Two Referendums Too Many

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, November 16th, 2019 - 50 comments
Categories: campaigning, death with dignity, election 2020, leadership, Politics, quality of life, referendum - Tags: ,

It is official, we’ll have to cope with two referendums at the General Election (GE) next year. One will be asking us whether cannabis for recreational use should be legalised and the other whether voluntary euthanasia should be allowed.

One argument against having these referendums at the same as the GE is that voters might be overwhelmed by the information overload. This may suck away much-needed oxygen from the larger question as to how the country should be governed and what the core political issues are.

Both referendums are for contentious issues that can and do evoke strong emotive reactions in people. Emotions can be easily manipulated. All signs are pointing to an even dirtier election campaign than before. If true, I think it is likely that the referendums will be used as wedges to drive voters into a certain direction.

Personally, I am disappointed that our current representatives in Parliament could not or would not deal with these issues at this time but decided to defer and lob it back to us in order to get a (firm or firmer?) ‘mandate’. As we know, the Devil is in the detail so what you think you ‘order’ and will like might actually ‘taste’ like a dog’s breakfast once it gets dished up in front of you.

I do worry that both the cannabis and euthanasia questions will be even more politicised for political gain and benefit. They will be used to attract media attention and hog the media limelight. They will be used to gain the favour of voters.

I don’t think this will make for good decisions all in the name of democracy. It is almost (?) inevitable that we will associate our thinking and decision about euthanasia, for example, with certain politicians and certain political parties. Euthanasia is a highly personal issue and goes to the core of one’s personal values, morals, and religious views, if any. I want to minimise the State’s power to dictate or restrict how and when I die. I say power because I don’t consent to handing them this authority. However, this is my personal opinion and I fully accept that there about four million other opinions in NZ. Thus, it is a non-partisan issue but it will be, and already is, polarising and dividing opinions.

It will be fascinating to see the election campaigns unfold and arguably National has been ‘campaigning’ since the day their right to lead the Government was ‘stolen’ from them. It will be frustrating to deal with the aftermath.

50 comments on “Two Referendums Too Many ”

  1. Sabine 1

    both issues are labours to loose, but then they also deserve to loose.

    they had a mandate, they had/have coalition partners, and if now they are too craven, too lazy, too cowardly, too political and too stale and pale to take a risk then they deserve to be kicked back to the opposition bench or even better into retirement.

    No gummibears……the coalition in a nutshell.

    • Formerly Ross 1.1

      I think you mean "lose", and I'm not sure that Labour had a mandate to do anything. Maybe if the vast majority of voters had voted for Labour, you might have a point. Having said that, I suspect many voters know right now which way they'll vote when it comes to the two referendums. The issues have been in the public arena for a long time.

      By the way, the assisted dying bill was put forward by David Seymour, not by the Government.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        lose indeed.

        Mandate to do better then National. a broad coalition to change for the better…etc etc etc. A mandate. At least that is what National would say.

        Edit: For both bills Labour could have done better or say be more at the forefront rather then just kicking hte ball elsewhere. as for the Hologram, every stopped clock is correct at least one time a day (depending if you go for 24 hours or AM/PM – then of course its twice aday) 🙂

        But my point is that Labour has been fairly wishiy washy on these issues, and without labour there is no coalition. So yeah, both issues are Labours to lose irrespective of who advances the bills.

      • The Chairman 1.1.2

        I suspect many voters know right now which way they'll vote when it comes to the two referendums. The issues have been in the public arena for a long time.

        Indeed.

        As a voter I find the sentiment that we (voters) are being overloaded (due to a mere two referendums) condescending. Ten national referendums were held in Switzerland in 2018.

        • Incognito 1.1.2.1

          Of course, you would find it condescending because you have missed the point of the post, which I just explained to Ken too.

          I remember John Key wanted to turn NZ into an Asia-Pacific Switzerland but we still ain’t Swiss and don’t have their experience with referendums.

          • The Chairman 1.1.2.1.1

            One doesn't require experience with referendums to know what policy one supports or not.

            • Incognito 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You compared NZ with Switzerland and I say this is a false equivalence.

              Besides, you missed the point of the post.

    • solkta 1.2

      Why do you blame Labour when it was NZF who said they would not support either without a referendum?

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        i blame Labour for not being forceful enough. for not standing up properly, but hiding behind .NZfirst. ( i think they would call it plausible deniability)

        For letting this girl from the Greens stand there give an interview about 'no gummibears' with nary a comment.

        For not standing up for criminal reform – whishy washy bullshit Andrew Little sprouted a long time ago – anything came of that or is that too in the too hard complicated not sexy basket?

        For allowing people to die on synthetic cannabis without ever promoting a meaningful reform and legislation that would change the life of many.

        For having watched Helen Kelly become a criminal, for knowing someone broke the law to get Helen Kelly a product that is illegal, for not shaming Peter Fucking Dunne for not 'allowing' Helen Kelly a medication that worked for her, all cause "illegal'.

        You want me to continue to list up all the ways that Labour has shown how craven, lazy, cowardly, and downright amoral to the point of deadly they are in their inaction around this issue?

        And for what its worth, i fully expect the Nomates Party to come with the one idea that could win them this or any other election should the need be. Namely the legalisation, regulation, and lisencing of MJ. And i fully expect Judith Oravida and Paula Benefit, Soimon et al. to be among the first to invest in said companies that would then be created. A bit like Mr. Boehner – ex speaker of the House Republican – did.

        • solkta 1.2.1.1

          There is no way NZF would have allowed this without a referendum.

          For letting this girl from the Greens

          I think at 25 she gets to be a woman.

          For having watched Helen Kelly become a criminal

          They were not the government then.

          And for what its worth, i fully expect the Nomates Party to come with the one idea that could win them this or any other election should the need be. Namely the legalisation, regulation, and lisencing of MJ.

          Uhhh, ok see ya i'm going back to planet earth.

          • Sabine 1.2.1.1.1

            NZfirst would be pounding sand without Labour.

            True that, i have no idea about her age, she just struck me as really really young, and I am somewhat old.

            Nope, but they were in opposition and did fuck all. And she did make herself a criminal, and they watched it go down, they watched the humiliation of her having to procrastinate infront of Peter Fucking Dunne (no mates tool, proponent of synthetic cannabis – to the profit of his son, to the detriment of many families) and they did Fuck all. And that is the truth.

            Whats good for the republican in the US is certainly good for their apprentices here in NZ.

            • Sacha 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Wisdom is not always correlated with age. I hope you get to see Chloe in action in person sometime, and that you find the maturity by then to appreciate it.

  2. Formerly Ross 2

    voters might be overwhelmed by the information overload

    Overwhelmed? Yeah all those complex and sophisticated policies that will be announced by the National Party are going to do my head in. How will voters cope?! 🙂

    The problem won’t be too much information, it’ll be too little.

  3. Climaction 3

    Unbelievable really that this government, apparently so committed to reducing emissions, can’t enact two policies that will have immediate benefit to the environment. Sequestering carbon in marijuana plants, which will also reduce alcohol intake, reducing the transportation of liquids to supply alcohol demand. And removing emission generating Humans from the planet who do not want to be here.
    the lack of policy cohesion is nonsensical

  4. Bruce 4

    A governments role I feel is often to protect a minority and with pot they have failed. The law is wrong, it is based on fallacy long proved to be wrong, it is govts role to a knowledge their mistake and fix it. People are different and different things work for different people, but they all seem to seek and use some way of altering their mental state for what ever reason. Alcohol seems to suit a lot of people and they are the majority and I hear many of them say it's suits me why open the door to more.

    The misstruths are still belived by many , I'm sure most will remember the monkeys that that were brain damaged from pot, but how many know that the damage was from lack of oxygen because they were pumped with so much smoke.

    The referendum is a cop out gutless politicians to scared to lose their cushy job protecting a wrongly persecuted minority.

    .

    • greywarshark 4.1

      +1 bruce

    • Dukeofurl 4.3

      "protecting a wrongly persecuted minority."

      Get over your self. You have just as absurd claims as Judith Collins claiming to be a person of colour ( none!).

      Dont appropriate real persecuted minorities , just dont.

      The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act passed on Aug 12th which covers Class A drug users ' not just stoners Class C'

      To avoid doubt, it is affirmed that there is a discretion to prosecute for an offence against subsection (1)(a), and a prosecution should not be brought unless it is required in the public interest.

      When considering whether a prosecution is required in the public interest, in addition to any other relevant matters, consideration should be given to whether a health-centred or therapeutic approach would be more beneficial to the public interest.

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2019/0042/latest/whole.html#LMS167550

      • Bruce 4.3.1

        What would you know your a duke but for a simpleperson spending 9 mths in a in a concrete box with some very nasty people for smoking home grown pot in my own home it certainly didnt feel like a walk in a park. Discretion bullshit these laws are to break the smart mouth, unfortunately I'm one, bet you've never had to throw through away your last avacardo for the week because the guy next to you had his throat cut and sprayed it with his blood, yea I'm a snowflake very easily upset . Don't start telling me how to feel.

  5. Dukeofurl 5

    Trust Claire Robinson , Professor of Politics/Marketing at Massey to be always pleading Nationals side of a story.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/403285/voters-may-be-overwhelmed-by-both-referendums-and-election-analyst

    Why did RNZ hide her credentials behind a lowly 'analyst' label ?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117468406/labour-and-the-referendums-of-dread

    And again in Stuff , Luke Malpass , concern trolling labour who was their expat kiwi bought back from Australia and previous NZ Initiative ( Business Round table) writer as his previous background as their media editor

    https://nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/media/luke-malpass-on-the-governments-job-performance/

    • Sabine 5.1

      is this a case of

      "i love the poorly educated voters"

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      One would think a small number of interesting referendums would have a small positive impact on turnout. To me this would seem like a good way to decide on these issues and encourage participation at once.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    The opportunity is not entirely gone, for Labour, and for other parties, to choose a well-reasoned position on issues that will still be defanged by the referenda. They don't need enormous funding commitments, and having delegated the decision to the public, their perspective cannot be mistaken for an autocratic imposition.

    Don't think they will though – more poll than principle driven.

    • Incognito 6.1

      I don’t think it is an “autocratic imposition” if they make decisions (policies) on our behalf when they have been dutifully elected by us to do so. In other words, we have given them the mandate and authority to do a job. Unfortunately, the authority of Parliament rests on a well-functioning democratic and political process in the interest of all. In my view, this has been eroding, and not only in NZ. I can see only two likely outcomes: an authoritarian system or an unruly society, which could well revert into an authoritarian one. Neither bode well for the future.

      Your last sentence nicely paraphrases the OP.

      • Stuart Munro. 6.1.1

        Autocracy is often a positional perception – not truly subjective, but nevertheless not readily apparent to those making decisions.

        Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses

        Merely securing a simple majority is not license to do any damned thing one pleases.

        I’ve seen a lot of what I perceive as erosion too.

  7. Anne 7

    I do worry that both the cannabis and euthanasia questions will be even more politicised for political gain and benefit. They will be used to attract media attention and hog the media limelight. They will be used to gain the favour of voters.

    That is exactly what is going to happen.

    Once again the stupidity of the parliamentarians in general is in focus.

    Remember they voted to lower the drinking age to 18 on the fictitious ground that if they can go to war at 18 then they can vote at 18. Talk about turning the clock back to WW1 and WW2! There is no comparison between the two and look what we have now… binge drinking at the age of 14/15 and 16 and the consequences of that:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12285754

    • millsy 7.1

      Was there much of a consultation period back then? I didn't follow things as much back then as I do now, so cannot really remember if there was much debate about the drinking age. Or am I just spoiled by the Internet?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        Your'e right millsy there was little consultation, but when the intention to lower the drinking age became known the majority of the public were up in arms.The main cause for concern was that it would mean teenagers would start drinking at an even earlier age. When the age was 20, it was well known most teenagers were drinking by the age of 18. However, the MPs of the day in their collective wisdom (?) chose to ignore majority concerns and ploughed on with their determination to lower the age to 18.

        Time has shown the public on that occasion were right, and the MPs were wrong.

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          There was also the ease of obtaining booze from supermarkets. There are identity and age checks – to 25 years I think, but the stuff is there amongst the food, so innocuous. Then there are the RTDs (Ready to Drinks – mixed cocktails Vodka and Orange, Bloody Mary etc.) The man who introduced this stuff played innocent – I never knew the young ones would take to them. Then the government decided their alcohol level was too high, so knowing that the youngsters were hooked on them which so distressed him, he complied with legislation and brought the alcohol down to just under the legal level which was still high. So age alone is not sufficient to stop the addictive spread.

          Official statement about RTDs (couldn't see date):

          For the purposes of this VIC [Voluntary Industry Code] an RTD is defined as: i.a spirit-based alcoholic beverage mixed/diluted to an Alcohol by Volume (abv) range of 4% up to 14% (above which products become liqueurs as per S73,75 of the Customs & Excise Act 1996);

          2014 Now down to 7% alcohol per can.

          RTDs with less punch hitting shelves

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11181109

    • Sabine 7.2

      why because before they did not drink at 14/15? i dont' understand that.

      Drinking at that age is illegal either way?

      and yes, if they can get shot to pieces, work full time, be parents, own property, have a mortgage and they are all considered old enough at 18 for these things, then they should ahve a right to drink.

      Btw, a lot of the binge drinking is done by adults older then 21 and a lot of the not drinking at all is done by people younger then 21.

      But why not advocate for the banning and classifying of alcohol as a Class A considering all that harm it does?

      • weka 7.2.1

        I could get into pubs without too much difficulty when I was 17 (legal age 20). It seems reasonable to assume that with the age at 18, I would have gotten in at 15. That probably applies to bottle stores too.

        I'm not necessarily against lowering the age, but lowering the age while we're still a pisshead culture was asking for trouble. Just like lowering the voting age without doing civics education is likely to be an issue.

        • Sabine 7.2.1.1

          . Just like lowering the voting age without doing civics education is likely to be an issue

          i have more faith and trust in anyone under 18 then most people over 40 when it comes to 'civic' education. The kids are alright, its their parents/grandparents who fuck it up consistently by voting not for the greater good but for tax cuts and for keeping people whom they don't approve of in their place.

          Seriously the young people on this planet are not the one that are issues, we however do them no favour and to boot we seem to be very happy to criminalise them for many things that are bs, like smoking weed, growing a plant or selling a tinny. But then adults invest into prison for profits and thus the kids need to pay the bills, other wise there be no profit.

          • weka 7.2.1.1.1

            the ones with the vote already aren't voting much, so not sure how that works.

            One would hope that each generation is more on to it than the last, but only an insane culture treats its older people as useless, and as far as I can tell that's pretty much restricted to Western industrialised nations. The idea that older people don't being specific benefits because of experience and time is at odds with human evolution.

            I don't buy the young/good, old/bad any more than I buy the reverse. And every generation gets more conservative as it ages, again because evolution enabled the best chances at collective survival. We are in an abnormal time, and dismissing older people is part of that.

      • Anne 7.2.2

        I wasn't talking about other age groups Sabine. I was talking about youth. And of course not all of them are drinkers whatever their age.

        I've been led to believe that the worst binge drinkers a women in their 50s. Whether that is true I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

        • Dukeofurl 7.2.2.1

          probably the women over 50+ are the group with biggest increase in numbers.

          The total amount drunk per head is reducing , but thats because of migration is changing demographics and asian women are more likely to not drink or very little.

          Mean while the top quintile of binge and heavy drinkers is drinking more, thats where all the problems are – and the money made by the so called 'hospo industry'

        • Sabine 7.2.2.2

          I am talking about youth, and frankly the youth that i know does not binge drink. They are literally not rich enough to actually go out and on the piss nor to go out and buy that much.

          Mind they are also not rich enough to own cars, or rent flats.

          Maybe that is the reason everyone binge drinks. It makes living in misery easier.

          Who knows, but as i said, if booze is so bad then we should hold a referendum to getting it banned. No more drink driving, no more drink bashing your partners head in, no more drink belligerent discourse etc etc and all those women over 50 will just take up knitting again.

          Or legalise weed and see that people actually drink less in order to self medicate or to fall asleep.

  8. weka 8

    Afaik, a referendum on the End of Life Bill was mandatory because it was part of the NZF and Labour's coalition agreement.

  9. Graeme 9

    Don't see what the fuss is about.

    We managed the MMP referenda, two of them, and had alcohol vote as well, with the choice between Continuance, State Purchase and Control and Prohibition.

    New Zealanders like to have their say, and if they have something to vote for they will. I think it will go just fine, the turnout will be quite good, and the Country will have spoken.

    • Ad 9.1

      I don't favour Members of Parliament abnegating their responsibility to consider and pass/fail legislation, and putting it back on us citizens.

      The Select Committee process is both sufficiently scrutinized and sufficiently political to enable facts to hold up and the lies to be swept away like crap with a high pressure hose after milking. With the public dealing with the campaigns one way or the other, there's simply no evaluation mechanism other than the media.

      I don’t trust the media to be policy-neutral on either marijuana or euthanasia.

      The 2013 Asset Sales Referendum was really hard work, strongly in favour of not selling our state assets, and the government completely ignored our strong majority will.

      Brexit should also be a massive warning to those who propose binding referenda. Because raw propaganda and lies won the day, lies that have gone on to dominate and destabilize both the UK parliament and the entire country for years.

      We see so many elections – including our own – in which massive advertising misinformation campaigns distort broad civic will at the very end. The Advertising Complaints Authority never even tries to uphold complaints in time to counter the effects of lies on voting results. The same could definitely happen here.

      I will have no enthusiasm for campaigning in 2020 when I will have to defend these two horseshit policies door-to-door.

      • Dukeofurl 9.1.1

        " will have no enthusiasm for campaigning in 2020 when I will have to defend these two horseshit policies door-to-door. "

        Why . For EOLC ,Will any of the main parties apart for NZF ( whos long time policy it was) and Seymour have a formal position that they campaign on?

        • Ad 9.1.1.1

          Well, the Greens agree with both of them.

          And for Labour it's Cabinet-bound.

          So on both counts, of course yes, and it's yes for all three parties.

      • Anne 9.1.2

        I don't favour Members of Parliament abnegating their responsibility to consider and pass/fail legislation, and putting it back on us citizens.

        It is in fact putting their own self interest ahead of their responsibilities to the public as a whole. It makes a mockery of their postulations that they… want to serve the public and make NZ a better place for everyone. I'm not saying there are not politicians who are genuine in their desire to work for the public good but lets be honest… they are a minority. angry

  10. Ken 10

    I think most people are quite capable of considering cannabis, euthanasia and who they want to vote for at the same time.

    • Incognito 10.1

      You seem to have missed or to disagree with the point, which is that these issues will be and already are political footballs used for political point scoring. On top of that, MSM in their endless effort for advertising revenue, are likely to muddy the waters further with endless ‘opinion’ pieces in which the same fearmongering will be repeated ad nauseam. Most people can walk and chew gum but it becomes more difficult when somebody is blasting you with loud obnoxious music and blinding you stroboscope laser lights, metaphorically speaking.

  11. adam 11

    This would not be a problem if we removed money from politics.

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    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    3 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

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