Unusual uncertainty heralds an uncertain new world

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: Economy, energy - Tags:

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the world’s most powerful figure in monetary policy, said the other day that the economic recovery remains ‘unusually uncertain‘ and that it’s more likely things will turn out worse than the already rather bleak forecasts he presented to Congress than that things will turn out better.

Why are things ‘unusually uncertain’? The reaction of the large governments (not ours) to the economic crisis was textbook. They moved quickly to give confidence to markets where it had failed, thereby preventing a tail-spin of falling confidence, lower asset values, institutional collapses, even lower confidence, etc. And they spent up big in the real economy, building roads and schools, to replace the failing private sector. Their stimulus packages were meant to act as starter motors to get the private economies turning over again under their own steam. This is literally all out of the textbook and has worked every time until now.

The engine has been primed but it hasn’t started ticking over on its own. The private sector is still missing in action. Confidence is still weak.

Watching the financial media it’s clear that the players don’t understand what’s wrong. They know that there ought to be a recovery as strong as the recession under way but it isn’t happening.

Step back a little, though, and it becomes clearer. All the players can’t see that the field they’re playing on is changing. They’re like beasts expecting that their waterholes will be refilled by the rains after the dry season, unaware that the climate has changed.

The reason the recovery isn’t happening, the reason that prospects for growth are ‘unusually uncertain’ is that we hit the limits to growth in 2007-08. When we hit it, we bounced off but we cannot grow much again before once again slamming into that brick wall.

If you look at all the major commodities that our world runs on – wheat, rice, coal, metals, and, of course, oil – the prices are starting to spike up again just as they did before the last crash. Why? Because a price spike is the economy’s way of saying that supply is about to fall short of demand. We have reached the point where growing supply of many of the key things we rely on for growth, most especially oil (which is about to peak), cannot continue. This is a finite world and we are hitting its limits. Already, the rising prices are constraining companies’ abilities to grow during what would usually be a strong recovery.

So, yeah the prospects for growth are ‘unusually uncertain’ because we have run out of room to grow in an economic paradigm based on burning more hydrocarbons and producing more cereal crops.

The problem (one of the problems) is that we can’t see the forest for the trees. People still think that the great recession was a problem with the finance system, triggered by a housing crash. But that’s just a proximate cause. The underlying cause was the oil crunch and the next great recession will occur within a matter of years as a result of another crunch, as the IEA, US military, and others have predicted. But the likelihood is that recession will be blamed on another proximate cause and everyone will try to carry on as if infinite growth is possible, as if the rules haven’t changed. Bernanke didn’t mention oil once in his testimony to Congress.

We are at the limits to growth within this energy economy. The sooner we realise that, the better.

40 comments on “Unusual uncertainty heralds an uncertain new world”

  1. A Post with Me in it 1

    And it will rain for forty days and forty nights….

    Rod Oram spoke on this and in particular to the NZ situation. He said that companies were expecting the return of cheap credit as before and it simply has not happened. Also that while the “recession is over” many companies are still reeling from it and are struggling to find their feet.
    Many still had not worked out that things are never going back to the way their were – at least not in the short term. Eventually they will go bust or realign their businesses to the new economy.
    Now factor in the recent slashing of budgets to combat sovereign debt and well I am not sure that we are going to be out of the woods any time soon.

    He expected that the the rebound will not be for some time and it will not be a rebound but a gradual increase this time.

    He said this quite a while ago. And this is pretty much what we are seeing.

    While I don’t disagree that commodity prices and food security are going to be issues in the future and are maybe contributing, I am not sure I believe that your take on things are simply resource exhaustion as you are pointing out.

    PS: You are my hero Rod…sniff

  2. Bored 2

    Marty, at long last the headline where it should be. I have bored the shit out of all and sundry by questioning the growth model of economics and the stacking up of debt on the basis of paying for it with future growth. As you say we have peaked everything and the environment shows the effects. All I can say is that the growth game is up, well said.

    The next bit is what do we do? From a political angle we face major uncertainty as we go through withdrawal symptoms. Take note Labour, time to get with the programme, brush of your copies of Schummaker and similar, take the lead. The Nats wont until the whole thing steamrollers them.

  3. Gosman 3

    Excellent. I can’t wait for the Labour party to start campaigning on a zero growth policy. Should make things a little easier as well as funnier.

    • A Post With Me In It 3.1

      I think campaigning on sustainable growth would be more likely and very sensible.

      What company does not at least pay lip service to efficiency? Why would a country not do the same?

      But of course I assume this was just a sideswipe smear with very little thought behind. But nice puff of hot air during winter…

    • Juan Manuel Santos 3.2

      Typical shallow analysis from the right. “I can’t refute this, so I’ll make some jibe about the Labour Party and hope no one notices.”

      The only person here talking about Labour is you, Gossy. Everyone else is mature enough to discuss the bigger issues.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        “Everyone else is mature enough to discuss the bigger issues.”

        On The Standard??? I sense a Tui bill board slogan in that. 😉

        • jcuknz 3.2.1.1

          Well it wouldn’t be on Kiwiblog either …..
          Coupled with our own problems there is the problem of perswading the Chinese and Indians and third world countries that they shouldn’t expect to match whatever standard of living we manage to maintain.

        • bbfloyd 3.2.1.2

          gosman… you know you used to get help to pay for therapy for what ails you. your hero’s took the funding away tho. now you’ll just have to drink more

    • Ari 3.3

      Labour campaigning on zero growth without being dragged into it? Don’t make me laugh. Last time I saw a Labour MP even hear about zero-growth, his reply is “but that will cost jobs!” Complete denial of reality. You can’t save jobs by growth when there’s simply nowhere left to grow into.

  4. Theres just too much crap out there being hawked and people have wizened up. I’d say we don’t need more than half of what people/companies are producing and brand loyalty doesn’t count for shit anymore.

    You can tweet and facebook, blow out your advertising budget pimping as much shit as you want about stuff, but people are realising that though we might want it, we just don’t need it.

    new cars would be a prime example.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Yes, noone needs brand new fuel efficient cars do they.

      • jcuknz 4.1.1

        Fuel efficient [petrol;/diesel] cars are a band-aid, not a solution. We need to breed more shanks ponies.

        • loota 4.1.1.1

          One tonne of new steel goes into a new car, voila that’s 1.8 tonnes of CO2. Just to manufacture the raw steel. And we haven’t started talking about where the GJ’s of energy required to do so are coming from yet.

      • pollywog 4.1.2

        nah we don’t Gosman…

        …we need cheap electric conversion kits, longlife batteries, affordable home solar panels and wind turbines, which is what NZ should be looking at developing and mass producing !

        • felix 4.1.2.1

          But Gos doesn’t want to think about all that shit. He just wants a new frickin car you damn commie bastard. And he only wants ONE every couple of years so that’s only what? 20 cars? What frickin difference is 20 cars gonna make? You know how many cars they make in CHINA ffs?

          Just give in his frickin car.

  5. Zb 5

    Katrina, and now the gulf, for the most party the US government took
    its sweat time investing in clean up. That should tell you something, it
    was no longer cheap to clean up the mess! But its worse, not only
    do energy intense production become prohibitively expensive, hellicopters
    fighting vineyard frosts! but the whole way we trade will change. Bailing
    out the players only delays the inevitable re-balance and funds the people
    with now shrinking resources, who have most to lose when the change comes (if
    they use the bail out to shore up the present system).

    The end of cheap high dense energy is over. Density of energy will
    garner a premium for high end uses, like hellicopters over million
    dollar wine harvests, but for running down the dairy to get a litre of
    milk probably not.

    We will still have growth, its will be individuals saving any spare
    cash and trading with each other for their lifes luxuries rather than
    the big international corporates view of what luxuries are. The
    party at the big end of town is over. The days of just the few,
    a few eyes, a few signatures, and whole ecosystems are eliminated
    on the other side of the planet are over.

    Welcome to the Green Revolution. About frigging time.

    Unusually uncertain. LOL. Its been predicted for decades in the
    alternative media. Hell! Marx pointed out in fashion, that capitalism
    tends to get top heavy and collapse, this was an opportunity for workers
    to stuff their own countries up royally! Workers only in poorer agrian nations
    could not be brought off fast enough and placated by democratic power
    sharing, and so tanked their economies in a red revolution.

    Germany enter the age of oil with a fascist in power and used the
    oil advances to wage global war. Now our neo-fascist marketeers
    think they can hold on despite the inevitable end of oil, through the
    nambie pambie propaganda controls (that would make a Nazi laugh).
    Get real, Fox can’t tell us its fail and balanced when obviously its not
    anywhere close, we’re not seening any growth so we’re not placated into
    half believing that fair and balanced was taken care off. You can not
    buy us off any longer with cheap oil and cheap credit, to control
    us with our own resources and our own debt. The trick is up,
    the cheques keep bouncing, you write our cheque out for us
    with your name as the benefitary and they don’t work any longer.
    Pay neo-liberal out the sum of 100 million workers profits.
    HAHAHA. Governing neo-fascist boring bland simplistic
    neo-liberal economics is now ineffective in divorcing us from our
    cash and our world resources.

    Suks to be loser, who hold on to billions dollars of
    crazy money that is so obviously mismatched to actual real worth,
    to the real economy, the people of planet Earth.

    We the people, of the people, by the people was not, is not, a
    statement of some promise of rights in the future, its a statement
    of fact as it has always been.

    • Bored 5.1

      Zb, interesting idea that those who have now will end up holding nothing but worthless promisary notes…be careful. The buggers will try to buy / control anything that can produce and leave us a serfs, thats what the privatisation agenda of the right is all about.

      We need to now make the conceptual jump away from “money” and “finance”, these need to be reduced to mere accounting tools for real solid tangible items / resources that we actually use (as opposed to digits in a database of “future debt” held etc). If we have to be able to tie the accounted item to a real item we will have a much more tangible view of resource avilability and resultant allocation.

  6. jcuknz 6

    This ‘good news’ story from NYT seems relevant to the madness of our current position.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/business/global/22auto.html?th&emc=th

  7. Bill 7

    Didn’t the bail out money go to the financial sector rather than the real economy? The ‘too big to fail’ trillion $ or whatever bailout of finance, while car manufacturers were left to sink and thousands of jobs allowed to disappear?

    I’m not aware of any government investing heavily in the real economy. Haven’t they all slashed spending (massively in the UK for example) and cut taxes, thereby diminishing rather than increasing the flow of money around any real economy activities?

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    Anyway. End of growth?

    What is the limit on financial speculation? Or speculation on speculation? I can’t see that there are any. And wheat, rice etc increased in price largely because of speculation rather than just the effects of supply/demand. I remember reading somewhere that it was fuelling a shift to potatoes as they were the only basic foodstuff free (so far) from the effects of financial speculators.

    Growth isn’t based on real economy stuff any more.

    And so while there may well be a crisis for growth in the energy economy as you have termed it, that doesn’t impact on growth in the financial economy.

  8. Nick C 8

    Maybe you should apply to be Bens chief advisor and tell him exactly whats going on..

    What economic qualifications do you have again?

    • Bored 8.1

      Take along a copy of Rands minute to run pot boiler rants to the interview. Ben was apparently apprenticed to the sainted Ayn. Shrug like Atlas and magic up a few zillion conceptual dollars to be collateralised with the sweat of workers in Guatemala…its a brave new (old) world.

    • Lazy Susan 8.2

      What particular alternate reality do you live in Nick C? The guys with all the big economic qualifications behind their names are the ones that over-leveraged the system that got us into this mess in the first place.

      As long as the system works for them and their paymasters things are sweet – sod the rest of the world. Unfortunately for them a growing number of people are waking up to the idea that the system is screwed and the so-called experts are only interested in looking after their own. Can you hear those chickens? they’re coming home to roost.

      captcha: hanging – how you might find some bankers?!

      • Bored 8.2.1

        L Suze, I think Nicks onto it, ask the question of Bill, thats who hes taking a punt at. Nicks well and truly in touch with the reality and who is doing us over (have a gink at a few of his comments).

        • Bill 8.2.1.1

          Eh? You sure Nick C wasn’t having a go at Marty there, Bored?

          My comment was questions. Not assertions. So if Nick C was having a go at me, it just doesn’t make sense.

          Anyway…

  9. What a bunch of Anglo/US centric comments. Peak this and peak that. Peak ideas more like.
    The ‘West’ is in decline, but Asia is not. There is real growth in China. And China’s demand for commodities is pushing real growth in Asia, Africa and Latin America. If not for that we would be in the middle of a 30s type full-on global depression.
    The problem is that the new growth is no less destructive on a global scale than the old growth. Think of China buying BP.
    If you want sustainability then you need to get onside with Chinese workers who have our fate in their hands. The shortest route to sustainability is Chinese workers socialising their state capitalist regime.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      And China’s demand for commodities is pushing real growth in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

      It can push all it likes but if there’s no resources left to supply the demand then they ain’t going to get anything.

      Growth is, like cancer, unsustainable.

    • ZB 9.2

      China has a huge housing bubble. China trying to catchup to western consumer car culture isn’t
      going to happen! There isn’t enough room in China for the parking spaces! China is not the
      growth center of the world economy because its some shiny light of capitalist free market!
      We are not going into another 30s depression. More like the long depression in the late 19
      century. Basically market failures happen all the time, mismatches the market takes
      time to resolve. This is no different. The 30’s great depression was a mismatch of
      high density energy oil and processes that produce vast new supply without a consumer
      culture to buy the supply. Now we have the sideways depression, as deep or shallow as your elites,
      while they dither and take time to retool our economies and cultures for the new economy
      of less carbon addiction.

  10. roger nome 10

    Marty:

    You may be interested in this movie that rently came out . Should be at the up-coming film festivals.

    • Bill 10.1

      Not saying that he doesn’t have it more or less right on the broad brush stroke stuff.

      But he’s not very well.

      From having just watched the film, looks to me like he’s hitched his madness to some fairly uncontroversial and not uncommon economic/political viewpoints and then wrapped himself up in fluffy little blankets of half baked delusion and nonsense to justify his placing of himself slap bang at the centre of it all where he attempts to play he role of prophet, conductor and intellectual powerhouse.

      Unfortunate, because he’s a half decent communicator otherwise.

  11. randal 11

    yes they have become like little boys whistling in the dark to keep their spirits up.
    Ben Bernanke may be an expert on the ‘great crash” but a wider view is necessary here.
    when does the fat lady stop singing?
    in the meantime they gonna grab as much real estate as they can to try and keep the wolf from the door.

    • Bored 11.1

      Ben B should be an expert on the great crash, he’s been driving it at close range.

  12. Mark M 12

    Agree with your comments that the “large governments” have done what was accepted orthodoxy after the crash and the Key Government was out of step.
    Now that you have seen the “large governments ” policies failing you may understand why Key didnt follow them.

    Perhaps its time to accept that someone who made a lot of money out of the finance industry knows a wee bit more about the economy than enthusaistic economic amateur bloggers.

    • loota 12.1

      Someone who made a lot of money gaming cash out of the real productive economy using computational financial wizardry “knows a wee bit more about the economy”?

      Yes, no doubt, John Key is an expert at playing the percentages and timing the markets to game cash out of the economy as well as firing workers from his firm, but that’s neither hugely impressive nor hugely relevant in terms of building up a productive economy.

      captcha: owes

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      He made a lot of money out of the finance industry by screwing over the economy.

      • loota 12.2.1

        Damn, you make me sound verbose, Draco.

      • ZB 12.2.2

        Key didn’t set the system up that ships profit overseas, that would be the National party and its support base, aided by the Labour party compromising in order to remain politically competitive as world economies were rigged with cheap money and primed with cheap oil. Key won the speculator lottery, a process where any poor performance means immediate dismissal of said speculator, over time someone has to be the last man standing doesn’t matter what they were doing or why it was good only that they got lucky betting the right way (shear luck in my opinion given someone loses money for others to win money). So no Key didn’t trash our economy, he was a follower who never had to lead anyone anywhere, who played his cards close and never explained to anyone in depth about anything. Perfect National leader if you wanted to continue to ship profits overseas. Spent a life time doing it, guarded, unaccountable, and charmingly distractive. National are not the party you want in power in a crisis, they will stop bailing and start selling off assets at the bottom of the market, they will raise taxes saying you don’t work hard enough to give the few at the top a bonus for all their hard work overseeing a collapsing world economy. Yes, you were duped, never again. That’s why they got Key, to smoose National back in for a second term. The main stream press love Key, his handlers hand them copy and they don’t have to fact check or much of any indepth, the angles have all be analysis by a battery of thinktanks and voter panels to convince even the diehard voter that National are not as bad as all indicators show. No, you may feel the tax rises, increase levies, the ETS, the lack of work, the increasing insecurity brought on by the 90-day legislation are bad, hurting you, that the inflation caused by Key pushing up your mortgage was harsh, but mainstream media will smooth your reality away with a nice smile and wave from Mr Impenetrable money man once again saying trust him. And the polls suggest that most voters still think Labour will force them to buy lightbulbs. Geez is this anyway to run an economy, do we have to trash the economy before we raise our hackles about how National sell us cheap, insure managers their long stay while shafting the little guy again. Yes, it seems so.

  13. Ag 13

    Nah… there are limits to growth, but they have little to do with the current crisis.

    Nothing is hidden. The reasons for the crisis are in plain view. Credit was too cheap. The reasons why credit was too cheap were political reasons, not economic reasons. The ultimate reason is that any political party promising an end to cheap credit would have made itself unelectable. Hence, parties competed to offer people more, and people voted for them.

    In the end, the democratic system is to blame. You won’t hear this in the news for the simple reason that the democratic system is sacrosanct and criticism of it is not permitted. That’s why political reporting on the grand scale tends to be rather daft. We can either keep democracy and suffer this sort of thing, or try something else.

    Ask yourself what needs to be done to fix our societies’ problems and then ask yourself how the average SUV driving suburban moron will ever be persuaded to vote for them.

  14. Chris 14

    Technology is the most important driver of new growth. If you are suggesting more growth is not possible then to me you are saying technology has reached its limits, which is clearly false.

    GM foods; more efficinet cars, planes, trains and such; more advanced renewable energy capture; more efficient batteries and other energy storage devices; new and more advanced composite materials; nuclear fusion power? (50 + years away but still). These are some of the thinigs that will continue to drive economic growth worldwide. There will continue to be real worldwide economic growth for all of my lifetime and the forseeable future beyonod that too.

  15. Gail 15

    How long are people going to keep falling for this “confidence” nonsense? The problem is not lack of confidence – it is lack of MONEY! The bankers are intentionally crashing the economies around the world because desperate people are easy to manipulate. My comments are based on what is happening in the U.S. but I believe it applies in NZ and elsewhere too.

    With at least 20-30% of Americans unemployed or underemployed (working two or even three jobs and bringing home less than half of what they once earned) compounded by the declining purchasing power of the US dollar which will continue to slide recovery is IMPOSSIBLE. Only the naive can believe the economy can “recover”.

    The end stage of EVERY Fiat currency (money not backed by gold or anything else) is always hyperinflation – so even if Americans still made as much as they used to and still have health benefits and retirements (which they don’t) the point of no return where what they earn will not cover keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads would still be on the horizon.

    What is true in the U.S. is no doubt true in most other countries. The ONLY solution is to stop playing their game. Create small economies of your own where you support each other’s small online and local businesses. Know that fast success based on borrowing is NOT an option. Eliminate insurance and provide for each other within the community instead.

    And most importantly understand the difference between wants and necessities. Focus on what we MUST have to survive: water, food and shelter – in that order. Learn to grow your own food or source it from people who have those skills LOCALLY. Eat staples instead of convenience foods. It is possible here to eat for a dollar or two a day per person IF you can garden, cook and bake. Twenty pounds of potatoes currently costs about the same as ONE bag of potato chips.

    Use the Internet to find out what you need to know and connect with others who have skills you don’t have. SAVE the Web addresses of key sites in case they become harder and harder to find. (The same people who control banking control the major search engines and can easily censor what you can find in them.)

    Save key information in offline form (on a USB thumb drive or a CD or hard copy). Own physical books or print it in case you need it when there is no power or your batteries go dead! Power does go down for days sometimes even here and could be unavailable for an extended time due to an emergency (earthquake, hurricane, etc.).

    If you’re a blogger connect with other bloggers. We have numerous blogging groups you can use to find those in your niche or areas of interest or location. Read the post I’ve attached to this comment and don’t miss the stats in there about where the money went. It will be the same story in other countries.

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    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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