web analytics

What does President Obama mean for you?

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, January 21st, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: International - Tags:

day-one-lk1105d

If you’re living in New Zealand, President Obama isn’t going to change your life. Remember, you voted for John Key. You’ll have to wait for that ray of hope to shine. But President Obama won’t go un-noticed here, because his presidency means at least four things for New Zealanders.

First: President Obama means you can feel slightly better in the knowledge that fewer children of the world are being maimed or killed. Yes, in charge of the world’s most powerful state, Obama means a more liberal and internationalist ideology will dominate international affairs. It means less war, fewer deaths, more humanitarianism, and more diplomacy.

Second: President Obama means you won’t have to abandon your family bach/crib on the coast. Thankfully Obama’s environmental policies aren’t written by the oil industry (or pre-written in Genesis). So hopefully now, the world can work with the world’s largest emitter to finally make some meaningful progress on combating climate change.

Third: President Obama means you’ve got a better chance of keeping your job in the tourist or agriculture industry. Taking a more ‘interventionist’ approach to the U.S. economy will help minimise the effects of their recessions. And if the American economy is in better shape, Americans will remain huge buyers of our animal products and keep visiting New Zealand in droves (In 2007 more than 216,000 U.S. citizens visited NZ).

Fourth: President Obama represents to us the power of people. He took the helm of a movement of people that defied the conservative institutions of the United States. President Obama tells us as New Zealanders that we don’t have to settle for the mediocrity and moral ambiguity that won out in our last election. A strong, inspirational and successful left-wing movement is possible because people are intelligent and people are moral. Talk, explain, debate, inspire, and people will see the neo-conservative institutions for they really are – there to suffocate the interests of the people.

46 comments on “What does President Obama mean for you?”

  1. higherstandard 1

    What bombastic shite.

    I too am pleased that Bush is out and a new president is in but to suggest that he’s some kind of a second coming before he’s even had 24 hours in office is to set him up for a fall.

  2. Totally agree with HS.

    While I like Obama the only thing that’s changed is the face of US capitalism/imperialism.

  3. Jasper 3

    Personally, it means nothing for me.

    For the american sitting next to me, her crying face says it all.

    I really do feel sorry for them. They’ve had 8 years of putting up with Bush, and they see Obama as their shining light.

    Which is entirely understandable. Like him or hate him, Clinton simply did a diddly under the desk, which certainly didn’t condemn tens of thousands of people.
    No wonder Clinton is still so popular around the world, and at home in the states too.

    For my tuppence worth, I’ve noticed that Barack talks a lot, but doesn’t seem to say much. I’ll reserve my judgement until I’ve actually seen him in Action (something Key needs to follow – is he waiting for B.O to move first?) as until today he couldn’t start any actions.

    Totally OT:

    I said I’d reserved my judgement on National. I’m writing them off as being a bunch of useless twats.

  4. I thought Eddie’s comments were perfectly appropriate. At long last we have a leader of the free world who is actually talking about the real issues and getting them into proper perspective. From the look of the behind the scenes work including the economic analysis and options paper that his advisers have prepared he intends to make decisions on the basis of what is actually required, not what is politically easy.

    His election will mean less wars and innocent deaths than otherwise, it could hardly be worse.

    Science and Climate change will go into the policy mix. This is a tremendous change.

    And Barak presents liberals everywhere with the lesson that the left actually can talk about issues and take morally strong and principled stands on matters rather than rely on focus group findings and refuse to say anything.

  5. “His election will mean less wars and innocent deaths than otherwise, it could hardly be worse.”

    Are we talking about wars the US are directly involved in or wars they’re in-directly involved in?

  6. Quoth the Raven 6

    For once I agree with HS. I as well am pleased that Bush is gone, but Obama doesn’t represent some giant change he’s just Bill Clinton with a tan.

  7. Chris 7

    yeah, no offense eddie but that was a load of uninformed ideological bollocks.

    The standard may be left, but it normally has a fair amount of intelligence behind it. This was just a dumb post. Who are obama’s main backers? the people or all the big corporates who have flocked to the inauguration to brown nose?

    Same same but different.

  8. Joseph 8

    Obama isn’t in the hands of the oil industry, but he is in the hands of big business. Democrats have historically been in Hollywoods pocket. This is bad news for Intellectual Property laws, and such idiotic shit as Section 29a which Judith Tizard injected back into the bill last year.

  9. Kevin 9

    This is absolute garbage.

    Firstly American democrats are normal – they put heir country first and their ideology second, thankfully for us. This is in stark contrast to the NZ left who put their ideology first and their country down the toilet.

    Secondly, democrats are historically more protectionist than republicans.

    Thirdly, interventionism and big government meddling caused the credit crunch so we are all being duped by this headlong rush back to Keynesian economics and even bigger government. The only thing is, now we are starting yet another round of with the government already 50% of GDP rather than 25% of GDP so its going to be an absolute disaster for our children that will make the 80’s look like a picnic.

    Finally you can keep perpetuating the lie that we are in some neocon era if you like but you are just making it worse for our children. After 9 years of disastrous National led government and 9 years of Labour, the worst government in our history, has never been bigger at 50% of GDP. And you can only create so many cat homoeopathist and basket weaving jobs and stay in the first world, although labour tried very hard to drop us of the bottom of the OECD ladder.

    I welcome Obama, because I don’t think history is going to smile on Bush as it has for many other republicans like Nixon. But he’s certainly not going to deliver the kind of BS you seem to want.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Tough crowd.

    Ob has got the biggest liberal mandate in living memory, refused to take lobbyist money, beat the clinton machine (who the corporates would have preferred), whipped the pants off the GOP, got 2 million people to show up to his party, (more than any other inauguration, the biggest anti vietnam protest and the million man march combined; giving him not only political capital to spare, but visible grassroots pressure), has signaled all sorts of changes on everything from the wars to progressive taxes, environmental action, regulation, healthcare, civil liberties, and lord knows what all else;

    and ya’ll are kvetching that he aint Pete Seeger or some shit.

    Talk about making the perfect the enemy of the good.

    I’m all in favour of cynicism, expect to disagree with much of what he does, but he ain’t a republican, and in case youse forgot, there was an actual clinton in the race, and he beat her from the left.

  11. Carol 11

    The whole US patriotism thing is highly ideological. The Democrats tend to be more right wing than NZ’s Labour Party, hence little of a strong left-right polarity in the US. The US patriotism ideology, which Obama expressed in his speech today, equates individual rights and equality of opportunity with capitalism, individualism over social welfare policies, the superiority and dominance of their country internationally, and imperialist policies.

    Obama was more to the left when he was younger, but has moved more to the right the closer he got to the centre of US politcal power. That’s what anyone who aspires to be at the centre of US politics has to do.

    PB, there was a report out in the last few days that showed Obama got a high proportion of financial support from finance capitalists/sector people and their families. He would never have got to the position he’s in without support from those in the US with economic and political power.

    Also I don’t really think Obama is to the left of Hillary – depends on the issue, but on domestic stuff I think Hillary is slightly more to the left.

  12. President Obama means a lot to me, I have American relatives, so it changes their life’s and it changes mine.

  13. Quoth the Raven 13

    Kevin – Get your facts right. Government spending as a % of GDP was 32.4% under the last labour government and 31.8% under the last National government and it’s only going to rise under this one. One of the best things I’ve read on the financial crisis is this:The lesson to learn here is not, ultimately, that the federal government ought to be bailing out homeowners facing foreclosure instead of (or in addition to) Bear Stearns. It shouldn’t be doing anything of the sort. Government economic intervention is precisely what has caused this crisis, by using its money monopoly to systematically favoring large-scale, consolidated, irresponsible financial firms, and to forcibly smooth out the normal churning and higgling of capital markets for those firms’ benefit, at the expense of working people’s income and cash savings. They do it through the extortion racket that keeps a steady flow of cash to holders of government securities; they also do it through the counterfeiting racket that passes for money in these days, the supply of which a handful of politicians and banking bureaucrats can manipulate at will, so as to suck every last drop of purchasing power out of working people’s wages and cash savings, in order to disgorge it into the dollar-denominated accounts of the kind of people who get big loans of finance capital. Government economic intervention and the money monopoly in particular have been deliberately calibrated to redirect resources and control upwards into the “responsible’ hands of politically-connected investment banks and speculators, and then to send you the bill (either visibly in your taxes or invisibly through inflation) for the massive screwjob that they’ve perpetrated on you.

  14. Carol 14

    Sorry, the report was about donations to Obama’s inaugural festivities, not to his election campaign, though I think he also got a lot of corporate donations to that too:

    Battered Wall St tops Obama inaugural donors: study

    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE50G1PQ20090117
    By Kevin Drawbaugh

    ……….. “While Americans are hoping for real change in Washington, many
    deep-pocketed donors are hoping money still buys them access and
    influence,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the
    nonpartisan money-in-politics watchdog group.

    “If history is any guide, these wealthy individuals, as well as the
    corporations and industries they represent, may more than recoup their
    investment in Obama through presidential appointments, favorable
    legislation and government contracts,” Krumholz said.

    People with Wall Street ties — 118 of them — gave $3.6 million;
    lawyers gave $2.5 million; and donors from the TV, movie and music
    businesses gave $1.7 million, the center said.

  15. Scribe 15

    President Obama means you can feel slightly better in the knowledge that fewer children of the world are being maimed or killed.

    Well, depends what your definition of “children” is.

    Obama is reported to be about to reverse some of the Bush policies — and Reagan policies before that — that lowered the number of abortions. If you consider pre-born children to be children, he’s going to lead to more maimings and killings that you could imagine. (Source — CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.abortion/)

    Here’s an interesting video: http://www.catholicvote.com/

    So, in answer to the question, “What does President Obama mean for you?”, I would respond MORE maimed and killed children, not LESS — I mean FEWER.

  16. I hope he brings an end to anti Americanism, I hope he brings peace and prosperity, I hope he has the world in better shape in four years, I hope he picks the economy up, I hope he brings back science and hard data into his decisions, I hope the world stops hating, I hope people want to do good because of him.

    I hope my young American relatives wont get dirty looks when they are here just because they are American, I hope I can go to a concert of an American artist in New Zealand without a protest group turning up.

    I hope the cards win the Superbowl, but that’s up to them, not Obama.

    Here’s wishing Obama all the best.

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Got my numbers round the wrong way 31.8% under Labour 32.4% under National.

    Scribe – That’s one improvement.

  18. r0b 18

    Obama to me means some vague hope that America may slow or even reverse its economic, environmental and moral decline.

    He talks a mean game, if I could believe all the words in his brilliant inauguration speech then I would believe that salvation had arrived. But he’s also an American politician, with all that that entails, so let’s just wait and see if his actions match his words.

    And in passing, although I usually think of Bono as a bit of a tosser, be did manage to slip in to the pre inauguration ceremonies probably the only unscripted and contentious (in the context of American politics) comment of the whole event, with his call for freedom for the people of Palestine. So props for that.

    Greetings from far away!

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    Carol, the events today, excluding security, cost about 45 mill. Small donations were still a big part of that. All I am saying is that Obama has got more grass roots pressure than any dem in recent memory. He built an unprecedented machine that he has not switched off.

    There is an old story about Pres Johnson meeting with some civil rights reformers. He told them that he agreed with them, and wanted to help, but they had to make him do it. There is no argument that there are powerful forces resistant to change. Obama has to deal with them, and the best way of doing that is to have that machine that he has built attack him from the left, holding his feet to the fire. (Just like your cited article does).

    Tactics are going to be important. But at tyhe moment he has got polling numbers similar to what you see around a president after an attack. He’s got 60 plus percent of GOP voters saying that the GOP should not obstruct him. That’s some serious leverage.

    All I am saying is that I’m going to wait to see what he does, that I’ll pay more attention to action than rhetoric, that I expect him to be attacked from the left and that he will (privately) welcome that. If I’m right look for him to offer olive branches to the GOP, who being the GOP they will reject. More in sorrow than in anger Obama will then have to turn for support to the left of the Dem caucus. We saw this dynamic already with talks about the bailout structure and the role of tax cuts within it.

    I do not expect him to be anything other than a US centre left Liberal Democrat. But that’ll be better than the ‘triangulation’ and welfare reform we got from the last Dem president. No?

  20. Carol 20

    Well, PB, we now see President Clinton as being quite regressive. But I watched his first campaign and he promised pretty similar changes to those Obama is offering. He was the great white hope of the left, from outside the usual Washington power dynasties. And oh how disappointed many of us were. Clinton slid to the right pretty quickly after being elected.

    Obama has probaly led a much slicker PR machinery and maybe a better organised campaign than Bill Clinton (and I think that is as much due to his team as to Obama). But this may at least partly be accounted for by the way the world has become much more saturated with media and communications. Both Clinton and Obama started off being pretty to the left when young, and both have slipped more to the right as they got closer to the presidency. The US political power centre and system is bigger than any one man.

    Yes, I think public pressure from the left on Obama will probably have some effect, but I don’t know how much. Also there are always unexpected events and circumstances.

    I hope you’re right and Obama does do some good things, but I’m old enough to feel that we’ve been here before, and things don’t really change that much.

    Pablo’s post on this indicates that he (tentatively) judges Obama may not be able to resist the pressures from the GOP as much as you think. Pablo said:

    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2009/01/the-moment/#comment-883

    Super-structurally, Obama will have to move hard center in order to deflect Republican opposition in Congress. The GOP attack machine has already sprung into action because that is what it does best: disloyally work to undermine and discredit its opposition rather than push a constructive policy agenda when in office (the Bush 43 administration is clear proof of that). Since Obama needs GOP congressional support to pass legislation and has only two years before the next round of congressional elections (with all of the House and 1/3 of the Senate seats in play), that requires him to “moderate’ his policy discourse to the right. Given the magnitude of the problems confronting him, that means he will have to engage in policy tradingi.e. granting concessions on some policy issues in exchange for pushing through others.

    My belief is that he will allow his foreign policy team to return to the Wilsonian pragmatism of previous Democratic administrations (as per my earlier post), which essentially means overall continuity of US foreign policy with a more multilateral and soft power orientation. Domestically it means giving up plans to drastically overhaul things like the health system and gun laws in exchange for GOP moderation on otherwise “hot button’ issues like gay marriage and abortion rights (of course, the reverse might occurit is still too early to tell how the causal flow will go).

  21. Whero 21

    Some egg said:

    “The standard may be left, but it normally has a fair amount of intelligence behind it. This was just a dumb post.”

    Bollocks! That cartoon alone is worth a thousand words. Maybe you didn’t get it?

  22. You guys can do better than this piece. I few posts ago you were criticizing John Armstrong’s gushing piece on John Key, and now you’re doing the same over Obama.

    [lprent: Different authors. People post on what they feel like. In fact I think I’ll write one just to prove it…]

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    Yeah I read that. I agree that the GOP will be the GOP. They think that McCain lost because he was not Conservative enough. I think that is flat out crazy. The GOP ran their attacks on an African American named Barack Hussein Obama, called him a closet Muslim, communist who lied on his birth certificate and wants to eat babies and surrender to AQ at some sort of ceremony in Tehran. America laughed at them. He won N Carolina.

    I think that particular boat has sailed for the GOP. It’s 20 years since that stuff worked on Bill Clinton. People are sick of it. The dynamics have changed in that people have had years and years of what the GOP has to offer, going back to Reagan, and they don’t like the results.

    My biggest concern is that AQ now actually have strategic reasons to hit America at home again. The last thing they want is an America that refocuses on diplomacy and away from hard power. How he deals with that, if AQ can pull something off, will be his biggest domestic test.

    But in any case, we’ll find out, and I’m enjoying watching master class in politics play out. Whatever you think of him, he’s a skilled operator.

  24. Carol 24

    Well, yes it’s interesting. I don’t know how much is due to Obama, and how much it is the team behind him. US politics for the public focuses on personalities, but it is always about more than one person. Obama’s campaign team included a load of people who’d worked for Bill Clinton. Maybe they learned a few valuable lessons during Bill’s term.

  25. Pascal's bookie 25

    Carol, Agree on all points.

    I don’t know if you read the blog Obsidian Wings, but if you don’t, it’s excellent. ‘Hilzoy’ is a prof of ethics at John Hopkins University, and the other bloggers there are also all worth reading.

    This post from today is the sort of thing that I’m glad to see happen.

    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2009/01/hopeful-signs.html

  26. After all of the hoohah I missed the actual broadcast speech.. asleep at the instrument(no, not wheel) you might say, and found myself taking in the pretty useful coverage RNZ had put up on its summer report slot. At first hearing I was struck with the President’s declaration that ideals as well as homeland security were essentially what his administration would pursue. BTW(ref Kevin et al) in that regard – allowing for the obvious constraints of inaugural address, he delivered. The essential first iteration that is.

    Tonight.. rested some.. I heard how the BBC’s World Briefing on RNZ had caught on to the very same thing. Congratulations to them! Else thematic throughout the IA was the call to responsibility—that americans and all others take charge of their doings, dealings. Seriously.

    I think Eddie’s fourth point has gotten closest to this.

    Kevin: your antipathy to Keynesian problem-solving is strongly expressed. Takes fair claim to freedom of expression. But where is the weight to it? Without that you’ll be regarded as nought but a blusterer..

  27. Pascal's bookie 27

    And this is made of awesome:

    As his first official action after being sworn in, President Barack Obama signed three documents Tuesday, including a proclamation declaring a day of national renewal and reconciliation.

    “I’m a lefty. Get used to it,” Obama quipped as he signed his name. “I was told not to swipe the pen.

    hehe.

  28. killingingthenameof 28

    To me Obama has the intelligence to conduct his job with the dignity that the President of the United States of America deserves.

  29. mike 29

    “President Obama tells us as New Zealanders that we don’t have to settle for the mediocrity and moral ambiguity ”

    No mate – that was John Key. Same age, sex and up bringing but different accents.

  30. vto 30

    pour moi, obama is quite a way down the import standard. there are a many more things of grater gravity in our existence.

    but as others say, for others it is obviously a major event. especially within the confines of the american history and culture. and good on them i say. three cheers.

    but imagine if it had been a native american indian taking the stage … now that would have been something …

  31. Carol 31

    PB, from today’s speech, and others Obama seems to be continuing with a pretty strong US imperialist and neoliberal agenda. I don’t think I can stand to read yet more people (especially on the left), cheering Obama on while he does this. He seems to see the US as leading the world in democracy etc. And the role of the UN?

    It will be a softer face for individualistic capitalism and imperialism…. all the easier to sell it. In NZ terms, Obama and many in his team are further right than Labour usually is.

    Can we have more critique form the NZ left, rather than so many people purring at all Obama’s positive PR and slick rhetoric?

  32. Whero 32

    Mike said:

    . . . Obama + “John Key. Same age, sex and up bringing but different accents.”

    Different country. Different race, Different primary care giver. Different set of siblings. Different access to state assistance. And, anyway, if John Key had done drugs he wouldn’t be such a complete Goober.

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    An American is he? 😉

    No offense, Carol, but I don’t think it’s useful to judge American Presidents on where they stand in relation to the NZ political spectrum.

    Perhaps you think rhetoric is unimportant. If so we disagree. As I see it, rhetoric is what builds mandates and wins elections. It is what, over time, shifts the political centre and changes minds. Obama has just today used the results of his slick PR and rhetoric to put the military commissions in gitmo on notice, ‘requesting’ a 120 day suspension while he reviews procedures and the status of ‘prisoners etc. Tomorrow he has indicated that he will tell the Joint chiefs that their new mission in Iraq is withdrawal (yes this will take time, but that was always the case). His appointments in Justice and the in Legal Counsel are all on the record vigorously opposing torture and the unitary executive theory that has enabled so much horrible crap these last 8 years. These are concrete things that make me smile.

    In short, I make no apologies for being pleased that Bush has fucked off back to Texas, and that his replacement is a damn sight better.

    I’m not a fan of making the perfect the enemy of the good.

  34. Janet 34

    Obama is an enabler. He won’t be the saviour that everyone is looking for. But he already has set the climate for hope and new possibilities- so people can at least be nice to each other now. The rest is up to them.

  35. We’ll have to wait until 2011 for our hope. Most New Zealanders have no clue about how disasterous the next couple of years are going to be under National.

  36. Lew 36

    vto: Do you mean `native American’?

    I mostly accord with PB on this account. Whereas the previous administration (and to an extent the clinton administration, too) was inclined to push people in the direction they want to go, Obama has signalled he intends to lead, and his task is now to convince the world to follow. He has made strong symbolic and rhetorical gestures that he intends the US to rejoin the civilised world; now he needs policy to make it so. We’ll see how that plays.

    L

  37. Carol 37

    Lew said:

    Obama has signalled he intends to lead, and his task is now to convince the world to follow.

    Surely this is a problem. Obama is continuing with traditional US imperialist arrogance. I don’t want a world led by the US version of indivualistic (propbably still neoliberal) capitalism. I do expect him to be a lot better than Bush and counter many of the bad things Bush’s government did (thank goodness). I don’t expect him to be that different from past US Democrat presidents, who have always leant towards the centre of the left. That will not do very much towards the kind of world I would like to see.

    Glad to hear of the quick moves on Guantanomo and Palestine-Israel.

    I hope the left in the US and elsewhere WILL be crtical when necessary and put pressure on the Obama government when it falls short of working towards a more equal, more peaceful, more sustainable, more cooperative, more UN-negotiated, less-consumerist, less US imperialist-dominated, less corporate dominated and less individualistic world.

  38. Tigger 38

    But didn’t Michelle look nice?

    If you want to see shite in action read extracts from Key’s letter to Obama.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10553006
    I actually sicked up in my mouth while reading it.

  39. Lew 39

    Carol: Obama is continuing with traditional US imperialist arrogance.

    No. Traditional (postwar) US `imperialist arrogance’ as you characterise it has been a bully state driving truculent other states along with the threat of a big (economic or military) stick. Obama has signalled that he intends to go ahead, and encourage the world follow if they will. That’s quite different.

    That will not do very much towards the kind of world I would like to see.

    Political change (especially in the US) must be gradual. It’s an immensely complicated system, and nothing gets done without getting a vast number of power blocs, both formal and informal, and frequently with highly contradictory agendas, on board. But once it starts to move, it takes a lot of stopping. Be patient; the first term is about nothing more than laying the groundwork of political culture for a second term. If Obama can achieve half of what he’s promised he’ll be the greatest progressive president since FDR. (Whether he can or not is another question).

    L

  40. Carol 40

    Well, I think we’re never going to agree on this, Lew. US imperialism has been advanced in the past by both persuasion and bullying in varying degrees. A lot of Obama’s rhetoric is about restoring US patriotic pride in the superiority of their version of “democratic” liberal capitalism.

    Actually, on further reflection I have modified my position a little. Obama seems to be breaking with some US traditional straties, though I think the aims and values remain pretty traditional. He seems to be recrafting and adapting US imperialism to the characteristics of networked, informational capitalism – ie recasting to be more effective in the contemporary context.

    There will be some improvements and benefits in this (especially in contrast to the evils of the Bush term), but, ultimately it is limited by its ambition for a strong US world power that aims perpetuate it’s values international.

    For instance, I’m pleased to see Obama talk to a Palestinian leader, but he seems to be continuing with the Israeli project of marginalising Hamas.

    Time will tell, of course. My big worry is the apparent seductivness of the Obama personality cult (something that somehow misses me), IMO this seduction seems to undermine and sideline serious examination and critique of the Obama campaign and government’s approach and agenda. I am very suspicious of such strategies because they are deeply related to consumer-capitalist, branding techniques of persuasion & seduction, not to mention corporate and elite dominated politics, in spite of all the activities that invite participation by ordinary people.

    If Lew and PB turn out to be right, then we’ll have a much better world: I’ll celebrate it and admit I was wrong. But if I am at least close to being right, there could be a dangerous lack of necessary critical appraisal of US policies and practices, and continuation of many of the major ills that are besetting this world.

  41. Chris G 41

    Tigger,

    It sounds like an appaling letter from those snippets in the article.

    Maybe he should have sent Obama that tourism NZ video he did on youtube in the salmon shirt…. Oh wait, that got deleted because one of his staffers would have shaken their heads and got rid of it.

  42. higherstandard 42

    Are you chaps reading the same article as me ?

    “Mr Key has told Mr Obama in a letter of congratulations that he could count on New Zealand “to be a good friend and a partner” on challenges ahead.

    He said New Zealand looked forward to continuing talks on trade following the decision of the United States to join the Pacific four agreement last year, as well as Australia, Peru and Vietnam.

    Among other issues Mr Key singled out for New Zealand interest was the global economic crisis, the threat of international terrorism, climate change and what he termed “non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction”.

    “Your leadership will be crucial in moving key issues forward,” Mr Key said.

    On the face of it those seem to be fairly reasonable comments to put in a congratulatory letter to Obama.

  43. Lew 43

    Carol: Yeah, this is something upon which reasonable people can (and should) disagree; fundamentally I think it comes down to how much compromise you’re prepared to stomach in the name of gradual proress. For me: quite a lot.

    A couple of other things, though:

    My big worry is the apparent seductivness of the Obama personality cult (something that somehow misses me), IMO this seduction seems to undermine and sideline serious examination and critique of the Obama campaign and government’s approach and agenda.

    Up until the inauguration, most Obama supporters have still been in campaign mode. Once he starts enacting policy, you’ll see criticism, because you can’t run a country like the US without pissing someone off. Some of it will for a time be muted on the grounds that it’s the lesser of two evils (and you’re right that there’s a danger in this), but not all.

    I am very suspicious of such strategies because they are deeply related to consumer-capitalist, branding techniques of persuasion & seduction, not to mention corporate and elite dominated politics

    If such strategies work to put moderate or progressive leaders in power to enact moderate or progressive policy agendas when the alternative is neoliberal or conservative statist leaders like those we’ve just seen leave, then progressives are fools if they don’t embrace them. Because if they work, and all indications are that they do, when one side uses it and the other eschews it on the grounds that it’s impure, they relegate their cause to the political doldrums. Not to say they shouldn’t embrace other strategies as well – but then, the Obama campaign did.

    L

  44. Carol 44

    Hmmm… I thought my last post disappeared off my screen without being posted. But there it is.

    My biggest concern is with the US imperialist project, which came across quite strong to me in the inauguration speech. Obama is very centrist, and with that imperialism, probably there will be a continuation of a version of individualistic neoliberalism internationally.

    Kind of like Obama will become the good cop to Bush’s bad cop, with so many of us grateful Obama’s so much better than Bush. It will depend a lot on how much of Bush’s legislation will be pulled back eg the ant-terrorism laws, which went beyond the US so that we got a verson in NZ. And the paranoid increase in surveillance.

  45. NickC 45

    “President Obama means you’ve got a better chance of keeping your job in the tourist or agriculture industry.”

    Obama will be the most protectionist President since the 30’s. Whether his recovery package will help the American economy is debateable, but there is no doubt that the increased tarriff part of his package will harm the New Zealand economy.

  46. HS 46

    And if a plane load of jihadists fly into the empire state building and Obama begins to put his diplomatic skills ahead of national security he’ll be out on his sorry ass!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Those people deserve a flat white
    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    10 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    11 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    13 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    17 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    18 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    20 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    1 day ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    3 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    3 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

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

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

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