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Truth, boomer memes and the next election campaign

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, October 26th, 2019 - 54 comments
Categories: boris johnson, Donald Trump, facebook, Media, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

I think our democracy is in for a rough time.  I get the feeling that the right in Aotearoa New Zealand and elsewhere think that the truth is a nice to have, and not a necessity when it comes to campaigning.  Clearly winning is more important than being honest.

There have been some pretty jaw dropping examples of political dishonesty in the western world this week.

Like in Australia where Federal Minister Angus Taylor used a forged document to attack the Labor Mayor of Sydney over travel related emissions.  The document he used was clearly shown to be a forgery. He could have apologised immediately and cooperated with police so the source could be discovered.  Instead he doubled down and in true tory fashion refused to properly apologise.  He claimed there was “clear evidence” on the council’s own website “that there are different versions of the same report online right now”. Plonker.  He should explain to the police how he came in possession of a forgery.  It seems pretty clear it did not come from the Council’s website.

Or in England where the Conservative Party produced a social media onslaught claiming that the Brexit Bill had been passed.

Come on.  The bill has not passed.  It went through the second reading.  It still has to go through the committee stage as well as the House of Lords.

And in America there was further reason to be concerned.  A bunch of Republican lawmakers planned to storm the Trump impeachment hearing to protest a “lack of transparency”. But the funny thing is there are 48 Republican lawmakers who have access to the hearing as a matter of right. And 13 of those were amongst the protesters.  This was a stunt based on a lie.

This was all brought to significance through some very effective questioning of Facebook’s Matt Zuckerberg by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez who showed that by asking very short simple questions and demanding answers the truth will come out.  Here is the video.

There were a couple of pearlers.  If it is acceptable to Facebook for advertisements to claim that individual Republicans had voted for the Green New Deal when they had not then very little will be out of bounds.  And having a group with white supremacy links do the fact checking for Facebook does not fill me with a great deal of comfort.

And the right’s media strategy was laid out for all to see.  The use of naff boomer themes that are easily shareable apparently work best.  From the Guardian:

Two political campaigners hired by the Conservatives to run their digital campaign at the next general election previously helped run an enormous Facebook propaganda network.

Sean Topham and Ben Guerin have been employed to improve the party’s online operations, following a disastrous 2017 election when the Tories were outgunned by Labour in internet campaigning.

This summer, it was revealed how Sir Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners used Facebook to run a large-scale professional disinformation network on behalf of paying clients including major polluters, the Saudi Arabian government, anti-cycling groups and various foreign political campaigns.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that Topham and Guerin, while working as contractors for CTF Partners, had oversight of dozens of these pages which sidestepped Facebook’s rules on transparent political campaigning, reaching tens of millions of people on behalf of paying clients while appearing to be grassroots independent news sources. All parties have previously pointed out that they operated entirely within the law.

And this “talent” was born and nurtured in New Zealand.

The pair’s arrival comes after their success helping Australia’s rightwing coalition unexpectedly win the country’s general election, where they were praised by local media for their understanding of how to fight online campaigns. Purposefully low-quality memes based around popular shows such as Game of Thrones were used in a bid to drive interactions – good or bad – at any cost, on the basis that this would boost the reach of future Facebook posts.

“We’d make them really basic and deliberately lame because they’d get shares and lift our reach; that made our reach for the harder political messages higher,” an anonymous individual told the Sydney Morning Herald, dubbing the strategy “boomer memes” as the content appealed to older audiences.

This all ties into the hearing this week to determine if Parliament’s rules on the use of broadcast material should be relaxed.  Of course National has done a double backward summersault on the issue.  They were the ones who insisted that the rules stay the way they were, now they are presenting this as some sort of attack on freedom of speech.

At the hearing they had some help from their friends, notably former Bolger Government staffer and appropriately named Spin Doctor Claire Robinson.  Trevor Mallard ripped into her for her disingenuity.  The Herald has the details:

[Spin Doctor] Robinson took a different view, saying political advertisements should be allowed to be inaccurate or misleading.

“These are very clearly ads. These are not videos that pretend to be an accurate representation of Parliament. That exists already, in its unadulterated form, on Parliament TV … for people to see if they want to.”

She said it “beggars belief” that Labour wanted no commentary, music or mashing up of video extracts in its use of footage for political advertising.

“It actually singles Labour out as a dinosaur when it comes to the latest forms of political communication.

“Labour may not like the way it is being attacked by National at the moment. Labour may consider itself above that form of attack. But this is insufficient reason to revise the Standing Orders simply to suit Labour.”

Mallard took exception to Robinson’s submission.

“I’m exceptionally unhappy with your characterisation of this inquiry, which is done at my behest and not the Labour Party’s behest.

“Your frankly offensive description of me … I was offended by it. The decision to have this inquiry was mine.”

Robinson tried to engage Mallard on his comments, but he cut her off.

He then asked her about an ad that featured edited footage of Cabinet Minister David Parker saying “I hate farmers”, taken from a video clip where the full quote was: “The member says, ‘I hate farmers.’ I do not hate farmers.”

This led to a further argument about what qualified as a political advertisement under the Electoral Act.

Robinson said that the ad should be permitted as long as it carried an endorsement from the political party running the ad.

You can see why this is important to National.  They want the ability to run ads such as the doctored video showing David Parker saying “I hate farmers” ad infinitum.  And Facebook is happy to help them.

Stand by as we have one of the dumbest election campaigns in political history.

54 comments on “Truth, boomer memes and the next election campaign”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I was talking to friend of mine about this the other day. He is a quite well known MMO gamer and in his own modest way, reasonably respected in the online world. 
     

    He pointed out that Facebook allows you to tailor ads that focus on your individual prejudices in way that amplifies and weaponises them. I asked him want could be done to regulate social media. His response? Well, first remember this is a guy who lives online and is as future embracing and modern and tech savvy as you can get. He has thought about these things alot.

    And his solution? 

    Ban political advertising of any kind on all social media platforms at least one year out from a general election. A blanket ban removes any excuse from the likes of Facebook that it is too hard to police.

    Print and broadcast is fine. It allows you to get out your policies and message as we always have. 

    • Ad 1.1

      Facebook own't allow that. 

      Hard to see any western-style democracy going for it.

      You'd need Chinese-level censorship to achieve it. 

    • Dukeofurl 1.2

      We have a  'sort of ban law' now. Political advertising now has to have an authoriser statement. Doesnt matter if its directly asking  to Vote National or its a  3rd party campaign, all types of 'political themes' must have name  and address of authoriser. yes it only applies to  3 months? before election day.

      But how do we get facbook to remove those ads that dont ?

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Only if it is above the threshold which is $13.2k.  That is a heap of facebook pushing.  There is also the complication that commentary is not included.

  2. JustMe 2

    Between now and the next election I am sure we can be well assured that the NZ National Party will do its damndest to send out deliberately mis-leading advertising discrediting this government.  It should be considered their(National's) Modus Operandi.

    Clearly National will demean itself to any level just to get back into government.   It just shows how we must stare clear of them at the voting booths.

    To date I wouldn't trust a National MP as far as I would like to throw one.

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    " Conservative Party produced a social media onslaught claiming that the Brexit Bill had been passed."

    The  image provided says” the deal” had passed , which it had.  It was a requirement of parliament that an indicative vote be passed, and it was . This is what eluded May , and  eluded Johnston before as well so is some achievement.

    Surely you cant be claiming the   follow on 100 page  Brexit  Details Bill  not having passed -it could take a week , a month who knows- constitutes a  falsehood ?

    • Incognito 3.1

      Unattended blowtorch on roof makes it unsafe to swim in Viaduct Basin area

      Can you parse that?

      • Dukeofurl 3.1.1

        I have no idea either ?  Is this even connected  to Political  Falsehoods

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          If you answer the question with an affirmative, you’ve understood what the OP is about IMO and how these things work in an election campaign. If you answer the question with a negative, I believe you did not get the gist of the OP; same if you don’t know how to answer. In other words, paraphrasing George Lakoff, don’t think of a blowtorch 😉

          • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1

            European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill: Second Reading

            Ayes: 329 (Tellers: Stuart Andrew, Iain Stewart)

            Noes: 299 (Tellers: Nic Dakin, Nick Smith)

            Question accordingly agreed to and Bill read a second time.

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.1.1

              By every definition the law has not passed.  It still requires committee stage, third reading, House of Lords consideration and royal assent.

              • Dukeofurl

                Mickey , you should read the source documents to get a better understanding of what has happened  and whats to come. The Brexit Deal vote has passed !

                "Withdrawal Agreement Debate (22 October 2019)

                2nd reading  Aye 329 No 299

                Approval Rapid Timetable  ( procedural)

                Aye 308  No 322

                Technical Withdrawal Amendments as Regulations (23 October 2019)

                Repeal of Freedom of Movement

                Repeal of EU Regulatory Oversight

                Repeal of EU Financial Services Regulations

                All passed.

                 

                In reality its a procedural nightmare for outsiders as thereare cascading series of Bills, Procedural, indicative votes  and Amendments to regulations votes.

                The Commons Library has spelt out here

                "What are the UK’s requirements for ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement?"

                In July 2018 Parliament passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (‘the 2018 Act’). Section 13 of that Act states that a Withdrawal Agreement treaty cannot be ratified unless four conditions have been met:

                • copies of both the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement and the Framework for the Future Relationship have been laid before both Houses, with a “statement that political agreement has been reached”[ Done]
                • the House of Commons has, on a motion of a Minister, approved those documents (the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’[Done]
                • the House of Lords has had the opportunity, on a motion of a Minister, to “take note of” those documents[Done]; and
                • a further Act of Parliament to implement the Withdrawal Agreement has been passed.[In progress]

                Another guide for the meaningful Vote

                "Section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (theWithdrawal Act) sets out a scheme whereby the Government must secure explicit Parliamentary approval for any “deal” reached between the UK and EU negotiators.

                The Deal vote has passed ! What is now happening the  ( First) Bill required  for the Brexit legislation is procedding , and a whole pile of other follow on bills can  be done as well.

                 

                As is typical of the Remainers,  first they said they wanted to stop No  deal Exit, and yet when Johnson  had his revised 'Deal with EU passed'  the remainers are still obstructing the legislation process, nor do they want an election, as the real  aim is for a 2nd Referendum or more explicitly from Lib Dems -'just cancel Brexit'

                • Incognito

                  You seem to be overlooking a fairly crucial four-letter word but irrespective, it comes down on how you parse the tweet.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    I probably have  been long winded and in a round about way saying 'The deal'  has a specific meaning for Brexit .

                    People in UK would understand it, as meaning Parliament  has voted for the Full Deal as arranged by Johnson and EU. This had to happen before the Withdrawal Bill could be  debated and the  whole attendant Regulations and Bills that follow could happen.

                    A couple of weeks back Mickey  had another misunderstanding about  a No deal Brexit not paying the 'Divorce costs'. There is nothing wrong with walking from a  conditional agreement and not be liable for a cent.  The Brexit deal only became unconditional once it was approved by parliament, and agreement to pay the costs over  5 years or so- there is a phase out  of the Customs Union as well, so that much will happen on Brexit day now the deal is done and the legislation is underway

  4. Pat 4

    The status quo (including the MSM) was never going to roll over and surrender and they are fighting for survival.

    It may explain the proliferation of protest throughout the world

  5. AB 5

    Thanks for tying these events together Mickey. The contrast between the intellectually flabby, self-serving horror of Claire Robinson's defence of dishonesty, and the principled clarity of AOC's attack on the Zuck has been doing my head in. Capitalism throws up monsters.

  6. TootingPopularFront 6

    I assume this is the same National Party that got this banned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDscbVWRBCw?

    [Corrected typo again in user handle]

  7. Ad 7

    If the left aren't prepared to play to what new media requires, they will keep losing. 

    New media aren't going to go away. 

    We'll need more than Jacinda's wedding to give us power in the media to overcome the power of distortions. 

    What we need is convincing results from a delivering government. 

    • Incognito 7.1

      What we need is convincing results from a delivering government.

      You have just defined the battleground of the coming and in fact all election campaigns 😉

    • Sacha 7.2

      New media does not 'require' lying any more than old media does.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    I saw somewhere that facebook tests it's in new stuff in New Zealand  because we have most of our friend links in country and don't get the same level of tech scrutiny. Don't know if that is still so..

    I'd agree with ban the lot on the internet – closely followed by a copy of the ads running on parliament TV and a voluntary effort from the left on memes.

    Imagine some of this is already going on – spoke to someone who was all fired up about Jacinda having the baby at the UN- seemed to think that she had taken the child into the business part rather than a family catch up at the end captured by press. Voluntary or not?

  9. alwyn 9

    Out of curiosity can you tell me whether one would be allowed to run an ad that said.

    "The Labour led Government promised, in the KiwBuild scheme, to build 1,000 houses in the year to June 2019, another 5,000 in the year to 2020, and a further 10,000 in the year to 2021". Then could you point out that the real numbers were nothing like that.

    Or do you think such ads should be banned?

    https://www.labour.org.nz/faq_kiwibuild

    • Ad 9.1

      Anyone expecting truth in an election campaign is a moron.

      • Wensleydale 9.1.1

        I don't think anyone realistically expects it… but it would be nice.

      • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2

        I guess the wretched current generation never read their Blake:

        A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.

        This was the rule of political discourse prior to Key's lie fest, which took us into the post truth era. The tragedy was how pathetically the MSM folded.

         

    • Wensleydale 9.2

      Anyone lying by omission, twisting the facts, employing fudged statistics or being purposefully disingenuous should be pilloried, irrespective of their political loyalties. Wearing a red rosette (or green, or black) shouldn't give you a free pass to tell porkies.

    • Incognito 9.3

      As a man of facts, I thought you would be keener on an ad comparing what the Government is delivering compared to what the three National governments have done over nine years.

      This Government is not trying to hide the facts: https://www.hud.govt.nz/news-and-resources/statistics-and-research/government-build-programme-housing-dashboard/

      I’ll leave it to you to list the ‘accomplishments’ of the Opposition in this area.

      BTW, we don’t run ads on this site but we do frown on people who stir up shit for the sake of it.

      Did you make a submission to Mallard’s inquiry because that’s where your hypothetical question belongs IMO, not here on TS.

      • alwyn 9.3.1

        I am sure that the Government parties will be making the comparisons you suggest.

        Well almost sure. I'm not really sure that they will want to bring up Housing.

        Or how the line to Mt Roskill was going to be in by 2021. Still they can tell us how they planted a billion trees. And how they stopped foreigners buying land.

        And lots and lots of things. You don't really think they need me to help them do you?

        I considered making a submission to the Select Committee. Then I saw how the mad duck reacted to the submission from Clare Robinson. The "Right Honourable" Trevor certainly wasn't putting on an "honourable" display was he?

        Was your second to last line also intended for Macro here?

        /truth-boomer-memes-and-the-next-election-campaign/#comment-1663394

    • McFlock 9.4

      Was kiwibuild NZFirst and Green policy during the election? If not, then the government-to-be didn't promise it.

      If you are referring to the details announced after the government was formed, then it would probably be fine – depending on whether a "plan" is a "promise" along the lines of "whatever it takes".

       

  10. Macro 10

    Well I'm hoping to see lots of ads claiming National will cut Superannuation by half, send grandchildren to feed crocodiles, plan to vote for an increased tax on large SUVs, and introduce a CGT on the family home and farm.

    Mind you this is nothing new, dancing cossacks, hammer and sickles, and unlabeled graphs spring to mind*.

     

    *Oh yes! Those were run by the National Party.

  11. Ad 11

     

    Fox News is so powerful because it enables its opinion show Fox and Friends to dominate all other Fox shows. 

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/25/fox-news-watching-what-i-learned

    Fox news isn't going to go away either.

    There needs to be a left-leaning equivalent to Fox News with a lot more opinion and a lot less reliance on facts.

  12. Stuart Munro. 12

    Difficult as the issue is, of deliberately fake and misleading ads, Facebook is properly reluctant to become the arbiter of political truth. That determination must be made outside social media providers, in the NZ context presumably by the likes of the electoral commission. The truth having been ascertained or objectionableness determined, it is then appropriate to expect social media to take down content expeditiously, and to that end, to provide access to posted material to electoral authorities so that they can make such determinations in a timely fashion.

    • Dukeofurl 12.1

      NZ Advertisning Standards has already rules against National Party ads on Facebook that were misleading

      "The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found against a Facebook advertisement promoted by the party attacking the Government's proposed 'feebate policy' and the accompanying fuel efficiency standard. The ASA said it was "likely to mislead consumers".

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115736503/ad-watchdog-rules-national-party-ad-misleading

      The rules  exist already to have them 'banned' and the advertiser 'shamed'  – not that the NP has any shame.

      Im very surprised readers here seem totally unaware of NZs regulatory regime,  the ASA is a voluntary body and cant be seen as government censorship ( but we have that for different forms of film/media and literature)

      • Stuart Munro. 12.1.1

        It's quaint really, that a voluntary body controls such activity, and may go some way to explain a lack of cut through with Facebook. Professional censures are most effective within professions, and likely neither the publishing Gnats nor Facebook are part of that group.

        Nor is advertising the only problematic possibility with Facebook; the formation of communities of interest is much more effective than ads, which are invariably annoying even to people somewhat susceptible to their message.

        Both conventional media and advertising would benefit from a stronger sanction regime for bullshitting, even when it wears the shrunken and wrinkled figleaf of "opinion". No-one argues that a competent press is indispensable to a properly functioning democracy, but, like housing, no-one is taking substantial action that could conceivably fix it.

  13. Wensleydale 13

    Claire Robinson is almost hilariously awful. "Political advertisements should be allowed to be inaccurate or misleading." Erm… why? People are expected to make an educated decision about who to vote for based upon reason, logic, facts, and actual policy, not "Tee hee, look at this smarmy bit of selective editing we've done that makes David Parker appear to hate farmers!" Commercial operators get done for false advertising all the time. Why should election campaigns be any different? If anything, they should be held to a higher standard. They're all supposed to be grown-ups after all.

    Of course, National probably won't win if they can't tell a bunch of lies and terrify Joe Public into submission. "Labour are going to confiscate your dairy herds and turn them into biofuel so Green MPs can drive to work without feeling guilty!"

    • Wensleydale +100

      This is the sort of thinking emanating from the manure pits of the Conservatives and the Brexit organisers in the UK where the mantra is, what is a bit of exaggeration (lying) between friends to influence the public ie stacks of money to become available to the NHS, and probably other sweet-sounding encouragers.

      And the public have fallen for this s..t.   A building will fall when it is built on or with sand, and there is no strength in a system where the meaning of truth is open to discussion.

      Over there the Conservatives have worked out how to extract more money from the doings of government.   It is a giant cash cow for the neoliberal economisers (economic tightening for you but not for those with power and influence).   

      And basically orchestrated by a liar and apparently a crook whose name sounds like forage (which has scavenge as a synonym), who is at the centre of this coup, with big pay-offs coming to him and the rest of the moneyed class; the success of their cunning plan wil be named the Huge Heist (a suitable noun as it comes from the USA which is the elephant in the room about to sit wherever it pleases).

      We are right to look askance at Professor Claire Robinson, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, with twitter handle Spinprofessor!   She apparently finds our political system an amusing, suitable toy to play with which attracts clickbait and notoriety.  In present university priorities, getting published for anything gives brownie points but that thinking is biting them in the bum if it results in their being brought into contempt and discredit.   Her comments lack probity and they reflect on Massey University that appears to be at war within itself as to where probity lies.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.1

        Agree with what you (and Wensleydale) write, Grey, but how about this blast from the past [2012]?  All spin doctors are 'evil', but some are more evil than others?

        "The research by Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson finds that the Herald, Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times all exhibited substantial bias in their selection and use of images during the election campaign, most of it in favour of Prime Minister John Key.

        “Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated in print during the last election campaign,” Dr Robinson says."

        https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=48735398-FC90-8334-7A51-09FCFDB95B7D

        And then there’s a study, written by Victoria Mappleback and published by Royal Holloway University, suggesting that we are increasingly becoming our own spin doctors, casting ourselves “in as positive a hue as possible.

        "We have become our own spin doctors and constantly want people to find out what is going on in our lives, from the incredibly mundane to personal decisions and choices that would have otherwise been private."

        https://dzone.com/articles/are-we-all-spin-doctors-now

        • Wensleydale 13.1.1.1

          Granny Herald and others exhibited brazen bias in favour of John Key?! Stop the presses! I'm sure Professor Robinson is reasonably good at her job, but you don't need a university degree to observe the blatant shitfuckery that passes for political journalism in papers like the NZ Herald. You need functioning eyes and a basic capacity for critical thought. Actually, you could cobble together a rough approximation of the Herald's take on our political landscape by simply scrawling "Labour bad! National good!" in crayon across the front page.

        • greywarshark 13.1.1.2

          DmK

          I think these are two different spins.    Prof Claire can place herself as objective and scientific and non-partisan but beware Claire you are playing with our hearts and minds.   There has been examination of objective scientific thought as to whether it is real objectivity;  it has been probed and debunked, showing that in the decision to pursue some scientific object, there is bias at the start in the choice, so always there.

          And – We are all spin doctors.   Interesting point – why would young women and, I understand, men of uncertain age, send photos of themselves naked on the internet?  Exposing themselves in so many ways.    Why do women wear make-up even when they are young and at the height of their beauty.?  

          Is there a society-wide conformity of fashionable behaviour with a constantly changing shape and people have to keep checking in on their devices to see what is 'in' and out, now, and what their friends have decided.  People are more inclined to reveal bits of their lives, thoughts etc so as to be interesting to others, in a swirling world of peers who seem to be in the swim, and if you aren't 'with it' you are out.  

          'casting ourselves “in as positive a hue as possible.” – that is an interesting choice of words.    What is real, are we in the picture, are we 'casting ourselves' in a reality show.    When you can't get a job because the boss and team don't think 'you fit' the zeitgeist of the group, then it is ever more important to know the tone of the people you work with and be able to play along.

          This of course has a serious effect on the personal growth of the individual, and their thinking.    Are people able to think for themselves any more, make judgments, or like an intelligent older friend of mine, do they happily listen every day to Leighton Smith who seems to express their opinions well?   Or does he form them, where does the line occur?   This type of mental process, or lack of it, poses a problem when change is needed, and thought about it is required.  Is anyone at home up there?

           

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Are National going to tell us their plans if they decide to privatise all schools and hospitals and remove employment rights to holidays and sick leave? Can we ask? can we put out ads doing this?

    They don't usually bother to tell us their plans – adding a million people to Auckland without money for housing or infrastructure.

    [Nice one but could you please provide a link showing that National added a million people to Auckland without money for housing or infrastructure? Otherwise, it would like you are making up shit – Incognito]

    • Incognito 14.1

      See my Moderation note @ 8:38 PM.

    • RedBaronCV 14.2

      okay the million was a loose estimate based on 7-8 years of inwards migration of around 75000 to 130000 . I have seen articles where outwards and returning kiwis are spread over the country  but the new to new zealand  tends to hit auckland hardest.

      the interesting question became how many people are there in Auckland, well even stats NZ only seems to have only an estimate of about 1.6m (which it seems to be revising up and down by around a 80,000) and in 2006 it was 1.3m, so okay not 1million.

      In total Nz looks to have gone from 4,2 million in 2008  to 4,8 roughly in 2018 . as to the money I'm not sure that anyone saw Nact building any social housing much – auckland or anywhere else,

      • Dukeofurl 14.2.1

        Red Baron the numbers you are looking for are these

        "From 1971 to 2013, a period spanning more than 40 years, Auckland has outgrown the rest of New Zealand combined – adding 650,000 people vs 575,000.

        and 1991-2017  it was 410,000.

        A round figure from the 1990s- 2020 is  500,000. This is the one to remember. Your time frame was too short and the total was out by a factor of 2x. Its still a huge number

  15. newsense 15

    Clare Robinson is an academic. She's totally neutral. Get it right!

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    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 day ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    3 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    3 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    5 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    5 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
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