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The week that was

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, November 30th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: john key, national, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Labour leadership Andrew Little

What a week …

Andrew Little settled down into the job of being the leader of the Labour Party very well.  His media interviews have been sharp and concise.  He is confident yet respectful in his dealings with the media and I expect that coverage of him will continue to be positive.

His reorganisation of the Labour Caucus has to date started very promisingly.  He clearly wants to move the Caucus away from bad habits.  And suddenly there is a sense of confidence and optimism that has been lacking.

His performances in the house have been exceptionally good, way better than I thought he would be.  His #cutthecrap moment is one of those moments which although brief can define a political career.  And he is being well positioned as an alternative to Key.  His no nonsense passion mixed with a personality that is not ego driven is a combination that I think will resonate well with ordinary New Zealanders once they tire of the Merchant Banker from a state house Crosby Textor creation that is the current Prime Minister.

Success in politics depends a great deal on luck and being in the right place at the right time.  The past two months have shown that Andrew has an abundant supply of luck.  He has gone from just making it into Parliament to Labour leader at a time when the Government is floundering and the opposition is starting to perform.  And he could be the next Prime Minister.  The next three years will be very interesting.

John Key’s week was as bad as Little’s was good.  Clearly there is a lot more that has happened which if it becomes public will further embarrass National but it seems that third term rot has set in very early on.

It is as if an important cog in Key’s office has been removed.  Suddenly Key seems very vulnerable and mistake prone.

Frank Macskasy has prepared a very helpful timeline on the past week’s events which can be described briefly in this way:

  • On Sunday Key publicly apologised to Slater for releasing the email which caused Collins’s downfall.  As Redlogix noted it appeared that Key had been forced by Slater to do this and why the Prime Minister should have to demean himself by publicly apologising to Slater is frankly weird.
  • On Monday they exchanged texts.
  • On Tuesday Key denied to reporters  having had recent contact with Slater.  Also Collins’ chance to shine after her redemption in the Chisholm Report was taken away from her by the Government’s decision to minimise the effect of the Gwyn report by dumping the Chisholm report at the same time.
  • On Wednesday in answer to Labour questions in the house Key denies recent contact with Slater but is then forced to return to the house and correct his answer.  Claims that he had misheard the question because of noise in the house appear to be patently untrue.

Since then the overwhelming media conclusion is that Key has lied.  And normally supportive writers such as the Heralds’s John Armstrong and Fran O’Sullivan have been scathing about Key’s performance.

It appears the information may have leaked out because Slater told Josh Foreman about the texts.  Slater has been on something of a jihad against Foreman ever since.  If anyone should be blamed however it is Slater himself.  And the question that has to be asked is did Slater intend the news of the Key texts to become public?  After all giving this information to someone who describes himself as being “slightly left” was always going to be risky.

But you have to question why National has not inoculated Key from Slater.  And you have to wonder what the next Slater inspired episode of chaos and mayhem will bring for National.

55 comments on “The week that was”

  1. adam 1

    Kinda agree there Mickey, but the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Got rammed through the submission stage this week, and whilst it’s nice to see a operational opposition. The reality is, this is still a government who does what it wants – even when the PM is on the ropes.

  2. Sable 2

    New Zealand politics look increasingly like a bizarre circus, its no wonder people are switching off to the message.

  3. tc 3

    More of the same from little is required and all opposition MP’s need to get better at de powering the MSM loaded spin questions as Andrew has.

    Forget the MSM they’ve written their cursory bad boy pieces so it’ll be back to sycophancy ASAP.

    Does slater have something on key or is he simply out on his own and going a tad rogue.

    Mickey as a lawyer has Johnny boy taken another risk in admitting he knows who raw shark is, given the police actions over Hagar, or did I miss him weaselling his way out of that one with one of his ‘what I ackshully meant….’ responses.

    • Sabine 3.1

      the opposition MP’s have to start working together. No point in each working in isolation.
      Time for solidarity, against a corrupt regime and for a healthy and happy nation.

  4. Hanswurst 4

    I’m slightly bemused by one pair of conflicting details in the unfolding of this; reading “The Standard” and a couple of other sources over the past week left me under the impression that there were fairly strong indications that Forman’s “Slightly Left” was a sock puppet for Slater to some degree anyway, yet this article seems fairly firm in the assumption that they are unconnected. Has new information emerged?

  5. weka 5

    What’s the source that Forman leaked the txts?

    • mickysavage 5.1

      My reading is that Forman is alleged to have leaked news of the texts rather than the texts themselves. R0b’s post (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fran-osullivan/news/article.cfm?a_id=13&objectid=11366082) has a screenshot of the discussion Slater had with (presumably) Forman.

      • Huginn 5.1.1

        Slater says that Key deletes all the messages between Slater & Key on Key’s phone, but Slater archives all the messages on Slater’s phone.

        If this is true, then Key’s fucked.

        • David H 5.1.1.1

          But you still need to get Slater to release said texts

          • Huginn 5.1.1.1.1

            He has already released texts that have had Key rushing back to offer a correction.

            If Slater was telling the truth and Key has deleted his own recrods, then Slater will be the only one who knows exactly what was said and when.

            This means, for example, that if Slater releases something damaging, then Key can’t come back with context. He won’t be able to dispute accuracy, or authenticity.

            There may be many damaging fragments to harvest from weeks, or maybe even months of messaging, but Key has no way to reliably anticipate the next blow.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    As Redlogix noted it appeared that Key had been forced by Slater to do this and why the Prime Minister should have to demean himself by publicly apologising to Slater is frankly weird.

    If undue personal leverage is being applied against our PM, that is be definition a matter of national security and our security services should be all over it.

    • KJS0ne 6.1

      ‘Should’ being the operative word. The fact that the Prime Minister has had to demean himself to apologize to such a grotesque personality over something Slater does himself all the time, goes along way, in my mind in proving that Slater has enough dirt on Key and Co. to sink the ship. Thus they’re not only afraid to cut him loose, but that they feel the need to keep him placated by public apologies from the head of state. I can see no other reason they would maintain the toxic relationship, the Nats are not stupid.

      • Hanswurst 6.1.1

        the Nats are not stupid.

        The idea that they have allowed themselves to be beholden to a loose cannon like Mr. Slater would, if correct, suggest otherwise.

        • KJS0ne 6.1.1.1

          Wit aside foolish might be a better fit, people can be intelligent and foolish, the two are not mutually exclusive. They summoned a demon to do their dirty work and were foolish to think they could control the situation indefinitely. They didn’t see this coming, but they’re not maintaining the relationship because they’re stupid enough to believe they can get away with it.

    • Sabine 6.2

      smokescreen and mirrors. While these boys supposedly slingling mud at each other, the nation does not know about the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill, and any other piece of legislation.

      this is their MO, throw a mini scandal out there, the bubbleheads scream Lookit, shiney object in unison, and the rest of the nation is counting the pennies that have to make the end of the pay cycle.

      the opposition has to work together, and they have to start now.

      Essentially, so Key likes Slater…booofucknhoo, ignore it. Raise hell about the bill or law, or sell off, or dropping milk prices, or fucked up decile ranking, or what ever is the madness du jour.

      The media wants to talk slater, the oppostion should laugh and simply state that Slater is the problem of the Prime Minister John Key, not theirs. – deprive the media of oxygen.

    • Tracey 6.3

      extortion of a PM is absolutely SIS stuff…

  7. Anne 7

    On Sunday Key publicly apologised to Slater for releasing the email which caused Collins’s downfall. As Redlogix noted it appeared that Key had been forced by Slater to do this…

    Further evidence he was lying about having had no contact with Slater.

    I strongly suspect the reason Key has continued to have contact with Slater is because Slater has evidence that would blow open Key’s claim he knew nothing about the Ede/Slater/Goff/Tucker affair.

    • KJS0ne 7.1

      Was thinking the exact same thing. Good minds…

    • Paul 7.2

      That’s the logical explanation

    • Clemgeopin 7.3

      Not just the Ede/Slater/Goff/Tucker affair. May be some other stuff too. Who knows!

    • Treetop 7.4

      Discussion over what Tucker/9th floor did to Goff and Slater being the messenger would have happened in three years between Slater and Key, (until it is proven or disproven what Key knew, Key can deny any discussion). The thing is that Key and Slater thought they had got away with what Tucker/9th floor did to Goff, UNTIL Hager’s book raised the issue.

      Slater makes the complaint to police about emails being stolen which exposed what was done to Goff by Slater?

      Hager’s computer is seized not to establish who the hacker is, but to see if Key is implicated in any emails that the hacker stole from Slater. Slater’s computer needs to be forensically examined to establish what Key and Slater discussed over the Goff situation.

      Key got away with being questioned in the Gwyn report because the IGIS cannot investigate her minister. From the time that Gwyn carried out her investigation it was inappropriate for Key to have ANY discussion with Slater over the Goff situation.

      I am not stupid enough to think that Hager does not have his theories and he would be holding back stuff because he would want some proof before he spoke publicly.

      • Anne 7.4.1

        Interesting hypothesis Treetop. It’s implausible to believe that after what went down over the Goff/Tucker affair and the involvement of Slater, that there has been no ‘discussion’ on the matter between Slater/Key/Ede and company in the past three years. We also know that Key destroys his text messages but Slater keeps his. Of course there’s damaging evidence in Slater’s possession and of course Key knows it.

        I agree, Hager will have more information but whether he will ever release it is another matter.

    • Olwyn 7.5

      I don’t think it’s just that. It might be true that Slater has something over Key, but it might also be that Key is betting on his popularity trumping any demands that he play by the rules. Key seems far more interested in changing or diluting democratic safeguards than appearing to obey them.

      His popularity seems to rest largely on the belief that he is down with Wall St, and that so long as he is leader, property values will keep going up. Given that bugger all else is happening in New Zealand, a lot of middle class people are thus willing to turn a blind eye to his contempt for democratic safe-guards. Which is just how he likes it. To give up on Slater is to agree that the rules matter. To agree that the rules matter is to give up ground he wants to retain.

      • Anne 7.5.1

        I agree it’s not just that, and I agree Key is betting on his popularity trumping any demands he play by the rules.

        But his continuing popularity rested on the belief that the two track/dirty politics game would never be revealed. Nobody (including Key) ever imagined that someone would have hacked Slater’s computer and helped him/herself to the compelling evidence. At present Key is running a dangerous political game where he’s trying to have it both ways. I don’t believe that ultimately he’s going to win and I base that on the precedent set by the Watergate scandal. There are some amazing similarities between the two cases.

        • Olwyn 7.5.1.1

          I so hope you are right Anne, that he is not going to win. Now that the two-track game has been revealed, the default seems to be “well people just don’t care about that sort of thing,” and he can point to the election as proof. The danger is, if he continues to get away with it, he will end up with the license to whatever he pleases, sneering away at all who disagree.

        • Treetop 7.5.1.2

          Key (the then SIS minister) was overseas when Tucker declassified information which was wrong (that Tucker briefed Goff about the passports). Ede wrote a blog for Slater using defammatory information. The new SIS boss around August 2011 did a search for info which could prove that Goff was briefed, NO info was found.

          An OIA can only be done on declassified information.

          Key seems to think that when false information is released through the ninth floor by the SIS Director and then used to smear the character of Goff that this is not dirty tricks.

          Tucker needs to explain to the public why he declassified the Goff file and who he consulted e.g. IGIS and why he (Tucker) did not correct his false allegation made against Goff being briefed. If it it found that De Joux or Ede mentioned Key sanctioning OIA request to Tucker, Key did know. Tucker, Ede, De Joux will keep their gobs shut incase they land Key in it.

          Goff has been found to be vindicated, this cannot be said about Key.

          Strong links with the Moyle inquiry. I have some thinking to do about releasing a shortened version. I will not use the Standard for obvious reasons. The Standard is civilised.

          I also need to read the Gwyn report, even though it is a white wash.

          • Anne 7.5.1.2.1

            Strong links with the Moyle inquiry

            Certainly in the sense that Colin Moyle was the victim of a set-up as was Goff. The difference is the police (at least an officer or two) leaked the story to the Muldoon government. This time it was the SIS (at least the director) who did the leaking or the equivalent thereof.

            The awful part of the Moyle case for me was coming by the knowledge 20 years after the event… there had been a hoax phone call to Moyle which was why he ended up in a seedy part of Wellington and was subsequently picked up by the police. From personal experience of them and knowledge of their political shenanigans (which involved numerous hoaxes carried out on senior political figures as well as others), I believe I know the identities of the two individuals who were most likely responsible for that call. One of them actually had the gall to stand for selection in Moyle’s vacated seat (Mangere) which David Lange won. It bothered me for years that I might have been in a position to help Moyle clear his name if only the hoax phone call aspect had been made public years sooner.

            • Treetop 7.5.1.2.1.1

              In September 1995 the cop involved in the June 17 1975 incident stood in my home and told me that he thought there was a mole in the police. It took LC 19 years to finally face me. I dated him for the first 6 months of 1976, I was 16 years old. I met him at the police barracks in Tasman St. Most of 10 policing came up to the kitchen staff side of the barracks after the finish of their shift at 2 am 1 January 1976.

              LC could be dead for all I know. I last saw him in December 2003 when in the south island. I told him to go and talk to a psychologist because of what he said.

              An inquiry is long overdue into the police not being held to account.

    • Tracey 7.6

      They have manage to bury three things this week

      1. Counter terrorism knee jerk
      2. Imaginary surplus officially dissolved
      3. Groser says TPP to be signed early next year

      • adam 7.6.1

        Yeap business as usual for the Tory scum. Thanks Tracey, I’m sure we’ll find out other things they pulled, or tried to pull in this last week.

        Look i’m not bagging Little – I saying, if this national government is criminal, then – their boat is not a row boat, but a speedboat, and they smuggled the cocaine ashore already. And you can’t bust a criminal, if he’s not carrying.

  8. Karen 8

    I have been very impressed by Andrew Little’s performance so far. I thought he would be the best choice as leader because of his organising and strategy abilities, but did not expect him to perform particularly well in the house, but IMO he has been exceptionally good in the house (and in media interviews). He really has hit the ground running, and this augers well for the future.

    My feeling is that he has been carefully watching and waiting over the past few years, and is well equiped to counter the attacks that will be coming from the right-wingers.

    I also think he has been thinking about various ways to make NZ a fairer place to live. In a ‘NZLawyer’ interview he talks about how courts should be able to return legislation parliament that does not comply with the Human Rights Bill. A very interesting idea.
    http://www.nzlawyermagazine.co.nz/news/exclusive-interview-new-labour-leader-talks-all-things-law-194352.aspx

    • Jenny Kirk 8.1

      I totally agree with you, Karen.
      And I’m also now wondering whether Little’s question to ShonKey “why don’t you just cut the crap” has put ShonKey’s lies really out into the public arena and has now allowed journalists to see this for themselves. We all know ShonKey has been lying for years, but this hasn’t penetrated into the public mind.
      Sometimes it takes someone to really spell out plainly and bluntly what is going on, before others see it for themselves.

      • Atiawa 8.1.1

        and he was clever to not demand Keys resignation, instead telling him to man up and apologise and get this sordid unstatesman like behaviour out of the way so that parliament can concentrate on the important role of governing.
        Key would never resign over this issue, nor would the public expect him too. But an apology is a completely different matter and Little is not seen as over zealous.

        • ankerawshark 8.1.1.1

          Atiawa @ 8.1.1 Couldn’t agree more. Calling for Key to resign, less effective than man up and apologize for the smear campaign. Puts the heat on Key as he can’t do that and he just digs himself in deeper.

          Cut the crap was brilliant too. Treating JK like a adolescent, bullshiting idiot who nobody is fooled by.

          I am so impressed with Andrew L.

      • Anne 8.1.2

        Helen Clark is purported to have said (saw reference to it in a newspaper I think) either just before or just after the 2008 election: John Key tells lies. It pricked up my ears at the time because Helen would never say something like that without good cause.

  9. Clemgeopin 9

    A very shameful, strange and surreptitious episode in the history of New Zealand, like the Watergate episode of Nixon, who too claimed he was honorable and not a liar!

  10. Tracey 10

    and note the ones who are silent post election…

    Hairdo
    Maori Party

    UF says in its vision that integrity between govt and the peole is a goal… REALLT

    • Clemgeopin 10.1

      If Dunne, Seymour or the two Maori party MPs have any integrity, guts or honour, they should immediately disassociate themselves from Key. Will they? Any chance of that?

      • b waghorn 10.1.1

        Not much chance.
        If the Maori party didn’t walk after keys ‘settled peacefully’ comments they have shown they have no spine.

      • David H 10.1.2

        Dung is too busy Troughing it.
        Seeless is bought and paid for.
        The Maori Party are irrelevent.

  11. TheContrarian 11

    Little was awesome this last week. If he keeps it up then my party vote is his to have.

  12. felix 12

    Yep Little has exceeded all expectations.

    Worth mentioning that he deserves praise for keeping Robertson in the high profile role of finance. Anything less that that (or Dep. Leader) would be going against the expressed wishes of many party and caucus members, so that’s an act of good faith there.

    Some say National have tossed Little an easy catch in his first week, but that’s rubbish. The Nats have had many, many shit weeks over the last six years and no Labour leader has managed to capitalise on them like Little has.

    If he continues as he’s begun, Labour is on the way back.

  13. Whateva next? 14

    Have to say, Little has been exactly as I expected to be, possessing high integrity over the need to ingratiate himself, his authenticity shines through like a beacon in the house.

  14. Inky 15

    The mystery to me is what compelled Key to take the almighty risk of lying and denying contact with Slater if there was nothing dodgy about the texts they exchanged?

    Going by what was released, there was nothing in them that would have hurt him, that were worth the risk of lying about and being caught out over, as happened.

    Which suggests to me there must have been other, damaging texts that haven’t been disclosed. Otherwise, the lie was pointless; he had nothing to gain by lying about innocuous texts.

    Doing what he did just doesn’t make sense. And as Judge Judy likes to say, if it doesn’t make sense, it’s a lie.

    • Zolan 15.1

      Going on past form, I don’t think additional complications are needed to explain it.

      He simply needed to hold enough “high ground” at that moment, tactically, to diminish opposition effectiveness.
      Although it became an embarrassment later, there is no footage of the exchange in parliament that might have occurred had he answered truthfully. The counterfactual implied by the facts exists only in the imaginations of a few politics wonks, invisible to the public at large .. A win for Key.
      The revelation and revision of the untruth did add an unwelcome new gaffe/scandal, but it appears trivial in isolation, which is how many will perceive it.

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    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    4 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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