Top ten things we have learned already

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, May 6th, 2020 - 53 comments
Categories: australian politics, health, health and safety, poverty, workers' rights - Tags: ,

  1. We can do without fast food and coffee made by someone else, but not forever.
  2. What seems to be out of control can be brought under control. This provides a good level of comfort. Even at another extreme event and future policies start to fail, New Zealand can recover the situation.
  3. We’re wiser. Comparing our own recovery with others, there is more than one right way to achieve and maintain control. The most enduring form of globalisation out of this is that countries who learn from each other and increase their implicit trust in each other, and use that shared knowledge to suit their own circumstances, are coming out ahead.
  4. We trust. We trust our government to get us to do the right thing, and have been rewarded for that trust. Our social contract is more explicit and it is very strong. When asked for total obedience and self-control in the face of a national crisis, we deliver. Government is dependent on us, and we on them, and that realisation hasn’t freaked anyone out.
  5. We are going to move closer to Australia. We’ve been doing it for years and it’s not scary.
  6. We’ve seen a truth. We’ve caught a glimpse of life without commuting and pollution and offices and it’s like a balloon that expanded in our imagination, popped, and the shape is still there.
  7. We are throwing everything at housing and infrastructure to keep ourselves employed and internally strong, but we’re not making ourselves any wealthier or productive.
  8. The things in life that are actually frivolous and a bit of a waste of money are now really obvious – even if we return to them next year. If we never tell another soul, we know those things that have held us back.
  9. The patterns that were changing already – digital work and communication, dying mainstream media, property, regional trade blocs, teaching and learning, healthcare, regional and personal inequality – just accelerated massively under our feet.
  10. We’re strong. All that is solid has melted into air – except actually it hasn’t. The entire country is changing so fast – in parts damaging and in other parts for the long term good – but there is no panic to it. We’re accelerating in high country roads, without loss of traction.

53 comments on “Top ten things we have learned already ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I have learned New Zealanders by and large love appeals to collective discipline. Stadium of five million, team of five million, we can't get enough of that kind of thing.

    I was reading a British account which expressed surprise that our nation of "rugged individualists" had been so disciplined. But Austin Mitchell long ago described an earlier generation of New Zealanders as the Prussians of the South Pacific, and it seems that beneath the surface a lot of cultural behaviours can be remarkably persistent in any society.

    • Blazer 1.1

      'Prussians of the South Pacific'….or 'Mexicans with…cell phones'…you choose.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.1

        I guess one was coined by someone (Austin Mitchell) who actually had a deep fondness for our people while the other is simply a dismissive insult, so if you want to be insulted I guess that is your choice.

        • Blazer 1.1.1.1

          Well you just inspired me to go and watch the Paradise Revisited series by Austin Mitchell .

          Wonderful .yes

        • Brutus Iscariot 1.1.1.2

          Prussians were also viewed in Europe as regimented, narrowminded, militaristic, and petty.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        Prussia.

        One of the first States to introduce formal, social welfare.

        • greywarshark 1.1.2.1

          What a mixed up lot we humans are. Could we extract essence of rationality and spirituality of being and find a sweet spot where we can join those things, and keep the stink bugs of negativity and greed to such a low level that we could pick them off and deal with them personally, squash them like shield beetles?

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Our health systems have been run down for 30 years and we have the lowest number of ICU beds in the developed world.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    3. We’re wiser. Some of us, perhaps. The day the average punter gets wiser pigs will sprout wings.

    4. We trust. We trust our government to get us to do the right thing I suspect `our' was intended to mean `this'? Some naively, some suspiciously, given the track record of betrayal in the past.

    5. We are going to move closer to Australia. Fortunately plate tectonics reversal is unheard of, and would be extremely slow even if it happened, so I think we can discount your threat.

    6. We’ve seen a truth. Hey, don't tell the postmodernists. They'd become catatonic & would have to go into therapy.

    8. The things in life that are actually frivolous and a bit of a waste of money are now really obvious Such as the Leader of the Opposition.

    10. We’re accelerating in high country roads, without loss of traction. Looking down from his cloud (beer in hand) Barry Crump will be proud.

    • I suspect `our' was intended to mean `this'?

      You bet. I trust Ardern, Robertson and Bloomfield. I would mos def not trust Bridges, Bennett and that accountant National appointed to Bloomfield's position.

      Hey, don't tell the postmodernists. They'd become catatonic & would have to go into therapy.

      Lol – it's funny because it's true…

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      10. We’re accelerating in high country roads, without loss of traction.

      We can see the red-gold cirrus, over snow-mountains shine. 🙂

      • Ad 3.2.1

        🙂

        Hat Tip to James

      • mac1 3.2.2

        Don't forget the next bit about surrendering your heart of anger on that upland road.

        I quoted that poem to the custodian of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo once as it seemed so apt looking up the lake to Aoraki/ Mt Cook. He had not heard it.

        Our nation has more to learn about that surrender. "On that upland road ride easy, stranger/ surrender to the sky your heart of anger". I hope we do in our post-covid country.

  4. roy cartland 4

    I can't tell if you're being facetious with the first point, but is it really the product itself we're desperate for? Maybe it's some – any! – feeling of normality and/or social contact that we crave after isolation.

    • Ad 4.1

      It's both the product and the contact.

    • Phil 4.2

      but is it really the product itself we're desperate for?

      I'm very fortunate to have a good quality coffee machine at home. My home workspace is open plan and the machine is visible in the background when i'm on a video call. Roughly once a day in L4 I had a colleague or client mention how desperate they were to have a 'real coffee'.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Love it. I can tick all of these boxes.

    One small data point from here in Brisbane. In some Bunnings stores turnover is up 40% … people not spending money on bars, cafes and commuting are spending it on their homes.

    Lots of people are not in a hurry to return to work. Or at least work on the same prior terms. The insane treadmill of the multi-income family with both parents compelled to work long hours is going to come under particular pressure.

    More people will demand to work from home more often. Instead of one day a week, two or three may become the norm. The expense and time cost of commuting is way too high for many.

    Local and regional will become the big priorities. As the resident globalist I'm looking at the silver lining here; the current system had run into it's limits and needed a reset.

    But we are not through this event yet, I believe it has many ramifications that are yet to play out. The high country road we are speeding along may well have some nasty washouts we're yet to discover.

    Oh and we need a better media to reflect these truths more faithfully back to us.

    • tc 5.1

      We most certainly need better media and a revitalised local production scene.

      Content is gold more so than ever, were good at it. C'mon faafoi grow a pair

    • AB 5.2

      "Lots of people are not in a hurry to return to work. Or at least work on the same prior terms. The insane treadmill of the multi-income family with both parents compelled to work long hours is going to come under particular pressure."

      I do hope this is true. I sense it, but wonder if it will fade too quickly once things get moving again. It's essential to driving bottom-up change, the sort of change that has the best chance of survival across election cycles.

      • Phil 5.2.1

        wonder if it will fade too quickly once things get moving again.

        My sense is that most office-based businesses are already accepting of a more distributed workforce and planning accordingly. Realistically, social distancing restrictions of some form or another are likely to be in place through all of 2020.

        That means commercial offices will only be able to run at 50%-ish capacity. Once the new-normal routines and processes associated with this style of work are settled and well understood across a workforce, it may be very hard to move the working culture back to being entirely office-based.

        Plus, if you're a CFO, the prospect of halving your office rental costs in 2021 must look incredibly attractive.

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        Yes I had that in mind as I was writing the above; it could all too easily fade as we move back to 'normal'.

        Yet two things come to mind. One is the new normal may look quite different to what we expect. We could yet see some dramatic consequences fall out of the COVID19 destabilisation on a global scale. TBH I am expecting a permanent change in our oil supply security within 18 months for instance.

        Major food supply security issues could play well for us, or not.

        Events in China are exceedingly uncertain at present. I think the CCP is going to come under extreme domestic pressure, but how it reacts and the timing is totally unpredictable. At present it looks like they are playing the hyper-nationalism card to consolidate loyalty to the party, and this does not bode well for Taiwan or regional stability at all.

        Brexit has yet to play out the end game. Europe and the EU are not going to look the same in five years time. As the US pulls back from providing the defacto security power in the ME, the Iranians and the Saudi's are going to make their own hostile moves. Russia needs to consolidate it's geopolitical defense while it still has the capacity to do so.

        And the climate story will continue to unravel, grim para by para.

        So I'm not seeing a reversion to the old normal. What we should be telling ourselves, as a nation, is that we have discovered our real capacity for dealing with adversity as a nation, and we're going to be needing to exercise it even more of it in the coming decades. Maybe we could get as good at this national teamwork thing as the All Blacks have been for so long.

    • Ad 5.3

      It's a great moment for both Australia and New Zealand to recognise how much we need the rest of the world – our society is just an outworking of all the blocs and allegiances and networks that sustain us.

      And the world needs us a whole lot less than we need them.

      • RedLogix 5.3.1

        our society is just an outworking of all the blocs and allegiances and networks that sustain us.

        Indeed, imperfect as they are, we depend on them more than we like to think.

        Our big challenge is that the US defacto security guarantee we have taken quite for granted since the end of WW2 is now having the terms re-written. The Australians are far more conscious of the threat than we are. NZ is in for a bit of a rude awakening on this front quite soon.

        And any hope of appealing to multi-lateralism (Helen Clark's favourite word) is rapidly crumbling from under us.

        Right now if I were Winston I'd be working very hard to win the budget to employ some of the best minds and most experienced foreign policy workers I could lay my hands on, and set them to working their contacts and quietly setting up terms for a regional trade and security alliance conference late this year.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Life is fragile the world's economies are fragile.

    Team play overcomes disasters the individual can't.

    NZers are team players mostly a very small percentage are selfish.

  7. Peter 7

    We didn't learn that people throw tantrums when they don't get their own way. We already knew that. We just got to see it in action.

  8. Ad 8

    And in the vein of truths revealed, here's the poem from Tom Foolery that everyone's talking about:



    • RedLogix 8.1

      Very, very good.

      The clever part is how it gets us to look forward, by imagining looking back.

  9. bill 9

    5 We are going to move closer to Australia. We’ve been doing it for years and it’s not scary.

    Might also be on the cusp of learning that, given a tanked and crazy USA, there's actually not anything too scary with regards China. (Might take a while to unravel the sinophobic propaganda we've consumed though)

    • Ad 9.1

      We've been fine with accelerated and overt Chinese influence in Auckland for 25 years now. It's got its good and bad sides.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      there's actually not anything too scary with regards China.

      Ask my Chinese friends on this.

      Look I do get it. For years I've seen you and some others basically trotting out the barely disguised pro-Marxist lines that are loudly, reflexively anti-US and quietly uncritical of anything the Russians and Chinese govts do.

      If only the world were so simple I'd probably agree with you. But essentially you're trapped in the ideological battles of the last century; ideas you absorbed in the 80's are still in the driving seat as you navigate using political maps long out of date.

      Here is my claim, unadorned and plain. Underlying all these events are two distinct processes. The age old world of empire and the great power game is ending; it started with WW1 and we are now seeing it enter a late and dangerous phase where both the two major powers left standing are drunk with hubris, both clinging to rotting ideological lamposts yelling mad provocations at each other.

      At the same time there is another force at work; inevitably, for fear of the consequences, a reset, refreshed global order will have to be constructed, one that expands our moral horizons and brings to a final end the rivalry of nations.

      • KJT 9.2.1

        Do you really believe that being critical of the USA, means that anybody supports the CCP?

        A lot of criticism of the USA, is disappointment at our "friends" being arseholes.

        The chief supporters of the CCP , in New Zealand appear to be NACT , supporters, following the money.

        Most of us are suspicious of both, Oligarchic empires. The USA and China. And Russia.

        • RedLogix 9.2.1.1

          By the standards of modern political mores, all great powers inevitably act like arseholes when they exercise their oversized influence. It's just comes with the job description.

          While I've outlined my ideal vision above, I'm also aware NZ has to live in the real world today. No point in dreaming of a beautiful tomorrow, if an ugly bus runs us over today.

          That pragmatically means we need to consider that while our friend does do arsehole things from time to time, there may well be bigger arseholes out there we need to guard against as well.

      • Unicus 9.2.2

        The classic photograph of United States Marines marching in ceremonial uniform up Queen Street from the Auckland docks in 1943 should be a constant reminder that when it really mattered our grubby friend was there for us .

        New Zealanders watched in utter dread the inexorable approach of a facist racist military cutting its way toward them through the pacific . Pausing at Rabul where it established a military base of one hundred thousand personnel

        Horii's army never made it to New Zealand because the American and Australian armed forces stopped it in its tracks .

        Bent broken and flawed they may be but the Americans were our saviours in that dark and menacing hour .

        Lest we forget .

        • Ad 9.2.2.1

          Aye.

          My grandfather was a cook in WW2 for the US and NZ brigades in Wellington

          • joe90 9.2.2.1.1

            As a 15 year old my dad was part of the family business man-powered to construct barracks and hospital wings in Paekākāriki.

            He always reckoned US veterans of the campaigns were brought here to recuperate and recover because had they gone home in the pitiful state they were in, the US public would never have allowed another troop ship to embark to the Pacific.

            Himself, my grandfather and uncle carried a profound debt of gratitude for the rest of their lives.

            • Ad 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Good story.
              For some reason you’re older than I expected. Or you’re an autumn leaf.

        • KJT 9.2.2.2

          Those troops fought, fascists.

          I don't think they would be impressed with their grandchildren, voting for them..

      • bill 9.2.3

        For years I've seen you and some others basically trotting out the barely disguised pro-Marxist lines that are loudly, reflexively anti-US and quietly uncritical of anything the Russians and Chinese govts do

        sigh – I'm neither reflexively "anti – US" nor a Marxist.

        Living in NZ, I'm subjected to propaganda that's invariably pro-Washington Consensus. And I evaluate it as best I can.

        Living in NZ, I am not subjected to Russia-centric state propaganda or China-centric propaganda – everything I get about China or Russia is filtered through that Washington Consensus lens before it reaches me.

        And although I've said before, I'll say it again (maybe this time you'll let it sink in?) I do not believe in the notion of having a small clique/cadre or caucus of people making decisions that affect other peoples' lives – and that applies whether the decision makers are voted in or not voted in. And I despair the existence of any and all bureaucracies.

        Geddit?

        • RedLogix 9.2.3.1

          I'm subjected to propaganda that's invariably pro-Washington Consensus.

          Well you are connected to the internet and can sup with any devil you choose these days.devil

          Ideally we'd all prefer a world which had moved past the perils and predations of the great power games.

          But pragmatically I'm pretty clear that of all the scenarios that could have realistically played out since WW2, the Washington Consensus was probably the least worst of them all. Anything to do with Stalin, Mao Zedong, or now Xi Xinping's CCP is comparatively much worse.

          By all means the USA is fair game for criticism, hell they manage to do that for themselves just fine without us chipping in, but let's not pretend everything American is the spawn of the devil.

          I'd suggest that from our remove, us kiwis tend not to appreciate just how intense the Cold War was for the USA. It consumed their foreign policy for the better part of four decades, and it's paranoid overhang is still with us. The nuclear threat was palpable and existential, and drove a wild over build of their military. It was also the driver of the many mistakes they made, over-reacting to events and interpreting events through the monochromatic lens of anti-communism. It was after all a war of sorts, and wars are never clean honourable affairs.

          But you know what, in the final analysis I am glad the USA fought it, and even more grateful they won.

          • bill 9.2.3.1.1

            Well you are connected to the internet and can sup with any devil you choose these days.

            Well no, not really. For a start, I only speak English. So even getting a handle on the Yellow Vests in France, or events in Spain is difficult. For the most part, I have to rely on reporting from others, and as you well know, google algorithms and youtube algorithms are anything but neutral – meaning that a small stable of barely paid, under resourced, and often censored but trusted sources have had to be sought out over time (them and their reporting doesn't tend to just 'pop up' in searches). And those sources have to have covered whatever it is I'm looking to dive into.

            Granted, unlike others, I've got the time to do that.

            But try bringing any information that isn't an integral part of the highly propagandised information tsunami to a forum like this and…well sadly it's apparent that most people believe what "legacy", corporate and mainstream media tell them and will rush to parrot received lines regardless of any evidence or lack thereof.

            Syria, OPCW, China, Russia, Venezuela…maybe slightly less so with Iran (but then, there's a slight disconnect in the "official" line between the EU and the US on that one).

            Of course, if you simply mean that people can find thoughtless stuff to bolster their own prejudice and bias, then sure, the internet's very much a "sup with any devil you like" kind of a place.

            btw – a lot of the sources I use are US sources 😉

  10. E. Campbell 10

    The lock-down period has also exposed the fallacy of 100% online learning as the future of teaching, learning and education. I remember Minister Parata telling us a few years ago that this was the future…everyone could learn at home and schools, pffft, who needs them with their expensive buildings and expensive unionized teachers creating and sustaining real-world relationships with learners…

    • Anne 10.1

      Oh yes, Minister Parata. Had forgotten about her. My abiding memory was the occasion she sat with a group of teachers around a table and read them a children's story. I wish I had been a fly on the wall. The looks on the teachers' faces would have been a glorious sight.

      What a silly woman she was.

  11. Obtrectator 11

    "5 We are going to move closer to Australia. We’ve been doing it for years and it’s not scary."

    Lately, Australia has greatly accelerated the movement of its less desirable elements over to here. And it bloody well IS scary.

    • Ad 11.1

      That's not a learning from the shutdown at all. It's been happening for well over a year now.

      Those 'less desirables' are 99.99% our people. You are right the growth in gangs that they have generated is truly scary.

    • patricia 11.2

      Yes, closer but…They can be bad sports. Australia has armed police, a variety of State laws, plus Federal laws, expensive Body Corporate costs, a propensity to give unflattering nick names, and Aussi -isms "barbie thongs and esky" to name a few, some awful gangs, snakes, two kinds of crocodile not to mention poisonous spiders!!

      Further, ross river and dengue fever carried by their "mossies" and don't forget the dust and the bloody flies.

      They possibly have a list about us lol

      • Adrian 11.2.1

        Calling us the Shakey Isles and sheepshaggers just about trumps all their nasties, Patricia.,

  12. AB 12

    11.) That an economy is inseparable from the people that inhabit it. To separate it out is to create a murderous abstraction

  13. Wensleydale 13

    12. Some people are so selfish and devoid of common sense they will put at risk entire communities… so they can go surfing. Or for a tiki tour. Or so they can get drunk with their bros at the gang pad.

    13. David Clark is only half aware of what's going on around him at any given moment.

    14. Simon Bridges’ favourite food in all the world is his own shoes.

    15. When things get really, really bad… at least you have 120 rolls of Purex 2-ply to console you.

  14. Adrian 14

    Good stuff Advantage, a point about Item 4, I don't know if it was so much about blind obeidience as much as the lucky fact that even at 4.7 million we "know " each other and by not behaving we may harm someone we know or someone they know, it's probably also a heightened sense of responsibility, and that great Kiwi attribute of helping someone who needs it. I also suspect that our collective intelligence is a fair bit above the average. Plenty of evidence from overseas on TV news each night is evidence of that.

    We need to congratulate ourselves a bit more too.

    • Ad 14.1

      Yes it's such a tightly networked little country – that might be the 'collective' in collective intelligence. It's helped no doubt.

      And yes congratulations is a part of kindness.

    • RedBaronCV 14.2

      I see it as "informed consent" rather than 'blind obedience" . We had a clear community plan to follow, it was put to us as fellow adults, we had seen what was happening overseas and saw this as our best chance. There are still businesses and individuals who are adhering to higher lockdown because they see that as their best option for a little longer.

      The statistics that we have indicated compliance rates up in the high 90%'s. We have only about 8000 cops so they would have been unable to enforce anything like 90% if this didn't have widespread buy in. Lets face it – even tanks in the street would struggle to enforce it without buy in.

      It helps that we have a welfare system to access and back up civil defence and other organisations to deal with those outside the mainstream systems.

      I'm sure there are a lot of countries who would have done just as well with our basics in place.

      That's what I think Bridge's just doesn't get. He's left representing the tiny group that I really would like to condemn. Second home owners who decamped to them under the dead of night. If they did this under darkness then they knew they were breaking the rules but they think they are too wealthy and privileged for the those rules to apply to them

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    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 day ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!
    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The politics of managed retreat
    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Some changes are coming
    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • About fucking time
    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking
    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.
    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?
    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.
    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent
    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    3 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    4 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    6 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
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