Voting away our democracy

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 13th, 2011 - 52 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Gerry Brownlee - Tags: ,

Just before the second Christchurch earthquake, Gerry Brownlee was being criticised for the lack of progress in recovery. People suggested what was needed was an independent commissioner to lead the rebuilding – an ‘earthquake Tsar’. Brownlee responded “the last Tsar got shot“. Now, the new CERA law will make Brownlee our Tsar in a too literal sense.

You’ll remember that, after the first earthquake, the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act (CERRA) was slammed through the House. It contained a ‘Henry the VIIIth clause’ that let Brownlee amend nearly any law of the land by decree without going through Parliament. There’s a myth that this power wasn’t abused; it was, in subtle ways.

Yesterday, National introduced the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill (soon to be CERA). I/S at No Right Turn describes its powers:

The bill is even more outrageous and undemocratic than the original. The least objectionable parts are those relating to the development of a recovery strategy and plans. No-one disputes the need for this sort of planning, but the Act puts it in the hands of CERA [the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency]. Which means that the big decisions around the future of Christchurch will be decided not by its people, but by Gerry Brownlee. Who while he is a Christchurch MP, isn’t exactly in the same position of democratic accountability as the elected representatives of the Christchurch City Council.

And after that it’s all downhill. CERA has the power to demand any information about anything from anyone. No warrant, no oversight, no safeguards. This is more power than the Serious Fraud Office, and with fewer checks and balances.

CERA, which means the Minister, also has wide powers to “assist” the rebuilding of Christchurch. They can:

And all of this without any effective rights of appeal and with only limited rights of compensation.

And to cap it all off, there’s the same dictatorial power to amend laws by regulation originally seen in CERRA v1.0.

This is too much power, in too few hands, with too few checks and balances to be safe. Democracies don’t do this sort of thing. But then, as we saw with ECan and with the original CERRA, National’s first response to any problem is dictatorship.

I would like very much to submit on this bill. But I can’t. Its being rammed through under urgency, with only a limited select committee process (basically, the Local Government and Environment Committee will be hearing from selected insiders tomorrow; ordinary concerned citizens are shut out of the process). And it’ll be law by Friday.

The power given to Brownlee here is unprecendented and uncontrolled. He will be appointing the CEO or CERA who will report to him. On Marae Investigates last Sunday, a disaster expert, Dr Regan Potangaroa, who has worked around the world said he had never seen such powers put into the hands of a minister, or anyone. He said they are powers that officials have in dictatorships.

(Potangaroa also graded the actual recovery effort on the ground a ‘D’ – Brownlee is very busy giving himself extraordinary powers but what extraordinary powers does it take to get people portaloos and temporary houses? I think that’s the worst part of this – extraordinary powers and appallingly subpar delivery of practical help)

In the information age, the new powers to demand any information from anyone are scary. For instance, Gerry Brownlee could have his man write to Lynn and say ‘I want the IP addresses and emails of everyone who has ever commented on The Standard on a post related to the earthquake’ and that would be legal. I’m sure Lynn would rather destroy the data and go to jail but it’s a taste of what Brownlee can do. He can compel anyone to tell him anything. Journalists and whistleblowers have a lot to fear. So do any citizens who want to cause a fuss because they live in a poor suburb which hasn’t got portaloos or is going to be demolished without justification.

That Brownlee might choose not to abuse these powers is no excuse for giving them to him. Democracies don’t work by giving one person unbridled power. In fact, history tells us, that voting in a ‘temporary’ Enabling Act is often the last act of democratic government on the road to dictatorship.

We’re told not to worry because CERA will expire in five years. Yeah, well the German Enabling Act of 1933 was meant to expire after four years (or when Hitler left power – clever). Julius Caesar was elected Dictator for ‘just’ ten years. The Committee of Public Safety was only meant to to a temporary measure. The dictatorship of the proletariat was supposed to melt away when it was no longer needed.

In five years time, what guarantee do we have that our Tsar (whoever it may then be) won’t decide that a fresh crisis – say another oil shock, a depression, civil strife, or an international war – doesn’t make it necessary for him to hold on to his powers and accumulate some more?

52 comments on “Voting away our democracy”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    A former woodwork teacher as Commissar for Christchurch ?

    l

  2. ianmac 2

    A certain corporal became Czar of Germany.
    A smiling money trader became Prime Minister of New Zealand.
    A carpenter became leader of a mystical Christain sect.
    So why not let a woodwork teacher become the most powerful/heaviest power in NZ? Huh? (But don’t cross him. He is mean. Power corrupts.)

  3. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 3

    It will be interesting to see which Christchurch property developers will be contributing election funding to Gerry and/or the National Party at the election.

    The simplest way to get rid of this particular dictator is to make sure National don’t make it back as the government in November. Although it would also be useful if Labour were to put revocation of the CERA powers as an explicit election policy, so that it’s crystal clear they wouldn’t also be tempted by absolute power.

    • kiwinewt 3.1

      I agree – and I’m sure I could convince most of my neighbors and friends to vote for Labour if this was on the table…

    • it would also be useful if Labour were to put revocation of the CERA powers as an explicit election policy, so that it’s crystal clear they wouldn’t also be tempted by absolute power.

      But they are, so they won’t. Or they wouldn’t have acquiesced so readily to this travesty in the first place. Or are we meant to conveniently forget that?

      Politicians are the elite. The elite are interested in the furtherance and extension of their own power ahead of any other consideration. Some will tell you (and may even have convinced themselves) that the end justifies the means – the end in this case being their ongoing ability to pass “good” legislation. Of course its goodness is decided solely by them because they are, after all, elite.

      The honest ones won’t bother with the pretence, knowing you have no real options anyway.

    • Shane Gallagher 3.3

      Why vote Labour? They have sold old. The Greens are the only party that are opposing this legislation

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        Don’t be so smug. The Greens always fail to accomplish change without help. 
         

        • Shane Gallagher 3.3.1.1

          Smug? CV I respect your opinion a lot and always look out for your usually intelligent and incisive commentary but you are playing the man not the ball here. I expect more from you.
          The Greens change things all by themselves. We persuade others of the rightness of our policies. It makes the party and caucus work very hard to make solid, well informed and principled proposals for change, be that in a parliament or outside it. We have changed the debate time and again. What was considered “eco-warrior madness” a few years ago is now accepted wisdom – climate change, clean water, pollution, child abuse… the list goes on. Yes we do need help from others because we are a small party.
          But how is that relevant to the fact that Labour has not defended democracy? Labour has not defended the people of Christchurch from the stripping away of their democratic rights to have a say in the rebuilding of their city. That is something that the Labour party should be ashamed of. And I guess from your reaction CV, that you are ashamed of it as well.
           
           

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1.1

            Come now, in that case don’t start by accusing me of playing the man not the ball, but end up doing exactly the same yourself.
             
            Personally I have no idea why Labour has not stood up against CERA. It may be some stupid risk management strategy to avoid feared backlash from National’s inevitable PR spin. I am not in a position to know that but I hope that it is not something that facile.
             
            If you have read my comments (cheers for the positive feedback) you will also know that I think that LAB should be roaring ahead in this current economic climate and that it is not points to serious problems of disconnection and communication.
             

            What was considered “eco-warrior madness” a few years ago is now accepted wisdom – climate change, clean water, pollution, child abuse… the list goes on. Yes we do need help from others because we are a small party.
             

            Look, don’t go taking more credit for the NZ Greens on this stuff than it is due. And of course it is due some. Social issues like child abuse are longstanding and have nothing to do with the “ecowarrior” paradigm. And what child abuse stats have actually improved anyhows? The ‘anti-smacking’ legislation was extremely costly in terms of political capital. But how many young lives has it actually saved?
             
            Sorting out clean water and pollution…that was going on long before the Greens coalesced as a political force in NZ. And even today plenty of indicators show that things are getting worse, not better.
             
            Re: climate change. We live in a political and social system where thinking 5 years in advance is virtually impossible. And to my mind, only a small minority of people get climate change deep enough and seriously enough to base their voting on it. About 6-7% of them, at a guess.
             
            So if you wish, the Greens can take credit for this stuff but at the end of the day there is not that much credit to take – as yet.

  4. Jim Nald 4

    If I am PM Key, I would be relaxed and comfortable with CERRA giving Gerry massive amount of power and control.
    Too big to fail.
    Smile and wave away parliamentary democracy.

  5. PeteG 5

    Something special and urgent is required to help guide Christchurch’s recovery. I’ll be looking in particular to the Labour Christchurch MPs to see if they are happy with the outcome. All of them voted for the first reading.

    Labour earthquake recovery spokesman Clayton Cosgrove  said he would suggest a series of amendments. He has also said:

    “Let’s be under no illusion – this authority will have enormous power, and if that power is exercised appropriately and correctly, that is all for the good.”

    Extra power and less red tape is essential, it’s a matter of how much is sufficient.
     

    • Pete 5.1

      Modern politicians often proudly announce their desire to sweep away red tape.  The contemporary prejudice is that too much paperwork slows you down, clogs things up. But if you take a historical view,  it’s bureaucracy that sees you through the rocky patches and enables the state to survive. Bureaucracy is not evidence of inertia, it is life saving continuity”
      A History of the World in 100 Objects

    • Bright Red 5.2

      “Extra power and less red tape is essential”
      specifically what extra powers do you think are needed and what red tape shoul be gotten rid of. Or don’t you know and you’re just assuming it’s true because Gerry told you so.
      “it’s a matter of how much is sufficient”
      That’s a truism. We all want the govt to have as much power as we think is sufficient. If we didn’t we would want more or less.
      Cliches and tautologies, is this the depth of rightwing thinking?
       

  6. Kevin Hague 6

    Absolutely right. Here’s Kennedy Graham’s First Reading Speech, explaining why the Green Party is opposing the Bill.

    The only others to join us in opposition yesterday were Chris Carter and Hone Harawira.
    Labour say they have done a deal with the Government, voting for the first reading with no guarantee of further support, in return for the extremely limited and secret select committee process you describe in the post. For us that’s part of the problem, not a solution.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6.1

      Good on the Green Party for voting against this appalling legislation. There are times when principles trump expediency, and this is absolutely one of those times.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      Good on y’all Kevin.

    • PeteG 6.3

      What is the Green solution? How long would that take?

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        The Green solution is not having Gerry Brownlee as a dictator. And it would get Christchurch rebuilt far faster, for the benefit of the citizens, not the property developers.

        • PeteG 6.3.1.1

          That’s not a solution, it’s a negative with some waffle.
           
          Do you want the government out of it altogether and let Christchurch rebuild itself?

          • Jim Nald 6.3.1.1.1

            That’s a great idea. Get Gerry out of government altogether to allow the Christchurch to rebuild.

          • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1.2

            Do you want the government out of it altogether and let Christchurch rebuild itself?
             

            Hahaha mate I gave you an answer and just because you didn’t like it you ignored it lol
             
            It sure is negative mate because cancelling out Gerry Brownlee puts Christchurch well ahead of the game immediately 😀
             
            The Government should provide the funds and the framework and the people of Christchurch should decide what they want done and how.
             
            Do you have a problem with Brownlee’s property developer mates not having first dibs PeteG?

            • Jim Nald 6.3.1.1.2.1

              Watch the party coffers of the you-can’t-see-but-I-can-see political trusts swell to large proportions?
              CERRA won’t be legitimising political largesse in return for political patronage. Hmm, right.

      • Bright Red 6.3.2

        I love how PeteG asks “How long would [the Greens plan] take?”
        As if this government is acting with incredible speed.
        Do you realise that it’s coming up on two months after the quake and not only are there no emergency houses built, they don’t even know who will build them? It was meant to be announced last Monday, that was delayed to this Monday… and that deadline passed without a peep.

        • PeteG 6.3.2.1

          That would make the time it would take important, wouldn’t it.

          • Bright Red 6.3.2.1.1

            explain how Brownlee’s new powers will speed up the construction of temporary housing.
            There has been no suggestion to date that laws and regualtions are the hold up. The hold up is that Brownlee can’t be arsed doing his job for the people in need. Too busy getting new powers to help out his developer mates.

      • Shane Gallagher 6.3.3

        It would mean that the communities would be involved in the rebuilding of their communities – not a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians and property developers dictating from on high – I thought you right wingers  were all for small government and people doing it for themselves? 

        It would mean that stuff would be happening right now because the Greens would have enabled communities to start working with expert advice and assistance. The student army got on and did their thing as did many communities not thought about by the Nats – that is community action and the Greens would have been there to enable it.

        NACT/MP/Labour response is to impose dictatorship.  Hah! Some democracy we live in. 

        This is all about property developers cashing in on a major disaster.

        • freedom 6.3.3.1

          Shane
          remember that the Greens voted for CERRA as well, they do not and should not get a pass because they make a little noise this time round

          • kiwinewt 6.3.3.1.1

            The Greens only voted for CERRA as they believed, dictatorship or not, it might help Canterbury. It has been shown that it doesn’t (and got a large negative response from many Green supporters), so this time round they are doing the right thing. Labour should be opposing it as well. The MP are too busy under the desks of National with loud sucking noises to notice…

          • Shane Gallagher 6.3.3.1.2

            Yes, and I defended the caucus for doing so (and caught a lot of flack for doing it) — they chose to give National the benefit of the doubt. This time there is no doubt. Anyway, the blame lies solely with the government – they are the ones who put that legislation together in the first place – talk about shock doctrine in practice.
             

  7. Bright Red 7

    the vid that Kevin is referring to is here

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Brownlee responded “the last Tsar got shot“.

    That would be brutal on a T-shirt.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      “The last Tsar got shot “ and then chucked down a mine shaft- gee they must have had it in for him, and his family.
      I wonder why that was ?

  9. vto 9

    Perhaps I am  missing something here but exactly why does the central govt need these powers?

    The rebuild of the CBD is near 100% a private matter, which everyone seems to keep forgeting. No special powers needed there.

    The rebuild of the sewer and water infrastructure is easily overseen by the more than competent CCC people. It is a relatively simple though large job. Central govt will contribute funds only. No special powers needed there.

    The rebuild of public buildings in and around Chch is a matter for each individual owner (CCC, govt, dept of this or that). Funding is a simple process. No special powers needed there.

    If special powers are needed for a new City Plan (changing planning rules) then that could be dealt with on an individual legislative basis, following some rapid public input.

    If special powers are needed to designate entire suburbs as now no-build areas then that too can be dealt with on an individual basis.

    It seems to me that these “special powers” are not in fact needed much at all. In the few areas where some extraordinary measures may be required then it should be dealt with individually.

    I don’t think I have seen this govt explain in any decent manner the detailed reasons for these special powers.

    • freedom 9.1

      This question becomes even more critical when you consider the bizarre and wide ranging powers regarding the limitless right to gather information.  Some relevant factors of concern are the secrecy behind the recent changes to the security and surveillance bill, the progress of the copyright infringement bill , the raft of changes to our judicial system and the ever dwindling opportunity for redress.
       
      Combined into what we must assume is a coherent policy from a functioning Government then these are not the actions of an open democratic authority.
       
       

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      The government isn’t giving itself lots of special powers because it needs them but because they want them. It’s not that power corrupts but that corrupt people seek power.

    • Armchair Critic 9.3

      +1 vto.

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    What do you do if you have no housing policy, no planning policies, no urban development policies, your local government policy revolves around stealing their powers and removing their resources??

    Easy- vote yourself unlimited powers and pretend you can design all these policies in your head. Then force all people to disclose all information (private and otherwise) and all reports.  Glad I don’t live in the Christchurch.

    • vto 10.1

      Yes and don’t forget we also suffer under an Environment Canterbury tyranny owned and driven from Wellington with ridiculous powers over the water flowing through our region.

      Plus CERA with dictatorial powers.

      Add to that the fact that the armed forces are still out and about and being viewed a little more ominously. The armed forces of course are doing a marvellous job, however when they begin to take a large part in civilian life it becomes unnerving. Particularly when stories emerge of them verbally harassing civiliains and meting out vigilante justice to accused looters.

      It is time for the armed forces to depart. Their use in civil matters is of grave concern and should only be done in absolute emergencies, which this was of course. No longer.

      If Canterbury’s current settings were operating in some other third world country we would be getting all uppity about their lack of democracy. Like Libya. Or Indonesia.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1.1

        I was thinking more of Romania or some of the other Eastern European Soviet Republics. Massively dominant centrally controlled planning decided on a whim by an unchallengable individual.

        What are the principles, objectives and raison d’etre of the whole process- err nobody knows.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Actually, we do know – it’s the principles, objectives and raison d’etre of psychopaths. Those who seek power for its own sake.

      • Swampy 10.1.2

        “Particularly when stories emerge of them verbally harassing civiliains and meting out vigilante justice to accused looters.”

        What stories? There has not been a whisper of any such thing in the media. Sounds like nonsense.

  11. Without wishing to comment on the other aspects of the CERA, it actually is incorrect to say “The power given to Brownlee here is unprecendented and uncontrolled. He will be appointing the CEO or CERA who will report to him.” The CEO will be appointed by the State Services Commissioner, and Brownlee will have no formal role in that (see here: http://www.ssc.govt.nz/display/document.asp?docid=8050)

    That said, no doubt the ability to work with the Minister will be a pretty key consideration in the appointment … but it isn’t quite as much a closed loop as you suggest.

  12. Steve Withers 12

    According to the most recent Colmar-Brunton poll, roughly 54% of Kiwis support National. They are, de facto, supporting National disregarding democracy, accountability and transparency. Probably because they can’t spell them, never mind know why they matter or why it’s relevant now.  

    Ok, most of us will know a C-B poll more than 8 weeks before an election typically gives National 8 points too much and everyone else too little due to persistent (and consistent) over-sampling of National voters (for at least the past 15 years), but even so….there are still a lot of Kiwis out there who – really –  don’t give a rat’s arse about democracy or anything connected with it.

    Many of them will vote to get rid of MMP and many of THEM, perversely, voting to strip themselves of the only vote they have that actually counts: their MMP party vote.

    I’m not sure what anyone can do when so many are so dreadfully ignorant of what is in their best interest. I guess you could respond as National has and make out like thieves while the dummies keep on voting for you.

  13. Steve Withers 13

    Andrew: The SSC boss doesn’t appoint anyone the Cabinet doesn’t like. That’s just how it is. Even under the most hands-off govt it’s still nods and winks. This crowd would be MUCH less subtle than that.

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      That Stuff thread is amazing, hundreds of comments in just a couple of hours, very anti.

      The official opposition (Labour) are just a slow-moving rusty old tanker, and National know it. They can do whatever they want under urgency, and by the time they’re done and dusted, Labour MPs will be preparing to hold a meeting to discuss whether they should hold a meeting to possibly object (or not).
      Of all the world’s “old” democracies, I can’t think of a single one where the government has an easier ride than in New Zealand today.

    • Pete 14.2

      The only MP that has impressed me on this is Gareth Hughes. I’ve been a fairly staunch Labour supporter, but this puts the Greens in play for me come election day.

  14. Boom 15
    I’m not for this sort of legislation – but Lianne Dalziel seems to be.

    Select committee member Lianne Dalziel suggested the reason for the rushed legislation was because the council ”had failed to come up with a plan after the earthquake.”

    • Swampy 15.1

      Oh, anything to try to smear Bob Parker. But you know, he’s only the frontman. All the decisions made by elected councillors are subject to a vote and he is only one (or two) of the votes. So Liane will have to explain why she’s so keen to shaft all the Labour councillors as well.

  15. MrSmith 16

    That useless fat prick running things, we are screwed now and the greens just got my vote, we are now going to get endless announcements from Jerry with photo op’s for Wonkey right up to the election , Sickening thought.
     
    Piss off PeteG!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    13 hours ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    14 hours ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    17 hours ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    20 hours ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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. ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    18 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago