We All Have Our Vices

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, June 30th, 2011 - 31 comments
Categories: crime, drugs, law and "order" - Tags:

We all have our vices: some of us enjoy the occasional cigarette; others prefer a nice beer after a hard week at work. These vices have developed as a way of dealing with the realities of life, allowing us to escape our often stressful and challenging daily challenges.

We often look at our vices and excuse ourselves from the negativity that comes from it; we allow our moment of sin. Yet we often forget that by allowing ourselves this vice we contribute to a negative factor within our community and the wider society. We find comfort that by purchasing our vice from a legal vendor and contributing in a positive way we help balance the negative consequences that may arise from the said vice. In the case of alcohol we pay significant tax, and most of us understand that this is for good reason.

Alcohol causes hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to our health every year, it causes serious harm within family environments and much crime within our society stems from the overindulgence of this vice. Yet the tax we pay from purchasing our alcohol goes toward an attempt to create equilibrium with this harm, because of course none of us would be able to live without our vice, right?

We also live within a society where we believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression, of liberty and progression. We see the harm caused by our vice as acceptable because we feel that as individuals we should be allowed to make decisions that affect our own health. We also don’t appreciate being told that we can’t smoke inside; but we appreciate that because other people have the right to avoid second hand smoke, we inevitably go outside.

Yesterday, Dakta Green was jailed for eight months on drugs charges. The judge held that the law must be followed, and I agree. That is what makes this situation so much more tragic. Our laws should represent our belief structures, they should recognise that as a democratic society, we should be entitled to our individual vices if they can be controlled and the harm minimised. Yet today we have failed ourselves; we have failed because we’ve created laws to imprison a 61 year old man for enjoying his vice that arguably causes little harm to those around him while we continue to see no issue with the uncontrollable harm that our own vices cause.

Isn’t there an ingrained hypocrisy that we have laws forbidding people like Mr Green from enjoying their vice, while the majority of us have no problem with allowing our own vice to cause serious damage?

What is wrong with debating this issue like any other in our society? Is it because the ignorant reply is always that ‘you’re just a stoner’ when a person raises the point? As if everyone out there with a reasonable view on progressive drug reform must be a crazed user like an out of control drunk demanding everyone see their idiocy as just them joking around the next day? Are most people simply too afraid to challenge this view?

I wrote this article because after hearing of Mr Green’s sentence I spoke with a friend in her 50’s who enjoys a glass of wine every evening; I asked her what defines her position on the issue. Her reply was that ‘marijuana is illegal’ and managed to back this up with a comment that she had seen some ‘spaced out’ people high. Is that really the only argument those supporting reform have to fight against; and doesn’t that go against her own position that alcohol is acceptable?

I wrote recently about Kronic and the disturbing consequences of it on our society, and I feel now that we must start some rational debate on the issue of broader drug policies. The focus needs to move from being removal to control, from having a legal objective to one centred on health. How much money could be made from taxing Mr Green’s café? Could that tax be then used to reduce harm caused by marijuana and educate our children to avoid it? It seems that a tax would be more appropriate than spending thousands of dollars keeping this harmless man in prison in any case. States in America and other countries around the world are beginning to have a progressive approach to drug laws, what is stopping us?

Rijab

31 comments on “We All Have Our Vices ”

  1. I think we should tax the rich to compensate for the damage capitalism does to us all. Better still let’s expropriate them so they can’t do more damage. As for Dakta Green, let’s give him a knighthood for his services to the community. No that would make him no better than the booze barons. Let’s make him the patron saint of freedom of expression.

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      The rich aren’t the problem. Rich people (the good kind) know their wealth is earned, not won by corruption, not won by speculatively excesses, and they will only remain rich if they stay competitive. Just as in any social situation you have cheaters and short-cutters, who seek economic and social recognition at the expense of their own ethics and morals. Wannabes rich, who want to have hundreds of millions in the bank and be PM, but actually have no social platform and so are tools for those who want to cheat to get rich. The wealthy and poor alike know that true prosperity comes of tangible generous spirit. Now National have none, and Labour had little for 9 years, their goal seems to play along. The question for me is where is the social justice debate, why is the political wealth and history denied us? Why? Because Labour introduced the Human Rights Act partially, and created an organisation too close to government (they actively advise government departments!) so the immediacy of their relationship, snotty better than everyone attitude having every branch of government potentially available to their decisions, becomes yet another barrier to Human Rights. As human rights are essentially breach by governments. So yes, we should be compensated for poor government, the poor and the rich, the rich also stand to lose massively from the neo-liberal paradigm when oil, climate crisis, resource wars and food spikes perpetually. So I ask where is the social justice debate on our MSM, where are the independent Human Rights lawyers the hounders of the oppressed? Gone because the Human Rights Commission serves its own and its paymaster role, to hide human rights abuses, loss of political depth, loss of economic rights, loss of social integrity. I am astonished how poor our laws are, that a person can say have a truck hub land next door to them and they have no real recourse! Articulated trucks are horrendously noisy, in any first world economy they are placed well away from homes since the throbbing of them warming up causes heart murmurs and worse. So to hear that a council just dropped a truck hauler next to a home without any noise abatement breaches the human rights of the surrounding property owners. And all the hauler needs to have done is put up some massively large walls and sound protections. Has NZ forgotten how to build substantial walls of breeze blocks, its a half a day process for the price of a roof!
      (this story was on TV last night). There was adequate room in the program for a social justice debate about how residential areas have exclusions against such trucks parking over night.

      Hey, this is the 21st century and we still get this crap happening, those poor folks who were forced to risk being hauled away themselves by police when they blocked the entrance.

      So where are the social justice, and why are they so put down by the likes of Holmes or Henry, if they do show up. Moustache! I think the blind worship of God, Communism, or Profit at the expense of anything else is dangerous and we need to rain them in. The Profit God must be brought back down to size and fast, like the religious and commies in the past.

  2. SHG 2

    What’s the marketing budget of the alcohol and tobacco industries again?

  3. Rusty Shackleford 3

    All forms of coercion must be destroyed if we wish to pretend to live in a liberal society. Throwing a non-violent person in prison is the lowest of the low.

  4. zug zug 4

    Bomber Bradbury: Overnight former world leaders have called for a decriminilization of marijuana pointing out that the war on drugs has failed with devestating consequences. Isn’t it time we stopped arresting people for pot and tax the industry Mr Goff? In tough economic times couldn’t Obama’s the audacity of hope become the audacity of dope?

    Phil Goff:(laugh) Look for the person who is a user few should be locked up for smoking but I don’t want to encourage it either. I don’t want to make criminals out of smokers. Labour won’t legalize dope, but you also won’t see a movement to criminalize people for being users.

    With old fogies like Goff, Dunne and Anderton around spouting hypocritical garbage like the above we will never get progressive drug reform and will always be treated as a ‘third rail’ issue.

    “I don’t want to make criminals out of smokers.” – Then how can you support the status quo?

    “Labour won’t legalize dope” – but you won’t have an adult discussion with us on the issue and will completely ignore the findings of the latest drug law reform report, pathetic…

    “but you also won’t see a movement to criminalize people for being users” – There doesn’t need to be a movement towards this because it’s already the case, NZ has one of the highest cannabis incarceration rates in the world

    How the fuck could Bomber let him get away with such a piss weak answer?

    • The Voice of Reason 4.1

      Ummm, I would have thought we have bugger all dope smokers in prison. Plenty of dope growers and sellers, though. The police appear to have adopted the line that as long as you do it in the privacy of your own home, they won’t do anything about it. That’s pretty much the same as in Amsterdam, last time I heard.

      • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1

        Even growing and supply is still a non-violent act. Who exactly are they hurting? I’m sure the buyer said “Thanks” when the dealer handed him his weed.

        • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1

          The point I was making is that most dope arrests are for commercial activity, not smoking. For mine, I’d legalise collyweed and tax it as we do for tobacco. By the way, if you don’t think anyone should be imprisoned for non-violent offences, would you mind giving me your address and a list of the times you’ll be away from home? I need a new telly and laptop.

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1

            Actually, I don’t think you should be imprisoned for burglarizing my house. You should have to pay me restitution. If I come upon you and ask you to stop and you don’t, then violence may ensue. For which you should have no recourse and for which you should be imprisoned if you cause violence to me.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Pointless waste of time and money, haven’t the courts and jails got better things to do with their resources.

  6. Rusty Shackleford 6

    Actually, I don’t think you should be imprisoned for burglarizing my house. You should have to pay me restitution. If I come upon you and ask you to stop and you don’t, then violence may ensue. For which you should have no recourse and for which you should be imprisoned if you cause violence to me.

  7. Bored 7

    WTF, what a day….I find myself in agreement with HS and Rusty….

    • Rusty Shackleford 7.1

      I’m liberal on most issues. There is bound to be some overlap between hard core lefties and liberals.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I agree that the current laws with respect to weed aren’t working.

    However, legalising seems to be even worse, judging by the huge social costs that alcohol and tobacco have on society.

    • The Baron 8.1

      But I don’t know whether this paternalistic “harm minimisation” goal is the most sensible; or the most rational reason for not allowing legalisation.
      You can lament the human condition as much as you like, but the original poster is correct – we all have our vices. Yes, they shorten our lives; but they also make our lives a little bit more enjoyable too.
      Maybe you don’t like them – but the harm I do to myself if I drink and smoke is not really any business of yours, is it? So who are you, the PM, parliament, ALAC etc to tell me that I may not indulge? I see marijuana as fitting in exactly the same category.
      There are however two vital caveats to this:
      1. The only real harm I can see is in the costs to society of the secondary effects of these substances – I.e. Repairing busted lungs; treating busted livers etc. You can easily argue that this is a “harm” that indulgers are passing onto everyone else. But the solution is simple – tax these products at a level that recovers the costs that they create ( and not a cent more, mind – that’s paternalism again). This is why we have excise taxes, and how they should be used.
      2. Ensure that customers are fully informed about the risks of the substances that they take. Cigarette packet labelling is a good case in point – factual statements that allow rational adults to make informed decisions.
      Weed can be regulated on the same basis as this – particularly since I’ve also just solved your problem with booze and smokes. Simply pit, you, and a whole pile of our politicians and others, need to stop telling me what I can and can’t do with my body, and start allowing us to act and behave safely with these substances.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Your argument would be correct if the only harm was only to the individual partaking in the substance. However, in the case of alcohol, tobacco, and probably weed as well, there is harm not only to the user, but also to other innocents.

    I am not arguing for prohibition or anything. Just saying that the way that alcohol and tobacco is legalised doesn’t lead to a Nirvana of moderate use and zero consequences. Rather, very often, there is considerable harm to the individual and others. Thus, if you are trying to argue for legalising weed in the same way, then don’t expect anything different than alcohol and tobacco.

    • The Baron 9.1

      Oh, so because drunk driving and second hand smoke exists, we should ban another wholly different substance?
      We have laws against both of those last time I looked, and proactive strategies that have worked to reduce the harm of these secondary impacts. You can do the same with marijuana by including the cost of these secondary harm minimisations in excise tax calculations too – just like cigarette taxes help pay for secondary lung cancers, and alcohol taxes help pay for the police costs that they create.
      Now that’s not to say that I deny there will be secondary harm from marijuana – there will inevitably be some. But firstly, every piece of research I have seen estimates that secondary harm as significantly less than that caused by booze and smokes; and secondly, legalization would allow taxation mechanisms to fund and proactively reduce the risk of those secondary harms.
      A final thought too TS – you can’t pretend that marijuana consumption isn’t occurring anyway. All of your concern about harm isn’t going to be realized by legalization – in fact, when over half the population has used marijuana ( I think that’s right?) then surely all of these horrible negatives that youre relying on to justify prohibition are occurring NOW regardless. In fact, because prohibition effectively pushes the trade underground, unregulated, un-quality controlled, untaxed, un-policed and in the hands of criminal gangs, then surely that’s way more bloody harmful than being able to buy it on regulated terms.
      I’m sorry TS, but your “harm-minimization” platform just doesn’t make sense at all.

      • The Baron 9.1.1

        Double post is a fuck up. On a device that doesn’t allow comment deletion (that I can work out, anyway). If a mod feels kindly, can you ditch the second of these?

        [lprent: Ditching the first (you replied to the second). Mobile devices don’t have the deletion for real estate reasons. If you have a larger form factor mobile device like an iPad, then you can set it to standard mode – which does. But the mobile theme is really for phones and smaller android screens. ]

    • bbfloyd 9.2

      one impoertant point to remember is that 100% of tobacco smokers are addicted to the nicotine in the tobacco, and that of all drinkers, there is a guaranteed level of addiction amongst the total numbers.

      if there is anyone around who has a physical addiction to thc then i havn’t met them, or heard about them. cannabis users can, and at least till they learn what their limits are, do, get emotionally and psychologically reliant on it.

      the process of learning self control, or accepting that cannabis may be something you shouldn’t use, doesn’t have the level of difficulty and pitfalls that alcohol and nicotine addicts have to negotiate.

      i might hazard a guess that cannabis would start to drop off the radar as a social and moral issue the first three to five years after the profit motive has been removed from the dealers who were selling to your kids. the changed paradigm would force a shift in approach helping to remove cannabis as a “tool” of rebellion.

      in a similar vein, banning advertising of alcoholic beverages would be a sensible start to creating a more sensible approach to how our kids learn to deal with their own vices as they grow into adulthood…

  10. prism 10

    I’m surprised at so many usual RWNJ commenters having an objective opinion about this. I thought the number of comments indicated there was some intelligent discussion going on and there is. Though a few of the usual bunch of suspects are parading their prejudices and crowing their opinions. I thought it would be the opposite, so sucks I was wrong. What a pleasant situation.

    If we changed our cannabis policy to control and quality instead of simple illegality, charged tax on it and got some of the growers to go into hemp, using the knowledge of the crop they already have, we could make money to keep DOC people continue doing their useful work that has a positive outcome. Not like the police who are doing not much good for a great lot of money. A complete change would cost less and this pointless quixotean quest would stop and should stop because it is NOT WORKING. It also breeds criminals on both the people and policing side – the police by corrupting them or corrupting the way that they go for convictions, and on the people side we have become accustomed to all sorts of drugs, and many accept marijuana as just another one.

    M doesn’t have the social standing that alcohol has, but could have. If we ever got some thoughtful politicians who explained themselves to those in the nation who still have a brain that hasn’t seized up from drug overuse, or frozen from years of underuse.

  11. MrSmith 11

    legalize the lot please.
     
    Unfortunately the greatest drug in my humble opinion “Ecstasy” (not that I have taken it of-course that’s illegal) is now hard to come by in NZ, as the fun Police have cracked down on it. Now we have a P epidemic, Fucken morons, people were dancing all night, and having great sex!. But we can’t have that now can we, instead now we have a lot of people getting paranoid and psychotic smoking something that is highly toxic and killing people, not to mention giving them thoughts of killing themselves and others.

  12. millsy 12

    The way I see it, is that if a couple of guys (or gals) want to have a few cones or whatever they are at home on a Saturday night (and as long as they are over 21 and dont have work involving heavy machinery next morning), then I dont really think rhat the cops should be breaking down doors and hauling people into custody.

    Likewise people who want to grow a few plants at home for personal use and for sharing with their mates.

    Not too sure about ecstasy or LSD though. But mainly because they are made from industrial/phamaceutical chemicals and the effects are unpredictable. Too many people wind up in emergency rooms and worse after taking that stuff.

    It doesn’t help that both red and blue teams took it upon themselves to close treatment centres (such as Queen Mary hospital), as well as our mental hospitals, and then wonder why the number of people on the sickness benefit skyrocket.

  13. jackal 13

    New Zealand would be a far better country if they legalized the herb and taxed booze and tobacco more to pay for drug education. We would save a shit load of money, being that the Police spend a lot of time chasing small time dope dealers and it costs nearly $100,000 per year to keep a person in jail. Not to mention the reduction in harm caused by a proper education process.

    I can’t recall ever seeing any Government produced literature informing people of the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. Although I am aware of the harmful effects of the gangs who in the main control the drug trade.

    The information the Government is basing its decision to not legalize the herb on is questionable… Being that many people have a predisposition to such things as schizophrenia, the taking of a physically harmless drug is not proven to be symptomatic of the advent of the condition. The effect of calming people down that Marijuana has is an advantageous thing, especially when you compare it to the negative effects of methamphetamine based drugs.

    The Government really need to refocus the effort to reduce our excessive drinking culture, prioritize the war on drugs that are proven to cause harm and reduce punitive measures that are shown to not work in reducing drug dependency. The current dynamic is clearly not working, so it’s time to adopt a new approach. Somehow I don’t think National are listening though.

  14. felix 14

    TS – you can’t pretend that marijuana consumption isn’t occurring anyway. All of your concern about harm isn’t going to be realized by legalization – in fact, when over half the population has used marijuana ( I think that’s right?) then surely all of these horrible negatives that youre relying on to justify prohibition are occurring NOW regardless.

    ^ This, TS.

  15. Lord Zealand 15

    Top of my reasons not to vote labour:
    Labour = Actively prohibiting cannabis everytime they have got into government, regardless of what they say before hand, they will make another “agreement” with United future which will, as the past shows, allow this gross violation of human rights to continue in this country.

    Dunne is done, Phil better sort out his shit pretty quick before he really starts to alienates the rest of the voting public under 45. (and yes this is a policy which could turn the election for a Labour win, IMHO and I can’t think of a single issue apart from cannabis regulation that could!)

    So Phil, stop being a prohibitionist, listen to the youth speak their mind about this, these attitudes you carry are the reason no one will stand behind you with a vote! I would pefer an open and honest government, one not afraid, but proud of it’s freedom, one that wont fuck around writing “aspriational” policy but actually make the lives of New Zealands better, not just for NOW but for the generations coming!

  16. randal 16

    my commiseratons to dakta green. the herb needs legalising asap but the tight underpants brigade not only dont whnt you to know anything they dont want you to have any fun either.

  17. Tim 17

    The daktory was the most peaceful place I have ever been to in Auckland. The vibe in the place was delightfully tolerant and patient, multi-cultural and all ages,it was a great market place and then they lock Dakta up, for delivering a peaceful , intelligent hall in west auckland. It’s just plain wrong peolpe. Free Dakta Green, you got the wrong man.

  18. Craig 18

    Cannabis reform will only happen when the pot decriminalisation lobby ditch the ALCP, forge a proper strategic alliance with mainstream scientists and medical practitioners and convince the general public that pot is nowhere near as toxic as P/crystal meth. Much the same will have to happen with the associated greater debate about drug policy liberalisation. That’s what happened in the Netherlands and Switzerland and the same has to happen here in order for there to be progress on this particular issue.

    I feel a bit sorry for poor old Dak but the problem is that his movement needs to get its ducks in the proper row before change can finally happen.

    • Lord Zealand 18.1

      @Craig – Sorry Mate, but you don’t know what you are talking about –
      NO mainstream scientist/doctor in this country will still be on the up and up if they were to speak out about cannabis, they would be assasinated in their sleep.
      There is no pot decriminalisation lobby in NZ – you are making stuff up! NORML wants cannabis to be legal in a regulated market so alcohol stops killing our kids – decrim is seen widely as a ‘cop-out quick fix answer’, as it only make the countries drug problems worse, it doesn’t tackel the issues of supply.
      The general public (or the 52% of Kiwi’s who admit the’ve charffed a fattie) are well aware that Pot is a harmless and non toxic recreation when compaired to everything else avalible.
      Only the over 45’s stand in the way, but “WE” are quite happy to wait them out – they’re too busy chasing whoever it was that didn’t pay for their retirements anyway.
      We live like its legal – for us the law and what is legal are two different things and until they join up, I will follow the law and leave what is legal for the dead.
      Fear not for Dakta, he is v.very busy proving that the harder you push prohibition the more and more drugs become avalible – kinda like Peter Dunne is proving on the outside wif Kronic- but more like a “Here Dakta, this is for you in thanks!”.

  19. Craig 19

    And yet, it is a fact of political life that social movements succeed when they rope in medical or scientific expertise to corroborate their case. Look at the medicinal cannabis derivative case in the United States for example. If the pot lobby were more scientifically rigorous and strategically oriented, smoking weed would no longer be a criminal offence if one were over the age of eighteen.

    I support *decriminalisation* of pot because legalisation would be too risky. Legalisation tends to mean that a few big corporates monopolise the marketplace and get in the way of issues like harm minimisation and risk reduction (ie the tobacco industry and breweries). I think the Dutch route is probably the way that we’ll eventually go.

    Incidentally, I’m 45+ and I support reform!

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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    2 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    4 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
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