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Thought for the Day

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, November 28th, 2011 - 62 comments
Categories: labour, nz first - Tags:

Not wanting to get into a fight with my fellow lefties (and authors!) who advocated a vote for NZ First, but did you want an 8th NZ First MP instead of the excellent Raymond Huo?

The dangers of voting strategically…  (and a reason to lower the threshold)

62 comments on “Thought for the Day”

  1. Veronica 1

    Raymond Who?

  2. I am sure that everyone wanted to make sure that Peters had 5.01% of the vote but this is the danger with strategic voting where you overshoot the mark and give Peters too much power.

    Another statistic that I am surprised at is how well the Labour candidates did and how many electorate votes we achieved.

    For instance in New Lynn David Cunliffe increased his electorate vote majority by 20% but the party vote share for Labour went down 3.8%. You really get the feeling that Kiwis want to share the love around. It is a shame really because the party vote is of course the only vote that matters. This is almost an argument for the top echelon of a party to be list only.

    • Veronica 2.1

      Hang onto those small victories, it’s all you’ve got now that Helen’s Hack Circus is down to its worst dregs, like Clayton “Dumber than a Bag of Hammers” Cosgrove.

      Hey, perhaps Paula Bennett can call you out for being a dickhead again before 2014. It might be fun.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Iain Lees Galloway did very well in Palmerston North as well, strengthening his hold over what was a marginal majority.

      Veronica: are you enjoying the sight of National replaying Rogernomics and Ruthanasia making this country poorer and selling out to foreign investors? Good on you, you economic traitor.

      • Veronica 2.2.1

        I’m enjoying the sight of your hysterics and your 19th century xenophobic nationalism, but it’ll be better once your benefit gets cut and you can’t afford the internet any more so we don’t have to listen to your child-like tantrums. Economic traitor? Nice, economic traitors seem to get all the good things, like I got quite a good tax cut last time almost a couple hundred a week. Y’know what? I think I deserve another in a couple years, maybe sooner.

        So, to help you through this difficult time, here’s some techniques I used when my netball team lost when I was nine. Take a few deep breaths and repeat, you lost, you lost, you lost. And eventually you’ll come to terms with it.

        [lprent: Looks like you don’t learn about stupid trolling. This time the ban is permanent. ]

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          …but it’ll be better once your benefit gets cut and you can’t afford the internet any more…

          And also not be able to afford to apply for jobs, eat, and other critical things. I suspect NActs true policies are based around the eat bit.

          • Super Guest 2.2.1.1.1

            Draco once again proves that just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean you aren’t an asshole. What did Mana poll, Draco? 1%? Hell, did Labour do much more than that? Never mind though, mate, the red flag marches on; even if there are only about six people marching with it, and it was largely torn in the 80s.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Super Guest proves that, like most RWNJs, he doesn’t actually have an argument.

    • Rob 2.3

      Greg mate, you would spin the benfits of cholera if you would have a chance, talk about looking for the silver lining in this.

      • mickysavage 2.3.1

        Not spin Rob, just an observation.

        I believe that we approach opinion polls too simply whereas for many people they actually want to spread the favour around. A huge number of people split their vote. I ran a major Labour campaign in a safe seat last time that minimised the effect of the electorate vote and only sought the party vote. We won the party vote and the candidate had a modest electorate vote majority. Next door where the candidate ran a heavy electorate vote campaign his majority was 2000 higher but the party vote was lost to National.

        This is a real phenomenon. A sophisticated campaign will get part votes rather than electorate votes in all but the most marginal of seats.

        • Descendant Of Smith 2.3.1.1

          “Most people I talk to” is not usually a good indicator of anything but in this case it supports some of what is being said here.

          Under MMP the most common statement I heard people say when discussing voting was – vote for the best constituent MP ( the one you think will serve the local community best) regardless of party and then vote for the party whose policies you want.

          I don’t see this as a negative as it can – and seems to have – swing both ways.

          I don’t think constituent MP’s can solely rely on their party allegiance to be elected and that this will become more so over time.

          I’m not sure what the facts will show but it would be interesting to see how many voters voted for their constituent MP from one party and their party vote to another and whether this is becoming more common.

          It may also be worth considering whether the left need to form alliances prior to an election and demonstrate through an electoral cycle that they can work together and co-operate. Left parties that clearly work to their strengths – greens on environment, labour on worker and union rights and poverty, Maori party on maori issues and so on.

          There can and must still be differences but in any human endeavour it’s what we have in common that brings us together. This would help build specific expertise without every left party having to stretch resources to cover all bases.

          I also don’t mean this in a Pete George “can’t we all just get along” way either – there should be robust and challenging debate.

          The right seemed to have adopted a FPP model where one party needs to dominate and has done so and it’s difficult to see the right splintering into different parties.

          The left need to show that they are stable and can be effective in working together. The deals need to be done before the vote – not once it has happened.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1

            The left need to show that they are stable and can be effective in working together. The deals need to be done before the vote – not once it has happened.

            Exactly. This is something I have been talking to others about today.

          • Campbell Larsen 2.3.1.1.2

            +1

    • Carol 2.4

      Well for some of us, voting for the Green Party in New Lynn has been first choice. Giving Cunliffe the electorate vote is more my way of sharing the love, especially when the Greens don’t campaign for electorate votes.

      That may be true for others who split their vote in that electorate.

    • Anita 2.5

      Do the split votes actually show that it was Labour-ites voting for Winston? That wasn’t my impression, but I haven’t looked at lots of seats.

      • Carol 2.5.1

        I don’t know, but there’s an article on Stuff saying that Peters main voters are geographically-based, in his home area/s.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6049756/Winston-Peters-an-unforgettable-brand

        But I think people are just comparing the number of electorate votes for a candidate, with the number of party votes in the same electorate.

        Which is why I say you can’t assume these voters are more inclined to be Labour supporters, especially when comparing Green and Labour Party otes. I see no advantage for a Green supporter voting for a Green electorate candidate.

      • Anita 2.5.2

        A very light analysis of a couple of electorates:

        Taranaki-King Country half the NZF votes picked the Labour candidate, half the National.

        Papakura split between the NZF and National candidates

        Hamilton East split between NZF and National candidates.

        So… no evidence that I can see of large scale Labour tactical voting for NZF.

  3. gingercrush 3

    Another statistic that I am surprised at is how well the Labour candidates did and how many electorate votes we achieved.

    I blame your billboards that put too much emphasis on the candidates and not the party. I also predicted this so its no surprise (not that many of my predictions were very good).

    Also just my opinion but strategic voting this election has actually enabled a better opposition than there otherwise would have been.

    • Which electorate are you in GC? Some candidates placed too much emphasis on the candidate vote.

      • gingercrush 3.1.1

        I’m in Christchurch Central but travelled to Auckland a week prior to the election via a rental car so was able to see a lot of billboards around the country.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I’ve never even heard of this guy. Why was he ranked ahead of Carmel?

    • Rob 4.1

      Yes , although I can understand why he is ranked ahead of Carol “mysterious eyebrows” Beaument. ^..^

  5. my intention was to help NZF get over the 5% line, anything more than that I don’t care for but then I didn’t receive a running tally of how many votes each party had when I went to cast mine.

    to be honest while there were some good Labour MPs lost, there was also a wadge of crap ones cleaned out. i hope that precipitates a rethink of list rankings and selections in the future because that’s the primary cause of any lost talent now – nothing to do with some casting strategic votes for NZF. one of the reasons Labour now has a problem is that selections are factional-alliance- and demography- based, and not meritocratic.

    Huo, the guy who liked to claim Tibet is part of China and always has been, is no great loss IMO.

    and frankly, think of how the 50th parliament would be looking now with no NZF, just 2 more Labour and 6 more National MPs. In that scenario Labour would be even more fucked. So please don’t anyone try guilt tripping me about NZF. I didn’t like being in position where I had to vote for them but I’m glad I did.

    • Ben Clark 5.1

      I guess I saw it last week as if the Digipoll had NZF at or near 5%, they were well in, so any extra left votes were replacing Labour/Green MPs with NZF ones.

      And I’ve campaigned with Raymond, and he’s a good guy who’s a great representative of his community and does a lot for Labour – regardless of his views of Tibet (which are no doubt representative of his community…)

      As an aside – I see iPredict are claiming to be better than the polls because they got National’s percentage right. In fact across the parties, it looks like the Digipoll did best this time, after Morgan was best last election. Although if Morgan had moved 3.5% from Green to Labour they’d have been very close…

    • Bill 5.2

      Tibet kind of ‘always’ has been a part of China. The Dalai Lama traditionally seeks and recieves legitimacy from Chinese rulers. Sure, that doesn’t or wouldn’t quite pan out under the current state. And would serve to undermine the (previous) cozy privileges of the monks etc regardless of any occupation.

      • Vicky32 5.2.1

        Which would undermine the cozy privilege of the monks etc regardless of occupation.

        I’ve never quite understood why people think that Tibet is an innocent victim! It really isn’t… but I suppose it’s because Buddhism is very trendy right now! I was stunned to discover that 80% of my Chinese students regard the Dalai Lama as pure evil – we’re so used to the idea that he’s a plaster saint.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          “Friendly Fuedalism – The Tibet Myth” an article by Michael Parenti gives a reasonably good over view. Well worth the read. http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

          I don’t think it’s covered in that article (read it quite a while back), but that ‘nice’ Dalai Lama gave the green light to widespread persecutuion and discrimination of followers of a competing sect in the refugee communities in Northern India and elsewhere just a couple of years back.

          • joe90 5.2.1.1.1

            Aye, the reformation was all about the pope/bishop/priest/monk caste system.

            • Frida 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah to be honest I’ve never understood the defense of a religious feudal system from the middle ages myself. But, off topic. So I’ll leave it at that

    • A.Ziffel 5.3

      You’re kidding yourself Sprout, NZF is no friend of Labour.
      Ask those on the Labour list are they happy to be martyed for Winston.

      It’s incredulous that Winston Peters, Cabinet Minister(Nat) & Deputy Prime Minister(NZF) in the 4th National government can be considered a champion of the left.

      Perhaps you believe that his experience of being Minister of Racing in the 5th Labour government led to a socialist epiphany?

  6. Simon Poole 6

    The same Raymond Huo that blogged in support of China’s rule over Tibet?

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to Brendan Burns taking out Chch Central in the specials.

    • mik e 6.1

      Peters was a point or 2 shy last time this was MMp at its best just in-case labour doesn’t find a leader that can handle the media because thats where it counts these days.
      Peters is good in the lime light and will take plenty leaving less for smile and wave

  7. deemac 7

    no-one I know voted for NZ First but lots voted Green. I did try to tell them the only way to stop asset sales was to party vote Labour but most people see the party vote as a “free go” when actually it is more important than the electorate vote, IMHO.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Party vote Green or Labour would both stop asset sales equally.

    • Rodel 7.2

      Deemac Agree wholeheartedly. I tried to say that too but Labour people have trouble listening or registering.
      That’s why the need a Labour govt.
      Tories are just as mistaken but don’t know it and just do what their born to rule leaders tell them.(i.e. John Banks…shudder!)

  8. Bill 8

    Ben. Where do you get the idea that someone stategically voting for NZ1 would otherwise have voted Labour? Or even Green?

    I’m thinking maybe Mana lost a lot of potential votes. (I know they lost mine this time around.)

  9. nadis 9

    “the excellent Raymond Huo”

    Come on, I think that requires just a little bit of explanation.

    Excellent because?

    More excellent than at least ten or so ranked below him on the list?

    Really? Is he good at fund raising perhaps?

  10. just saying 10

    In another thread a Labour supporter had the odd idea that those parties that picked up strategic votes from people who may have otherwise voted Labour should have been suitably grateful. I strategically voted Labour for my electorate vote and certainly didn’t think Labour should be grateful to Mana (though naturally I expect a ticker-tape parade for me personally). Also, I know of quite a few people who list-voted Labour despite preferring the Greens, fearing the consequences of a Labour collapse. I really think it’s “swing and roundabouts” situation, and Labour will have pciked-up as many “strategics” as it lost.

    Also, the numbers of left commenters and authors here that switched to NZ1 may have created a bit of a false impression. Political junkies that frequent sites like this, are generally not very representative of the wider voting population.

    • the sprout 10.1

      commenters and authors here that switched to NZ1 may have created a bit of a false impression. Political junkies that frequent sites like this, are generally not very representative of the wider voting population

      agreed

      • mike 10.1.1

        +1 I voted Green but I can understand the reasoning. Those Labour supporters who voted NZ1 I’m sure did so in case Winston was close as to whether he would crack 5%. Sadly there was no “Switch my vote to Labour if Winston doesn’t need it” option on the ballot. In the end he got 36,000 odd votes more than he needed for 5% which surprised everyone. That alone is more than the Maori party got in total, and they had a national campaign. I don’t find it credible that 36,000 Labour supporters voted tactically for Winston. That would have taken some organisation, and probably more than one Goff-Peters cup of tea. So if you’re looking for someone to blame for his presence, I say he had no chance before the teapot tapes fiasco, and was in with that grin because of it. That was a John Key production. Whether this group of voters made an MPs worth of difference, no one can really know. It was always a gamble.

        Besides, unlike some I don’t think the sky will fall because there are 8 NZ First MPs. I’m not too upset really that Winston will be there gleefully digging up dirt on National and Key as he does.

    • millsy 10.2

      A lot of left wing voters would have voted NZF because he would do a better job at taking on Key in the House than Labour’s dead sheep. Nothing to do with tactics.

      As for his 7 mates, they seem to have pretty solid backgrounds, including one gentleman who as a Christchurch City Councillor opposed the sell off of Southpower and the Port of Lyttelton.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Blame the voters? No, blame Phil Goff.

    He made it very clear – not just in the campaign, but during the previous 3 years – that he was ready to work with Winston. He actively talked him up.

    Now, you can argue that this was justified, because Labour needed potential partners, and because it worked – NZ First got above 5%. Short-term gain, fair enough.

    But don’t then turn around and tell us we got it wrong. No, I didn’t vote NZ First, I voted Labour (with no joy, just a grudging acceptance, a last lingering loyalty, I suppose). But I don’t feel any sense of loss if Labour missed out on list MPs.

    Who drew up the list? Not me. Your colleagues, Ben. Talk to them.

    Ben, your post perfectly illustrates what is wrong with Labour insiders (MPs and candidates). And still you guys don’t seem to “get it”.

    Message to all the Labour hierarchy – For Christmas, ask Santa to bring you a mirror. That’s where you’ll find the answers to many of your problems.

    • Shona 11.1

      Couldn’t agree more as a long time Green/ Alliance voter supporter and an active one in my youth Labour need to get back to basics. They need to get out and work with the poor. They need to break a sweat and they need to get their hands dirty and be prepared to work with Mana. Get the disenfranchised onto the electoral roll . Set up a fund from their parliamnetary salaries to achieve this,the skilled workers and middle class professionals will continue to bail out of NZ at a rapid pace in the next 3 years.Nz will go backwards at a faster rate, the desperation will be far more widespreadand the 1990’s will look like a holiday in comparison.
      Both Labour and the Greens need to get over their pathetic deluded self importance and look at how little they have achieved in the last 3 years bury the hatchet with Winston and learn from him. Especially Russel Norman.Work with Hone.
      I am not sorry I voted NZ First.

        • Rodel 11.1.1.1

          I think a basic tenet of democracy is that whoever the people vote for should work together for the good of the people who voted for them
          Anything else is egoist and leads to dictatorial rule.
          That means Winston, Greens, Labour..etc dunno about Banks though..that’d be stretching it.

    • Ben Clark 11.2

      If I had much sway with my colleagues who drew up the list I wouldn’t have been at 69, would I? 🙂

      But more seriously, it was both locally & on here I heard people saying they’d vote NZ First, and I thought it unnecessary, because they’d get over the line regardless. I would expect it wasn’t a large number from the left who did, which is why it wasn’t the people who got them over the line, more likely the ones who got them their final MP. And my post wasn’t to pick a bunfight, rather just to point out that you don’t always get what you want.

      Yes Phil Goff indicated he could work with Winston, but there’s complaints on here when people don’t say who they can work with and complaints when they do – so you’ll never please everyone. So too with the list. I’d have drawn it up in a different order, as I’m sure every member of the Labour Party would have… but in a different way. Politics is the art of compromise, and the list may reflect that too much.

      You may not be disappointed about lost Labour list MPs, but I think the country would be far better off with Stuart Nash (in particular, but also others including Carmel) in parliament. I also think a lot of MPs get a bad rap because they’ve not managed to grab their share of media oxygen. But a thought: that might be because they’re too busy working for the country to work the media. Or they may be lazy – but just to say: media time isn’t necessarily the best criterion for MP performance.

  12. newsense 12

    Dear Ben,

    Note that the term of opposition starts now (unless by some incredible bunch of specials it doesn’t) and don’t wait until just before the election please. You presented a good alternative vision for the country, don’t let voters forget it. Make it an easy 2 tick choice next time around.

    • the sprout 12.1

      hear hear.
      despite the above I think Labour had a great campaign and promising policies that suggest a leftward movement. That is commendable. As were the efforts of many talented candidates.
      It’s the 35 months prior to this excellent performance that was the problem – it takes a long time to sway public opinion in a reliable way, which unfortunately requires convincing campaigning from the day after the election till the next.
      To be fair Labour were really battling it at the beginning of the 1st Key term because of his personal popularity, public ignorance of Key’s agenda, relentless adulation of Key by the msm he would talk to – in those conditions you can’t go too negative without looking like whiners or arseholes. But still the attack on Key was still left too late. It should have come well before the RWC. Now there are cracks in Key’s public image, Labour needs to get to work on chipping away at Key and National right away and make sure impending losses in National’s popularity are maintained.

  13. but did you want an 8th NZ First MP instead of…

    I didn’t even want the first 7 dropkick Winston dickriders to start`with.

    Why the fuck would i want an 8th ?

    • mike 13.1

      Lol @ “dickriders” I hope that’s a new political term that sticks. Could I say that John Banks switched which dick he was riding? Guess I just did.

  14. Glenn 14

    I voted for NZ first but to be truthful about it it was a vote for Winston.
    Under a Key lead government with asset sales in the pipeline along with the usual grinding down of the poor and jobless the opposition are going to have to fight every inch of the way.
    Labour are too damaged to fight much except their own leadership battle at the moment, The Greens are becoming so middle of the road and so willing to compromise to get some of their agenda on the floor that I doubt if they will do much to offend National.
    Hone will stir and put his beliefs first. He should be good value
    Leaving Winston and his new NZ first colleagues. All except his deputy unblooded as far as parliamenty shenanagens go.
    Without Winston there would be little opposition for the first months ahead while Key prepares to sell the fruits of our ancestors hard work.
    Winston is not afraid to fight.
    We need a fighter. The left can’t produce one at the moment so I voted Winston.

    • millsy 14.1

      That pretty much how I feel.

      I make no apologies for voting NZ First. Winston will give John Key a really hard time in the house, not like the dead sheep who are going to inherit the Labour leadership.

      Lot of rednecks drifting in to rub our noses in it the last few days.

    • Shona 14.2

      Exactly!

  15. jaymam 15

    I’m terribly sorry. All my friends and relatives voted for Winston. We just didn’t know when to stop.
    If there was a 2% or 3% MMP threshold we didn’t need to give Winston all those hangers on.

  16. Julia 16

    Hmm not sure why so many think Peters will be in the Left Wing camp.

    I suspect Peters overiding interest is, well, Peters. The Labour side will give him as many opportunities for target practice and noise as the Govt benches.

    And if you want to drown out Labours messages and comment in the house, well youve picked the right man

  17. Shazzadude 17

    Actually, thanks to tactical voting, those on the left ensured there would be at least one female MP of Pasifika descent in parliament by voting in 8th-placed candidate Asenati Taylor, a Samoan community leader in South Auckland.

    Labour/Green voters who voted for NZF helped ensure diversity continued. Well done.

  18. RobC 18

    Ben, I have mostly voted National up until 2008 and I will pay for my sins one day no doubt …

    They ain’t ever gettin my vote again. Briefly, I suspect there will be plenty of people like me who party voted NZ1 as the best method to stop National getting an absolute majority. For me, the fact that Peters may (based on past form) mud-sling and shit-stir is just an added bonus.

  19. Ianupnorth 19

    Ben, I was another two ticks red who at the last minute ticked NZ1. Frankly, I think the debate is irrelevant, I would much rather see that there had been proper dialogue between the left leaning parties in advance of the poll. There are several electorate seats that could have been won in the same way NAct cheated their way to Epsom – that would have made quite a bit of difference.

    • millsy 19.1

      Yes for all the frothing the right wing parties make, they seem to understand how to use it more than the left. Both ACT and United Future would have been goneburger years ago had they not made arrangements with each other in Epsom and Ohariu respectively.

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  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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