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What does National do about English?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 27th, 2017 - 51 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, bill english, election 2017, jacinda ardern, john key, labour, national, Politics, same old national - Tags:

John Key has claimed that the transfer of power from himself to Bill English was flawless and designed to ensure continuation of National’s rule.  Based on the last couple of opinion poll results he should reconsider his optimism.

And National caucus members must be thinking about 2002 when English led National to its worst ever electoral result when it achieved 21% of the party vote.  Sure things are not that bad right now but National’s hold on power has always relied on third parties support and it tends to shed support during a campaign.

At this stage the situation as far as party support appears to be stable.  Last night’s Colmar Brunton poll suggests that apart from a shift from New Zealand First to the Maori Party everything is stable, at least as far as the parties are concerned.

But the interesting feature of the poll is Bill English shedding 56% points in support for preferred Prime Minister since February.  He is now 10 % below John Key’s ratings in both the Colmar Brunton and the Reid Research polls.

The right will try and present the poll as some sort of crisis for the left in that Jacinda Ardern is now ahead of Andrew Little.  But Little’s support is steady and Ardern’s surge appears to be at English’s cost.  Give me surging support for Labour MPs as potential leaders and declining support for the National Prime Minister any day.

National’s basic problem is that Bill English is no John Key.  I have seen him recently at two public events.  On both occasions he was totally underwhelming.  There was no excitement surrounding him.  People were courteous to him and that was all.

And his approach to politics matches his personality.  Putting off action for decades on important issues such as climate change and clean rivers and rail to the airport suggests a completely faltering will to achieve anything.  This is a major weakness for National.

The circumstances exist for a fascinating election campaign.  Where National is unable to do anything about its slowly ebbing support because its leader is so Meh.

National looks tired and out of ideas.  I suspect that more and more of the electorate will realise this is the case as the election approaches.

51 comments on “What does National do about English?”

  1. Things are lookin up then , – despite the one liners the RWNJ’s will no doubt offer on this post and the following as it slowly dawns on them and NZ that the Nats reign is coming to an end.

    I hope Farrar will be happy… he needs a break after all that spinning .

    He must dizzy.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    National looks tired and out of ideas.

    No, they’ve definitely got ideas – they’ve just slammed up against the wall of reality and the realisation that the electorate won’t take any more of their ideas because they don’t work as National tries to tell us that they do.

    • Mordecai 2.1

      Really? With National on 46% and Labour on 30%, what does that say about Labours ideas?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Have you noticed that 46% is still less than a majority?
        Have you also noticed that National are dropping even in the polls?
        Have you noticed that people really are starting to get pissed off with the increasing homelessness?
        Have you noticed that people are concerned about the housing bubble that National has been propping up?

        And I’ll refer you back to that ex-National MP John Banks: If I wear my policy on my sleeve, I won’t get elected.

        That’s where National is always – where they can’t tell people their policies and they have to implement Labour Lite ones to get elected and to stay there. Thing is, they’re now at the point where they actually have to tell people their policies and they have to start implementing them.

        But their Labour Lite ones are crashing the economy and people are noticing the difference between what the government are saying and what’s actually happening and all they see is increased poverty while the bludging rich make out like the bandits they are.

        • Not a Nat 2.1.1.1

          46% may as well be a majority. It only takes a few crumbs to get to a governing majority and even if they were to dip to 43% at election time it would be a hard to see anyone else take government.

          If the Labour – Green coalition is going to have any legitimacy they’ll need at least 45% on their on. I’m not saying that’s impossible but on current polling it’s unlikely.

          The key for Labour is to actually provide an alternative view that is distinct from National’s (that’ll require some courage) instead of just relying on the Greens to be the point of difference. Whereas National just needs to ensure that its disaffected voters don’t drift too far away; they can go to ACT, United, Maori or even NZF.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            Oh this rot about minority coalitions yet again. My eyes still haven’t stopped rolling since last time I heard it in 2014.

            Firstly, 46% is not “[essentially] a majority.” It translates into about 56 seats with the current 1.5-2% wasted party vote, (it only looks close when you have a big failure like the Conservatives wasting a lot of Party Votes) which means it can’t be done purely with one-seat parties, and therefore takes more than “crumbs” to get it over the line. You would need one of the undeclared parties- ie. NZF or the MP, in order to govern in such a situation.

            Secondly, coalitions and other support arrangements aren’t less legitimate than an outright majority or a near majority that needs only a couple of extra seats. Not only have we never had an outright majority under MMP, and it’s entirely possible we never will. An outright majority is a huge landslide, and in fact single parties with more than 40% of the vote in any list system is hugely atypical, and it seems to be based entirely on National’s tendency to eat into the party votes of their support partners. Iceland, for instance, uses a list system, and the coalition leader won only 29% of the vote, less than Labour is polling now. (They have a higher wasted vote than we do though, so the coalition maths would be a bit similar to needing both the Greens and NZF) Germany regularly returns a Bundestag that requires a Grand Coalition to govern, because the left-wing parties refuse to work together.

            I’m going to be charitable and assume you’re not arguing that National has a right to govern because they’ll be the largest single party, because we all know that’s outdated FPP thinking and completely illogical. In a majoritarian parliamentary system like ours, what confers the right to govern is securing a majority, and if nobody has it outright, any path above 50% is just as legitimate as any other.

            And hell, I will point you back to Iceland again, where after the 2016 election, the third largest party, the Pirate Party, got a crack at trying to form a majority thanks to their president, (they had the equivalent of 20 seats) so in list-based systems like ours, even parties composing less than a third of Parliament can be potential coalition leaders if there are enough seats from smaller parties up for grabs in coalition talks.

            Legitimacy in any democratic system is down to whether the government as a whole respects the institutions of democracy, (eg. free and effective media, free and fair elections, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, etc…) forms a government legally, retains enough political power to effectively govern, and retains enough public support for the government as a whole to credibly claim to represent the people. It’s not about where their party ranked in the popular vote (although if there’s a big disparity between the popular vote and the share of seats in parliament, that goes against credibility of representation. Arguably parties polling at 3 or 4% and not getting into Parliament represent a problem in this regard, even if it’s a small one) or how close to a majority they came, as both those ideas are FPP-era leftovers.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Not only have we never had an outright majority under MMP, and it’s entirely possible we never will.

              Didn’t have them often under FPP either – if you track the popular vote the last government under FPP that actually had a majority was late 40s or early 50s.

              • I was referring to a majority of seats under MMP, rather than a popular majority, but you’re absolutely correct to point out that the popular majority matters just as much as the majority of seats, as it goes to credibility of representation, and that many of the “majority of seats” situations under FPP had in fact lost the popular vote. Whereas all a “majority of seats” gets you is “legally forming a government,” which is arguably the least important criteria of legitimacy in a democracy, as it’s the one that even dictatorships can meet with sham elections.

                If your MMP coalition didn’t at least get close to a majority of the party vote, it’s hard to talk about having a mandate to pass laws, even if you campaigned on them specifically. And oh look, coincidentally, under MMP National has been the party more likely to not have a majority of the party vote when forming governments, just like it often didn’t have a majority of the popular vote under FPP. Fancy that. Maybe people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        • Mordecai 2.1.1.2

          National is not dropping in the polls. The CM poll under discussion here has them unchanged. But keep you head firmly embedded in the sand.

      • Please remember little minion that Labour and the Greens are campaigning together, and the two blocs are basically equal at this point, with National having actually slipped behind Labour and the Greens at one point.

        • Mordecai 2.1.2.1

          Basically equal? Not according to today’s Colmar Brunton. There is only one poll I can remember that has them equal.

  3. AB 3

    “National looks tired and out of ideas”
    Is this the only way a government gets changed in this country nowadays – because they look tired and out of ideas?
    Never because their ideas are actually toxic crap? Because National are far more dangerous to the majority of people when they’re not tired and out of ideas.
    It’s sort of depressing if peoples’ votes are driven by vague perceptions about personalities and feelings of how energised a government is, irrespective of what they actually do.

  4. Rightly or wrongly 4

    Saying that Little’s support as PM is ‘steady’ is a wonderful take on the reality.

    You could say that Trevor Mallard, Judith Collins, and Meteria Turei also enjoy steady support on 0%.

    The issue is the level of support. There must always be a hope amongst pundits that their leader’s leadership qualities assist the party attract support.

    Little at 7% is considerably behind the old geriatric Peters and his own deputy. This is despite getting significant publicity from his position as LoO.

    Why don’t voters prefer Little as PM? Would be a good subject for internal polling I would have thought to try and attempt to fix any perceived issues.

    • Cinny 4.1

      However the fact remains that English is on a steady decline, Rightly or Wrongly why do you think that is please ?

      • Rightly or wrongly 4.1.1

        Its too early to say.

        Prior to becoming PM English never featured as prefered PM.

        Since then there has been a Christmas break and 2-3 polls giving English ratings around 25-30%.

        I suspect that this is residual support left over from Key.

        The first major event for English will be the budget.(barring natural disasters)

        I suggest that PM ratings after the budget will show English’s true personal support.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1

          Prior to becoming PM English never featured as prefered PM.

          Since then … 2-3 polls giving English ratings around 25-30%.

          Which suggests that incumbency is worth around 25-30%.

    • Labour leaders generally don’t become popular in the PPM metric until after they start implementing their agenda, so it’s kinda expected that he’s not doing so hot there. That doesn’t actually mean people won’t like him once he’s appointed.

      Honestly, it’s a pretty useless metric for anything but measuring the popularity of National Party leaders, as the left tends to split a lot more than the right, and it’s structured as an open question. If it were about more than interesting news headlines when some new MP shows up on the PPM poll, then they’d be doing approval ratings for the Leaders of major parties instead. (and by that I mean all five- both the Greens’ leaders and Winston, too)

  5. What does national do about English? Get nick smith to tell us how wonderful english is. -See sorted –next problem?

  6. roy cartland 6

    I’d quite happily see English tank the Nat party to an historic low. Again. I wonder if he’d get the message this time?

    • The issue is that English is basically their best choice anyway. If they can’t win with him, they really can’t win at all. Who else would their caucus elect? Paula Bennett? That’s not gonna work. Judith Collins? LOL, they know that’s a terrible idea. Jonathan Coleman? Simon Bridges? Yeah, you can see why they went with Boring Bill, right?

  7. DoublePlusGood 7

    Honestly, I think that the preferred prime minister poll is thoroughly useless in giving us a lot of useful information on the state of things.
    The various polls are still showing some minor variation around a -7 swing to the right, as has been approximately where things have been for the last three elections. There isn’t anything yet to indicate that the country will swing more to the left.

    • Sacha 7.1

      ‘Preferred prime minister’ is utterly pointless in a system where we can’t select that person, only their whole party. When did it start to be part of polls?

      • It’s also a terrible metric to ask an open question in a system with discrete choices. (ie. the only valid choices are actual party leaders, similar to how the only valid choices for the Party Vote are registered political parties. Even then, arguably only parties likely to lead a coalition are likely to ever be Prime Minister, and so far only Labour and National have been large enough for that)

        It is a sop to presidential-style campaigning, but it’s also a reality that some people award their party vote that way anyway. (Voters also do a similar thing in reverse in actual presidential systems, where other candidates often get a boost when that party’s presidential candidate is more popular) As such, leaders can and do give a boost or exhibit a drag on a party’s vote.

        If they’re going to ask questions like this, they should be doing one of two things:
        a) Closing up the question and asking people to choose from the current leader of a political party, and providing the choices if asked,
        or
        b) Instead of treating it as a zero-sum game, offer approval ratings on the leaders of every party over the threshold, or at least the largest two parties.

        Both these options address the issue that certain parties are more likely to “split” their vote than unite around a single candidate, making slumps for their leaders look worse than they actually are, and would give us an actual metric. It would be of debatable use given we don’t vote for Prime Minister, but it would still help us judge a bit better that issue of boost-vs-drag. Option (a) tells you more about comparative popularities of various parties, but option (b) tells you more about whether a party leader is likely to be challenged.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    It is really interesting because I can’t see English getting more than 40% as a leader for the Nats if he is lucky. This leaves the scenario (with 2% odds and sods):

    Lab 34+Gr 13+NZF 11=58%
    Nats 40%

    or:

    Lab 34+Gr 13=47%
    Nats 40+NZF 11=51%

    In this scenario Peters would be justified going with the Left in order to promote stable government. The 51% he could argue was a bit shaky.

    (He would also love to keep the Greens out of cabinet which he may well demand as his price of support)

      • They have been polling higher than that, so it’s not impossible. They tend to overpoll early in the campaign, so if they’re managing 14.5% later on too, it’s possible they’ll get a bump like that.

        I actually think the really unrealistic part there is Labour at 34%. XD There’s no indication they’re on track for that, it looks like if the government’s gonna change it’s going to be the support parties that deliver it.

  9. Ad 9

    Key has given English enough cushion to keep his party at 40%: still plenty for a + United 1 MP1 Act 1 + Confidence and Supply arrangement with NZF .

    But it’s spooky that we have had little by way of pre-budget announcements.
    Usually we are through most of the pre-announcement by now.

    That tells me English is preparing something big to go into election with.

  10. Bob 10

    Let’s have a poll on why Andrew Little is lagging behind Jacinda.
    NZ POLITICS is becoming fickle, if people vote for faces……..rather than policy!

    • Bearded Git 10.1

      The Nats have been trying to destabilise Little’s leadership for two and a half years and failed miserably-time to give up.

      Of course after the election all bets are off, but that is likely to be English stepping down after his second election debacle.

  11. SpaceMonkey 11

    I don’t want National to do anything about Bill English. I’d be very happy for them to go into the next election with him as their leader.

  12. EE 12

    First time mistake. Second time choice

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    I think preferred Prime Minister polls are reasonably irrelevant, but in any case the spin of the day award must go this beauty:

    “But Little’s support is steady…”

    That made me smile

  14. Rightly or Wrongly 14

    I personally think that English is slow to think on his feet.

    Also he never really comes up with solutions – just looks for compromises to make problems go away.

    When the pressure comes on in a genuine crisis or political storm I suspect that he is going to be somewhat of a possum in the headlights and this is where Labour can do real damage.

    The thing Labour need to be a little careful of is if they try and turn every little drama into a crisis (cars and barking) then the danger is the voters will be turned off – think boy who cried wolf.

    If I were Little I would leaving the daily sniping to my caucus members, and wait until the main crisis comes. (which it will) When it hits and English is floundering around, then come out with a good, practical, solution to deal with it.

    The voters will be listening and they will get the message that Little has some measure of competence – will change a few % to consider Little as a realistic alternative to the English double mindedness.

    • Wensleydale 14.1

      He’s not glib enough. He doesn’t have the veneer of superficial charm that so successfully masked Key’s lack of substance. He’s an accountant — one of the beige men of politics. A bit like a pot plant. You don’t really notice it until someone points it out to you.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 14.2

      Yep Labour and Winston NZF needs to make sure they don’t fall into the trap of barking at car tyres this coming Election as it just turns the educated voter off and they stick with the status quo.

    • Richard McGrath 14.3

      I agree. Too many of Little’s comments are knee jerk reactions to gummint policies or statements. He should pick his battles.

  15. Heather Tanguay 15

    English is very slow on his feet, he is a boring man with boring outdated ideas.
    People all over NZ have had enough of his ultra conservative ideas.
    Yes he will come out with tax breaks before the election, we all know that!

  16. greywarshark 16

    National and Blinglish are singing nostalgic songs with a sad note in a minor key since Johno has gone.

  17. Tamati Tautuhi 17

    I think National should seriously consider making Paula Bennett the PM for the coming Election, she would attract more of the female vote and may attract some of the Maori vote seeing as she has some Maori roots?

    • Richard McGrath 17.1

      That would make it interesting. To use the words of Nigel Farage, Bill English has the charisma of a wet dishrag. Bennett has a bit more mongrel.

  18. Tamati Tautuhi 18

    Mention tax cuts and its a done deal, New Zealanders like having the wool pulled over their eyes.

  19. In the image at the top of the post, Key sits exposed by his mien; those who were and are repelled by him can see it, those who worshipped him, cannot. They look at the image and sigh with longing.

  20. Tanz 20

    As long as they have Winston waiting in the wings, they will be fine. He will be Kingmaker, he is the only politician who actually listens to Joe public, he has suloutions on housing, immigration tidal waves, and oh yes, repealing that unpopular and largely unwanted, anti smacking law, which of course, the majority were given the fingers on.When govts become arrogant they soon get booted out, and Winston is such a savvy player. Brexit and Don Trump are signs of the times – the electorate at large frigging fed up with arrogant and deaf elite.

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    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    7 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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