There will be no more puffed up National thieves either.

    • greywarshark 24.1

      Broad sweeping ideas Observer, It’s like looking at the vista from a mountaintop reading you. Maybe it will happen as you imagine, but it’s good to discuss the trends towards or away as we go and that you have stayed around, and sounding more positive than earlier.

      …dotted everywhere,
      Ironic points of light
      Flash out wherever the Just
      Exchange their messages:
      W H Auden
      http://www.poemdujour.com/Sept1.1939.html

  25. Observer Tokoroa 25

    Yes Yes – Greywarshark

    “The Poem of the Day”. W H Auden.

    I feel rather scrappy and bitsy in such company as yours. And in that of Anne and Patricia Bremner. Others too.

    Meanwhile, I get energised by the much needed Houses being flung this way and that way by a determined courageous Giant named Phil Twyford. New Zealand’s finest Mr Fixit. While his detractors are mere simpletons.

    Ugly pimples such as Judith Collins shit on him. Ditzy Paula too. The Herald creeps who do nothing other than list the dead do nothing; neither the innane Hosking. who grabs more or less all for himself . A jester. A joke. An idiot. A nobody.

    For, in the past 10 years, Sir John Key and that strange little Knight of the Realm, Billy English allowed Housing only for the wealthy Capitalists. Has there ever been such an appalling NZ tragedy as that handed out by the Scum we know as National ?

    Fonterra – Fletchers – rolling around in their own mess – typical examples of NZ Industry. Useless Management. Praise them. They will steal the money from the poor to rebuild their mistakes. Of that we can be sure.

    New Zealand is ever so proud of praising itself . Perhaps we should set ourselves real standards for the next 10 years.

  26. A couple of suggestions.

    Fewer posts attacking the Opposition – don’t try to match barking at every passing car with barking at every bark. Pick your battles.

    More posts debating topical Government initiatives and proposals, and allowing wide ranging discussions (with personal attacks discouraged). This would be more useful to policy developers than PR/propaganda style repeating.

    • Muttonbird 26.1

      Go easy on the National Party, you say. What have they done to deserve that.

      • Pete George 26.1.1

        I didn’t say go easy on them.
        I say pick your battles and do fewer critiques (or holding to account) better. I think that is a more effective approach – too much ongoing noise, and too many trivial quibbles, are more easily ignored.

        • Robert Guyton 26.1.1.1

          “Fewer posts attacking the Opposition ”
          “I didn’t say go easy on them.”
          Hmmmmm….

        • mickysavage 26.1.1.2

          I hear what you say Pete but the problem is they offer so many targets …

        • Muttonbird 26.1.1.3

          Like you picked the Sroubek case to attack Labour? How’d that work out for you?

          • Pete George 26.1.1.3.1

            It was probably the most discussed political story of the last couple of months. The media took a lot of interest in it. It was an issue that deserved answers, and deserved a change of decision.

            It didn’t involve me so there was nothing to work out for me.

            More importantly, how did it work out for Iain Lees-Galloway? I think he was a promising Minister, but this was a damaging mistake for him. He rushed a decision, stuffed up, tried to defend it, but ended up changing his decision. It was embarrassing for him and for the Government.

            How did it work out for Jacinda Ardern? Ok in the end, perhaps, but she let questions fester for weeks before making a clear statement in Parliament. The way she acted, or failed to act, made it look like she was trying to hide an awkward association. It was one of the more notable missteps form her as Prime Minister.

            November 3 – PM Jacinda Ardern has lost confidence in decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency

            Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern believes the public will judge the Government on how it responds to the Karel Sroubek situation from now onwards.

            Speaking at the Labour Party conference on Saturday, Ardern said she no longer has confidence in the decision to grant Sroubek residency “given the information we’ve now seen in the public realm”.

            “When you are in government these kinds of situations do present themselves, it’s all about how you manage – it’s all about the way you fix mistakes when they do occur.”

            I think it too long to fix. The story was still getting a lot of attention a month and a half later.

            17 December –Tova O’Brien: She may not be, but Jacinda Ardern looks dodgy

            Just as Jami-Lee Ross was the most damaging political scandal of the year for National, Karel Sroubek has been the most piercing dagger in Labour’s side.

            And just as Mr Ross tainted Simon Bridges and his leadership so too does Sroubek damage the Prime Minister.

            … her failure to disclose a text she got from her buddy – and Sroubek’s good mate – Richie Hardcore is so problematic.

            It’s extremely unlikely there’s any great conspiracy here – no Ardern/Hardcore/Sroubek alliance – but this is a perception issue and it looks dodgy.

            Ms Ardern promised to lead the most open and transparent Government New Zealand has seen. That doesn’t mean picking and choosing to be open and transparent when it benefits her.

            It was not a good way for Ardern and the Government to end the year, reversing a dodgy decision and looking dodgy in dealing with it.

            It didn’t work out well for them, and may still cause them more problems.

            • Muttonbird 26.1.1.3.1.1

              Very negative I must say. It’s almost as if you are obsessed with dumping on your opponents…

    • Sacha 26.2

      Interesting to hear Slater has had a stroke. Could you see the effects at court?

      • Pete George 26.2.1

        I believe he has, although they seem to have kept that hushed at Whale Oil.

        I haven’t been in a position to see any effects at court. He hasn’t posted at Whale Oil since his medical event (he had been going hard out versus Bridges over Jami-lee Ross and abruptly stopped) but after a few weeks funkstille has been commenting from time to time, so seems to not be mentally incapacitated. I presume you’re referring to the Blomfield v Slater defamation where I think an award against Slater is to be decided, but I understand that Slater is represented so his health shouldn’t be an issue.

  27. Observer Tokoroa 27

    Hi Pete George

    It is exceedingly difficult to think of anything worthwhile that the Opposition has done in the last 30 years. Everything they touch goes only to their lobbyists, and Corporate small time buddies.

    But if you could think of something, I would try and borrow a few gushing lines from that blatantly one eyed kinderfutilegarten “The Herald”.

    Although the problem there, is that they have more strokes, dementias and trash – than any other publication in the Southern Hemisphere. Mostly because of their inability to Employ clean Journalists and Commenters.. They are a “toe the line” mob. A nightmare!

    If you could personally bathe daily the men and women of the National Mess Party, I would for my part try very hard to get them to resign, and find jobs cleaning up Auckland. It needs it.

    In the meantime – thanks Pete.

    • “It is exceedingly difficult to think of anything worthwhile that the Opposition has done in the last 30 years.”

      It depends on how hard you look and what your prejudices are.

      Budget 2015: Benefits rise in bid to tackle child poverty

      The package, announced in the Governnment’s Budget on Thursday, will give families on benefits with children a $25-a-week boost to their incomes, while-low income working families will get at least $12.50 a week extra.

      The increase to benefits is the first, beyond inflation, since 1977.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/68742199/null

      Every Government does good things as well as questionable things as well as making poor decisions, or make changes that turn out to have negative effects.

      • Kay 27.1.1

        Still trying to push that load of bullshit Pete? Points for persistence I suppose.
        Say something often enough and you’ll believe it’s true. I guess you have to keep telling yourself because the cold hard truth that’s it’s nothing more than Natz propaganda is too much for you to cope with.

        We all need to call out posters who persist in pushing alleged wonderful things or crimes made by any Government that are known to be blatantly false or grossly exaggerated. They keep pushing it, we keep calling them out.

        Happy New Year.

      • Jum 27.1.2

        And what did your owned political dementors steal from the beneficiaries via richardson and co before then?

        Not to mention what your party of the greedy did to remove any financial or dignified advantage of that $25. You must be so f grateful for the short attention spans of so many Kiwis. But I certainly won’t forget your greed, your self-interest, your self-interested membership of global fiscal tentacles.

        You and your greedy philosophy to benefit the monied destroyed these people’s lives and every word you type is tainted with selfishness.

        • Pete George 27.1.2.1

          You’re a long way of target here. I have had nothing to do with any of what you claim.

        • Robert Guyton 27.1.2.2

          Yeah, Pete – we “won’t forget your greed, your self-interest, your self-interested membership of global fiscal tentacles”!!
          Ya rotter!

          • Pete George 27.1.2.2.1

            I have no idea what you’re on about Robert. What you have quoted has no connection to me, even though you’ve implied that it has. Looks dishonest to me.

            • Robert Guyton 27.1.2.2.1.1

              Just teasing’ ya, Pete; Jum seems to know (or at least think) something about you that provoked him to post those words in your honour. You’re very serious at the tail end of the year; I hope the new year provides you with the opportunity to let your hair down a little, loosen your truss a bit and enjoy life; 2019 going to be the full 365 days – pace yourself, Pete!

              • “Just teasing’ ya, Pete”

                No, you were making up bull to smear me. Claiming ‘just teasing’ is a slimy non-excuse when called on it.

                I’m quite happy with how I pace myself.

                It just came to my attention today that you either misunderstood or made something up:

                Open Mike 24/12/2018

                You haven’t been banned. After repeatedly ignoring requests and warnings you are currently on moderation, meaning comments need to be cleared. That’s because you have proven untrustworthy too many times.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Scenious.

                Experienced this twice. New Plymouth 1980’s punk (and mushroom) scene, all manner of art, bands, comics, books, albums, clothing etc. NZ 2000’s, comedy scene that emerged in Kitty O’Briens but boomed around the emergence of The Classic. Many famous names cutting their teeth. Many many laughs now enjoyed worldwide.

  28. Pablo 28

    From a small progressive site to a much bigger one, congrats. Different cups of tea but generally on the same side, so may yours be another productive year in defence of what is good and just.

    • mickysavage 28.1

      Same to you Pablo. I enjoyed your recent Trump post. Any thoughts on us running it here with attribution?

      • Dennis Frank 28.1.1

        The most interesting bit: “suspicions emerging in print that he is addicted to the prescription stimulant Adderol (which is a 25th amendment grounds for removal”.

        Watching the Dems voting to install a fundamentalist christian as president would be a thrilling experience for leftists the world over, d’ye think?? Anyway, the fascinating question is will Congress subpoena his doctor for confirmation (and will the doctor be as keen to testify as his lawyer).

        • Pablo 28.1.1.1

          Dennis:

          The story about Trump’s possible addiction to prescription medicine surfaced in the media but died quickly. I have a feeling it will resurface once the Dems take over the committees responsible for investigating his behaviour and then yes, his doctors could well be summoned to testify under oath. You may recall that the White House physician who he had initially was forced to resign after Trump nominated him for a cabinet job because of allegations that he passed around pills and was drunk on duty. That guy as well as the present WH doctor could well wind up sitting across the table from those committees. Should be interesting.

      • Pablo 28.1.2

        Micky: Thanks for that. You are welcome to use it is you think it might appeal to your readers.

  29. Marcus 29

    I forget the name of that pre-08 election hooton/trotter hosted messageboard which Trotter never returned to so it became hooton’s stream of consciousness anti Labour argument briefly interrupted by anyone who could be bothered to engage. But in amongst the red whine appeared a comment announcing ‘The Standard’ with a link, declaring there had to be a left political blog. Quite right.

    Robinsod. Why was he ever banned. In years to come when I’m recalling that old blog called The Standard, I’ll always remember Robinsod lol

  30. Observer Tokoroa 30

    About Bribery and Corruption

    The General Election September 2017, which brought MMP to life and dumped the National Mess came as a massive shock to Party “that cares only for the few”.

    That “few ” being a few Newspaper Millionaires, A few large Businesses that still refuse to pay its Staff the proper wages. A Future that removed the possibility of the ordinary New Zealander to ever afford to buy His/her own home.

    It also prevented the normal renter from gaining even a small income – to have even the tiniest amount of money to live upon and raise family.

    Well Done Sir John Key. The Queen of England has Knighted you. Well done Billy English, the same Dame has Knighted you. You have handed out the most massive Poverty this nation has ever suffered.

    To put it politely, You Wealthy useless lots are scum and thieves.

    In that Election you promised each wealthy person over $100. You promised each worker $25.

    I may have my numbers a little wrong. I apologise for that. But I must ask that NO Political Party in any Election must ever BRIBE any voter with MONEY. Even if the money is provided by The Brethren or the Destiny or Whatever. Or by Mrs Boag or David Farrar.

    National Mess has scummed itself forever, by endeavouring to buy the Votes ($100 for the Wealthy, $25 for the worker).

    And on top of that they have dragged the Queen of England into their National Mess.

  31. Observer Tokoroa 31

    The intelligent journalist (yes there has been one ) GK Chesterton, England (1874-1936), described himself as a person who wrote on the back of Advertisements.

    The modern Journalist is a Goebbles. Operating under the pseudo word “Media” for the cunning Wealthy.

  32. Exkiwiforces 32

    I would like to say thank you for a wonderful blog site and I’ve still got that pile of cash I was meant to deposit into The Standard bank account on my last visit to NZ.

    This site and 5 other sites (the daily blog, Pablo’s site, Wings over New Zealand Forum site, the Greater Transport blog for my rail fix and old Trotters blog) are the only NZ blogs I comment. But I spend a fair bit here or over at WONZ.

    I’m not the usual type of lefty or the hairy unwashed as some of fellow bloggers say to me at another site dealing with Defence related issues. But I hope what I’ve post here explains or gives an understanding or my rather some times blunt reply on what goes on in the mind of service personal at Tactical or at Strategic level and or from my own experience on Warlike or Peacekeeping operations. If some still at The Standard think that having a Peacekeeping focus Defence Force is the easiest and the cheapest way than maintaining a Warlike Defence Force? Please think again as Peacekeeping is far more dangerous than fighting some mad bloke wearing a dish dash armed with an AK- 47 or firing an SA-7 at you than some one who really doesn’t give a shit about basic human rights where rape or cutting one’s limbs off is more efficient and effective than shooting someone while wearing civilian or a mix of civilian/ military clothing.

    Yes I’ve had a boot up the backside from Lyn over the White Poppy article after I had one to many rums on ANZAC Day and when I got to Singers 2 days later, I then realised i probably shouldn’t have written it. The other is getting a one mth ban from Bill when old Wei popped up and I call him out for what he was for and thence why I’m a little gun shy IRT old mate Mark of late atm.

    I would like to write some posts on Defence, CC effects from a Military POV or NZ Sea Lanes Of Command a number of other areas in which I have an interest in. But every time I write something it turns out to be a War and Peace like paper / essay type which would more likely bore the shit out of most people here.
    Any tips or tropic that you would like to discuss would be most helpful as have an awful amount of time now.

    Cheers and best wishers the year ahead and for another 10yrs.

    Exkiwiforces from a rather dry (should be wet) Darwin. Bloody CC atm we need to fix this shit up.

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Well I’m in Weipa at the moment and have plenty of wet today.

      Cyclone Penny was only a Cat 1 landfall a few hours ago, went right over the top of us. My first cyclone, but really not much worse than a typical NZ storm.

      Still it’s the second one in four weeks, it seems every moderately well organised low that gets into the gulf this year intensifies rapidly. Fortunately this one only had 24 hours or so over water before it turned back towards us.

      As for our marxist mate Mark … well it’s always better to talk these things through. All the alternatives are worse. It’s the best justification for why The Standard exists in my mind.

    • McFlock 32.2

      I’d be interested in those articles.

      I’m not a big writer, but in some respects trimming down to a word limit is more difficult than space-filling.

      I tend to write in my conversational style, so I have lots of side-comments and redundancies that can be trimmed. There’s the Hemingway idea about never writing sentences longer than twelve words. It forces you to use more precise language. It also ensures distinct concepts are kept separate. That’s an essential step to making one 20,000 word essay twenty 1,000 word articles. Numbers don’t count as words 🙂

      • RedLogix 32.2.1

        Hi … we’ve had a few good debates; sometimes going over the edge into snark, but generally any rancour has been short-lived thankfully. I appreciate the challenge and your honesty.

        As for length; when I discovered that any email longer than 1000 words never gets read it became a wonderful gambit. I could always go back and say “hey didn’t you read this?” 🙂

      • lprent 32.2.2

        I’d be interested in those posts as well.

        As I think that most people here are aware I have a finely tuned sense for when people are behaving badly on a tactical or strategic level. That is primarily a side-effect of reading far too much history over the years and in particular the history of conflict and political misdirection.

        It appears to an inherent part of almost* human society that I have ever looked at above the size of a small band (and seems to be common there as well). Sometimes cycles up into systematic societal violence, but often just bubbles below. But it is the reason that every surviving stable society maintains reserve powers that are draconian and forces to back them to limit a spiral into extreme stupidity.

        I’d prefer to not have to use either, but I also think that both need to be precise and well trained respectively.

        And that is before you start to consider natural disasters and disaster shock issues.

        * Bushman society? I’m still skeptical.

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    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
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