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Treating the voters like children

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, June 13th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: john key, national, slippery, tax - Tags:

Keith Holyoake used to say “tell the people, trust the people”; be honest about the benefits, trade-offs, and costs of policies and trust the people to judge you in an adult manner. Central to Brand Key, however, is playing to voters’ baser desires, especially greed, and fomenting juvenile beliefs, including that it is possible to have ones cake and eat it. For instance, National would have you believe:

  • The Government just takes tax and keeps it in a pile somewhere (which Michael Cullen swims in every morning, a la Scrooge McDuck)
  • Public servants don’t do any work
  • We can have massive tax cuts without any cost in borrowing or spending cuts
  • We can improve health and education without spending any money
  • We can boost money supply through big tax cuts and borrowing without boosting inflation
  • We can reduce carbon emissions without anyone paying for emitting carbon
  • We can reduce emigration without raising wages, only offering tax cuts
  • We can improve productivity without spending more money on R&D and infrastructure

A responsible party has to argue for balancing priorities; for making the necessary sacrifices  (eg tax) to gain good outcomes (public services). It’s not sexy but it’s reality. It asks people to consider government as adults; National wants them to behave like children and believe in magic.

They think they can get away with it because, as Key claims, ‘the public can’t grasp … very complex things’.  I have greater faith in people. They will see through the trick.

[a useful side-effect for National of this strategy is that it lowers the sophisication of political debate to the point where media compare parties, like they are pepsi and coke, and only ask which is on special this week]

30 comments on “Treating the voters like children”

  1. erikter 1

    What a cheek! SP complaining about treating the voters like children.

    That from a staunch supporter of a government that has deemed appropriate to legislate on almost every aspect of New Zealand life. For example, check the latest attempt to pass law on breaks for breastfeeding mothers, which is normal and common practice already.

    Your Labour partisanship is beyond belief.

    [I’m not a Labour supporter, but I do support leftwing government and in nz at present, that will entail a Labour-led govt. You need to be more sophisicated in you understanding of such things. And I just can’t understand why you would oppose a right to breatfeed at work. Should women only be allowed to breatfeed if they are lucky enough to work for an employer that permits it? Also, is that the worst thing they’ve done? Giving mroe rights to new mothers? The horror. SP]

  2. MikeE 2

    Now I’m no National supporter but..

    * The Government just takes tax and keeps it in a pile somewhere (which Michael Cullen swims in every morning, a la Scrooge McDuck)

    No, the government take tax and spends it without much accountability on projects which do not neccersarily result in value for the person paying the tax. I’m sure a national government would do the same thing though!

    * Public servants don’t do any work
    No, that public servants do “do work”, but that work isn’t neccesarily the work that is needed, and the vast majority of that work could be more effieciently farmed out to the private sector on a user pays basis.

    * We can have massive tax cuts without any cost in borrowing or spending cuts

    No, we do need to make spending cuts.

    * We can improve health and education without spending any money

    Without spending any more taxpayers money. Getting rid of the public health and education sectors monopoly on funding would be a good start, allowing competition, and equal access to both public and private offerings, where it is based on the needs of the customer.

    * We can boost money supply through big tax cuts and borrowing without boosting inflation

    How is increased government spending LESS inflationary than private spending or private saving?

    * We can reduce carbon emissions without anyone paying for emitting carbon

    How about keeping reinvesting the money spent on paying for emissions on R and D rather than exporting it to countries whose economies have collapsed or worse still exporting our emissions to countries with worse environmental records.

    * We can reduce emigration without raising wages, only offering tax cuts

    Yes, we can. If people can keep more of their money, this is far more efficient than forcing employers to pay more, and as a bonus, with lower tax this gives employers more money which they can spend on increased wages.

    * We can improve productivity without spending more money on R&D and infrastructure

    I don’t think anyone is sayig this. They might be arguing as to whether it should be public or private money on R and d or infrastructure.

  3. T-rex 3

    Interesting that Key “doesn’t do plan B’s”.

    How does he explain his constant flipflops?

    “I don’t do plan B’s (but my plan A’s could put a yoga master to shame)”

    edit – that wasn’t directed at any of what you said Mike

  4. “No, that public servants do “do work’, but that work isn’t neccesarily the work that is needed, and the vast majority of that work could be more effieciently farmed out to the private sector on a user pays basis.”
    – see this is just a bald assertion. you’ve got nothing to back it up.

    every successful model for reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants (sulfur dioxide, for example) has involved putting the price of pollution onto the polluter. National has refused to do that.

  5. Tim 5

    Erikter: “For example, check the latest attempt to pass law on breaks for breastfeeding mothers, which is normal and common practice already.” – Been to a minimum wage workplace recently? Do you have any evidence to back this up? Are you a working mother?

    It’s unfair to say that an attempt to improve working women’s lives, increase their participation in the workforce, give them choice about the relationship between paid work and mothering and remove the stigma of workplace breastfeeding is seen to be part of the “nanny state” (pun intended). A Government’s job is to pass laws.

  6. Pacman 6

    “..see this is just a bald assertion. you’ve got nothing to back it up.”

    I will back it up for him. I am trying to start a business in an existing building in a zone that is permitted by the district plan. It coplies with all the rules and will open. It would have taken 3 weeks to be up and running but will end up taking 4 months. The result of the regulations will not change the operation of the business but have added 3 months of opportunity cost and tens of thousands of dollars in consultant and council costs.

    How is that not wasteful?

    [New Zealand is rated the second easiest place in the world to establish a business. There is a need for regulation around the establish of businesses for a variety of reasons, which you will be aware of having dealt with the regulations, and New Zealand’s process is very efficent. The existance of regulation is not in and of itself waste. SP]

  7. rjs131 7

    How is the electoral finance act not treating voters like children. The entire premise behind that is that voters are too moronic to make decisions themselves, and need to be protected from overt influence by “big business” and “religious sects”. If believing that voters cannot see behind spin and propaganda put out in support of a political party, and make their own decision is not treating voters like children, then i dont know what is.

  8. T-rex 8

    Hey rjs131 – which beer do you think is classier? Heineken or Tui?

  9. rjs131 9

    Im not sure whether that is a trick question – heineken is marketed as a classier drink. The fact it doesnt come at keg/swapper crates indicates it is classier beer,

  10. rjs131. which shows that marketing does influence people’s perceptions. I think we can both agree that huge piles of secret money buying marketing to influence people’s perceptions of politics in the way that your perceptions of beer have ben influenced is not healthy in a democracy.

    Acknowledging that marketing works and should not have an overwhelming influence in the democratic process, and saying that people have the right to know who is trying to influence their vote is not the same as treating voters like children by running silly lines that encourage the belief that all the government does is waste money and we can all get rich off tax cuts.

  11. T-rex 11

    It’s sort of a trick. My point is that it’s classier purely because people have been told it’s classier – and it doesn’t come out at keg parties so often because people think of it as classier, which in turn MAKES it classier.

    Marketing works, otherwise companies wouldn’t spend billions of dollars on it anually.

    I don’t think voters are anything like ‘moronic’ if they fall for spin and propaganda – it’s a hothouse full of psychology and marketing experts up against someone who doesn’t even really have time to focus on the issue. Which is why I think it’s a good idea to limit the amount of money people can spend hiring said spin and propaganda experts to do this deceiving.

    That aside – at the end of the day tui just tastes like shit anyway.

  12. MikeE: “spends it without much accountability on projects which do not neccersarily result in value for the person paying the tax”

    Spot on comment and here is the proof from 2009 Treasury forecasts:

    Ministry of Women’s Affairs $5,114,000
    Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs $7,953,000
    Te Puni Kokiri $189,600,000
    Ministry for Culture and Heritage $361,620,000

    [you’re easily the most stupid commentator we get, Bryan. Spending is not evidence of waste. It would be like me putting up your salary and saying ‘see wasteful private sector spending’. I would have to make an actual case that the outputs delivered for your salary could be delivered cheaper in another way or were not necessary at all. SP]

  13. Ari 13

    I’d also like to point out that the EFA has wider results than limiting marketing. For instance, because marketing is limited, politicians now have to spend more face time with the public, try and get into positive news stories, and actually release policy (in some cases) to get votes instead of just fundraising. This ought to help raise political awareness, increase voting statistics, and generally stimulate the health of our democracy.

    It also ensures that unpaid political commentary becomes more important- bloggers, political chats, so on- because when you’ve hit the spending cap, you’ve got to get other people to carry your message for you. The decentralisation of politics is one of the big keys in a healthy democracy I feel, and even if the EFA makes you feel like you’re being treated like a kid, I’d spare a thought for its wider effects first. 🙂

    edited to add:
    Bryan- Just quoting dollar values doesn’t show a lack of accountability. Give us some actual inventories of unneeded items with some clear rationale instead of “OMG people who are not rich white men should not have public money spent on them!” reactions.

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    Bryan, did you know that Maori is one of the only aboriginal languages in the world that is being spoken by more people? That thousands of languages are dead or dying, in a very short period of time. As an aside…

    There’s an initial flaw in MikeE’s quote that you’ve obviously missed – “the” person paying tax? With few exceptions, we all do actually. Your idea of waste isn’t mine, so your four examples simply illustrate your narrowmindedness.

    I suspect you don’t want the government to spend a cent where it won’t make a buck, and shouldn’t be making a buck because that’s the market’s job. McGovernment anyone?

  15. Felix 15

    Maoris, women, islanders and artists.

    What are they doing spending OUR money?

  16. Ari 16

    You know, Maori, women, Islanders, and artists all pay taxes. They probably even pay more than enough taxes to cover the respective departments that help them out, Felix. 😉

  17. BeShakey 17

    What I’d like to see is some analysis of waste that could a) be easily removed, and b) would be substantial enough to lead to worthwhile tax cuts (if Key is to be believed he would currently chop out enough ‘waste’ for 50c a week).
    Something detailed would be asking for a bit much, but given the huge amount of waste I’m sure there must be a quick billion that can be eliminated somewhere.

    By my (rough) calculation Bryan is in the lead with $1.81 each per week over three years. And that is assuming that those entire organisations are waste and there won’t be any transfer of costs.

  18. SP: the four ministries I listed total around $550,000,000 in expenditure. At say $100,000 per head (salaries,sick leave, overheads etc) that would mean we could employ 5,500 extra police or nurses or school teachers if this money was redirected. I’m sure all four ministries do ‘nice to have’ work but none of it is necessary for the effective functioning of society.

  19. Felix 19

    It’s ok Ari, I was just making fun of Bryan.

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    I’m sure all four ministries do ‘nice to have’ work but none of it is necessary for the effective functioning of society.

    The only metaphor that springs to mind is the difference between a quickie with a prostitute and a good shag with your wife.

    Bryan wants government to be quick, efficient, and thoroughly devoid of any aspect that isn’t providing a “necessary service”.

    Some of us want a bit of love from the government – to do a bit more than keep law and order, teach the kids and make sure the poor don’t die starving. Oh sure, it might nag every now and then, but you probably do deserve it (sorry for the completely male-oriented comment).

    P.S. Bryan, couldn’t someone make a lot of money out of a privatised police force? I don’t see why a government in your ideal (cold, barren, stark and hateful) world would need to provide anything – at best they could outsource. Technically, everything apart from the military is “nice to have”.

    Military secures the borders, and devil take the hindmost inside the land – a libertarian’s dream. Anything else is “nice to have”, so I don’t see why Bryan gets to pick and choose what he thinks is important and trashes the rest.

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    I was just making fun of Bryan.

    Well you shouldn’t. I think he’s on to something.

    Let’s take a look at his list:

    Ministry of Women?s Affairs $5,114,000
    Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs $7,953,000
    Te Puni Kokiri $189,600,000
    Ministry for Culture and Heritage $361,620,000.

    Of his around $550,000,000 in expenditure, the vast majority comes from abolishing the Ministry of Art and Culture.

    Bryan has identified a tragic flaw in western political history. We are modeling ourselves on the wrong damn greeks.

    He is a bit coy about the other ministries but I suspect that our Bryan is a fan of Strauss. The deeper meaning is clear to those who understand his text.

    The other Spartan notion that Bryan subtly alludes to here, (beyond his idea that the arts are useless to society and thus should not be funded), is the old tradition of the annual pro forma declaration of war against the indegenous people. In this PC mad world he can’t come right out and say it though. This will have the obvious benefit of saving loads of dosh in areas beyond those he lists. Justice. Welfare. Health. etc.

    The only cost is that the All Blacks will never win a game again. So I’m against.

  22. Matthew: “Bryan wants government to be quick, efficient, and thoroughly devoid of any aspect that isn’t providing a “necessary service’.”

    Absolutely, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    “The only metaphor that springs to mind is the difference between a quickie with a prostitute and a good shag with your wife.”

    I think a better metaphor for the relationship between taxpayers and government is being robbed at gunpoint and then being forced to watch your assailant spend the money on paying for sex with a prostitute.

  23. Vanilla Eis 23

    Steady on PB, we might beat Estonia.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Bryan, taxpayers’ money is spent on everyone. Your metaphor sucks.

    Instead perhaps stick to trying to provide flawed reasoning as to why the government should only fund things you like, and not things other people like, from everyone’s money.

    You haven’t even started to explain how you define a “necessary” service – I presume that’s because you don’t want to come out and say “necessary to me”.

    PB – eloquent.

  25. Razorlight 25

    Laws are usually passed to deal with a mischief. A kind of problem solving exercise. If this is not working or we do not want people to do this we will make rules to ensure an outcome.

    I have never heard of breast feeding been a problem. It is kind of like legislating to allow going to the loo.

    Did we really need this law?

  26. QoT 26

    Say, Razorlight, you wouldn’t be, oh, a breastfeeding mother? A manager with breastfeeding employees? Or someone involved human rights law implementation and mediation in cases where employers have refused to allow women to breastfeed at work? In any of which cases what “you have heard” might actually be relevant to the issue. It’s really easy to not see what you’ve never even had a opportunity to witness.

  27. Lew 27

    Bryan’s line here is a very common one; a dog-whistle bound up in a gendered metaphor for the state. The type of government he describes, but doesn’t name, is commonly termed a `Nightwatchman State’ and is opposed to what he would probably (correct me if I’m wrong, Bryan, I don’t want to put words in your mouth) call the `Nanny State’.

    A nightwatchman makes sure the lights are turned out after the last person leaves for the night, makes sure the doors are locked, the guard dogs are off their chains and generally leaves people to the tender mercies of the wild world. A nanny makes sure meals are provided rooms are tidied, provides comfort and education and advice, and makes sure people are well-prepared to go out into that wild world. The way this is typically rolled out is in one treating people like adults while the other treats them like children, though this is a false dichotomy which I’ll not get into now.

    This gender differential between the supposed role of the state is the fulcrum of this line of anti-Clark, anti-PC, anti-government, anti-minority rhetoric, and its purpose is to create a moiety division dividing `us’ from `them’. It hearkens back to the old notions of men being sensible, intelligent, hard-working, trustworthy, predictable straight-shooters, while women are flighty, incapable of learning complex things, weak, arbitrary, appeasers prone to hysteria and political correctness. The division also invokes ideas of `men’s work’ – industry, security, economy – the things which have always been highly valued; while `women’s work’ – health, education, assistance – have always been undervalued, and in many cases are still unpaid.

    The definition of these notionally masculine qualities in this way essentially defines men as the norm – as an orthodoxy, in opposition to women. (It breaks down further than this: Pakeha are `us’ as well, but that’s another blag). Women (Helen Clark, Sue Bradford, Heather Simpson, Annette King, Cindy Kiro, etc) are defined as `them’, who are unlike `us’ and by definition do not want what `we’ want. `They’ oppose what `we’ think is right, `they’ stand in the way of `our’ rights to smack children or emit carbon or buy political advertising or whatever else.

    George Lakoff and others have talked about `Strict Father’ and `Nurturing Parent’ political models which also capture this division. Boiled down even further (though I’m cautious about reductionism) the core distinction here is `hard’ and `soft’, and by now it should be easy to figure out which side represents which. Viewed in this light the focus of planned cuts becomes clear: we don’t need anything other than industry, security and economy anyway, right?

    We’ve got a backlash here, against what Rodney Hide and Lindsay Perigo call the `PC socialisation of everything’, represented by women taking command of the traditionally male task of running a country. It’s pretty obvious to people once pointed out, and there’s the rub: in principle it should alienate at least 50% of the electorate immediately by implying and in some cases stating outright that what they (stereotypically, and stereotypes still count for quite a lot) care about isn’t important and must be subjugated to the priorities of the other just-under-50%. The trick for both sides, when a symbolic battle is fought along these lines, is to encourage defection. In principle, it should be easy, but in practice, the orthodoxy of masculinity is very deeply embedded in our cultures.

    L

  28. vto 28

    I agree Mr Lew with your id of the rising tide. But I disagree as to les raisons and intentions and purposes and some of the descriptions. But there certainly a rising of the way you describe.

    also.. That less than 50% are in fact alienated should indicate that much of the first part of your post is not right.

  29. Lew 29

    vto: I didn’t talk about a `rising tide’, I talked about `backlash’ which, instead of connoting gradual, unstoppable increase denotes a violent, unconsidered knee-jerk reaction. And I explain the importance of defection in the last paragraph, so that accounts for the split.

    Incidentally, tide is one of the most fundamental political metaphors, for that primary reason: it is indeterrable. Once rising, it’s rising, once falling, it’s falling.

    L

  30. vto 30

    Lew I meant the rising tide against which the backlash is backing and lashing. And not backing or lashing quite as you paint.

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    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    5 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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