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The test of MMP

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, August 5th, 2020 - 123 comments
Categories: election 2020, greens, labour, MMP, national, nz first, winston peters - Tags:

The left’s change of fortune in the last 3 years is still kind of mindblowing. In 2017, the election that many believed the left would lose was twice turned on its head. First by Metiria Turei’s speech announcing the Green Party’s new welfare policy, where she, and they, managed to shift the Overton Window on poverty and welfare in a way that no-one else had managed through the long 30 years of neoliberalism. We owe them a great debt for this.

Turei’s speech was closely followed by the resignation of Andrew Little as leader of the Labour Party, and we are fortunate that Little’s timing and how he managed that process enabled the rise of Jacinda Ardern (imo Little is one of the best men in parliament currently, and like the Greens points the way to post-macho politics).

Forward three years, covid changed everything again. At the start of the year, there was a fair chance of a Labour-led victory but it was by no means certain. This has morphed into an Opposition in disarray and Labour having a high likelihood of being able to govern with no coalition partners.

Two other features of this year’s election are the potential removal of NZ First from parliament, and the increase in ACT’s party vote. I’m not writing off Winston Peters until the final votes are counted, such are his legendary Lazarus powers, but I also have the feeling that this time he has misjudged the electorate, who in the age of covid want a kind of security that doesn’t come from powermongering, divisive politics, but from people being good to each other and the sense of we are in this together.

Peters has long applied the monkeywrench to MMP, using the inherent advantage of centrist parties to play each side off the other and to consolidate his power. Sometimes it’s hard not to admire his gall and mastery of his trade, but this isn’t the MMP that many of us envisaged whereby representation broadened and democractic engagement increased. The Peters’ era MMP is basically FPP with the power to enforce the status quo consolidated into the hands of one man.

It’s not that I don’t see a place for NZ First in parliament, it’s that as the global crises deepen, we desperately need to move on from macho politics and I can’t see that happening as long as Peters remains. I hope this is the year we reject the divine right of kingmakers.

Then there is the prospect of ACT having 5 MPs in opposition. One of the gifts of MMP is that we get to see true colours. Rather than having the hard right hidden within National, better to be able to see what they are doing and what they want to achieve out in the open. Also who will work with them and why. ACT historically had appeared more as liberal libertarians, but this is changing as they actively cultivate gun culture, Trumpian politics, and the racism that comes with both. There are multiple challenges here for the left, but there’s also an opportunity to work with what MPP offers.

Which brings us to the Greens. Long the conscience of the left, if we listen to the polls we apparently don’t need one any more.

Two of the popular narratives about the Green Party, in the mainstream discourse but also in parts of the left, are that the Greens 1) haven’t achieved much in this first term and b) are neoliberal centrists. The right love those narratives, for obvious reasons, harder to see what the left have to gain, especially in the face of some of the most progressive policy in decades.

[tweet https://twitter.com/wekatweets/status/1287164216160354304]

The responses to this policy document from many on the left were strangely muted, as with the earlier welfare policy, the most progressive social security policy I’ve seen in my 50 odd years.

Understandably, because of 2014 and 2017 (and the Morris Dancing legacy), the Greens have been focused on changing the mainstream perception of the party as economically unreliable or too left field. My understanding is that party activists and others close to the party have pushed the Greens to now front foot the more radical progressive policies.

This doesn’t surprise me, because the progressive nature of the Green kaupapa is built into the party and timing is everything. Rather than the Greens being centrist neolibs, they’ve played the hand dealt them and trod a fine line between their values and the pragmatics of parliamentary politics.

As for the idea that the Greens haven’t achieved much, given the number of MPs they have and that they’ve worked outside of Cabinet for three years, I think it’s time to acknowledge that the Greens have really stepped up. The narrative on the left that they haven’t done anything really needs to die now. For those that missed it, here’s the list of what they have done this term.

Two things interest me now. One is the 4.4% of voters who voted Green in 2014, then Labour in 2017, dropping Green MPs from fourteen to eight. What are those 95,000 odd voters thinking now?

The other is does the left actually want MMP? At at time of big shifts of power in parliament, will New Zealand look to the full potential of our electoral system?

123 comments on “The test of MMP ”

  1. Gosman 1

    You claim NZ doesn't want divisive politics in relation to NZ First yet you then imply that ACT has increased it's vote as a result of divisive politics. What is it then? Do NZers want divisive politics or don't they?

    [if you think 3% of the electorate = New Zealand, then sorry, you are too stupid to comment here. Much more likely you are trolling, which you’ve been warned about too many times this year. Double the last ban = two weeks. Bring the good stuff next time Gosman – weka]

    • Red Blooded One 1.1

      Those sentence's aren't mutually inclusive, "NZ doesn't want …" I presume the author means the majority of NZ'rs. "ACT has increased … " means ACT voters have increased because of divisive politics, not the majority of NZ'rs. Please feel free to educate me if you are so much wiser.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      The majority of NZers don't want divisive politics – ACT voters do because when its every person for themselves is when they make their biggest profits by screwing over everyone else.

    • Chris 1.3

      "Do NZers want divisive politics or don't they?"

      Wow! What a question! It really should be given the award for the most ill-thought-out and utterly meaningless question in the history of questions.

      Unfortunately, it isn't a silly question because the answer is that many, many right-wing thinking people do want divisive politics because that's the only way right-wing parties can get traction with voters.

      • weka 1.3.1

        substantially less RW voters want that currently though.

        • Chris 1.3.1.1

          I hope so, but we're yet to see the filth Collins will inevitably produce in the coming weeks and whether RW voters will like it. I suspect many will like it.

  2. Ad 2

    1999: 5.16%

    2002: 7%

    2005: 5.3%

    2008: 6.72%

    2011: 11.02%

    2014: 10.70%

    2017: 6.3%

    Greens would have to try reasonably hard to annoy their loyal base so much that they don't even make it back.

    Over two decades, MMP is alive and well for the Greens.

    • Andre 2.1

      Greens would have to try reasonably hard to annoy …

      As far as I'm concerned, and many of the green voters I hang with, the list that only has three people in the top ten who appear identifiably focused on green issues, along with the appallingly ill-conceived wealth tax (instead of continuing to fight for the much more sensible capital gains tax), come together to have a good go at creating that annoyance.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        Andre….I vote Green and I like the wealth tax….what is your gripe with it…too soft?

        • Andre 2.1.1.1

          First, it catches some people on low incomes but happen to live where house price inflation has bumped them up into the zone where it hits. So they will have to go into debt to pay the tax, and taking on debt is a huge psychological issue for a lot of people that have been debt-free and don't have opportunities to increase their income. A capital gains tax works much better in this situation, as it only comes due when something as psychologically important as a home gets converted into a mere financial instrument by being sold (or otherwise changing ownership)

          Its low threshold would significantly complicate annual taxes for a lot of people of relatively modest means. If you already need to use an accountant for your taxes, then sure it's just paying the accountant a bit more for the extra time. But for a lot of people that would be caught, right now their taxes are so simple they don't even need to file a tax return. Sure, that also applies to CGT, but that for most people that would only come around rarely, not annually.

          In terms of the philosophy behind it, it comes across as simply wanting to stick it to rich pricks. In a similar way, TOP's CCT came across as the wet dream of an economist that thinks of everything in terms of a dollar price, and thinks the tax system should force people to maximise the dollar return of everything they do. In both cases, the tax lacks any connection from how society contributed to growing what is being taxed. Presumably it would continue to apply even if the assets it applies to lose value. Whereas a capital gains tax only applies to how someone has benefited from society helping to grow that benefit.

          That kind of tax also disincentivises activities such as ecosystem restoration on farms, because it forces the owners to come up with more active income to pay the tax. A wealth tax makes it much harder to just forego a little bit of lost production and maybe a bit less capital gain, when you're stuck with paying a wealth tax on something that's not earning you the money to pay the tax. Again, a capital gains tax works much better for this since it only comes due when the asset that previously had significant psychological important and other non-monetary value gets turned into a mere financial instrument by being sold.

          • Bearded Git 2.1.1.1.1

            Andre….A couple who have net wealth of $2 million pay no Wealth Tax at all under the Greens plan. That sounds far from onerous to me.

            CGT is massively complicated to implement and because no party will include the family home, will raise far less than the Greens Wealth Tax.

            People who live in residences worth into the millions but have low incomes and limited cash have made massive untaxed capital gains over the last 20 years. I don't have much sympathy with the argument that they should not pay wealth tax. They should take the opportunity to sell the residence and generate cash and then move into a less valuable perhaps smaller residence-often this would be able to be achieved in or near where they live now.

            I don't think the Wealth Tax comes across as sticking it to rich pricks. This seems to be contradicted by your argument that the threshold is too low. In fact it seems to come across to me that you or your family may be affected by the tax yourself-is that why you aren't impressed with it?

            I don't really follow your ecosystem argument. The Greens say the Wealth Tax will raise $7.9 billion in the first year…I am sure some of this would be earmarked for ecosystem work among other Climate Change friendly measures.

            • Andre 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Because I am a dual US/NZ citizen resident in NZ, occasionally I have to pay taxes to the US as well as NZ. That happens when I have a large capital gain, which the US taxes and NZ does not. Because of my retirement savings built up in the US that are still there, I also pay Cullen's Foreign Investment Fund tax which operates effectively as a wealth tax.

              So far in my life I have paid vastly more capital gains tax than FIF tax. Yet the capital gains tax doesn't bother me, because it falls due when the cashflow is there to support it. But the FIF irritates the fuck out of me every time I pay it, because it's levied regardless of cashflow, and it even happens that the FIF tax is due when the fund has actually lost value. From personal experience, the way the FIF wealth tax operates induces decisions that are quite a lot less optimal than would be made under a capital gains tax regime, which also likely results in less tax being ultimately collected.

              You appear to have no idea of how the tax operates, so you're just pulling ignorant reckons out of your arse. As for "just sell up and go somewhere else", suggesting that people leave their life community because a new tax imposes onerous burdens just because they've done well on capital gains – well, fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

              Take the cut of the gains to go back into maintaining society when it's no longer their home and lives we're talking about, but merely the finances resulting from the sale of property that has been moved on from. That's a capital gains tax, that doesn't fuck with people's lives in order to satisfy an ideological urge.

              As for your sly insinuation I'm opposed because I might have to pay the tax, that just reinforces my opinion that those proposing this have no fucking idea of what effects it may have, and are therefore unfit for office. So congratulations, you've nudged me further away from the Greens.

            • solkta 2.1.1.1.1.2

              They should take the opportunity to sell the residence and generate cash and then move into a less valuable perhaps smaller residence

              They don't need to do this as the tax can be deferred until the house is sold. Some councils already allow this with rates.

              I am sure some of this would be earmarked for ecosystem work among other Climate Change friendly measures

              This new tax is intended to pay for the Poverty Action Plan.

              https://www.greens.org.nz/poverty_action_plan

              • Thank you Soltka-helpful contributions from you, unlike Andre above who seems to to be fanatically opposed to a Wealth Tax and never really intended to vote Green.

                I hadn't spotted the ability to defer the WT-the detail is often the key in tax matters (I am a qualified accountant, lapsed.) This further bolsters my support for the WT.

                I would only comment that when $7.9 billion comes in from the Wealth Tax this can be spent on (as you say) poverty alleviating measures that are at the same time climate friendly-they are not mutually exclusive. For instance if houses are insulated this reduces energy costs for someone struggling to make ends meet while also helping the planet.

          • Brigid 2.1.1.1.2

            Andre it pays to refer to the source.

            From the Greens website

            "The net wealth tax will be set at 1% on net wealth over $1 million and 2% on net wealth over $2 million. This is likely to raise around $7.9billion in its first year. No one whose individual net wealth is less than $1 million would pay this tax. We have designed the tax to apply at an individual level, which means that couples who own their assets jointly will only start paying tax if they jointly have over $2 million in net wealth,such as a $2 million house. "

            "Some people, particularly retired people, may have a high value home but only modest income. These people will be able to defer payment of the net wealth tax until the home is sold, just as many councils already allow with rates payments."

            https://www.greens.org.nz/poverty_action_plan

            • Andre 2.1.1.1.2.1

              I've seen the effects on the mental well-being of some people that were debt-free being forced to go back into debt, which is what a deferred tax liability feels like. It can be so severe that anyone proposing something like this obviously has no fucking clue what the effects could be, and are therefore unfit for government.

              The much better way to deal with this issue is a capital gains tax, and it's a failure on the part of the Greens that they are not continuing to push for the better answer and have instead tried to come up with some sort of back-door workaround that simply reinforces the worst stereotypes about left governments.

              • Brigid

                In what way is the deferred tax on the family home of a retired couple (say) different from the CGT payable on the sale of the home. Why should one be detrimental to ones mental health while the other is not?

                The fact is really that this generic retired couple need not concern themselves about this tax at all. If they choose to tie themselves in knots over it perhaps a person (you) could assure them that actually all is fine and that their perceived debt is just a book entry and is likely to remain so until they shuffle off this mortal coil.

                • Andre

                  Because a deferred tax is a debt that the taxpayer is personally on the hook for, and it keeps building and building, and there's no way to clear it.

                  Whereas a capital gains tax is merely sending a cut of the profits at time of sale to the government, to help maintain the society that made the profit possible.

                  I watched a neighbour in the US get slowly more and more distraught over the size of her deferred property tax bill (basically same as rates here), in a suburb where values had been creeping down for a while. Neither her family nor I nor other neighbours could help her come round to the idea that it wasn't something she should worry about and there was no way it was going to cause her to lose her home, or cause problems for anyone else. Finally her son in desperation went and paid off the accumulated taxes, which she took as an extremely serious affront to her independence. I heard several other similar stories from other people while I was there.

                  So no, rather than see that kind of scenario play out ever again, I'd rather the Greens hardened up and fought for the better answer which is a capital gains tax. It's a big enough issue that I'd rather see the Greens completely out this term, with the risk of them not coming back in 2023, than having even the tiny risk that they somehow get Labour to agree to it in lieu of the capital gains tax Labour stupidly ruled out.

                  It's better to not have anything at all and wait for the chance to implement the good solution, rather than go backwards by implementing something deeply deeply flawed from the beginning. It's not like the Greens have given up trying to fight for other goals they can't get implemented immediately. Or have they just rolled over on everything else that's a little bit hard and I haven't noticed?

                  • joe90

                    My mum spent her final years fretting about interest accruing on a reverse mortgage.

                  • weka

                    Because a deferred tax is a debt that the taxpayer is personally on the hook for, and it keeps building and building, and there's no way to clear it.

                    Whereas a capital gains tax is merely sending a cut of the profits at time of sale to the government, to help maintain the society that made the profit possible.

                    is this primarily a psychological thing? Because if I own a house worth $1.5m and I have to pay a % to the govt when I sell it, I'm not sure there's a huge amount of difference between that % being calculated on the asset that has yearly accrued capital vs a % being calculated yearly on the same asset. If the day I sell I have to pay $x, the same in each case, what's the difference?

                    • Andre

                      Yes, it's a psychological thing. And for those that aren't so income constrained that they need to defer the tax, the annual drain on their finances caused by a wealth tax still constrains their other choices and options.

                      It's also important to note that a wealth tax is simply the government saying "nice place you got there, we'll take a slice of it" regardless of whether anything is happening to improve the situation. It still applies when the asset is decreasing in value or otherwise losing money. Kinda like a mafia racket.

                      Whereas a capital gains tax only applies to the portion by which the owner is better off because of how things have improved in the meantime. Which usually is quite dependent on the government doing things that improve the value of assets.

                      Consider a few hypothetical cases: someone that buys into a Titirangi block for a $1M because they value the bush and put a lot into looking after the bush. Over 10 years, that value goes up to $1.5M, with kinda slow growth because the government isn't investing in the area and it's getting to be a slower and slower commute into town. Under the Greens wealth tax scenario, the tax bill over those 10 years would add up to $25k, averaging a $2.5k average annual drain on the owners finances. Under a capital gains tax regime, say copied from Australia, there would be no annual drain on cashflow, but on the sale at the end of 10 years there would be a capital gains tax bill of $82.5k at the moment the (former) owner has $1.5M cash siting in their pocket.

                      Or the owner could have become a Kelston slumlord and bought 3 properties for $333K each, but over ten years the total value goes from $1M to $2M because of improved transport links and urban revitalisation projects heavily funded by the government. The wealth tax over that 10 years would add up to $50k, but under a capital gains tax scenario, upon cashing up the capital gains tax would be $165k.

                      Or a hypothetical Murupara small farm owner that bought in at $1.6M, but for a variety of reasons (some due to government neglect of rural regions and regulation changes) the value has dropped to $1.4M ten years later. That would also incur $50k of wealth taxes over ten years, adding insult to injury on top of the capital loss. But under a capital gains tax regime, no capital gains tax would be due because what actually happened was a loss.

                      If you really can't get your head around what that difference is in practice, you really should be questioning your understanding and whether you've got the mental tools to assess what might work well and what might be a fuckup.

                    • mikesh

                      Whereas a capital gains tax is merely sending a cut of the profits at time of sale to the government, to help maintain the society that made the profit possible.

                      There are no profits. The sale of property merely transfers the disposition of one's capital from one asset class to another. e.g. from property to cash. this is true even if the value of one's capital has been enhanced through capital gain.

              • mikesh

                Debt is only a problem if one has to repay it. For most persons in this position the debt will be paid from their estate when they pass on, whence it will operate as a form of inheritance tax. Such an arrangement seems desirable since it acts against the growth of the inequality which might result from intergenerational accumulation.

                It should be noted that he same arguments apply to Morgan's CCT. And, incidentally, Morgan is not saying that anybody should maximize his income, but rather he is saying that non-cash benefits which already exist, and which could be deemed quasi incomes, should be taxed.

                The main problem with capital gains taxes, apart from the unfairness of their incidence, is that they are a tax on capital and, since capital is what we employ to earn income, they reduce our capacity to earn and, incidentally, the amount of income tax that we pay.

                The reason for taxation seems to be that a certain proportion of our productive capacity needs to be put to public use, and, since production is usually reflected in income, the most appropriate method of taxation would seem to be income tax.

                Apart from punitive taxes like those on alcohol and tobacco, the only other tax I would advocate would be a land tax. A land tax seems fair because ultimately the land belongs to all of us, and anyone claiming private ownership should be paying for the privilege. A land tax would also incorporate a capital gains tax by default since most capital gains are on land.

                PS: I am not actually advocating either a wealth tax or Morgan's CCT, but merely pointing out the fallacies in your arguments.

            • Bearded Git 2.1.1.1.2.2

              Brigid-thank you too. See my post to Soltka above.

      • froggleblocks 2.1.2

        Yeah, the wealth tax is an embarrassment. It's simply cemented the idea in the general electorate that the Greens are far-left whack-jobs in favour of taxation policies that have been implemented in a dozen European countries and then repealed in 8 of them due to not working (the latest being France in 2017).

        • Bearded Git 2.1.2.1

          Froggle….see my post above…..the problem is Labour has no plans to meaningfully redistribute wealth at all that I have seen. Feel free to disabuse me of this position.

          The Green’s Wealth Tax may need a little fine tuning but it is a great first step.

          • froggleblocks 2.1.2.1.1

            TOP's UBI policy is far better.

            Greens should have just copied that instead of this hare-brained scheme.

            • Andre 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes on the UBI, but TOP's comprehensive capital tax is even worse in its effects than the Greens' wealth tax.

              • mikesh

                Worse? How so? Since wealth would almost certainly include capital wealth it actually suffers from the same problem as capital gains tax. i.e. Capital is what one employs to earn income and, therefor, taxing it reduces one's capacity for earning income. It is far more logical to tax the yield on capital rather than to tax capita itself.

                Gareth Morgan's CCT on the other hand seems very fair since it taxes a non-cash benefit which should be treated as income. The only problem as far as I can see is that it bases the tax on the home owner's equity in the property rather than on the full value of the property.

      • left_forward 2.1.3

        I am a sometimes Green voter and I particularly like their blend of environmental and social justice policies – I'm very tempted to go with them this time.

        • Andre 2.1.3.1

          If the Greens' current mix of people and policies fit you better right now than they have at other times, and they fit you better than any of the other parties, then sure, for you voting Green makes a lot of sense. If you can honestly say their current offering is a good fit for your values and priorities, I'm happy for you, because feeling like an existing party is a good fit for me is an incredibly rare thing.

          For me, it appears the current Green lineup of people is weak on the issues that matter to me, while possibly going overboard in areas off my priority radar, combined with some policies that are so ill-conceived it calls into question their fitness be in office.

          So yeah, I'm facing a real conundrum as to whether the Greens or Labour are going to be the least nasty smelly dead rat to choke down and vote for.

          • Bearded Git 2.1.3.1.1

            In that case Andre if you are looking for a left-leaning government (however slightly) the obvious vote is Green to make sure this happens.

            National can win this election by only getting 39% if the NZF and Greens votes totalling around 9% are wasted with neither reaching 5%.

            • Andre 2.1.3.1.1.1

              I don't want a left-leaning government that ends up embodying the worst stereotypes of dumb left ideas. I'll take centrism over that, and hope that the further left options come to their senses during a time-out.

    • weka 2.2

      wanting the Greens in a 6% holding pattern is kind of like thinking Peters should be kingmaker. It's essentially a BAU position, one that serves Labourites who want Labour a bit more to the left but not too much. Won't save us from climate change though. Nor provide the wide relief from poverty that is desperately needed. Nor solve the housing crisis.

      Not really the full potential of MMP.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        The Green caucus should try Norman Vincent Peale if they're keen on realising their potential. And they could start with deciding if they want to be in government, or just in Confidence and Supply. Say it out loud James.

        Because right now it really is a popularity contest. No matter what we might wish, this simply isn't a policy election.

      • bwaghorn 2.2.2

        I like the greens at 6-7% . I see them as nzs idealistic conscience. But sorry I dont want them with to much power .

        That said I'm seriously considering voting for them if it looks like labour will romp home.

        The only worry for voting for either is I haven't picked a winner in the last 6 elections and am possible the kiss of death to political parties.

  3. observer 3

    I definitely want MMP. Unfortunately NZ's version of it hasn't evolved as expected (or hoped?).

    Leaving aside the Maori electorates, we've had various parties relying on an electorate MP, at different stages (NZF 99, UF, ACT, Jim Anderton), as well as a constant focus on possible electorate lifeboats for all other parties bar Labour and National. This election is no different, sadly.

    The threshold has to be lowered (say, 3%). Then we could get beyond the all-consuming tactics commentary ("deal? rule out?" etc), and focus on what the parties actually stand for.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Leaving aside the Maori electorates,

      No, don't – they really are a spanner in the works of our democracy.

      The threshold has to be lowered (say, 3%).

      I'd prefer 0.8% and getting rid of the electorates as well.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        I’d prefer 0.8% and getting rid of the electorates as well.

        I utterly and completely agree with this!!

      • Phil 3.1.2

        I'd prefer 0.8%

        Yeah, I'm in this camp as well. If you can garner enough votes to hold 1/120th of the house, you absolutely have a right to be there.

      • Andre 3.1.3

        Definitely 0.83% threshold for a party to get representation.

        But there's a good argument for retaining a degree of local representation by way of electorates. Without electorate MPs, it's quite easy for local issues that nonetheless need to be resolved by the national government to never make it onto the radar. Waitakere Ranges being an example of an issue that might never get properly dealt with without electorate MPs.

        I'm uncomfortable with electorate MPs being more than 50% of the house, tho.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1

          But there's a good argument for retaining a degree of local representation by way of electorates.

          Not really.

          Without electorate MPs, it's quite easy for local issues that nonetheless need to be resolved by the national government to never make it onto the radar.

          That's what we have local government for. Now, it may be that local government needs to have better way to get parliament's attention and have them take action but MPs shouldn't be sticking their nose directly into local issues.

          That said, the Greens have electorate offices here and there despite being primarily a list party and are quite happy for people to stop in and talk about issues. Nothing stopping the other parties from doing the same thing.

          I'm uncomfortable with electorate MPs being more than 50% of the house, tho.

          Yeah, if we're not going to get rid of electorates then having the electorates being equal to or even less than the list seats is the next best thing.

    • froggleblocks 3.2

      The sudden emergence of the Advance/Public party with their conspiracy theory ideas might be of note to those who think the threshold should be reduced to 0.83%

      • Incognito 3.2.1

        If in a Democracy 0.83% of the voters give that party their vote then that party should represent them in Parliament. If you don’t like that, keep the threshold high enough so that anything but mainstream views make it into Parliament AKA BAU.

        • froggleblocks 3.2.1.1

          Having a bunch of fringe nutjobs that take up space and get generous salaries while doing nothing to help New Zealanders is not a great strategy if you want the public to take Parliament seriously.

          We'd certainly end up with at least one religious party in Parliament too, despite all of the ones to date being founded by criminals and/or hypocrits. I guess maybe the next ones won't be?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.1

            Having a bunch of fringe nutjobs that take up space and get generous salaries while doing nothing to help New Zealanders is not a great strategy if you want the public to take Parliament seriously.

            That, too, is part of democracy. If they do really badly then, hopefully, the people who voted them in won't do so again.

            People must be allowed to make mistakes so that they can learn from them

            And, who knows, maybe one of those fringe people might come up with a solution that works and does wonders for society. If we don't listen, we'll never know.

            We'd certainly end up with at least one religious party in Parliament too, despite all of the ones to date being founded by criminals and/or hypocrits. I guess maybe the next ones won't be?

            My preference is that if those elected are criminals then the law gets applied to them appropriately. And, really, considering what National has just been caught doing with people's private health data how many do you think aren't criminals?

          • Andre 3.2.1.1.2

            We've had plenty of fringe nutjobs make it into parliament. They've all been weeded back out by the electorate pretty darn quick, ACT excepted (unfortunately).

            • froggleblocks 3.2.1.1.2.1

              I wouldn't regard any of the minor parties that have made it into Parliament to be nutjobs. Some individual MPs perhaps.

              But we've never had parties actively peddling in conspiracy theories in the house.

              • Draco T Bastard

                But we've never had parties actively peddling in conspiracy theories in the house.

                People who parrot that line are, basically, ignorant.

                12 crazy conspiracy theories that actually turned out to be true

                In fact, wasn't the Winebox Inquiry pretty much a conspiracy theory until Winston got in and got an investigation going?

                Perhaps we need more people in government doing so.

                And, yes, I know that many such theories are dangerous but simply writing them off as you just did can also be. After all, the people actually carrying out a conspiracy don't want people looking for a reason.

                • froggleblocks

                  These people are saying COVID-19 is a "plandemic" and spread by 5G towers.

                  Whatever historical conspiracies turned out to be true is rather irrelevant to the people we are talking about here.

          • gsays 3.2.1.1.3

            We'd certainly end up with at least one religious party in Parliament too,

            Looking at the line-up, The Nats qualify as a religous party.

            …despite all of the ones to date being founded by criminals and/or hypocrits. I guess maybe the next ones won't be?

            I suppose it all depends on your view of CCP as to whether The Crushed Collins Crew tick that box.

        • observer 3.2.1.2

          I can't think of a single democracy where such an electoral system has worked well, but happy to consider examples.

          Observable practice is more useful than theory in this kind of debate. There are certainly many worse systems than ours.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2.1

            Observable practice is more useful than theory in this kind of debate.

            Observed practice can be used to make changes and thus make it work. I can point to where representative democracy hasn't worked too well and then it got changed to work better. I can point to where its definitely not working but the people in power refuse to change it.

            There are certainly many worse systems than ours.

            Yes there are but that should not be an excuse used to prevent making ours even better.

    • Ed1 3.3

      I believe the threshold should be lower, and I have also argued for "coat-tailing' to be removed. This could perhaps be done by applying the threshold to the allocation of any list seats – so if the threshold remained at 5%, ACT would get no MPs in addition to its electorate seat unless they reached 5%. If we believe there should be a threshold, why not apply it consistently?

      • greywarshark 3.3.1

        Makes sense Ed1. Then it would be safer to decrease threshhold to 4% – I wouldn't like to go low.er Parliament isn't a place for apprentice politicians to learn what they need to know, get practicality not fervent ideas, better that they get clued up beforehand.

    • mikesh 3.4

      I would lower the threshold to zero, and at the same time get rid of overhangs. A zero threshold would eliminate the problem of coat tails.

  4. The responses to this policy document from many on the left were strangely muted…

    The doc was released right about the time Jan Logie's inability to say what a woman is and enthusiasm for sex self-ID was breaking on Twitter, so I got the email with the policy doc and a couple of others asking for donations but was busy thinking "Fuck you, fuck off and stop asking me to fund your bullshit," so paid it no attention. I'm still going to vote for them, but it's going to be a while before I can face reading their policy docs.

    • weka 4.1

      hard to gauge how much of an issue this is for the left generally, but I agree it is a problem, and there is a strong dissonance between some of their positions.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.1

        I suspect that, as usual, I'm an outlier and most on the left would have no problem with Logie's anti-feminist gibberish if they were even aware of it.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          I was meaning most are unaware. Whether NZ would follow a similar pattern as the UK once the issues start to be meaningfully debated I don't know.

        • solkta 4.1.1.2

          Oh, so you are the expert on what is and is not feminism now? Good onya.

          • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.2.1

            I claim no particular expertise, beyond the mundane ability to define the terms man and woman, something which appears to be beyond Jan Logie.

            • solkta 4.1.1.2.1.1

              If you have no such expertise then why would you claim that a feminist is anti-feminist? Full of shit much.

              • No expertise is required to figure out that a policy that would harm women is anti-feminist.

                Also: the implication that only alleged 'experts' are capable of understanding simple concepts makes no sense unless the aim is obfuscation.

    • solkta 4.2

      You are not going to read a policy doc re welfare because bigoted views of transgender people? Good onya.

      Doesn't make sense aside from the stupidity since transgender issues have been running a long time for the Greens. I'm sure it no a first for twitter.

      • Psycho Milt 4.2.1

        Trans-gender people are irrelevant to my comment. Some of them support sex self-ID, some don't. My dispute is with the Green Party.

        • solkta 4.2.1.1

          Trans-gender people are irrelevant to my concern.

          FIFY

          You just said above that gender is a simple binary. You could be honest and just say that you don't believe transgender people exist. You know, just like how homosexuality didn't used to exist. It was just a disorder.

          • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.1.1

            I can't imagine myself saying something as stupid as "gender is a simple binary" and your fantasies about beliefs I supposedly hold are your own business.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.2

            I don't want to get into moderator mode here, but there is an expectation under my posts and on TS generally that we don't make shit up about other people's beliefs or arguments. I can't see anything PM has said that even comes close to what you just asserted. You're welcome to make the arguments, but not at the expense of functional debate or by inflammatory comments.

            Also worth bearing in mind that I will do my best to protect trans people's as well as women's right to debate here, including space to comment free from harassment. I am also committed to not letting TS become the shit show that is the GCF/TA war on twitter. All sides will need to up their game and fit into the debate culture at TS.

  5. Phil 5

    duplicate post

  6. Louis 6

    Well, Im seeing a number of traditional Labour voters on twitter saying they will vote Greens this time and Im in favour of MMP, wouldn't want a FPP type of system.

    • weka 6.1

      Would it bother you if Labour governed alone?

      • Louis 6.1.1

        I dont think they will.

      • Yes, as it would mean centre right voters had come onboard. We need a good outrigger for balance.

        • weka 6.1.2.1

          the danger being that Labour is pulled towards the centre?

        • Chris 6.1.2.2

          If centre right voters have come onboard wouldn't that mean that the centre had shifted to the left, which is a good thing?

      • McFlock 6.1.3

        I think it would "okay", but might lack a bit of policy spark. The Greens bring original ideas to the table – even if the policies might not be implemented, it's good to have that perspective in mind, I think.

        • Sabine 6.1.3.1

          quite costly to keep people employed for their 'original ideas' and nothing much else.

          • McFlock 6.1.3.1.1

            Yup.

            Then management fires the people who have the original ideas, and wonders why their organisation becomes ossified and lethargic in changing circumstances.

            Case in point: The NZ National Party. Fresh out of original ideas since at least 2011.

      • Novacastrian 6.1.4

        Labour should govern by themselves

      • Barfly 6.1.5

        I believe that if the Greens make it back to parliament they will get a coalition deal with Labour even if Labour has the numbers to govern alone NZ 1st I believe would be offered same – it would be Very smart politics

        • Louis 6.1.5.1

          That's what I think too Barfly.

        • solkta 6.1.5.2

          I think that is likely too but Labour would still need to give the Greens significant policy concessions. The worst scenario for the Greens would be to be in coalition without the Winston handbrake and still not achieve enough. I can see the membership saying no thanks to a stingy offer.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    I pointed out at the time that Turei's virtue-signalling would have seemed worthy of respect if she had done it at the start of her parliamentary career, rather than waiting until the end of it. Ambushing the Greens with it struck me as poor political judgment then, and still does. How else could you read the result?

    The Overton Window is an approach to identifying the ideas that define the spectrum of acceptability of governmental policies. Politicians can only act within the acceptable range. Shifting the Overton Window involves proponents of policies outside the window persuading the public to expand the window. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    I haven't noticed anyone here providing evidence that validates the claim that her signal did actually produce support from voters/public. Therefore I believe it was not only politically inept, it didn't even work according to plan!

    Two of the popular narratives about the Green Party, in the mainstream discourse but also in parts of the left, are that the Greens 1) haven’t achieved much in this first term and b) are neoliberal centrists. The right love those narratives

    because they are bullshit. Rightists believe that bullshit works in politics even more than leftists.

    My understanding is that party activists and others close to the party have pushed the Greens to now front foot the more radical progressive policies.

    If so, the strategy is sensible marketing – with the proviso that market research to validate the strategy has actually been done. Has it? Or is it yet more virtue-signalling? Radical progressive policies that fit the situation we're in and provide a viable path toward a resilient, sustainable Aotearoa would get my support. But if marketing them fails to lift the Greens over the threshold then realisation that something extra is required over & above them will be necessary.

    Your question to leftists about whether they want MMP seems designed to measure the dinosaur ratio. Fair enough. So far, no leftist dinosaurs have answered no…

    • weka 7.1

      afaik the GP caucus knew about the speech beforehand, can't see how that is an ambush.

      I haven't noticed anyone here providing evidence that validates the claim that her signal did actually produce support from voters/public.

      I didn't claim that (although there is the 15% poll after her speech). I'm saying that the national debate on welfare shifted. This is pretty obvious to beneficiaries. I see it in how the MSM covers the issues, but also in policy development (the GP obviously, but also Labour). There is more recognition of the issues with WINZ, and less bludger memery. The debate has shifted from the deserving poor (child poverty) to the problems with poverty generally and the need to find solutions for everyone.

    • Warren Doney 7.2

      There was a massive Jump in polling when Metiria announced what she had done. You didn't look that up? As it all came from Labour, it's almost certain that's what triggered Andrew Little to resign, and then along came Jacinda.

      Labelling something as "virtue signalling" signifies a lack of virtue nowadays.

    • solkta 7.3

      Rightists believe that bullshit works in politics

      Yes, that is why they say virtue-signalling all the time.

      • greywarshark 7.3.1

        They despise the term because it rubs them raw that they don't have any virtue themselves to signal, and that they never even try or want to have any virtue. So it's 'Shut up everybody else we are sick of your virtue-signalling'.

        • solkta 7.3.1.1

          I think a lot of right wing people don't really understand what virtue is. The only way they can understand why someone would do something altruistic is by trying to define what that individual might gain for themselves – with the only possible answer that they raise their standing among their peers. Others are just joining in the bullshit.

  8. mosa 8

    " Two things interest me now. One is the 4.4% of voters who voted Green in 2014, then Labour in 2017, dropping Green MPs from fourteen to eight. What are those 95,000 odd voters thinking now "

    Well if they are intelligent and well informed regarding the policy they would want to see implemented they will vote Green.

    No one else can deliver these initiatives around social policy , climate and the environment.

    There was a lot of policy detail to consider but for me their animal welfare policy hit the mark.

    If Labour are to capture a high party vote therefore have a strong majority in the next parliament where they govern alone then i am sure that Green party supporters ( and some Labour lefties ) will want to ensure a Green voice is represented in parliament and Labour will want a constructive relationship.

    I am out of the closet and voting GREEN on or near September 19th.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    It's become a tradition, in the brief period we have 'enjoyed' MMP, that smaller parties are monstered by their coalition partners, and have little or nothing to show their supporters when the election rolls around. We saw it happen to the Alliance, and this term it has been the Greens that have been stymied at every turn.

    Now of course, since the advent of neoliberalism, voters have been being conditioned to accept failure, and to lower their expectations, as the powerful monied forces shit all over the governance processes specifically designed by centuries of constitutional monarchies to constrain abuses of power by this very group. I, however, will not accept failure.

    The question before us is whether we should entrust our franchise once again to a party that has fallen short of our expectations, and gives every indication of intending to do so again, in the hope that, somehow, this time it will be different.

    I am not encouraged, and, absent some kind of recognition from the Greens of their failures, they will not be getting my support this time around.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      It seems that since the collapse of Communist Russia, the USA does not feel as constrained to back up its presentation of itself as being a superior country by keeping to certain values that previously earned it respect.

      Is it not possible that if MMP and the Greens were not in that Labour would completely go right wing as it has leaned towards already? How have other Green Parties got in in bifurcating democracies – UK? Other 5 Eyes?

      Hasn't the Green Party been the burr under the saddle that has kept the small 'l' labour trying for 'honest' to its Labour label?

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        It would be difficult to tell, without being a party to those discussions and even non-verbal interactions, that mark the accommodations of interest in the tottering Els Castells – like edifices of power of the coalition.

        Voters necessarily judge these performances by highly personal heuristics – adherence to ecological principles, progress in specific policy areas, lack of conspicuous failures and so forth.

        Shall we say that, in the suddenly unwontedly well-funded environment of the covid stimulus, the third-best alternatives the Greens typically obtained in opposition are not great achievements. The freshwater restoration should not have been kicked down the road for a generation like some National roading promise, but implemented.

        If this is the best they can achieve in fiscally ideal conditions, what will they do as conditions revert to some kind of normal?

        The riroriro (grey warblers) are singing in the bush near my house – the traditional admonishment to cease procrastinating and begin planting. Will we be saying to the Greens in years to come “Where were you when the riroriro sang?”

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.1

          I was intrigued by Els Castells – looked up. Human tower.

          https://www.thelocal.es/20190729/els-castells-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-human-towers-of-catalonia

          A poetic finish to your comment!

          • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1.1

            Have to throw something in there or it would be unrelievedly negative.

            Yet, you are probably aware of a great story about deciding to act, Xenophon's Anabasis. In somewhat trying circumstances, the young Xenophon concluded that, if he relied upon business as usual (BAU), he and his companions were going to perish. He resolved to act, and convinced his colleagues to do likewise.

            Unhappily, the once in a lifetime opportunity to redress the erosion of freshwater quality, which has been accelerating with the recent enthusiasm for intensive dairy farming, has been squandered, with nitrate levels being set so high that even the worst affected regions in the country – South Canterbury for example – need take no action at all. It is such a reversal of the lesson of Anabasis (that sometimes one must act), that one might almost believe that David Parker's design was based on a misreading of the title of the popular novel (also based on Anabasis) by Douglas Adams – Watership Down.

    • weka 9.2

      absent some kind of recognition from the Greens of their failures,

      Could you be more specific about what they are?

      • Stuart Munro 9.2.1

        1080, a nitrate level 8x higher than any sensible country top the list for me. But there are cultural issues within DoC that need to be addressed – non-integrated pest management approaches that burn through a chunk of funding, attack but fail to control a designated species (undaria and introduced birds for example) without community consent or any sustainable long term plan. There are conversations that need to be had – and the Bomber Harris approach cannot be mistaken for environmental wisdom.

  10. Corey Humm 10

    Out of 8 soon to be 9 MMP elections Winston has only held the balance of power in two elections (96 and 17) 2005 labour could have gotten to 61 with the Maori party , progressives and greens and perhaps done a deal with Dunne that had him in cabinet but not the greens. So I dont get why people always act like Winston decides every election, hell the greens could have given NZf the middle finger in 2017 and demanded a list of policies from national and a cabinet seat, the nats are more likely to bend imo as they have no real ideology other than power. It would have destroyed the greens but it was possible meaning that Winston didnt have the ultimate power last election that everyone makes out.

    Hear me out because I'm probably gonna vote green again but I have some real issues with the party this term.

    If the greens can promise not to give the nats their questions under any circumstances they will have my party vote, a lot of us labour voters at least 1% voted green last election out of fear the greens would die, I wager the voters who went to labour from the greens were always labour voters they just didn't like labour at the time, the questions thing and Chloes people making such a big deal about Auckland (shes wasted in Auckland she should be touring the country getting the party and weed vote out) I dunno how many lab will party vote green, I probably will regardless but I wanna hear that they will not give the nats an inch. I like the old radical greens that had a left wing libertarian tinge that was fearful of govt and corporates, I dont like the obsession the new greens have with political correctness and as an LGBT member I think their obsession with LGBT rights is insincere sure they mean well but it comes off as pandering and their members blatant hatred of straight white men does more harm than good to the rainbow community and the left, most of us LGBT dont even vote Green, ohhh and green activists turning pride into such a divisive issue and telling og LGBT rights activists they were facists and scum because they disagreed over whether gay officers could march in their own communities event was an awful period in the LGBT community and many of us if not most of blame the greens and their mates in PAPA. LGBT soldiers cops doctors etc should be able to march in uniform, pride is not left nor is it right and the parade was destroyed by that group. The fact we have LGBT soldiers and cops is something some people thought would never happen. Ugh.

    But I reckon we have to swallow some dead rats and party vote green anyway. It'll be hard to form govts in future without the Bourgeoise socialists on bikes brigade. I insult them so much because I voted for them and will end up voting for them again so I'm just truly disappointed. I don't want them to be anti LGBT or pro hate speech but they need to sort their messaging out. They have great policies but they need to get out of the Welly bubble and the uni bubble and widen their base, hopefully a spell on opposition under a majority Labour govt allows them to refresh and recharge and hold labour to account. I still hate them though. Deeply conflicted. Love the policies

    • Warren Doney 10.1

      I agree we have to broaden our base – I looked for policy on senior affairs the other day and couldn't find any.

      As someone on the other side of the pride debate, Green policy on it didn't really register as I just saw it as doing the right thing. The police could easily have compromised on the uniform issue – they were already printing T-shirts for friends and family. I saw the parade and sponsorship as something captured by big business in any case. I felt many in the community wanted to sweep the problems under the carpet because they were not personally affected by them, and I was really disappointed in the lack of solidarity.

    • solkta 10.2

      It would have destroyed the greens but it was possible meaning that Winston didnt have the ultimate power last election that everyone makes out.

      Right, so the Greens could have shot themselves in the head and thrown away thirty years of member effort and you think that was an option?

      Chloes people making such a big deal about Auckland (shes wasted in Auckland she should be touring the country getting the party and weed vote out)

      Her and Golriz work hard touring universities as well as general events around the country. Will be in Northland in a few weeks.

      but I wanna hear that they will not give the nats an inch.

      They have said that they won't be part of a Nact lead gummint. They will however work with any party on specific legislation. They achieved that insulation stuff in the early Key years for example.

      I think their obsession with LGBT rights is insincere

      There is a large group of LGBT people in the party. They have a party "network" and push their issues hard. Support for these policies is high in the party in a large part because members know people affected directly.

      their members blatant hatred of straight white men

      There are a lot of straight white men in the party. They would be the majority group.

  11. DS 11

    Metiria Turei's speech did not move the Overton Window. It did two things:

    (1) Tear up the agreement with Labour (the Greens basically decided that, prior promises be damned, this was their shot at eating into Labour's support). Combined with the Greens subsequently giving their parliamentary question quota to the Nats, this showed that the Green's cannot be trusted, so far as Labour is concerned.

    (2) Severely alienate the vast majority of the electorate. I was doorknocking for Labour the weekend after Turei's speech (this was prior to Little quitting). The response I kept getting? "I was angry at Labour before, so I was going to vote Green, but now they've done this I don't know who to vote for." And that's the polite way of putting it – Turei made the Greens radioactive outside their core.

  12. gsays 12

    Thanks Weka, great post.

    It has helped shift a few opinions and drop a few grudges.

    Time is overdue for a generational shift in parliament. This is so brilliantly contrasted by the Ardern/Collins mismatch.

    Collins politics, style and policies are very much last century. It reminds me of Dylan Moran arguing with a woman.

    Trigger warning: he is smoking in this clip.

    I figure The Greens are the best way to have this evolution in government continue.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Yes Green minds seem able to take on the complexities of the 21st century – and can anyone in the world really handle all the fast-moving hailstones hitting at different places round the world? Look out duckie the sky is falling. But the Greens have to watch that some don't get too concerned about being bathed in the white light of purity. The field is so wide to tackle that they need to get two or three teams that handle different things and don't speak up in strange tongues that upset the others' efforts and the plan for the whole.

      • gsays 12.1.1

        It is that white light of purity that was fairly off putting for me.

        I do realise it exists in other political parties, but it is particularly white and extremely pure in some Green circles.

  13. Reading all of the above I am surprised anyone wants elections at all.

    "left/ right", centrist (?) wtf?.

    Meaningless code words.

    If we are to have a functional democracy then a return to ffp is not on.

    mmp or preferential voting.

    Regardless of our wishes, parliamentarians will vote in favour of what THEY want.

    Our mmp rules need a very good hard look, especially at thresholds (way too high), and Maori seats, lower thresholds could ease problematic questions here.

    Better still, no electorates and a preferential voting system. The country would have voted , not assorted electorates based on colonial thinking.

    Is that too radical a thought for this blog?

    " These are my favourite egotistical hopefuls in order of preference, you have to vote for at least one. "

    That would be the instruction on the ballot paper.

    It would at least be more reflective of the national electorate than the current system

    • lprent 13.1

      …not assorted electorates based on colonial thinking.

      Not sure how you’d get to that statement. To me, that just sounds like some fool with a doctrinaire rigidity who doesn’t know how to think and hasn’t bothered to dig into the reasons for different voting sytsems.

      Electorates are local thinking. Damn good thing too. They help a lot in building a more representative democracy that doesn’t just kowtow to large voting blocs.

      Otherwise politics in NZ would be almost entirely orientated towards Auckland (~1.6 million in a population of 5 million). Exclusively urban (~87% of the population live in urban areas). North Island (~3.7 million out of 5 million). etc etc. These are all issues to do with the tyranny of the majority as expressed in political parties trying to maximise their core votes.

      There is a pretty good case to say that the representation of Maori inside parliament would be even lower than their proportion of the population than it is right now if your half-baked ideas ever came to fruition. As it is for every other ethnic or societal group that isn’t European kiwi.

      Not to mention that given the recent level of immigration into NZ over the last hundred years, the early settler families representation, both Maori and elsewhere has been diluted by families of recent immigrants who arguably have less of a stack in our country and society.

      The problem with idiots with rate limited brains like yourself is that they don’t bother to think through what type of democracy we run. It isn’t a pure numbers game – because if we wanted that then everything would be done by referendum. Instead we have a representative democracy because it means that we get closer to all groups in society having a reasonable chance of representatives in parliament to argue their thoughts.

      As it is, party politics of the type that is implicit in a PV or even a MMP system gives quite a lot of power to political parties. In effect giving power to those people who can cooperate together in a party system – and implicitly excluding the large proportion of individuals who simply can’t cooperate – and therefore couldn’t be elected to representation.

      Now I’m overstating the case for effect. But that is mostly to point out just how naive your ideas are. Perhaps you should go and read some material on voting systems to see the exclusion constraints that are implicit in each decision. It’d be easier for the rest of us if we didn’t have to explain some basics yet again.

  14. Chess Player 14

    I like MMP, as otherwise democracy is a bit like two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

    I'll also probably reluctantly vote for the Greens again this time.

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    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    3 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    3 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    4 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    4 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    4 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    5 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    6 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    7 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
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    2 weeks ago