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War crime?

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, January 9th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , , ,

Idiot/Savant seems to think so. DPF doesn’t. Robert Fisk does:

What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was.

35 comments on “War crime?”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    You can add another one to that list now as Israeli troops failed to meet their obligations to care for wounded.

  2. A war crime of the highest degree. The Israeli government should be held hard to account.

    I would add that “was” is also in the past tense. Israel is committing warcrimes this very minute in Gaza.

  3. jake 3

    anything fisk describes as a war crime will be one-sided. has anyone ever read fistk describing rockets into israel as a war crime? and it’s not just israel.

  4. the sprout 4

    hmm, Robert Fisk as an informed source on the Middle East vs DPF…
    tough call

  5. Quoth the Raven 5

    Here’s one for the Israeli apologists: Gaza medics describe horror of strike which killed 70
    Concerns had been growing that Zeitoun had witnessed massive civilian casualties after surviving members of the Samouni clan reached Gaza City three days ago.

    They said that after the Israeli army first took the town on Saturday night soldiers had ordered about 100 members of the clan to gather in a single house owned by Wael Samouni around dawn on Sunday.

    At 6.35am on Monday the house was repeatedly shelled with appalling loss of civilian life.

    A handful of survivors, some wounded, others carrying dead or dying infants, made it on foot to Gaza’s main north-south road before they were given lifts to hospital. Three small children were buried in Gaza City that afternoon.

    According to the survivors between 60 and 70 family members had been killed by shrapnel and falling masonry.

    Convoys of ambulances twice headed to the area to look for wounded but they were driven back by Israeli shooting.

    So they ordered people into a house and then shelled it. Reading this sort of thing and then reading comments from jake brett et al make me sick. Fucking apologists.

  6. deemac 6

    whether or not something is a war crime is a matter of law, not opinion. Of course some breaches may be borderline but the Israelis have gone so far so often that there is no doubt at all they have committed war crimes.

  7. Zorr 7

    Just tuned in to a little of the BBC coverage and wandered the net looking at the stories surrounding some of the recent revelations… and then clicked on the link to DPF and read some of the comments.

    Now, to get this clear, I do not support Hamas. Yes, I am an anti-Zionist (mainly reflexively because I consider the Zionist viewpoint to be faulty) but no, this does not make me anti-semitic.

    However, a lot of the reports are coming from the UN aid agencies and the International Red Cross of situations that literally turned my stomach and nearly brought me to tears. Where people trapped by the shelling (after having been directed there by the Israeli army as described in the particular situation above) have died from combinations of injuries, lack of medication and lack of food and water. There were a few cases reported by the ICRC where the mothers had died first and then the children being looked after by them (mostly babies) being too weak to walk far or look after themselves had died. All behind the lines of Israeli soldiers and generally within 100m of Israeli positions.

    I cannot stand this and I do not believe that any sane person should be able to justify such actions. Israel is “fighting a war on terror” that in itself is horrific and disgusting. The big difference here is that because they are Israel, that somehow what they do is remotely justifiable? I don’t think I will ever fully realise the suffering of the civilians trapped in Gaza currently but it doesn’t mean I can’t fully empathise and feel sickened by the situation.

    But what pushes me over the edge… that brings out the ranter in me… is reading comments that disregard the massive human catastrophe that is currently unfolding in Gaza because “Hamas fired rockets at Israel”. Sorry folks, but if I was there now, I sure as hell wouldn’t be doing anything else.

  8. Ag 8

    I wonder how long it will take the Hasbara nuts to find this blog.

    I noticed you had one this morning, doing a copy-paste job.

    Richard Silverstein has an interesting article about them in today’s Guardian

    [lprent: If they act like trolls, then they are just trolls to me. I haven’t had much fun with trolls for a while… 😈 ]

  9. Mark Webster 9

    What Israel is doing is clearly over the top and ridiculous. It’s awful I make no bones about it, and no apology for Israel’s actions which have been reprehensible on every level.
    But if I was living in a tiny country, impoverished, surrounded (mostly) by a much more powerful, hostile and militaristic nation, why in hell would I continuously fire random rockets at it? Someone, somewhere clearly needs a head examination.

  10. lprent 10

    I suspect that it is the usual problem.

    When you neighbour state makes a habit of blowing up the police stations and targeting the police – how exactly is the state going to stop groups who want to break the ceasefire.

    Read back on recent history in Gaza and you’ll find that every time that the Israeli’s target the police first. I’ll bet that no-one gives life insurance coverage to police (or medical workers, or aid workers) in Gaza.

  11. deemac 11

    a key definition of insanity is repeatedly performing an action while expecting a different result from the one that always occurs. This is what Israel does; every time it attacks the Palestinians they say it will make the situation better, but it always makes the situation worse.
    Of course Hamas are nuts too but it is well documented that if you put people in an impossible situation for long enough they react violently. Israel actually created Hamas by refusing to deal honestly with Fatah.

  12. Lew 12

    War crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace (per the Nuremberg Principles, but hereafter just `war crimes’) are likely committed in any war (just like traffic offences are likely committed on every road) because the definition of what constitutes a war crime is quite broad. This is important, because it has (or should have) a normative effect on participants to a war.

    However, for war crimes to be bought to trial, they must meet much more strenuous tests of severity, veracity and accountability. This is important too, because it ensures that war crimes are not taken lightly and the term is not bandied about as freely as it otherwise might be.

    It’s my view that there have been war crimes committed on both sides of the current conflict, but that they are, if you’ll excuse the reference to the s59 debate, `technical’ breaches of international or humanitarian law rather than the sort of breaches which might validly find themselves before an International Criminal Tribunal. I also think that there are historical cases which were clearly and manifestly such crimes (Sabra/Shatilla, for instance), and yet went unpunished, and this raises problems of precedent. Many of these will be dealt with internally, and pressure must certainly be brought to bear upon those agencies charged with maintaining (para)military discipline. But I think it’d be somewhat frivolous to try to take the IDF to the Hague for Gaza 09. (Not that it’d ever happen anyway, but that’s a political matter).

    L

  13. Lew 13

    Not that I don’t think people shouldn’t try to put together a war crimes prosecution, if they have the evidence – by all means, if they can, they must.

    L

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Yes, but Lew, who’s going to do so? And, just as importantly, will it make a difference?

    Israel has numerous UNSC resolutions against them and they’ve ignored every single one of hem.

  15. Can the glorified skyrockets really justify all of this now?

  16. Lew 16

    DTB: Right, it’s all moot, really. They can start with 242 any time they’re prepared to abide by international law.

    But just because they’ve not yet been held to account doesn’t mean people should stop trying to hold them to account.

    L

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Richard Seymour is on fire covering the Gaza situation. Read his blog. Especially the latest post. Astonishing.

  18. Peter Burns 18

    “Because Zionism is sick, twisted and cruel.”

    We agree Quoth, thanks for the link. The New World Order is going to plan.

    Edit ; if I do not return you know who came to visit.
    Cheers , go the black caps.

  19. Westminster 19

    I don’t get the whole Right/Left dimension to this and global warming. To a moderate person, you judge a situation on its particular circumstances not adopt some automatic position based on your politics. It’s hard not to see how the Israeli’s actions are anything but tragically disproportionate. A humanitarian crisis is in full bloom. It’s clear to anyone without blinkers on. But you read the Kiwiblog Right and it’s so simple. Israel is right and the folk they’re bombing are Islamic/Arab Terrorists. It’s so cut and dry. How did we end up with such a partisan view on what any reasonable person would view as a tragedy? It’s like global warming. There’s clear evidence and scientific consensus. But the Right is throwing up automatic kneejerk reactions because of their politics. Both this issue and climate change seem to me to transcend Right/Left analyses. But the Kiwiblog Right reveal their shallow slovenly partisan thinking.

  20. Lew 20

    WM: To a moderate person, you judge a situation on its particular circumstances not adopt some automatic position based on your politics.

    This isn’t the definition of a moderate, this is the definition of anyone who’s intellectually honest.

    Most people in the world are, they just don’t have as much information as they need to make a decision based on the facts, and so they repair to the safe havens of ideology. The KBR, and plenty of commenters here and elsewhere in the blogosphere for that matter, carry on as if they’ve got all the information they need, and then repair to ideology anyway.

    Incidentally, I’ve been watching the Gaza discussions on KB with interest, and especially the comments of reid. He’s not a lefty or a peacenik of any sort, and he’s not even taking a pro-Palestine or anti-Israel line – just the pragmatic observation that if Israel genuinely wants peace, they’re clearly going about it the wrong way and need to reevaluate their positions. And for this, he gets shouted down as being an Islamist Hamas supporter who hates Jews and liberty and motherhood and apple pie.

    For shame.

    L

  21. Ag 21

    But just because they’ve not yet been held to account doesn’t mean people should stop trying to hold them to account.

    I don’t know about that. It’s most likely that they will never be held to account.

    One way of looking at this, and at the Lebanon war of 2006, is that it is the Israeli establishment testing the waters for expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. Such expulsion would not look that much different from what is happening now, and the world seems prepared to do nothing other than splutter in outrage. The more stuff like this carries on, the more Palestinians will look to leave, and who could blame them.

    It’s not like they can afford not to, since Jews already number under half of the population of Israel/Palestine, and that is just going to get worse for them as time moves on.

    Sure, they’re scum. But they’re scum who have bought off the US.

  22. Lew 22

    Ag: I don’t know about that. It’s most likely that they will never be held to account.

    Does that mean people should stop trying? Public discourse about war crimes is every bit as important as their prosecution, since they make the political and civil leaders responsible for the supposed crimes vulnerable to political and legal censure.

    L

  23. outofbed 23

    Lew Reid ? 🙂

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    But just because they’ve not yet been held to account doesn’t mean people should stop trying to hold them to account.

    True. At present it comes down to the fact that governments around the world aren’t doing so and often against the wishes of their people. Often it appears that those governments aren’t doing anything because they want to remain friends with the USA/UK.

    As people become more informed hopefully they will make more noise about the atrocities that Israel, with help from the USA/UK, is perpetrating against the Palestinians. Eventually the governments will have to listen – we hope.

  25. Ag 25

    Public discourse about war crimes is every bit as important as their prosecution, since they make the political and civil leaders responsible for the supposed crimes vulnerable to political and legal censure.

    And Henry Kissinger still walks the earth. Our “war criminals” are never brought to justice. I cannot think of one myself. Tony Blair will probably live to a ripe old age and earn millions giving speeches about his crimes.

    If the public wants to punish these people, then direct action is the only way. I’d personally like to see Blair tarred and feathered.

  26. Lew 26

    Ag: And nobody has yet been held to account for the Cambodian genocide. Or the Rwandan genocide. Or the Stalinist gulags. It’s not just our war criminals who go unpunished.

    So your way is clear, then. If you get the tar, I’m sure you’ll find no shortage of people who’ll bring feathers.

    Warning: may have unintended consequences.

    L

  27. Kerry 27

    All of the Israeli government should be charged with war crimes and taken to the Haag….just like Milosovich and the like!

    Of course along with them should go that wast of space GW Bush.

  28. Lew 28

    Further to my comment in reply to Westminster, I have just been made aware of this: http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/nq/2009/nq090111.gif

    L

  29. Quoth the Raven 29

    Lew – Some have been held to account over the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides. Very few though. Especially few of those at higher levels.

  30. Ag 30

    It’s not just our war criminals who go unpunished.

    Logical fallacy. I did not say that. I can’t think of one of ours who was punished. Some of the others may get away with it, but that doesn’t prevent western government officials from basically being immune to prosecution.

  31. Kerry

    And what about the leader of Hamas, who doesnt seem to think there is anything wrong with strapping a bomb to yourself and blowing up innocent people.

  32. Lew 32

    QtR: Actually, about Rwanda, you’re right – a few of them got life sentences for crimes against humanity a couple of weeks ago.

    Cambodia is a different matter, though – Pol Pot, Son Sen, Ta Mok and others have found their sweet hereafter without suffering any earthly justice beyond their own thuggish regimes. The noxious Ieng Sary got himself born-again and surrendered, now lives a life of comparative luxury with armed bodyguards paid for by Hun Sen’s government. Khieu Samphan not much different.

    Ag: I agree – just because one escaped justice doesn’t mean others should. My point is that war crimes everywhere are poorly prosecuted.

    L

  33. RedLogix 33

    I agree – just because one escaped justice doesn’t mean others should. My point is that war crimes everywhere are poorly prosecuted.

    At many times in human history even the most basic of crimes such as murder, rape and theft were poorly prosecuted. As time progressed we got better at it.

    Same with war crimes.

    The difficulty I think most people have with the notion, is that in essence ALL war is a crime, whether or not it the participants abide by a set of arbitary rules or otherwise.

    Yet at the same time, it is difficult to imagine any form of human governance that at some level does not have access to forceful means. All societies have required a warrior, military, police or security forces to impose the rule of law where necessary.

    The point of transition we are at is this. We are at the end of the era of the sovereign national state. Many people now sense in one way or another that it is a unacceptable, it is a crime, for nation states to engage in war of ANY kind. The only form of military action that will have moral legitimacy in the future will be that sanctioned by a global body, with a mandate derived from the participation of all humanity.

    Since the end of WW2 the nations of the world have had the opportunity to make this transition using the vehicle of the UN. We have failed to take this rational option. Reality is however a bitch, our failure to take the easy path has compelled us inevitably onto a harder one.

  34. Lew 34

    RL: I feel your use of terminology is a bit loose. You also seem to be making normative statements as if they’re descriptive.

    in essence ALL war is a crime, whether or not it the participants abide by a set of arbitary rules or otherwise.

    The only thing which makes anything illicit, including `war’ or the actions which make up its component parts, because of the `arbitrary rules’ we construct to make it so. Absent those rules, anything goes, as the realists like to say. And it is this tension between the realist tradition and the liberal-internationalist/just war traditions whcih create the quandary we have at present with a properly-constituted body capable of defining and prosecuting war crimes, which almost never does so, and when it does, is highly selective.

    But returning to the initial assertion, that all war is a crime. Under the philosophical framework of `just war’, this is only really true of wars which are enacted for reasons other than self-defence within certain (quite strictly defined) parameters. Such wars as these are not in themselves criminal – although actions taken within them may well be -but a perfectly proportionate, defensive war, one which inflicts the minimum necessary casualties on an aggressor state to prevent their aggression is just in international law. You can argue `all war is crime’ as a (somewhat naive) normative statement, but that’s not how things are in the actual world.

    We are at the end of the era of the sovereign national state.

    The only real indication of this is the EU, and even that is but a veneer of unity over a bunch of (reasonably friendly) rivalries. Nationalism still abounds. Again: you might wish, but that don’t make it so.

    The only form of military action that will have moral legitimacy in the future will be that sanctioned by a global body, with a mandate derived from the participation of all humanity.

    We have an imperfect approximation of that in the UN, and it does just as you say: grant legitimacy to war in a limited range of cases.

    Since the end of WW2 the nations of the world have had the opportunity to make this transition using the vehicle of the UN. We have failed to take this rational option.

    No, we haven’t failed – it’s a work in progress. The UN is an expression of the doctrine of liberal internationalism in a world where realism is still arguably the dominant paradigm of inter-state negotiation. Realism doesn’t account for concepts of trust or cooperation except based on hard and fast mutual benefit – that we have treaties on disarmament, embargos on certain munitions, and laws of war which are frequently (though not universally) adhered to despite the fact that they weaken a combatant state’s military position is an absolute triumph of diplomacy. To argue that the military philosophies of Aristotle and Aquinas might hold their own or even take precedence over those of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz a century ago would have been absurd, and now it is (slowly becoming) a reality.

    Reality is however a bitch, our failure to take the easy path has compelled us inevitably onto a harder one.

    If you think stitching together a supra-national world government would be easy, even after WWII, you’re delusional. You might argue that failure to take the hard path has compelled us to take the harder one, but even so: I’d argue that humanity did take the hard path by persisting with the idea of a supra-state body after the singular failure of the League of Nations post-WWI. By rights, and realists everywhere argued for it, the whole idea should have been discarded and the world revert to the formation of uneasy power blocs. The UN might be weaker than we’d like, but it’s stronger than what we’ve ever had, and that is the definition of progress.

    L

  35. todd 35

    [deleted. We don’t want your anti-semetism here. SP]

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    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago