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Three strikes law is not the answer

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, November 29th, 2022 - 25 comments
Categories: crime, law, law and "order", mark mitchell, national, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:

It is rather weird that the three strikes law is a, ahem, hot topic right now.

It is being held out to be a panacea to the current crime wave the right claim we are suffering from.

A high profile killing of an Auckland dairy worker has sparked considerable anger.

National and Mark Mitchell in particular have chosen to fuel that anger by demanding that the three strikes law be returned.  Even though initial indications are that the person who has been charged was extradited from Australia and may not actually be subject to the law if it was in force.

Mitchell has been reported as follows.  From Morning Report:

He said National wanted to see “proper consequences” for offenders and was “fully focused” on changing the law around discounts.

“The public of New Zealand don’t feel like there is consequences. They don’t feel safe in their houses, they don’t feel like the judicial is working in their favour at all and it’s very rare we here about victims at all these days.”

The law has a somewhat disturbed background.  Its primary proponent was someone who had been convicted of stealing a dead baby’s identity.

As I said previously the legislation was a sports slogan masquerading as a serious penal policy.  Its genesis was the US of A where an informed considered approach to criminal justice is subservient to good old boy tough on crime toting politicians.

It basically has a list of offences where first time up a defendant will be given a warning, second time up an offender serves the imposed sentence without parole and third time up unless it would be manifestly unjust an offender has to serve the maximum sentence for the offence.

It is hard to comprehend how it could have a positive effect on offence levels.  In fact the National Government was advised that the law change may result in more homicides.

It is not difficult to understand how this could work.  The ones at risk of being subject to three strikes tend to be poorly educated and either very drunk or out of their head on something or they have the type of personality that means they respond very poorly to certain circumstances or they suffer from a mental condition. They do not have law degrees or coldly measure the consequences of their behaviour if they act in a certain way.

They are almost inevitably impulsive. They will not perform a deep analysis of the likely consequences, instead they will think along the following lines, “S*&t I’m going down but if I get away I might not get caught”. It is then quite conceivable that they will kill someone to get away.

The law had come up with some batshit crazy results like the case where a prisoner was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for pinching a female prison guard’s bum.  Another person who suffered from long-standing and serious mental illness, who had been admitted at least 13 times to mental health facilities, and who suffered from schizophrenia and substance (drug and alcohol) abuse received the same sentence for an unwanted kiss on the cheek of a stranger.

This second case led the Supreme Court to decide that the sentence of seven years’ imprisonment went well beyond excessive punishment and would shock the conscience of properly informed New Zealanders, and was therefore so disproportionately severe as to breach the Bill of Rights. They also agreed that this right not to be subject to cruel or disproportionately severe punishment is not subject to the reasonable limits protection under the Act.

So suggestions of a return of the law is both an affront to the rule of law which National is meant to support and may actually increase the homicide rate.  And it will not be a panacea.

You need long term reform to achieve this.  Address poverty, improve housing standards, care for people’s health and give everyone a good education.

But these tough on crime slogans that by the looks of it do not actually apply to the offence in question do all of us a disservice.

25 comments on “Three strikes law is not the answer ”

  1. Barfly 1

    "extradited from Australia"

    deported?

    • Obtrectator 1.1

      For God's sake, is this silly error going to go on and on being committed? If you extradite someone, it's because you DO want them in your country – to face justice. We certainly DIDN'T want that Aussie reject here.

  2. Lioness 2

    "a prisoner was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for pinching a female prison guard’s bum."

    "received the same sentence for an unwanted kiss on the cheek of a stranger"

    Always great to see the left minimize physical and sexual assault against woman. Perhaps this is why so many of us no longer feel safe in Aoteroa NZ.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      This is not minimising the effects of physical and sexual assault. This is wondering why these instances should attract the exact same way as the most extreme examples of the offending.

      • Lioness 2.1.1

        You are minimizing it.

        The law is called the "3 Strike Law". So for either of these offenders to have been potentially facing the the maximum potential consequence of this law they must have committed similar crimes or severe crimes at least twice previously and potentially even more times if they did so before the law was first passed.

        You use the terms "kiss on the check" and "pinch on the bum" instead of what each of those acts were, "a sexual act committed against an unwilling woman".

        You try to defend it by saying "it was just a kiss", "just a pinch". Have you considered how those effected the victims? No you haven't you have simply taken the view that the crimes didnt reall matter and could have been worse so the poor criminal shouldn't have been punished to much.

        Your attitude is why Labour is known as crim-hugging and soft on crime.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          That is quite the pivot from complaining about lack of empathy for victims to saying Labour is crim hugging and soft on crime. Criminal activity comes in all degrees of severity. To say that all offending is equally bad no matter what the circumstances is not the actions of a well run criminal justice system. Heard about proportionality?

        • DS 2.1.1.2

          There are people in prison for rape who serve less than seven years in prison.

          Do you think a bottom pinch is worse than rape? Because that's what Three Strikes says.

    • DS 2.2

      It's called proportionality. Or in this case, disproportionality.

      Frankly, seven years for a kiss on a cheek is a greater affront to the conscience than the initial kiss on the cheek.

  3. alwyn 3

    On the summary piece you get about this story you finish by saying

    "And despite there being evidence that it would actually work."

    Are you seriously suggesting that we should not do something because it would work?

    [Clearly there is a missing “no”. Have now amended – MS]

  4. Mike the Lefty 4

    The best deterrent for crime is NOT harsher sentences, it is having a state-owned, professional, well-funded police force staffed by the right people.

    Before the Bow Street Runners in the late 18th century, the system was one of hue and cry and bounty hunters, plus harsh sentences including whipping, branding and hanging.

    Harsh sentences did not reduce crime then and they won't now.

    The best thing the Labour government could do would be to separate traffic and police as used to happen. More police stations that are actually open and not shut after office hours. Police on the beat, in the community, like it used to be. Nowadays the police force is reduced to little more than a swat squad for emergencies and traffic accidents.

    There will be less crime when potential offenders fear that they WILL be caught. At the moment they reckon the odds are in their favour, and harsher sentences are just a joke to them. No offender can be sentenced if they not first caught, and if our police force is not capable of doing the job then they won't be caught.

    It will take a shitload of money, but building more prisons will take a shitload of money too.

  5. DS 5

    Three Strikes is nonsensical, evil, and stupid. It does nothing to actually deter offenders – who now have a perverse incentive to perform the worst possible form of the crime in question, since the system is now incapable of distinguishing between levels of severity.

    (Hint: that bloke who got seven years for a bottom pinch? He'd have received exactly the same sentence if he'd performed the worst possible act of indecent assault upon the woman in question).

    The kicker is that it costs the state $100,000 a year to keep someone in prison. That's the state wasting $700,000 for a bottom pinch. Talk about wasteful spending…

    That said, the Supreme Court has been been getting rather aggressive in its political interference recently. I am not so worried about this example, since it actually pertains to the judiciary's bread and butter, but honestly: even when politicians are morons, the judges need to pull their heads in. Leave the politicians to the voters.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Mickey,

    The peverse outcomes you described were counteracted by the fact that the judge could avoid the 3 Strikes sentencing requirement should the sentence be manifestly unjust.

    Whether the 3 Strikes law "works" depends on what is meant by "works". So far as the public is concerned, they probably think it "works" if recidivist offenders are kept off the streets for longer.

    Personally, I think the whole prison set up is counter-productive, whatever system is used.

    Firstly, I think prison should be a place where people come out better rather than worse. Secondly, I think there needs to be much more support in the community for prisoners when they return to the community.

    In order to come out better than they went in, I think prison should be seen as an intervention that enables people to have the factors in their lives that cause their behaviour to be rectified. That could mean treatment for drug addiction, fixing educatoinal defecits, teaching employable skills, anger management counselling etc.

    So far as sentence discounts for good behaviour are concerned while in prison, I would link that to making progress with respect to the factors mentioned above. So that early release is tied to reduced risk of offending.

    Then, in the community, there should be mentor programs, jobs they can immediately go to, accomodation etc.

    • lprent 6.1

      Once they get prisons to the point that people actually do come out better and are supported when out so they don't reoffend – then we can look at sentencing.

      Perhaps we could raise taxes to increase the sevices you describe to the point that they can work. I would suggest about a 10 fold increase to scanandavian levels as a starter. Because in NZ most of those services are pretty non-existant, ineffectual, or too over-worked to work.

      Probably why our reoffending rate is so damn high compared to states that don't follow Nationals persistent penny-pinching on support services.

      In the meantime National looks to me like they just like warehousing prisioners with dipshit 3 strikes sentencing. I guess that they can see a profit in it somewhere.

      I can’t. It is an uneconomic way to use my taxes to pay dividends to prison investors.

      I would prefer spending money on more police

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        In the meantime National looks to me like they just like warehousing prisioners with dipshit 3 strikes sentencing. I guess that they can see a profit in it somewhere.

        Iprent, that criticism is probably fair. On the other hand Labour seems really good at throwing money at problems without much in the way tangible results.

        What is probably needed in NZ is a grand coalition that lasts about 20 years so that politicians are able to implement effective policy that actually deals with the root causes of problems. At the moment politicians from both sides of the fence seem to come up with headline grabbing policies to placate their voters that don't really work in the long term.

        Maybe the adversarial style of politics will end in the future to allow such a possibility. I am not holding out too much hope though.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          On the other hand Labour seems really good at throwing money at problems without much in the way tangible results.

          The problem is that they don't. You have to really throw enough money and resources at any end of it to make it work and then sustain it for decades.

          It takes decades to get those types of systems working. Typically National spend all their time in opposition complaining about even trying to do it, then cut all of the programs as soon as they hit the government benches.

          Politically there is absolutely no political capital working on it because of the way that lazy right voters push it. They're not interested in fixing a social ill and making sure that it reduces. They just want a short-term fix to a long-term issue.

          NZ has about 10-11 thousand sworn police and less than 4000 odd support staff for a population that is close to 5 million people. In 1990 we had just over 5000 sworn officers for a population of 3.3 million. They are a key part of our emergency response systems.

          Despite which they still get overwhelmed when we have emergencies like the pandemic or Australia offloading their societal failures here (the 501s). We need to keep raising numbers to the point that they actually have time to deal with the low conviction rates.

          When you look at other countries our number of police per head of population is really low. And that is the case for all emergency services from everything from fire, civil defence, and our social support agencies.

          We effectively don't support dealing with people leaving prison or being 501 deported from Aussie.

          For instance I generally advise people who have to use WINS that they will have to fight to get their entitlements because the accumulated punitive idiocies that the National / Act / NZF and even Labour have piled on a basic economic function of society (employment and income transitions). They're there to handle recessions, economic structural changes, people having unexpected upsets in their life like the unexpected birth of a child, etc. They are only really funded for 'normal' operations with the kinds of government policies that they have to contend with.

          WINS seems to have an institutional preference to never tell anyone what they could do, instead always effectively pushing them towards getting evicted or not having food. Because that is what a succession of governments (mostly right ones) have told them to do. WINS attempts at job-finding, reskilling, and training are simply ridiculous.

          So you can imagine (for instance) what it is like for a 501 landing in NZ with a few bucks, not knowing anything about the system, being dumped on relatives that they don't know, and being unable to get enough money to live on. Basically if you read the 501 page from corrections you'll get the idea. Essentially shoved off the plane in a country that most have never lived in and given a few days accommodation and money. WINS will spend a lot of time getting them learning how to write a really basic CV, but not enough to find them money for their food and rent.

          This is also pretty much the same for people coming out of prison. The last thing that they want to do is to deal with prison on the outside with no real support – which outside of family (if they have any) is pretty much what they get.

          Bill English was pretty much the only politician from the right in NZ that I have ever seen looking at these kinds of issues. But he was budget constrained because conservative voters are more concerned about reducing taxes than reducing the costs of offending and re-offending to society. Instead that they just pile on useless expensive punitive laws and regulations on places like WINS that cause homelessness, offending and re-offending. Seldom spending anything at all on actual cost-saving prevention – like dealing fairly with people.

          Luxon is a just such a classic example of a right simple-minded political moron. Youth military camps FFS. Pretty clear that the lazy dimwit was never in the military and that he has absolutely no sense of either duty or perspective.

          Soldiers and the armed forces aren't there to act as fucking jailors. They train to produce soldiers capable of handling themselves in situations from combat through to extended civil emergencies. They are highly and expensively skilled at training the willing for the unexpected. I spent 7 odd years building training systems to allow soldiers (mostly offshore) better trained. The type of systems that our SAS use at their MOUT for instance, or the major exercises that the aussies hold for various nations in their training grounds.

          To even think about all that military training being wasted as jailers and training the sentenced is a expensive travesty. Plus I note that Luxon – the lazy arsehole hasn't managed to say more than a few platitudes about helping with kids released from that kind of program to reintegrate back into civilian society. I guess that as the worst type of lazy god-botherer, he just expects that to miraculously happen.

          Maybe the adversarial style of politics will end in the future to allow such a possibility. I am not holding out too much hope though.

          Until the right voters stop being simple-minded idiots concentrating on blaming others rather than caring about their society enough to concentrate on how to make it work, I can't see it changing.

          You don't have to look too far to see the political problems. I just read about the Act policy on RMA and transport. that pretty much came down to..

          If you have money and resources, ACT consider that you have a perfect right to stomp over all others by winning everything in court. Be an aggressive arsehole to your neighbours and push them into having defend themselves from your assertions of rights to be an complete arsehole. They'll run out of cash before you do – that is why arrogant arseholes should fund ACT.

          You'll note that there is absolutely no mention on how someone with few resources can defend themselves against their neighbours arbitrary actions in Act neighbourly. Yet they are expected to do so.

          It also doesn't say how you could find the kinds of scientific data collecting required to defend it for things like water pollution. I guess that again, being able to pay for tame 'experts' means that you win.

          I can't see any common ground with this kind of individualistic fuckwit with no sense of duty to our society.

          This is from the party that brought in the incredibly stupid and ineffective 3 strikes legislation as a fashion import from the prison industry in the US.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            Hi Iprent,

            I would actually be happy to pay more taxes for what I see as critical areas for our society.

            For instance, internationally competitive wages for medical staff so we don't waste money training them up only for them to be attracted overseas by higher wages.

            Competitive salaries for teachers that attract the most gifted candidates to that role, rather than them being attracted to accountancy or something that pays better.

            Community interventions to address the endless cycle of crime, drug addiction, and welfare dependency in many of our communities.

            Once we have effectively dealt with those critical areas, then we can start to fund the nice-to-haves.

            But I am not happy to be paying more taxes when I see a lot of it being poured down the toilet on vanity projects such as the TVNZ RNZ merger, or light rail projects that are highly dubious in their completed cost and their benefit to the community. I would much rather the money spent on that be put into critical areas.

            I think all government spending needs to be put under that microscope so the fluffy stuff is pruned out, and the funds freed up put into areas that really make a difference to the long term well being of our community.

            I agree that the right can tend towards dog-wistle policies. But I also contend that the left is often ideologically driven towards spending that meets esoteric objectives rather than actually making a difference.

            That is one reason I think a grand coalition is needed. Just look at what will happen when the government likely changes next time. A lot of the stuff Labour has invested in believing it takes a long time to make a difference will likely be repealed and it will never get that chance. Whereas a long-term stable government would allow the time for positive changes to happen.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              If you are prepared to avoid dealing with a current problem and want to wait for an indeterminate time for one of those to have an effect on the same problem in 20-40 years – then be my guest.

              It is a worthy but in my view , a completely hypocritical and sanctimonious sentiment, albeit a mostly completely useless one based on evidence to date.

              Generally the bulk of everything you have listed goes to benefit the relatively affluent and elderly and has minimal long-term effects on the probability of crime or on re-offending after a session in prisons. That is because every time that these are tried, the benefits are diverted to affluent areas.

              The bulk of the value doesn't go to the schools that the poor go to. Not to the communities with high crime populations. Not to the areas with high unemployment. Not to health prevention programmes – but too providing health care for the voters over child-bearing age. The value invariably goes to the relatively well off communities with jobs, income, and relatively low creators or crime.

              All of these have been tried over many decades. None have been shown to have that much effect on the outcomes of kids becoming anti-social or criminal, or with dealing with the downstream effects of people being processed through our justice system. That is because of the benefit bias that shows for each of those programmes.

              Consequently we wind up shelling out money for those programmes while also continually paying the costs of crime through insurance premiums and the costs of justice and prisons.

              As MS said in the post, the only real correlations about actual crime reduction here and overseas have been with the changes in age demography (or having readily available relatively safe jobs).

              You'll note that I'm not talking about convictions or sentences. That only really seems to have a correlation with vigilante voters. The 3 strikes debacle being and obvious example. But also generally increases in sentences and mandatory minimum sentences. Those seem to have a strong correlation with increasing violent criminal acts.

              The costs of fixing at the bottom of the cliff are still there.

              The costs of reinforcing anti-social or criminal behaviour by putting people into criminal educational institutions like prisons are well known and still there. Their effect on the actual rates of re-offending has always been minimal, and in most cases on the young increases the probability of re-offence.

              Yet the only solution that fools seem to have is to either point to social programmes that don't have much effect on the outcomes. Or who want to make it worse by locking people up for longer to encourage them to become more likely to re-offend or to become more violent to avoid being caught.

              Idiotic

              What those same fools then do is to get upset about what is known to work. Keeping most people who commit crimes out of prison, providing real training and education inside prison, providing real support after sentencing or terms in prison, and generally making it easier for people to access benefits that prevent them wanting to go back to offending. All of which is way less costly and far more effective.

              The idea would be to reduce re-offending. After all if you can do that then you have massively reduced the life-time costs of habitual re-offending on society by offenders in their late teens, 20s and 30s – the demographics of offending show that most criminal offenders start early typically as passion or anger issue and don't really stop until middle age.

              After you do that – you can start to look at how to reduce youthful offending in the first place confident that the backstop for those you miss will keep the costs to society down.

  7. Thinker 7

    Oh yes, remember David Garrett, proponent of the 3 strikes law…

    Strike 1 steal babies' identity

    Strike 2 obtain fraudulent passports

    Strike 3 assault in Tonga.

    But the sad thing is I'd give my watch to David Garrett to mind any day rather than the Dancing Perkbuster…

  8. observer 8

    It is a clear example of the irrelevance of so many "solutions", and therefore, the lack of sincerity of the politicians who propose them.

    Deterrence works when offenders think. "I won't do that, because I have weighed up the risk and reward and it is not worth it".

    Anybody who commits aggravated robbery (max penalty: 14 years) for cigarettes, booze or petty cash is not thinking much at all. If you want to make a lot of money, there are easier and safer crimes (no, I won't tell you which ones!).

    Here's what happens if you commit aggravated robbery.

    https://figure.nz/chart/3ZERJLSWFUA7wKPN-DW8miEWIyrWKT0qk

  9. Tony Veitch 9

    In a nutshell, the trouble with our society is we’ve become too soft over-all. We’ve lost that toughness of our pioneers who burned the forests, broke in the land and displaced the natives.

    We need to get back to a more essential way of dealing with offenders – something along the lines of the Old Testament (Luxon’s go-to book of reference) or the Roman Empire.

    Make offenders part of our entertainment, by pitting them against each other in an auditorium like Eden Park – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a fight to the death.

    This would solve two immediate problems – it would act as a deterrence to those thinking of offending, and permanently remove most of those who had offended, thereby saving the poor hard-working taxpayer ship-loads of money.

    We need much more self-reliance and resilience and more consequences for wrong-doing. Poverty and dysfunctional Ruth-endowed families are no excuse. Everyone should aim to be a successful CEO and own seven houses, otherwise, what use is society if not to pander to our greed?

    Toughen up NZers and become successful, like our role-models to our right!

    /s

    • RedLogix 9.1

      The role of the state is to administer punishment and justice, the role of the individual to be compassionate and forgiving.

      Not the other way around.

  10. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    Not to excuse people currently committing terrible crimes, but the more effective longterm solution for crime is better opportunity, care and support right from birth (and before birth). A lot of problems are established long before people start school. Plus we need actual support for adults and young people with problems (e.g. counselling, housing, addiction treatment etc)

    Strangely, the people and parties that shout the loudest about getting 'tough on crime', are usually the same ones with policies that entrench poverty, inequality and disadvantage i.e. tax and service cuts, 'flexible' workplaces, 'user pays' (=poor can't use) etc.

  11. Adrian 11

    We hardly hear stories of any 501s who have been able to live here without being the first item on the 6o'clock news. A nieghbour has recently had a house built by an Auckland builder who employed several 501s, very hard workers, interesting lunch companions, didn"t try to sell me any drugs or sawn-off shotguns. One was sent back because after a speeding ticket they found a many years old punch-up charge and that was enough to be separated from an 18 month child and trying to start again with no family here. I think the builder is brave, compassionit and to be congratulated.

  12. georgecom 12

    National has just reached it's 3 strikes for tired old law and order policies, slogans and rhetoric

    Labour soft on crime, boot camps, 3 strikes law

    no new thinking, no new ideas. after 5 years in opposition nothing tangible or new to offer

    If they had anything new we would be seeing ideas about stemming the flow of 501 returnees. only party doing anything in that space is Labour

  13. Paul Campbell 13

    "3 strikes and you're out" is so culturally wrong, if we must have this nonsense surely it should be "6 balls and you're over"?

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    The (new) Prime Minister said nobody understands what co-governance means, later modified to that there were so many varying interpretations that there was no common understanding.Co-governance cannot be derived from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It does not use the word. It refers to ‘government’ on ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Jump onto the weekly hoon at 5pm
    It’s that time of the week again when and I co-host our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kaka. Jump on this link for our chat about the week’s news with special guests Auckland Central MP Chloe Swarbrick and Auckland City Councillor Julie Fairey, including:Auckland’s catastrophic floods, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: The emissions deficit
    In March last year, in a panic over rising petrol prices caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the government made a poor decision, "temporarily" cutting fuel excise tax by 25 cents a litre. Of course, it turned out not to be temporary at all, having been extended in May, July, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Unforced variations: Feb 2023
    This month’s open thread for climate related topics. Please be constructive, polite, and succinct. The post Unforced variations: Feb 2023 first appeared on RealClimate. ...
    Real ClimateBy group
    3 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis takes us back to a battle in which the Brits took a beating but we are left bewildered ...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two fresh press releases had been posted when we checked the Beehive website at noon, both of them posted yesterday. In one statement, in the runup to Waitangi Day, Maori Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis drew attention to happenings on a Northland battle site in 1845. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Ask Me Anything about the week to Feb 3
    It’s that time of the week again when I’m on the site for an hour for a chat in an Ask Me Anything with paying subscribers to The Kaka. Jump in for a chat on anything, including:Auckland’s catastrophic floods, which are set to cost insurers and the Government well over ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Political Roundup: 3 February 2023
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • The stagnant debates in our hermit kingdom of a political economy
    Australia’s Treasurer Jim Chalmers (left) has published a 6,000 word manifesto called ‘Capitalism after the Crises’ arguing for ‘values-based capitalism’. Yet here in NZ we hear the same stale old rhetoric unchanged from the 1990s and early 2000s. Photo: Getty ImagesTLDR: The rest of the world is talking about inflation ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Lies, damned lies, and political polls.
    A couple of weeks ago, after NCEA results came out, my son’s enrolment at Auckland Uni for this year was confirmed - he is doing a BSc majoring in Statistics. Well that is the plan now, who knows what will take his interest once he starts.I spent a bit of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 03-February-2023
    Kia ora. What a week! We hope you’ve all come through last weekend’s extreme weather event relatively dry and safe. Header image: stormwater ponds at Hobsonville Point. Image via Twitter. The week in Greater Auckland There’s been a storm of information and debate since the worst of the flooding ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • A New Day, a New Cease & Desist
    Hi,At 4.43pm yesterday it arrived — a cease and desist letter from the guy I mentioned in my last newsletter. I’d written an article about “WEWE”, a global multi-level marketing scam making in-roads into New Zealand. MLMs are terrible for many of the same reasons megachurches are terrible, and I ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Blowing Off The Froth: Why Chris Hipkins Must Ditch Three Waters.
    Time To Call A Halt: Chris Hipkins knows that iwi leaders possess the means to make life very difficult for his government. Notwithstanding their objections, however, the Prime Minister’s direction of travel – already clearly signalled by his very public demotion of Nanaia Mahuta – must be confirmed by an emphatic ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5 2023
    Open access notables Via PNAS, Ceylan, Anderson & Wood present a paper squarely in the center of the Skeptical Science wheelhouse:  Sharing of misinformation is habitual, not just lazy or biased. The signficance statement is obvious catnip: Misinformation is a worldwide concern carrying socioeconomic and political consequences. What drives ...
    4 days ago
  • Universities that punish reading – even of books from their own libraries
    Mark White from the Left free speech organisation Plebity looks at the disturbing trend of ‘book burning’ on US campuses In the abstract, people mostly agree that book banning is a bad thing. The Nazis did us the favor of being very clear about it and literally burning books, but ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins has a chance to show he is more effective in getting results  than Ardern in his Canberra t...
      Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has undergone a stern baptisim of fire in his first week in his new job, but it doesn’t get any easier. Next week, he has a vital meeting  in Canberra with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, where he has to establish ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on extending the fuel/public transport subsidies
    As PM Chris Hipkins says, it’s a “no brainer” to extend the fuel tax cut, half price public subsidy and the cut to the road user levy until mid-year. A no braoner if the prime purpose is to ease the burden on people struggling to cope with the cost of ...
    4 days ago
  • U-turn on fuel taxes could pump up poll support for Hipkins and Co but the poor – perhaps – won...
    Buzz from the Beehive Cost-of-living pressures loomed large in Beehive announcements over the past 24 hours. The PM was obviously keen to announce further measures to keep those costs in check and demonstrate he means business when he talks of focusing his government on bread-and-butter issues. His statement was headed ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Mike’s Cracked Record
    Poor Mike Hosking. He has revealed himself in his most recent diatribe to be one of those public figures who is defined, not by who he is, but by who he isn’t, or at least not by what he is for, but by what he is against. Jacinda’s departure has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Chris Hipkins hires a lobbyist to run the Beehive
    New Zealand is the second least corrupt country on earth according to the latest Corruption Perception Index published yesterday by Transparency International. But how much does this reflect reality? The problem with being continually feted for world-leading political integrity – which the Beehive and government departments love to boast about ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Government confirms a light rail rethink possible
    Transport Minister and now also Minister for Auckland, Michael Wood has confirmed that the light rail project is part of the government’s policy refocus. Wood said the light rail project was under review as part of a ministerial refocus on key Government projects. “We are undertaking a stocktake about how ...
    4 days ago
  • Why Nicola Willis is door-knocking in Johnsonville
    Sometime before the new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced that this year would be about “bread and butter issues”, National’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis decided to move from Wellington Central and stand for Ohariu, which spreads across north Wellington from the central city to Johnsonville and Tawa. It’s an ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • “With great power comes great responsibility”: we’ve all heard that, but stepping up to it is ...
    They say a week is a long time in politics. For Mayor Wayne Brown, turns out 24 hours was long enough for many of us to see, quite obviously, “something isn’t right here…”. That in fact, a lot was going wrong. Very wrong indeed. Mainly because it turns ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • The escalator rises again
    One of the most effective, and successful, graphics developed by Skeptical Science is the escalator.  The escalator shows how global surface temperature anomalies vary with time, and illustrates how "contrarians" tend to cherry-pick short time intervals so as to argue that there has been no recent warming, while "realists" recognise ...
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • We never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups
    Tomorrow we have a funeral, and thank you all of you for your very kind words and thoughts — flowers, even.Our friend Michèle messaged: we never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups, and oh boy is that ever the truth. Tomorrow we have the funeral, and ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Garrick Tremain’s view…
    ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Much excitement as Hipkins gets down to business – but can he defeat inflation with his devotion t...
    A  new Prime Minister, a revitalised Cabinet, and possibly  revised priorities – but is the political and, importantly, economic landscape  much different? Certainly  some within the news  media  were excited by the changes which Chris Hipkins announced yesterday or – before the announcement – by the prospect of changes in ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • E-bike incentives work
    Currently the government's strategy for reducing transport emissions hinges on boosting vehicle fuel-efficiency, via the clean car standard and clean car discount, and some improvements to public transport. The former has been hugely successful, and has clearly set us on the right path, but its also not enough, and will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hipkins’ need to strengthen focus on “bread and butter” issues suggests the Ardern team was lo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Before he announced his Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced he would be flying to Australia next week to meet that country’s Prime Minister. And before Kieran McAnulty had time to say “Three Waters” after his promotion to the Local Government portfolio, he was dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • 24,000 employed under Labour
    The quarterly labour market statistics were released this morning, showing that unemployment has risen slightly to 3.4%. There are now 99,000 people unemployed - 24,000 fewer than when Labour took office. So, I guess the Reserve Bank's plan to throw people out of work to stop wage rises "inflation", and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • February Stars.
    Another night of heavy rain, flooding, damage to homes, and people worried about where the hell all this water is going to go as we enter day twenty two of rain this year.Honestly if the government can’t sell Three Waters on the back of what has happened with storm water ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    * Dr Bryce Edwards writes – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular reforms in water and DHB centralisation ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • The Neverending Curse of MLMs
    Hi,It’s weird to me that in 2023 we still have people falling for multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs for short). There are Netflix documentaries about them, countless articles, and last year we did an Armchaired and Dangerous episode on them.Then you check a ticketing website like EventBrite and see this shit ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • We just need the Wayne to stop
    Shortly, the absolute state of Wayne Brown. But before that, something I wrote four years ago for the council’s own media machine. It was a day-in-the-life profile of their many and varied and quite possibly unnoticed vital services. We went all over Auckland in 48 hours for the story, the ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: January (+ Old Phuul Update)
    Completed reads for January Lilith, by George MacDonald The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Christabel (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, by Anonymous The Lay of Kraka (poem), by Anonymous 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. ...
    6 days ago
  • Is Britain doomed (again)?
    Pity the poor Brits.  They just can’t catch a break. After years of reporting of lying Boris Johnson, a change to a less colourful PM in Rishi Sunak has resulted in a smooth media pivot to an end-of-empire narrative.  The New York Times, no less, amplifies suggestions that Blighty ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • After The Deluge.
    On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.Genesis 6:11-12THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for i...
    Buzz from the Beehive There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • The other ‘big one’: How a megaflood could swamp California’s Central Valley
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters When early settlers came to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers before the California Gold Rush, Indigenous people warned them that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when great winter rains came. The storytellers described water filling the ...
    6 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The gamechanger PM and polls
    Dr Bryce Edwards writes –  Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Gamechanger PM and polls
    Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins has changed everything, and Labour is back ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • After the deluge – initial thoughts on the Auckland floods
    Over the last few years, it’s seemed like city after city around the world has become subject to extreme flooding events that have been made worse by impacts from climate change. We’ve highlighted many of them in our Weekly Roundup series. Sadly, over the last few days it’s been Auckland’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Ever Get the Feeling You've Been Cheated?
    And so the first month of the year draws to a close. It rained in Auckland on 21 out of the 31 days in January. Feels like summer never really happened this year. It’s actually hard to believe there were 10 days that it didn’t rain. Was it any better where ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Ani O’Brien: Luxon can’t afford to continue ‘small target’ politics
    A ‘small target’ strategy is not going to cut it anymore if National want to win the upcoming election. The game has changed and the game plan needs to change as well. Jacinda Ardern’s abrupt departure from the 9th floor has the potential to derail what looked to be an ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago

  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago