web analytics

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.

    • 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!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    4 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    5 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 hours ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    17 hours ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    19 hours ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    2 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    3 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    3 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    3 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    4 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    4 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    7 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    7 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
    Jack Feehan, Victoria University and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University   Some recent studies have shown similar peak viral loads in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people who contract COVID. This has raised concerns for the efficacy of vaccines for preventing transmission. How concerned should we be? Are vaccinated people just ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
    Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   At the COP26 climate summit, world politicians patted themselves on their backs for coming to a last-minute agreement. Humanity now waits with bated breath to see if countries implement the commitments they made, and if those commitments help the planet. If the rest of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
    Feature image: The weight of the world’s news can be too much. (Shutterstock) Neill Fitzpatrick, MacEwan University In 1983, Canada’s Anne Murray released another hit song. This one, though, was different than what her fans were accustomed to. A Little Good News is a sombre ballad summarizing the mood of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Brendon Burns, Marlborough-based communications consultant, former Christchurch MP “Politics Daily is simply the best go-to summary of everything in and around central and local government and much more besides. Compulsory daily reading.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Govt management of Delta outbreak Michael ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
    NewsHub reports on another OIA horror story, a simple request for information on the supply and distribution of PPE which required the intervention of the Ombudsman to get a response. And reading the article, it seems to be the usual story of an overly-secretive agency abusing the process to hide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tech ready for businesses and events to open up for summer
    Businesses and events will be set for summer, with the free NZ Pass Verifier app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes now available to download, Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins said today. “New Zealand will move into the traffic light system (COVID-19 Protection Framework) from Friday 3 December, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt providing business the tools to vaccinate workforces
    Simplified vaccination assessment tool will be able to be used mid-December to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work. Workers covered by the My Vaccine Pass mandate need to have their first dose by 3 December and be fully vaccinated by 17 January 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • The talanoa about the future of our Pacific Languages
    A ground-breaking survey launched today will give researchers valuable insights into the state of Pacific languages in Aotearoa, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The Leo Moana o Aotearoa Pacific Languages Survey is part of a wider project that will support the revitalisation, and sustainability of Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister concludes successful visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta departed the Middle East today for Washington DC, concluding a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. Her visit to the UAE saw her host New Zealand’s most important event at Expo 2020, Te Aratini, and meet with Emirati leaders including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt to review high cost of residential building supplies in market study
    Ensuring Kiwis have access to fairly priced building materials is a driving factor in Government’s decision to review the residential building supply market, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark, announced today. “We’re looking at how we can lay the foundations for a more competitive building sector,” David Clark ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to NZ Sepsis Conference 2021
    E nga mana, E nga reo, E nga iwi, Tēna kotou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa. Opening It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Centre for the Child to be established in Tā Wira Gardiner’s name
    A research centre dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of tamariki is to be established within Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi in recognition of Tā Wira Gardiner’s contributions to society. The Minister for Children, Hon Kelvin Davis made the announcement with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi at an event ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding supports new iwi led housing in Ōpōtiki
    Government funding to support iwi led housing development New iwi housing development supports Ōpōtiki whānau Seeing another deserving whānau move into a warm dry home is a further positive step forward for this Government’s Housing strategy, says Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) Peeni Henare. “It’s fantastic to be here ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago