The US abortion bans and women’s rights

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, June 25th, 2022 - 103 comments
Categories: abortion, feminism - Tags: , ,

The obvious politics first. Roe v Wade, the US Supreme Court decision in 1973 that prevented state and federal law from restricting or removing access to abortion services, has now been overturned.

From the Guardian explainer The supreme court just overturned Roe v Wade – what happens next?

Historically, the court has overturned cases to grant more rights. The court has done the opposite here, and its decision will restrict a constitutional right generations of Americans have grown up taking for granted.

As a result of the reversal, states will again be permitted to ban or severely restrict abortion, changes that will indelibly alter the national understanding of liberty, self-determination and personal autonomy.

This is truly terrible. We knew it was likely to happen when Trump was elected, because there was large support for him from anti-abortion lobbyists and because his whole presidency was predicated on male assertion of power to do whatever the fuck he liked. His side was the one that wanted power at any cost. The patriarchy retains power by controlling women and others who are not part of the elite and who won’t support authoritarianism.

It gets worse. One of the judges has opened the door for further regressive reform,

It’s clear that the hard conservatives in the US will do what they can to roll back liberal reforms of the past half century. This puts women, homosexuals, and gender non-conforming people (including trans and non-binary people, but also anyone who doesn’t fit conventional male/female norms) at risk. We know that the Trump presidency went after immigrants as well for instance, separating children from their families. This is the agenda of uber anti-liberal politics.

Enter stage left, the left? Well I’m remembering the left wing men in particular who argued Trump’s not so bad and who at the time denied that abortion rights were at risk. They were told, but it didn’t matter what women said, because there are progressive men who support feminism and women’s politics only so long as it aligns with their own, men who pick and choose which women’s rights they support or don’t. I’m not talking about disagreement here, we all get to do that. I’m talking about whether there is fundamental support for women’s rights as women determine.

Men picking and choosing under a system that men control this is regressive. Progressive is supporting women to have our own politics, trusting us to work through the issues ourselves.

Speaking of which, at the same time, in the UK during Pride month, a lesbian working class woman and feminist with a long history of work on male violence against women, is banned from a speaking event being held at a local library.

That by the way is grass roots feminism at its finest and most potent. You cannot shut us up. Lock us out and we will organise on the streets.

At this point it gets more complex. Gone are the conventional goodie/baddie left and right lines. Trans rights are human rights, but lesbians are losing theirs. Trans activism and allyship should be progressive, but more and more appears to have sanctioned some of the worst misogyny in politics many of us have seen.

Liberal organisations increasingly are removing the visibility of women and our politics,

In case that’s not obvious, it’s not people that travel for abortion, it’s women. Men aren’t losing their reproductive rights. It’s women, trans men and non-binary females. UCLA centres gender identity politics (using the term woman is transphobic) and thus erases the fact the abortion bans only affects those of us who are female. We can support trans men without undermining women, so it begs the question of why increasingly women’s language is being removed but men’s isn’t.

In one of the worse social media examples I’ve seen, Verso, the “largest independent, radical publishing house in the English speaking world”, tweeted this last week,

Unsurprisingly, women on twitter weren’t impressed and the negative ratio on Verso’s tweets would be one of the most extreme I have seen as women flocked to point out the dehumanising and racist nature of the tweets. Verso eventually took the tweets down, but failed to engage or remedy the problem.

Womb carriers, menstruators, birth givers, birthing bodies, non-men, baby factories, gestators… can you tell which is the language of the left or of the right?

It’s been apparent to me for a long time that women’s rights, including here in New Zealand, are at the grace of the dominant system that still largely favours men (even here in New Zealand). We have no baseline rights, only those afforded to us by the vagaries of the political systems that men control. At its worst, it’s Afghanistan and Malta. At it’s least worst, in New Zealand we have laws protecting abortion rights, and those laws are only a few steps away from us tipping into a populist conservative nightmare.

Think it can’t happen here? Go back ten years in the US and you will find that most women didn’t see the collapse of abortions rights in their future. Women in New Zealand tried to organise last year to talk about the impacts of self ID law changes on women and they had to go to court to just to retain venues. The right of women to organise around our own politics is already being curtailed, and with the blessing of many on the left who seem oblivious to how this would play out for everyone if we shift right as a country. Enter stage right, the US.

103 comments on “The US abortion bans and women’s rights ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    You cannot defend what you will not define. When the answer to "what is a woman" is "I am not a biologist" (Judge Brown-Jackson) how can any of the levers of the State be used to protect any of the rights that women have spent the last 100 years fighting for?

    • weka 1.1

      reposting this from OM. Chomsky explaining to young leftist buck (and sexist af) Jones the realities of women and law in the US.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        yes, that clip here.

        But in saying that, this was the reality for those of us who remeber these times.

        In my family the gestational carriers stopped with these shenanigans once they could get the pill without a husband, and an abortion legally if they needed one. My grandmother knew how to self abort. This was spared for her grandchildren.

        But according to men – some men, not all men – that shit never happened and besides, what is a women if not a feelz that men can have and that then makes men women.

        I am very much in favor of the Posie Parker meetings – Stand for Women/Let women speak" then the 'nice and polite' chats in a rented/leased space that may or may not be granted to non males and well behaved and politically approved feminists. Nah, fuck that shit, bring it out in the open.

      • Corey Humm 1.1.2

        Wow Owen Jones used the term woman.

        Jesus. Christ.

        Owen is often part of the angry lynch mob wanting to burn Rowling co at the stake.

  2. Sabine 2

    Weka thanks for this post!

    added to remind us of those that had been there already.

  3. Molly 3

    Thanks, weka.

    No matter how much I think I know and understand on this issue, and the history here and overseas, I always learn more from these dedicated posts and comments.

  4. Tony Veitch (not etc.) 4

    The US is only a supreme court twitch or two away from witchcraft trials!

    Cotton Mather would be so proud!

  5. OldManTime 5

    A counter view.

    Jeffrey Beausay has written (along with many others) a critique of Roe v Wade, that makes it clear the decision was incorrect. Why Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. – Jeffrey Beausay

    What the Supreme Court have done is to return the ultimate decision around the legality and scope of abortions to the states, and therefore the democratic process. That's where it belongs.

    [Lettng this one through for the sake of debate – Incognito]

    • pat 5.1

      local democracy v national democracy…a problem accentuated by the size of nations…we have been in many ways fortunate due to our lack of scale…and in others, not.

    • weka 5.2

      The democratic process that saw women not being legal persons in the US until the 1970s*. It's not really democractic. The 'it's just being fixed' argument is sophistry because it doesn't take into account the imbalance of power within the democracy in question. Men still control most of the US media, politics, and financing of politics.


      • OldManTime 5.2.1

        I would ague that it is democracy that has advanced the rights of women. The greatest damage done by Roe v Wade was to insert the constitution into an issue that should be determined by the people for the people.

        • SPC

          That's leaving the determination of the rights of women to the region where they live.

          This will create issues of the like that have not occurred since runaway slaves were returned as owned property. Such as making it a crime to plan an abortion and then leave the state to have one, or banning pregnant women from leaving the state unless they contract to return to give birth.

    • fender 5.3

      Well maybe in the interest of this most sacred love for democracy each state should have to have a referendum to make such a decision. A referendum that only actual woman can vote in.

    • SPC 5.4

      RBG also questioned whether it could/should have been decided on the right to privacy. Not the result however – she argued on the basis on equal rights (there is a constitutional amendment that would preclude states from exempting themselves).

    • BAW 5.5

      The Republic of Ireland was given a choice about their abortion laws. The people were given a direct vote on the issue. Sometimes they voted no, sometimes they voted yes.

      But it was their choice.

      Contrast this with the USA – where they got no choice. The Judges did it for them.

      I think it healthy for society that it makes these choices – as then society owns them.

  6. Sabine 6

    and stonewall pretending to suddenly care. Are some people realising that they have not changed their sex after all? And they used the word women! OH my gosh. The sky is falling! Duck and cover.

    • weka 6.1

      evidence of the successes of UK gc feminists. Nice to see some ground being gained.

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        Maybe a fear that their gender bullshit is just that and that sex based rights are on the chopping block.

        And i would assume that in the US a whole lot of transmen, non binaries, and other non women woman realise that they are one ejaculation away from a child or several.

        Also, if you look at the twitter accounts for Dems this decision is really good for fund raising and i would assume that SW, Mermaid and all the other woksters will start fundraising also. We lost your rights, but if you give bucket loads of money we might pretend to fight for your unmentionables, but we will still not call you women, that is a word now for men. 🙂 Yeah, i am that cynical.

        But then we know that these rights are all for minorities, and that gay mean can easily self identify out of such a minority by simply pretending to not be gay again as they used too, while women can not self identify out of their sex and the miseries that come with it.

        • weka

          Couldn't bring myself to look at the Dem commentary. Someone tweeted Biden's shambles of a tweet into my TL. He's quite happy to talk about the taking away of a constitutional right from the people 🙄

          Looking now though, I see his wife knows what a woman is, and that his subsequent tweets talked about women's right to choose, lol.

          • Sabine

            oh they all discovered biological women again, it makes for good fundraising. Money.

            Fearmongering is all they have left now as they never prepared for anything else.

    • Visubversa 6.2

      sTonewall showing again that they are "all about the T" . That is where the big money is – and it is on their behalf that Nancy Kelley says that lesbians who are not interested in sex with male bodied people no matter how they dress or what they call their dick, are sexual racists. They have also changed the definition of "homosexual" to people attracted to the same gender, rather than the same sex. Taking the sex out of sexual attraction just shows how desperate they are.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    Well I’m remembering the left wing men in particular who argued Trump’s not so bad and who at the time denied that abortion rights were at risk.

    Yes, 55 Percent of White Women Voted for Trump. No, I’m Not Surprised. (

    • Sabine 7.1

      yeah, nah nah

      The 53 percent figure turned out to be erroneous, and corrected analyses eventually pegged Trump’s share of the white female electorate closer to 47 percent. Nonetheless, the impulse that propelled so many writers to blame white women for electing Trump proved strong enough to survive even after the factual basis was undercut. Indeed, left-wing opinion writers continued churning out polemics based on the erroneous 53 percent figure for years. The production line has kept running right through the 2020 elections, which have yielded more shaky early-exit-poll data that has been turned into another round of flagellation of white women for their alleged collective sin.

      and last election

      53% of white male voted for Trump

      42% of white women voted for Trump

      that leaves for both election Men as the majority votes for Trump.

      And yes, not all women in the states are unhappy about Roe vs Wade to be cancelled. And they come in all colors and shapes and make. And for what its worth they will be celebrating todays decision.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        Even with those figures:

        The 52% statistic appears to be one of those myths. According to a later analysis that experts consider more reliable, a study published in August by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of white women who voted for Trump was actually 47%, compared to 45% for Clinton. That’s still a plurality, and still makes white women more Trump-positive than the overall electorate, which supported Clinton by a 48%-46% margin. White women, who will again be a critical demographic group in the 2018 midterms, were considerably more pro-Trump than nonwhite women, who went for Clinton by a huge margin, 82%-16%.

        • weka

          can you please explain your point? You've posted some figures but said what the meaning is, particularly in relation to what you quoted from my post.

          • Populuxe1

            I was just curious as to why left wing women who said similar things and indeed actively campaigned against Hillary Clinton – Susan Sarandon for example – were exempt from opprobrium.

            • weka

              please link to where Sarandon took a Trumps not so bad position, and I will let you know what I think. Don't see how that relates to your comments though, and you still haven't explained, so let me hazard a guess.

              You don't like NZ left wing men being criticised for their anti feminist and anti-woman politics (for reasons you haven't explained) so you thought you hand wave vaguely at US women voters and imply something from that that you also won't state up front.

              Then you tell me that you're criticising me for not talking about the issue that you've raised but won't explain properly.

            • Nic the NZer

              Actually, could you please link to where Susan Serandon was exempted from opprobrium.

  8. Anne 9

    Reaction from around the world and in NZ:

    My contribution: America is winding the clock back to the middle ages.

    • Descendant Of Smith 9.1

      Nah there is still plenty of this approach in the modern world – to suggest it is a relic of several hundred years ago is just not right. It is still an active part of today's world.

      It is still part of NZ society in quite a few churches as well. BOT's (and by definition the state through its lack of enforcement of secular education requirements) have also allowed this crap to slip into mainstream schools.

      It would be a good starting point if we removed religion out of all state funded schools.

  9. fender 10

    What a fucking disgrace, they better not keep telling the world they are the 'leaders of the free world'.

    How do they reconcile this 'pro-life' bullshit when they're so hellbent on owning killing machines and carrying them around in public.

    If contraception is next there will be an explosion in STD's will there not. Fucking backward idiots.

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.1

      There's a solution for that problem they've used before as well.

      To this end, police and health officers gained the power to arrest and perform crude physical examinations on anyone (though the people they arrested were almost always women) they “reasonably suspected” of carrying an STI.

      if a woman was found to be sick, she was sent to a “detention hospital” (or to jail) until she was deemed cured or “reformed.”

      In some places this treatment of women continued into the early 70's.

    • Tony Veitch (not etc.) 10.2

      As someone has pointed out, guns have more rights than women in 'Merica.

    • Treetop 10.3

      Your second paragraph is my view as well.

      Access to firearms are more important to those who insist on having them than the safety of children when in school. I have come to the conclusion that many people in the US feel so unsafe unless they are armed. Yes a backward society.

  10. roblogic 11

    While women in terrible situations deserve empathy and support, I'm ambivalent about it — it's not a neutral healthcare procedure, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Also, I don't know all the ins and outs of the US legal system. The USA is not unique in its confused approach to the issue.

    • SPC 11.1

      Kavanaugh's opinion is interesting, but not impactful until one of the others (of the 6) agree.

      This is a country where contraception is being taken off health care plans and red states are defunding Family Planning, and there are indications that fertility treatment might be proscribed (because of unused fertilised eggs).

    • weka 11.2

      as someone points out in a reply, in France/Germany, first trimester abortion is easily available, as is contraception and healthcare.

      Abortion in France is legal on demand during the first 14 weeks from conception.[1][2] Abortions at later stages of pregnancy are allowed if two physicians certify that the abortion will be done to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; a risk to the life of the pregnant woman; or that the child will suffer from a particularly severe illness recognized as incurable.[3][4][5]

      France has been liberalising abortion access. This is quite different from the US situation.

      it's not a neutral healthcare procedure, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

      for some women, it is neutral, although I agree that third trimester is much more difficult. But lots of medical care isn't neutral. Decisions about medical treatments are often fraught and complex. Or simple, and for many women abortion is a simple act.

      People's feelings about foetuses and personhood vary a lot. That's a different thing.

    • weka 12.1

      as an aside, I tried watching Obi Wan Kenobi and couldn't make it through the recap. Useless recap that looked thrown together because the series was made for the clique. I might go back and watch earlier ones so to see if I can get up to speed. Is it worth it?

      Have just watched X men (because I just watched Multiverse, which was also very cliquey). Tolerable despite its age. Will they get better?

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1

        I'll show you this clip from Obi Wan Kenobi and you can judge for yourself:

        I'd suggest watching the Clone Wars instead

        The X-Men series is tricky to judge because theres some good movies and some really bad movies and theres a lot of them

        This is a pretty good list:

        I personally wouldn't bother watching any after number 7 unless you're a glutton for punishment also be aware that the director Bryan Singer has a lot allegations against him (if that influences your viewing choices)

        • weka

          good lord that video clip was bad. Can we blame some of it on the pandemic? Because it's hard to understand how they could make a scene so stupid without such a stressor.

          X-men the first is at #4, that tells me a lot.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You sort of can blame Covid a little but most of the blame can be rightly be put on Kathleen Kennedy

            The main issue I have with the series is how much canon breaking the series does

            We know Obi Wan Can Blow Me had the task of looking after Luke yet deserts him to search for Leia

            We know from the OG trilogy that Leia is a princess, a leader, can think on her feet and is brave yet this isn't enough now shes also stronger in the force than Luke is

            This show leads into A New Hope but the movie doesn't mention the adventure Leia and Obi Wan both had together approx ten years earlier?

            We're also supposed to accept that Jedi Master and General Kenobi, having taken on the task of protecting Luke, would basically stop training thereby making it harder to protect Luke

            Another pet peeve of mine is that getting skewered through the stomach is now survivable…

            Disneys motto should now be "consume product and get excited for new product"

            • Nic the NZer

              In "A new hope" Lukes first interpretation of Leia's message to Obi Wan is who? Is that crazy uncle Ben?

              The lack of training of Luke is absolutely cannon from the first movie.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I said: 'We're also supposed to accept that Jedi Master and General Kenobi, having taken on the task of protecting Luke, would basically stop training thereby making it harder to protect Luke'

                Meaning we're supposed to believe Obi Wan Can Blow Me stopped training (himself) thereby making it harder to protect Luke

                No, thats bullshit.

                If you really want to talk canon then why did the Organas not deal with Leias abduction themselves, she was their responsibility

                Why did Can Blow Me desert his responsibility and leave Luke on his own and go to find Leia

                The whole series is s**t and is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, the destruction of the original cast to make way for the new cast

                • Nic the NZer

                  Theres also the question of why Leia sends her message to Kanobi if he is merely a name from an old story to her.

                  The star wars series isn't exactly written as a single cohesive story line so I think its very difficult to interpret cannon. Its then very problematic to work out who pushed production decisions on who.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Kathleen Kennedy is where the problem is.

                    But I'm almost convinced that Disney will remake the episodes 1 – 6 of Star Wars and will retcon everything

                    Also how is it that surviving getting stabbed by a Lightsaber is now super easy, barely an inconvenience

        • Muttonbird

          You're a mean old bugger, aren't you?

          It's Disney, right. Kids watching, etc. Not everything is made specifically for disgruntled prison officers.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Entertainment aimed at kids doesn't mean that kids entertainment is free from criticism nor does it mean it has to be sloppy or bad

            Toy Story 1 – 3, The Princess Bride, Gremlins, Aardman Productions, ET, Finding Nemo, The Invincibles, Zootopia

            All kids movies, all excellent movies that respect kids and don't talk patronise them

  11. weka 13

    Here we have another example. Women's rights has become human rights.

    • Descendant Of Smith 13.1

      Tear gas can cause babies to abort. Extremely sad and ironic.

      One commentator.

      Yep. Cops can spray whatever they want. It’s a fertile woman’s responsibility to not go anywhere or do anything or make any noise.

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        yes, that will be the next thing in a country that already has 'protections for the preborn' and will get more. Women will be arrested for endangering their fetus for all sorts of things. I give it a few month for the red states to come up with something.

  12. Sabine 14

    While the right has diligently chipped away at women’s rights, the left’s response has been to offer nothing but blackmail. Stick with us, because the other guys are even worse. Sure, it feels undignified to call yourself a ‘menstruator’ or a ‘uterus bearer’, but that’s the cost of admission to the big liberal tent. If you don’t want to be reduced to your reproductive system, better start by reducing yourself to your reproductive system.

    What a joke. The right won their war on Roe because they took abortion seriously. The left lost because they treated it as a triviality, a done deal, something they could threaten women with (imagine if you lost this!) but never had to actively defend.

    Ouch, but true.

    This is a gutting read but an honest one.

    And the left here in NZ might start asking themselves if their rights that they cherish so much are any safer here then there.

    • Descendant Of Smith 14.1

      I have definitely commented here and elsewhere that some things have slipped backwards for some time. Have oft criticised unions for being a branch of the employers HR department.

      Things have been getting lost for 40 years now. Most people are too young to know what some things were like before some hard battles were won.

      Every now and then you get some hope – UNITE was a breath of fresh air in the union movement, the Greens push for improved benefit rates etc showed up the Labour Party as the supercilious neo-liberal twits they had become.

      The right though are good at the divide and conquer game and on keeping the class war focussed on crime and things that protect their lives and assets – cause frankly that is all they care about.

      Housing is the classic example – it is basic capitalism to increase demand and reduce supply to drive up prices and to create wealth for themselves and to create poverty for others. Key's government deliberately increased the population while reducing state housing. There could only be one very predictable outcome.

  13. joe90 15

    What a fucking nightmare.

    In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, privacy experts are increasingly concerned about how data collected from period-tracking apps, among other applications, could potentially be used to penalize anyone seeking or considering an abortion.

    Millions of people use apps to help track their menstrual cycles. Flo, which bills itself as the most popular period and cycle tracking app, has amassed 43 million active users. Another app, Clue, claims 12 million monthly active users.

    The personal health data stored in these apps is among the most intimate types of information a person can share. And it can also be telling. The apps can show when their period stops and starts and when a pregnancy stops and starts.

    That has privacy experts on edge because this data — whether subpoenaed or sold to a third party — could be used to suggest that someone has had or is considering an abortion.

    • weka 15.1

      fortunately fertility track can be done on paper, and women should be learning how to do that now (and deleting their apps)

  14. Ross 16

    Fewer abortions means fewer cases of unborn children dying in pain. That's got to be positive. And it means that some couples who are unable to have children may now get the chance to do so. It's a win-win. I look forward to further commentary on these.

    Of course, women travelling to another State for an abortion will be inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as losing one's job. About 3% of workers in New Zealand lost their jobs as a result of choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The risk of serious side effects from the vaccines outweighed the risk of hospitalisation from the virus. Choosing not to be vaccinated was a sensible choice for many people (especially as the risk of harm from the virus was very low).

    As has been discussed previously, rights aren't absolute. When you're inflicting pain on an unborn child, it's not unreasonable to think that your rights should be restricted. And if an unvaccinated person can have their rights curtailed for merely making a sensible choice about their own body, it's not a big leap in logic to expect others to face consequences for their actions, especially when their actions have a negative effect on others.

    Comparing the excess of serious AESI against the reduction of serious complications of COVID 19 among the vaccinated is essential for harm-benefit analyses. The results show an excess risk of serious AESIs greater than the reduction in COVID-19 hospitalizations in both Pfizer and Moderna trials. These results are compatible with a recent preprint analysis of COVID-19 vaccine trials by Benn et al, which found no evidence of a reduction in overall mortality in the mRNA vaccine trials…

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 16.1

      fark. Unbelievable comments. Even conflating NZ's covid vaccinations with the US Abortion decision !? And… there is no "win-win" in any of what you said….

      • Ross 16.1.1


        You may wish to expand on your comments. You seem to have forgotten that many pro-abortion protesters claim that they have the right to abortion based on "my body, my choice". Would you like to explain the logic of that?

        To repeat: not being vaccinated had serious implications for some NZers. Losing one's job was more than just an inconvenience. Given the risk of serious side effects, and the fact that randomized controlled trials of the Pfizer vaccine do not show a decrease in mortality, it's reasonable to ask why the unvaccinated were treated so shabbily. If one section of society can be treated in such a way, merely for making a sensible decision about their own bodies, it's not unreasonable to think that others will face consequences for similar decisions. If you're suggesting we should stop punishing people for making decisions about their own bodies, feel free to explain why.

        • SPC

          Your body your choice whether to

          1. be a greater risk of spreading the virus to others

          2. place the health system under stress

          In the instance of consequence to others, and government determination of the course ahead, there is a democratic process.

          • Sabine

            ahh, so its only your body your choice when it suits?

            • SPC

              There is a difference in allowing choice when it has an impact on others (public health measures) and when it does not have an impact on others (family planning).

              That said there is a range of determinations as to "others"

              1. Jewish tradition (citing a biblical passage) is life begins at birth.
              2. Others claim it is from conception (the term known in the womb is also biblical).
              3. Some consider the period in which the conceived is dependent on the woman's womb to be that of her family planning sovereignty and beyond that, only if her life is at risk would they allow any termination (because of the ability to extract into an incubator).
              4. Others consider the developmental stages of the embryo into foetus and make other determinations
        • Descendant Of Smith

          Well the US where vaccination was highly variable is a good place to look at the data.

          We included data from 2558 counties in 48 US states (fig 1). In total, we observed 30 643 878 cases of covid-19 and 439 682 covid-19 related deaths over 132 791 county weeks (table 1).

          Every 10% improvement in vaccination coverage was associated with an 8% (95% confidence interval 8% to 9%) reduction in mortality rates and with a 7% (6% to 8% reduction in case incidence.

          Using data from 2558 counties—representing nearly 300 million people and 80% of the US population—we found that increasing the vaccination coverage in counties was associated with a reduced incidence of covid-19 related mortality and cases. We observed decreasing trends in mortality and case incidence associated with higher levels of vaccination coverage across the eras of both alpha and delta variant predominance.

          Or this one.

          It was estimated that, in 2021, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) contributed to averting almost 9 million symptomatic cases, close to 700,000 hospitalizations, and over 110,000 deaths, resulting in an estimated $30.4 billion direct healthcare cost savings, $43.7 billion indirect cost savings related to productivity loss, as well as discounted gains of 1.1 million QALYs. Scenario analyses showed that these results were robust; the use of alternative plausible ranges of parameters did not change the interpretation of the findings.

          But you know dying from getting COVID-19 doesn't really figure in your idiotic ideological stance. Everyone knows there was a very small risk of serious side effects and that this was much, much less than the risk of actually having serious health issues from actually getting COVID.

          And now as we pretend the pandemic is over and things are normal and COVID spreads through our communities we are seeing vulnerable people dying. I have a very angry friend who had his grandfather visited by a contagious numpty who then developed COVID-19 and died. The funeral was a couple of weeks ago. You people don't really care about spouting bullshit that it isn't serious – you just have to look at the excess mortality rates to know that it is and that countries who vaccinated had lower mortality rates over that period than those who did not.

          But science will never win the argument against your dogma. I think most of us know that now. No amount of evidence will change your minds.

    • Sabine 16.2

      And fwiw, the mandates here in NZ were wrong – totally utterly wrong and caused nothing but strive and division, and that is something Labour and those that supported will have to live with.

      But condemning a gestational carrier to death because some doctors refused to scrape out the remains of a rotting fetus of the gestational unit of the gestational carrier is something quite different and to be honest, very very deadly.

      But its ok, right, the things formerly known as woman are not really human. They are support humans, sex/baby provider humans, affirmation humans, kind humans, but never ever just humans with their own needs and rights.

    • SPC 16.3

      Are you advocating anaesthesia before intrusive abortion actions, or reliance on the induced abortion (via pill) to reduce pain?

      If not, what is your point?

      And banning abortion will cause a lot of pain to both mother and her child in some medical circumstances. Including death to both. Leaving other children without a mother.

      As for your comparison to the pandemic

      1. widespread vaccination in the 2020-2021 period was of a design to protect the health system from being overrun and allow the economy to function – the alternative was continuing resort to lockdowns.
      2. there were young people of a low risk profile who died and those who got long covid – the number of deaths that occurred in the USA in 2021 because of vaccine resistance included a lot of people of the lower risk profile.

      Yes there will be increased demand for adoption services – this is deliberate. First the more stringent moves on (single parent) welfare in the 1990’s. We shall soon see moves to ban fertility services in the USA (Senator Duckworth – who lost her legs in Iraq had a child this way and some of the people in the Senate who said they were happy for her then posted on social media she was a murderer because of unused fertilised eggs) and to match supply and demand …. .

      Gilead …

  15. BAW 17

    I don't support abortion.

    Banning abortion is easy just pass a law. But we all know that if bans worked nobody would be smoking weed, and everyone would follow the speed limit.

    But I don't see the US looking at the low hanging fruit which would make a difference, like sexual education (Cheap), and childcare for all (But they have plenty of money for F-35's). Never mind the fact that the USA does not cover pre and post natal care, despite the fact that the USA spends more on publicly funded healthcare than some nations spend on total healthcare spend.

    It is no suprise that abortion becomes the economic option.

    • SPC 17.1

      And they do not provide contraception on health care plans and red states are ending funding to family planning clinics.

      And they do not even have child tax credits even though they know they reduce family poverty (were brought in for a time during the pandemic).

      There are some private groups in some states offering shelter for pregnant women and a place to stay in the first few months after birth.

    • Molly 17.2

      When you say “I don’t support abortion.”, it's hard to determine where you actually stand without further details.

      So, do you not support abortion –

      1. When the fetus dies or is unviable but remains unvoided from the mother?
      2. When the mother's life is at risk from continuing gestation?
      3. When a child is impregnated as a result of sexual abuse?
      4. When a women is impregnated as a result of sexual abuse?
      5. When a women has had her methods of contraception tampered with so that they did not work?
      6. Because you believe that pregnancy is a natural and therefore neutral process that has no effect on a woman's body, and does not expose her to health risks? (Untrue, by the way)
      7. Because you believe that from the moment of conception, a dependent cluster of cells takes precedence over the needs and autonomy of the complex, self-supporting body of the woman who contains them?
      8. Because you have no concept of the ongoing costs to women in terms of their lives if they are required to continue with the full gestation period, and deliver a child, when they are neither equipped and/or prepared to do so?

      There's more, but the answers to these questions, will at least give a starting point to the conversation. At present, I have no idea about the reasons for your statement.

  16. Treetop 18

    Warning content may upset some.

    Who will pay for the DNA test so the mother and child know whether or not the child was conceived by rape?

    In my mother's day there was no DNA testing and conceiving a child and not knowing if the child was conceived by rape or sex with her partner 24 hrs prior to the rape, this was a heavy burden for her and the child she conceived.

    Who the biological father is has never been determined. The damage was done as the rape was taken out on the child.

    I weep for all the children who will have their life ruined before they take their first breath.

    • SPC 19.1

      In old fashioned language and reasoning, most of those those born female can get pregnant and most of those born male can impregnate others and this remains true no matter how they later identify.

    • Sabine 19.2

      the thing is we could do 'neutral' language in a second by adopting 'female' to indicate the anatomy of the childbearing human.

      The oppression of the female is on the grounds of their bodies child bearing abilities.

      It is actually so easy yet it seems verboten to properly discuss this.

    • Treetop 19.3

      It takes an ova and a sperm to create a baby regardless of the gender a person identifies as.

      Any person who needs a termination should not be affected psychologically, socially or financially. The Roe V Wade decision will have a potentially devastating effect on those who are prevented from having an abortion.

  17. Roy cartland 20

    The Onion is leaning into it:

    • weka 20.1

      that deserves a screen shot.

      • Descendant Of Smith 20.1.1

        Sometimes The Onion hits the nail right on the head.

        Anti-Abortion Advocate Excitedly Switches Focus To Shaming Young Unwed Mothers

        DALLAS—In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, local anti-abortion advocate Mary Firkins, 54, excitedly announced Friday that she would now switch her full-time attention to the shaming of young unwed mothers. “It’s been very rewarding these past few decades to value the lives of fetuses over those of the women carrying them, but now I can finally focus all my energy on the whores who get pregnant out of wedlock,” said Firkins, giddily crossing out the names of abortion providers and pharmacists on the envelopes that contained her menacing letters and bomb threats and filling in the names of single mothers-to-be. “I’ve always wanted to remind these irresponsible sluts that it’s all their fault—and I certainly have, on occasion—but I’ve been so focused on saving the unborn that I’ve never had enough time to really get up in their faces and rub it in. The resentment has been piling up for decades, and it’s going to feel so good to let it all out by screaming at young women for having premarital sex, consensual or not. Our hard work has paid off, and it’s time to have some fun!” At press time, Firkins was overheard expressing gratitude for how many more young unwed mothers the court’s ruling would create for her to terrorize.

        • SPC

          Solo mothers first became targeted individuals in the USA in the 1970's. Their gangstalking was and is a crime against humanity.

      • SPC 20.2.1

        Gorsuch is now Episcopalian, the other 3 were born to Jewish mothers – Conservative Republicans have a no progressive liberal/left "whites" allowed policy – it confuses the white race and religion identity thing.

    • SPC 21.1

      Given they allow advertising of drugs in the USA, one wonders what the RU486 ads will be like …

  18. swordfish 22

    For the record … the most recent polling on public attitudes towards abortion in NZ:


    Ipsos (2019):

    Abortion SHOULD be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants one … 51%

    Abortion SHOULD be permitted in CERTAIN circumstances, such as if a woman has been raped … 25%

    Abortion should NOT be permitted under any circumstances, EXCEPT when the life of the mother is in danger … 10%

    Abortion should NEVER be permitted, no matter what circumstance exists … 4%

    Unsure … 10%


    Newshub Reid Research (2019)

    Should Abortion be decriminalised ?

    Yes … 70%

    No … 24%

    Unsure … 7%


    Which option do you prefer ?

    Option A: there's no test and the woman decides with her health practitioner … 37%

    Option B: there's a test and the woman would need to prove the abortion's appropriate … 43%

    Option C: there's only a test for late-term abortions beyond 22 weeks … 12%

    Unsure … 8%



    Curia (for Family First) (2017):

    Would you describe yourself generally as someone who supports abortion or someone who opposes abortion ?

    Support … 52%

    Oppose … 29%

    Unsure / Refuse … 19%

    What do you think the time limit should be for legally performing an abortion, in terms of weeks ?

    5 weeks … 7%

    10 weeks … 17%

    15 weeks … 17%

    20 weeks … 9%

    30 weeks … 2%

    40 weeks (up to birth) … 2%

    Never Allow … 9%

    Unsure/Refuse … 36%

    Do you support or oppose someone being able to have an abortion just because she doesn’t want to be a mother ?

    Support … 49%

    Oppose … 38%

    Unsure/Refuse … 13%


    New Zealand Election Study (2017):

    Abortion is always wrong ?

    Strongly Disagree … 46%

    Disagree … 18%

    Neutral … 13%

    Agree … 7%

    Strongly Agree … 11%

    • Incognito 22.1


      • One standout result of this survey is the change in attitudes toward abortion. In 2017, the survey found that 66% of respondents believed a woman has a right to choose whether or not she has an abortion. In 2021, this percentage climbed to 74%, a significant shift in support for the right to have an abortion, and evidence of abortion being destigmatised. [March 2, 2022]

      • swordfish 22.1.1

        Interestingly, if you go back to the very first NZ polling on the issue in the early-mid 1970s, you'll find that a clear majority supported Abortion even then … though not necessarily on demand. Younger women at the time were the most supportive of abortion & older women the least (probably associated with greater church-going or general religious influence among women born before the 1930s).

        In contrast, at least some of the recent polling suggests the under 50s may be somewhat less liberal on the issue than middle-aged & older.

        There’s never been much difference in attitudes between Labour & National voters … in the 70s Nats were mildly more liberal on abortion than Labour supporters (probably because greater Catholic & Maori & Pasifika among the latter) … now it’s the reverse: Labour voters as a whole mildly more liberal than Nats … but in general looks like the differences have always been marginal over the last 50 years.

        • Incognito

          Thus, these results both (a) reveal clear partisan differences in which liberal party voters support both types of abortion [traumatic and elective] more than do conservative party voters and (b) extend past research by corroborating partisan effects in an understudied—and less polarized (see Satherley et al., 2020)—multiparty context. [cf. Fig. 9 ; data from August 2017–June 2018]

          • swordfish

            Interesting … I'm currently a participant in the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study on which that conclusion is based … but I must say the specific Lab-Nat attitudinal differences there (Fig 9) still look pretty marginal … real gap is between Green & NZF voters.

            Meanwhile, here's the Curia cross-tabs from around the same period (2017):

            Would you describe yourself generally as someone who supports abortion or someone who opposes abortion ?

            Support Green 88% … Labour 59% … National 55% … NZF 43%

            Oppose Green 12% … Labour 26% … National 33% … NZF 37%



            • swordfish

              Broadly similar findings … only seemingly minor differences between Labour & National voters in both surveys … although the Curia poll departs a little in suggesting the most prominent partisan gap in attitudes towards abortion is, in fact, between Green supporters & everyone else.

            • Molly

              Hi, swordfish, I'm part of that study too. (Lapsed just this year…. frown)

              Every year I comment that the questions are too lacking on detail to answer accurately, so I usually put the answer at the most neutral I can.

              Do you have any problems with the questions?

              • swordfish

                Hi Molly,

                Yeah … many questions are too broad, lacking nuance … and hence ambiguous & difficult to answer.

                In some cases, you notice a dubious (generally ideological) premise or presupposition has been smuggled into the question … again making it hard, if not impossibe, to answer.

                Some biased positive or negative framing here & there.

                An obvious ID Politics emphasis on ethnic identity & ethno-nationalism with multiple questions asked on this theme.

                And some interesting Myers-Briggs personality type questions (which I quite like).

                But unfortunately not too much in the way of measuring views on specific current social or political issues.

                Overall, I still think it’s worth participating … but can be irritating at times.

                • Molly

                  Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks the Pysch faculty at Auckland Uni could have done a better job for such a significant and long running survey.

  19. Corey Humm 24

    Gay here. Good post. This is utterly predictible and the erosion of the hard won civil rights for women and LGBT and minorities is gonna be a bloodbath.

    How can the left defend womens access to abortion when it won't even say women?!? People don't get abortions women do. The left are literally the Onion at this point.

    How can the left defend my same sex rights and same sex marriage when the left believes same sex attraction is a bigoted gender preference?

    It can't.

    The aclu is now the biggest joke in history. It's sole purpose for existence is defending the right to free speech and has defended the speech of Nazis as well as civil rights activists.

    They'd defend your right to speak to the death even if they detested your views, now they are just another bog standard hack "progressive" (whatever that means) outlet that won't take cases it they are offensive. UCLA when mentioning groups most effected by abortion reforms listed LGBT, no sorry not LGBT … The offensive af term "queer" (which is a hateful word that gays and lesbians have asked to stop being used but we get laughed,it's also a political term for a vocal minority of LGBT who despise assimilation of LGBT into society and what society to change for lgbt, LGBT and queer are not interchangeable, to gays and lesbians it's also white people like calling black people the N word community, it's hurtful) at number one, didn't mention women once!!!

    So how can the left which refuses to say what a woman even is, which tells gays and lesbians they are not same sex but same gendered attracted, which shuts down speech it doesn't if it doesn't fit it's "progressive" narrative (wtf does progressive mean, John Key thinks he's progressive)

    And another thing, it's going to take a coalition of male , female, gay, straight, white black, asian, rich poor, religious, unreligious unifying under a platform to overturn these horrific rollbacks on human rights and being "progressive" on identity issues is too alienating to the majority, a platform of genuine economic and social reforms are going to work.

    Neoliberal identity politics and the neoliberal deindustrialization that left voters behind and bitter and hateful got us into this hateful, divisive angry role back of civil rights.

    Neoliberals take note: Women vs men won't work cos far too many women in the states are anti abortion, gay v straight won't work,white v black won't work.

    Its going to take a coalition of many groups on a shared platform if economic and social and environmental change.

    And ffs lefties HOW CAN YOU DEFEND WOMENS RIGHTS AND ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE if you can't define a woman or same sex attraction, if you call pregnant women people, if you call mother's chest feeders, if you call sexuality a gender preference…. you can't. If anything you're recruiting gays lesbians and women to the right with this language.

    Trans people deserve respect and love and you can do that without throwing women and homosexual specific issues out the window.

    Get it together left. This is the beginning of the great rollback.

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  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    12 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    17 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    18 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    2 weeks ago

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