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Beltway blues: serving the public interest?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 10th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: accountability, business, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, Hekia parata, labour, news, poverty, same old national, tv, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Truth to Power: serving the public interest

A 4th Estate media should be, in Hagar’s terms, serving the public interest, informing the public on crucial issues. This often means speaking truth to power on behalf of the less powerful section of the public.  There are many pressing issues for New Zealanders that should be front and centre of most political coverage: the inequality gap, low wages, high power prices, child poverty and abuse, unaffordable housing, the possibility that NZ’s rockstar economy is actually built on sand…..

As geoff posted yesterday, too much of the media coverage of politics is in a B-Hive-Media Loop (otherwise known by the more US-relevant term, the “the beltway”).  Too often, they cheerlead John Key, failing to challenge him or mention that he is very polarising; more often than not they endlessly repeat the NAct spin on the economy and other issues.

The mainstream media has had a horror start to the year. These days, too much political coverage by the mainstream media (MSM) is focused, US-style, on politics as a game, a chessboard of strategic maneuvers, and a personality contest of its leaders.

Once one Hive-Media journalist starts a headline grabbing attack, the rest seem to follow like a pack of baying hounds. So it has been over the last month or two, with opposition leaders being  subjected to more distorted attacks and beat-ups than government ministers.  Often Patrick Gower has lead the running with his vindictive, distorted persecution of David Cunliffe.  The focus has been on over-exaggerating relatively trivial issues, such as an omission in one version of the Best Start policy for young children, Metiria Turei’s clothes, and Winston Peters’ and Russel Norman’s perfectly understandable visits to the Dotcom Mansion.

B-Hive-Media Loop: From The Nation to Qu & A

Having become fed up with Patrick Gower’s attention-getting, “gotcha” reporting, I am now focusing more on TV One‘s news and current affairs coverage.  That said, Gower has gone some way to providing balance by doing his gotcha interview of Key on The Nation.  He continued to take that line in reporting on it on 3 news later on Saturday, saying that Key, like Cunliffe, is also being “tricky”.  However, for me to return to watching 3 News, Gower and TV3 need to do much better, be more informative on a range of significant issues, continually hold the government and Key to account, not just the opposition, and move away from the sensationalist focus on personalities and game playing.

This weekend, it turned out that, while One News and Qu & A aim to be a bit less one-dimensional than 3 News, they also follow similar lines within the Hive-Media Loop, with a strong focus on the perceptions of “Business” and the comfortable middle classes.

It was hard to keep watching this weekend’s Qu & A after the first few minutes: it was a B-grade-Hive-Media recycling of pro-John Key spin – of his (allegedly) uncontested “popularity”, Nationals’ (allegedly) great handling of the economy and David Cunliffe’s media- manufactured “problems”.

There was an attempt at balanced debate, but it still oozed comfortable middle class condescension, not helped by Susan Woods’ smug charmlessness.  Then we had Hekia Parata given much leeway to spin her education policies, with Dann being far more lenient on her than he  later was on Cunliffe. This was followed by the panel: Fran O’Sullivan, followed by Raymond Miller and Nick Leggett unashamedly cheerleading for Parata. TV One needs some fresh blood from outside the Hive-Media Loop – some of the young, the marginalised and the precariously discontented.

The Cunliffe Interview: speaking through the Hive Media for the less powerful

David Cunliffe meeting

Then came Woods’ negative introduction to the David Cunliffe interview. Corin Dann’s opening questions focused on Cunliffe’s alleged “horror” last week.

DANN: Going back and researching this interview, all the interviews seemed to be about this conundrum of David Cunliffe. Where is, where does he sit on the political spectrum? He comes from a business background, and he’s got wealth and yet he’s championing the working class?  Can you understand that the working class voters, perhaps a lot of the affiliates who put you in this job,  are looking at you going, why does he have all these trusts?

So, Dann shows he has only looked at previous media interviews, or maybe media representations of these interviews.  He seems to have done little research on issues important to the less well of and less powerful sections of the “public”.  The question he asks about Cunliffe’s politics, has already been answered many times by the Labour leader.

There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.  Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

Short clip from the Cunliffe interview.

Cunliffe did well to patiently repeat his statements about his politics, while also outlining his values and referring to various Labour policy areas.

Chauvel-Cunliffe-2 maritime union

Dann went on to ask why “people” are confused about where he stands politically, then emphasised it by saying,

Why is Business confused?

He quoted Doug Heffernan, chief  executive of Might River Power, reportedly saying that, “he wasn’t getting enough information” from Cunliffe on Labour’s Power policy. Dann doesn’t seem to have looked for the views of  “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”.

Dann continued in an increasingly combative mode, while Cunliffe continued giving clear and non-confusing answers, showing how he is approaching making New Zealand a fairer place.  Dann continued to contest Cunliffe using points of view expressed from those in powerful positions in the Business world.  Cunliffe, unfazed, answered with reference to some of his plans to provide digital access to New Zealanders and protect them from invasive surveillance.  He mentioned using services like those of the People’s WiFi networks and public libraries.

Corin Dann’s report of it on One News last night was a bit of an improvement on Gower’s one-dimensional sensationalism.  Dann’s report followed another report on rising power prices – definitely an issue in the public interest. The anchor’s introduced Dann’s report by saying that Cunliffe talked about Labour’s ICT policy and providing internet access for all Kiwis. Dann then said the start to Cunliffe’s year had been a “horror” one.

No, Mr Dann, it has been the MSM that has had a horror start in their political coverage. However, Dann gave a fairly full report of the content of the interview, including mention of Cunliffe foregrounding his move to front big policies, such as Labour’s ICT policy. Nevertheless, Dann still framed this in terms of B-Hive-Media issues, focusing on Cunliffe’s current position within the game of politics.

Speaking-Truth-to-Power

Out of the Hive Media Loop, towards the (working class and underprivileged) public interest

We need a strong (new?)media stream that steps outside the B-Hive-Media loop, and reports by, from, and for the public interest, – and especially in the interests of working class and underprivileged Kiwis.  The comfortable middle and Business classes have far too much say within political discourses.

32 comments on “Beltway blues: serving the public interest?”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    His response to the question about business being confused should have been.

    I don’t care if they are confused. The Green/Labour Government will serve the workers and unemployed. If business don’t understand that they need to change their excutives within the next 6 months so that they are across what is coming. They need to prepare themselves for real change.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Hi Karol, great article, thanks. I believe the subject matter of your article can’t be repeated too often.

    I find TV1 News far more balanced than TV3 ‘News’ (yeah, this isn’t hard to achieve , however many political programme appear to ‘struggle’ to do so). I agree that they do still appear to focus on ‘business’ opinion and do not balance such out with information and comments of the realtime effects of this current government’s policies for people.

    I do not, however like Q&A. The interview style – is too aggressive; interrupting the interviewee so much that they rarely manage to get anything said. The interviewers come across as more delighted in and promoting their own selves rather than interested in eliciting information out of the interviewee for the viewers.

    Incidentally Susan Wood was provided as an example of someone with a very unprofessional – i.e. ineffective – interviewing style in a media course I attended a few years back.

    As for the choice in their ‘panel’ it begs the question is there so few people who are knowledgeable and capable of analysis in this country that they have to rummage up right wing spin doctors for the job? (Who provides neither knowledge or analysis – solely spin). The panel come across as being full of people who don’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ If someone does break out of the mould and challenge the banal tract the conversation is flowing along – Susan Woods interrupts and brings the conversation back to mediocrity.

    It appears that this programme is not intended to inform viewers – rather ensure that any interviewee doesn’t get to inform the general public and that the programme’s director gets to shape their opinions instead. What a bore.

    [I just posted a very similar comment and it completely disappeared – if it shows up I would appreciate you deleting one of them]

    [karol: done – and thanks]

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1

      Cheers Karol 🙂

      • Tim 2.1.1

        God strewth!! don’t get me started on some of our supposed ‘interviewers’. You’re correct in that Susan Wood is a good (i.e. BAD) example.

        I have to say that many of the media pundits who make proclamations as to who and what good interviewing styles are, do so mostly on the basis of said interviewer’s longevity.
        I’m thinking Brian Bloody Edwards for example – quite a good interviewer himself if you care to go back to “Gallery” days … but holding up the likes of Paul Holmes as a good example. How is it they usually put it?? …. something like “the consumate broadcaster” – which generally means a self-promoter and egotist.

        Holmes: the foreskin of the leading question more concerned (like a Mora) of promoting themselves through appearing empathetic with an interviewee. Like asking the rape or burglary victim … “I suppose you’re feeling violated?”. God how I used to wish said victim would have said “No, not at all Paul …. because I realise this is all about YOU and my feeling violated would merely be violating your headspace and God-given right to promote yourself to star quality”
        Unfortunately there are fuck all good interviewers left in NZ – we’re now even exporting the dross.

        Part of it of course is environment – particularly the fact that their is no PSB platform (other than MTS and RNZ – excluding Natrad afternoons – which is more like an old ZB commercial network sounding board for the cult of bloody boring personality)

        • Tim 2.1.1.1

          “something like “the consumate broadcaster” above ….. looks like I left out an “M” in “consummate:.
          That’d be the “M” that stands for ME ME ME I I I ME ME ME ME ME

  3. Tracey 3

    thanks karol.

    replace the sun with money and all this makes perfect sense.

  4. Ad 4

    I can sense your frustration Karol. I see vast reams of commentators about how unfair the media is. Please. We know its stacked, work within that context.

    And the alternative has arrived, and it’s us.

    There was an interesting exchange yesterday on Open Mike about the future of progressive blogs that are more populist than this one, as compared to the growing power and MSM competitiveness of Waleoil. Whaleoil is a dump truck more powerful than Mike Hoskings.

    Imagine a Whaleoil for the Left (is it really The Daily Blog? It sure ain’t Scoop).

    Imagine the power it would have, to contest not only newspapers, but tv itself.

    That is the opportunity.

  5. JustLikeTigerWoods 5

    Yeah, it’s all the media’s fault. I mean, they never – never, ever – have a go at National.

    It’s just not fair.

    • karol 5.1

      JLTW.

      I didn’t say anything like “they never – never, ever – have a go at National.” I also did say there were some good things about One News last night.

      Did you read the post about how Qu & A was slanted to a particular perspective? Anything to say on that?

      For instance, why do you think Dann and the rest of Qu & A were following a lot of the recent media lines, and only addressing the interests of “Business”?

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 5.1.1

        You mean Dann isn’t a Labour Party member? He practically winces each time he reads out poll results.

        I think you hear what you want to hear. You ignore the bias and hyperbole against National, but only pick it up when they’re talking about Labour.

        .

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.1.1.1

          JLTW,

          You are attempting to present the view that the media contain rightwing bias as a case of opinion vs facts You require some proof to present this case plausibly to avoid doing exactly what you are accusing Karol of: ‘hearing only what you want to hear’.

          Please supply links or information to when National had stories that attacked them based on nothing other than fantasy or opinion or both.

          Labour and the Greens have recently been accused as being ‘hypocrital’ and/or ‘Tricky’ throughout most mainstream media sources – based on very implausible -unfactual – grounds. This is understandable if it were reported on National propaganda sites or presented as National Party spin – this was not the case though – it was presented as a genuine issue – which it was not.

          Please supply an instance for when this has occurred for National since they have been in power.

          Thanks

        • Tim 5.1.1.2

          Christ JLTW!!
          Next you’ll be trying to convince us all that Kathryn Ryan is a leftie (whereas we all know she’s utterly fair and balanced and just you’re really work-life-balanced regular gal).
          I’ll admit there’s something about her that’s definitely not right, but she sure as hell isn’t left. Dann – same shit different stink.
          Perhaps one of the biggest problems with our MSM journalists is that (either by luck, or personality, or salesmanship, or other), they’ve simply managed to carve out a comfortable little niche, and like the used car salesman … they’ve learned all the buzz.

  6. fender 6

    Great post Karol.

    I genuinely believe the msm organisations and reporters are scared of critiquing Key and his policies in a thorough manner because they are afraid of the consequences of exposing the lack of substance.

    Even when Gower interviewed Key about him being ‘tricky’, Key got that ‘I will have you killed’ look in his eyes to remind people that he’s an ‘assassin’.

    • Chooky 6.1

      Fender…..agreed msm are scared of critiquing Key and his policies

      +100 Karol for a great post …this needs to be sent to Editors of both paper and air/tv and radio

      …New Zealanders are sick of the media beat-ups on David Cunliffe and the Left ..It undermines democracy in this country …and it undermines the taxpayers and voters rights to get a fair hearing from politicians and get the facts !

      (…on the positive side there was a hell of a beat up on Winston Peters and a pollster beat up as well….and his voters were not fooled !….but the pollsters and the political commentators were shown up for the spinning fools they were)

  7. TightyRighty 7

    If labour didn’t fuck up so much, the media wouldn’t be able to report all the fuck ups. Hardly rocket science. Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics and fucks it up because either they get themselves too or get it wrong. Getting themselves: accusing jk of living in a leafy suburb and being out of touch. Dc lives in a leafy suburb and talks bro to try and fit in. Getting it wrong: what’s the government going to do about the manufacturing crises? What manufacturing crises?

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      What does “talks bro” mean you racist waste of space?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        There seems to be a stubborn Hive-Media spin: that it is incomprehensible that someone with money can’t campaign against poverty and inequality; can want to do public service to help other people; and work to provide more opportunities for all New Zealanders, especially for “working and underprivileged New Zealanders”. Why is that such a mystery to the Hive-Media mind?

        Why is that such a mystery…? Simple. People tend to judge others by themselves. It happens all the time both at a collective and personal level. In this instance the “Hive-Media mind” is turned in on itself. They have no compassion, they don’t care if others are hung out to dry… they care least of all about the true facts of a case. All they care about is climbing the slippery media ladder and getting a cushy number in a cabinet minister’s office as a press secretary.

        They simply cannot conceive of someone like David Cunliffe actually caring about the people he purports to represent.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.2

        it’s a dialect of New Zealand english. plenty of people of all colours speak it you dumb shit.

        it’s even been exported to places like london, hong kong, marseilles and bondi. it’s spoken by the “power kiwis” those who have taken the most identifiable parts of new zealand yoof culture with them. A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies. shit, sounds like prime labour territory. the only thing they have in common though is the fact they are from NZ. And David Cunliffe tries to talk like them when he thinks he’s in the right spot for it. yeah boi.

        if you weren’t so quick to be offended, you might not look like a total arse. too late though.

        • framu 7.1.2.1

          yeah, your describing kiwi culture, which pretty much all NZers who are overseas do to some extent – especially the young OE-ers – and thats not “talking bro”

          talking bro would be using words like… um… bro, cuz, chur – that sort of thing. And yes, given that, and possible past statements from yourself, could you see how someone might think your being a bit racist-y?

          nice try – but i would rather be accused of talking bro than sounding like ive had a few at lunch – you do know who sounds like that dont you?

          this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

          • RedLogix 7.1.2.1.1

            this “cunliffes faking his accent” thing is really weird – i honestly dont see where you lot get it from

            It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.1.1

              yup – sure is. I just dont see how they actually joined the dots on that one

            • Anne 7.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s a social marker, snobbery thing. Very important to righties.

              And yet every time they open their mouths they expose themselves for the cretins/philistines they really are… starting with their beloved idol, John Key.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.2.1.2

            But they do use those words framu? bro, cuz, chur, yeah boi. i hear it all the time from people in professional occupations in london, sydney, hong kong, paris. so what i’m describing is what i’m describing. not just kiwi culture, but POWER kiwis. it almost seems a parody until you realise they are serious. it’s not limited by the colour of their skin. these are people my age too. late twenties, highly educated, from all kinds of back grounds.

            i don’t really care for what you would rather be accused of. if you want to talk like that fine, but David Cunliffe doing it? seems very much at odds with the face he likes to present to the rest of New Zealand.

            • framu 7.1.2.1.2.1

              starting to sound like a race thing buddy

              “A love of all bands kiwi, shapies, katchafire, shihad etc. prominent displays of kiwi tattoo’s, southern cross, stylised tribal symbols, outlines of NZ. kiwi beer, kiwi movies”

              hmm – looks like a kiwi expat culture description to me. (words being a subset of that)

            • felix 7.1.2.1.2.2

              So now your issue with Cunliffe is that he talks like “people in professional occupations” do, like “POWER kiwis” do?

              It’s still not clear. Keep explaining please.

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.2.2

          I wasn’t offended. Stop being presumptuous.

          One can identify racism without being offended you ‘dumb shit’.

          Now back to your bollocks.

          Where the fuck are these ‘bro talk’ examples of David’s?

          • framu 7.1.2.2.1

            “Where the fuck are these bro talk examples of Davids?”

            yes – please point them out

            if anyone could be accused of “talking bro” surely len brown would be further up the list than cunliffe

        • Murray Olsen 7.1.2.3

          TR – to be offended by you, someone would have to care about your opinion. I don’t. I think you’re a pathetic racist, but more than anything else, I think you and the other fools who run off to WhaleSpew and KiwiBog telling how they dealt to the Liebour retards at the Standard are just a joke. A bad joke, but the punchline is coming on the 20th of September. I suppose you’ll always be able to move to far north Queensland and impress the bogans with stories of the old days, “when we…”

    • framu 7.2

      “Key and co fuck up less, so less gets reported. ”

      yeah – thats bullshit mate

      “Alternatively, labour plays gotcha politics”

      Exactly who pays whalespew and the penguin again? Just who do you think has been playing a very active role in the media feeding frenzy about cunliffe? Just who said they had a whole drawer full of interesting info?

      yeah the ABCs are probably in there to – but come on man, you do your self no favours

      This “labour are the nasty party and national are totes honest and play a fair game” meme is rediculous

      yes labour have some clangers – but to sit there and pretend that national dont, and the media havent been giving key a soft ride for years is staggering in its lack of connection to reality

  8. ianmac 8

    How soon will it be before John Key be interviewed again by Paddy?

    It was the first Key interview where he was actually held to the topic and none of his deflections worked. Imagine if we had interviewers who knew their subject and pressed Leaders for credible answers. For instance the shallowness of the “recovery” would become evident.

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    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    6 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
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