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What if anything does Bill English believe in?

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, February 21st, 2017 - 71 comments
Categories: bill english - Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m having trouble getting a handle on Bill English. On paper he should be more principled than Key, but in practice he seems to be just as morally “flexible”. He’s a Catholic who has changed his mind on marriage equality and attended (but did not speak at) the Big Gay Out. He’s a “compassionate conservative” who has presided over increases in poverty and homelessness, while describing young Kiwi workers as “pretty damned hopeless”. A “fiscal conservative” who has run up record-breaking government debt. An “honest bloke” who bent the rules to screw every last cent out of Parliamentary perks. Mmmmm.

Vernon Small seems to be wrestling with the same ambiguities in this interesting piece:

English punts talk of electoral deals, Maori seat strategy, into the stands

Faced with queries about the impact of the Maori-Mana non-aggression pact, announced on Monday, he punted them all into the distant future. Would National continue its long-standing policy of not fielding candidates in the Maori seats? “There is likely to be some discussion about that. We haven’t come to a conclusion but we didn’t stand last time.”

(Yes folks it’s true, National does repeated “dirty deals” in the Maori seats – does Patrick Gower know about this scandal???)

Well then, what about abolishing the Maori seats? Hmm. If it was “on the books” it was not a policy National was pursuing and he would need to check. (Yes the policy is still on the books, prime minister, but pursuing it would likely end the Maori Party’s support.) It all sounded as clear as mud and as weak as dishwater compared to John Key’s unequivocal answer before the 2014 election. … It would be a mistake to assume there is a change of policy in the wind on either score. More likely it is English’s instinctive default to caution.

At what point does caution become paralysis? And speaking of election deals, what about Winston?

Interestingly while Labour’s Andrew Little has reserved finance for Grant Robertson, English would not rule out Peters even in that role.

English won’t share the PM role, but anything else goes! How very “flexible”.

So, silly to ask if Mana leader Hone Harawira would have a place in his Government if the Mana-Maori Party deal delivered him the Te Tai Tokerau seat? You guessed it, English wouldn’t want to speculate on that, and it was not clear if the deal would make any difference … but it was (drum roll) “unlikely”.

Flexible even enough for Hone Harawira! (It would almost be worth it, just to watch certain commentators explode.)

So back to my titular question, what if anything does Bill English believe in? I guess we have to take him at his word, a blast from 2008:

English suggesting that winning is everything despite National’s highly principled statements – he suggests you target a few and do what you need to in order to win. “Winning is everything my man,” he said in the tape.

And there we have it.


PS – Unlike certain commentators Small can add – here’s a final quote from the piece:

… Sunday’s One News-Colmar Brunton poll sent a reminder to National – if one was needed – how tight the race is despite National’s strong polling … Even on 46 per cent, and with three or even four viable allies, there was still a majority out against the current Government. Together Labour, Green and NZ First totalled 52 per cent support. And they will all be in the next Parliament. …

71 comments on “What if anything does Bill English believe in? ”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 1

    What a silly post! Of course Blingish believes in things.

    He believes that John Key could walk on water.

    He believes in keeping his snout in the public trough.

    He believes the market knows best.

    He believes that no vision for a better NZ for all people is the best vision. Choice, don’t you know.

    And yes, he believes in winning. That is all that matters. The end sure justifies the means.

    Our temporary PM is a man of strong beliefs!

    • paul andersen 1.1

      english believes that if he keeps on with the southland farmer bullsh*t , that most of the faithfull will look past his obvious hypocrisies .

  2. ianmac 2

    Key had very flexible beliefs which he modified according to his audience. He maintained his popularity. English will do the same. Do the people care?

  3. greywarshark 3

    Does English believe that there is a self-governing country called New Zealand that he is devoted and belongs to? If so, why is he and the ‘National’ Party not constantly protesting and threatening sanctions against Australia for locking away the citizens of our nation on trumped up immigration charges?

    Shades of the USA and their Mexican wetbacks. We apparently are Tasman wetbacks, not friendly allies, just subjects of this bullying, bellicose, belligerent nation of Oz which looks to the USA for its model.

    129 NZ in custody, second only to Iran with 184 (e&oe) that’s how I remember the figures that have just come over RadioNZ.

  4. Sabine 4

    i think the double dipper likes money, especially in his own bank account. So anything that makes him a coin is good business. The country? the people? ahh, who cares, that is not what he went into politics for.

  5. Cinny 5

    I know, I know… he believes in God. That’s all I could come up with.

    • garibaldi 5.1

      That’s OK Cinny. It’s a bloody good starting point to explain his hypocrisy.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t. If he did he wouldn’t do 90% of what he does in government. Belonging to the church is camouflage.

  6. Antoine 6

    I think you guys don’t understand English very well at all and don’t want to either. You are just trying to reinforce a bogeyman image of him in your minds so you can stoke your anger against the National Party.

    A.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      The bogeyman isn’t usually portrayed as an incompetent hypocrite: English hasn’t the character to play one.

      PS: Anthony Robins: I’m having trouble getting a handle on Bill English”
      Blandtoine: “You don’t understand Bill English”.

      What next, a doctorate in tautology?

    • Cinny 6.2

      Will you help Antoine? By explaining what you think English believes in?

      • Antoine 6.2.1

        It wouldnt help, because people would just rubbish whatever I said.

        For anyone who really wants to form an accurate view, theres plenty of public domain information.

        I’m not asking you to support or like the guy, but you should at least know your enemy.

        A.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          You mean, like the links in the OP, one of which details private off-the-cuff remarks?

          The effects of the policies he pursues count far more than anything he might say.

        • Cinny 6.2.1.2

          Antoine, you won’t say what English stands for.

          And use the excuse that people would rubbish whatever you said.

          Yet you are brave enough to come here and stir up things whenever it suits you?

          Knowledge is important and sharing it even more so, with holding knowledge is just a thirst for control.

          So if you do not wish to share your knowledge Antoine, that’s all on you, maybe you don’t know what English stands for either?

          I prefer facts to excuses any day of the week.

          • Antoine 6.2.1.2.1

            Go find some facts then

            More productive than wrangling with me

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2.2

            Yet you are brave enough to come here and stir up things whenever it suits you?

            It’s almost like he’s trying to start a flame war without being obvious about it.

            • Antoine 6.2.1.2.2.1

              Nope

              Encouraging people to break out of the groupthink and be a bit more realistic

              Some of the characterisation of English here is simply delusional. When people make him into a cartoon ogre in their minds, all they’re doing is treading their own judgement in the mud.

              Just as a right-winger would be doing if they thought Andrew Little was some sort of Stalinist butcher.

              A.

              • Cinny

                Antoine, “Encouraging people to break out of the groupthink and be a bit more realistic”. Yet you are reluctant to give them any direction.

                Was looking for the 2002 leaders debate, seeing English was leader at the time.

                And am looking forward to the 2016 leaders debate. Maybe I’ll learn more about what English believes in then, maybe you will too Antoine.

                • Antoine

                  > Was looking for the 2002 leaders debate, seeing English was leader at the time.

                  Is ancient history really, 15 years ago

                  I don’t mean this in a rude way, but how about googling
                  “Bill English” NZ
                  and see what comes up?

                  There’s quite a few media interviews, potted bios, opinion pieces, etc, if you go down far enough.

                  Or for that matter
                  “Mary English” NZ

                  His family seems similar to mine in that she has all the good sense 🙂

                  Or
                  “Bill English” social investment NZ
                  is another good one

                  And then there’s his 2017 ‘state of the nation’ speech

                  And yes of course there’ll be the leaders debate(s)

                  A.

                  (Preparing mentally to get rubbished by every one)

                  • Cinny

                    Can’t find his 2017 state of the nation video Antoine, I’ve just spent some time searching for it, if you know where to find it would you please post the link for me. Thanks.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    English knows what he has to pay lip-service to: his remarks about swallowing dead rats demonstrate that quite clearly. “Social investment”, for example, is just another ambulance at the bottom, sold using the asinine truism that everyone approves of something to help the kids.

                    Lifting people out of poverty by improving their household income and security of tenure isn’t on the horizon, let alone the agenda.

                    • Antoine

                      If someone thinks English doesn’t prioritise poverty alleviation enough or doesn’t have a good strategy for tackling it, that’s their prerogative and no doubt they will vote accordingly.

                      If someone thinks he genuinely wants to see people poor or miserable, or simply doesn’t care, or is in thrall to some kind of sinister masters who thrive on poverty, then I’m sorry, that’s just loopy.

                      A.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Greed and attribution bias are thoroughly toxic; the banality of evil isn’t that sinister when you break it down.

                    • McFlock

                      If someone’s been in politics for thirty-odd years and still doesn’t have a good strategy for tackling any of the problems facing ordinary NZers (e.g. housing, food, poverty, health, education, underemployment) then they’re incompetent and should fucking quit.

                      Or they’ve found a reason to not care.

                    • Antoine

                      Well to state the obvious, he does think he has some good strategies, hence him not quitting.

                      You get a chance to fire him soon though, so there’s that 🙂

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Or, he’s motivated by something else, like personal material benefit, for example. Or, as he told the guy with the tape: “winning”.

                      Your belief that his motives are genuine or even benign has no more rational basis than the notion that he is a shape-shifting lizard.

                      For your belief to have any factual basis, we are talking about a person who has changed significantly since he made that remark about “highly principled statements”.

                      I reckon he’s the same hollow man now as then, and you, knowing this, will twist and turn and deny and vote for him anyway.

                  • Antoine

                    Well, OAB, if you want to believe he’s a shape shifting lizard, this will hurt no one but yourself 🙂

                    A.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      As I said, it’s a notion that has no rational basis, and that being so: you have more in common with the people who believe it than I.

                      Let’s imagine for a moment that Bob Jones knows what he’s talking about, and “the stultification corresponding with National governments is welcomed by bigger players as it throws up acquisition opportunities, ”

                      Ponder for a moment the people on the other end of those “acquisition opportunities”, and your remark about those who “thrive on poverty”.

                    • Cinny

                      Thanks for the link Antoine, much appreciated. Will still look for the video, because for me tone of voice etc is important.

                      Bloody annoying that it’s so hard to find, thought it would be front and centre, after all it’s Bills first State of the Nation speech.

                    • Antoine

                      Cinny if you are out of NZ, some video links will not work…?

    • Sabine 6.3

      so what is Bill English known for?
      other then douple dipping re housing alowance

      and selling state houses and state assets?

      Care to let us know, and no i don’t hate National, i just would never vote for them, cause bigotry and hypocrisy.

    • reason 6.4

      Lignite …… Brown gold …. Bills sleeper in Southland … and election winner …

      . “And it’s hugely significant to Eastern Southland because of the extensive damage which large-scale lignite mining would cause to air quality, living conditions, and the high-quality rivers and streams on which Southland depends.” https://coalaction.org.nz/coal/lignite/stop-sniffing-the-lignite-bill

      Bill and National were more proactive … in doing nothing rather than building a lignite industry …… after their initial 2008 election win ……Stopping New Zealands tiny first steps towards Govt regulations and real change in response to Global warming was more pragmatic and sensible …….because it was the road to HelenGrad ….

      Herr Helens feminazi nanny state was the real threat …. to kiwi men in particular…….

      A real non emasculated kiwi man picked up a shovel, rolled up his sleeves, (unless he was a one sod wanker with a spade ) , and dug for New Zealand …. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/71131637/finally-the-government-accepts-solid-energy-was-more-than-a-perfect-storm

      Beyond the ‘get stuck in’ smart thinking behind breeding millions more dairy cows and digging up brown coal from under cow pasture ……Bill knows New Zealand has to get more creative …. with maths.

      When PM ….. Johhny made-off shared some of his Merrill magic number tricks to Bill and others like Paula … it brought us wealth

      You have to be very smart to bend numbers …. forcing them to submit to your creativity ..

      Bent numbers start weak and get worse,……. so a compassionate number lovers man will make safe “havens”……. To protect and hide this poor vulnerable monjey

      Jealous people may call it fraud or cheating …. like our cheap corruption sourced cabon credits http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/71131637/finally-the-government-accepts-solid-energy-was-more-than-a-perfect-storm …. which we are still trading with

      In reality New Zealand polluters and our National party were so smart it was embarrassing ….. to make millions from climate change initiatives … while increasing their/our CO2 pollution.

      Pure Genius letting NZ win on the world stage …… and leading the war on green talibanastas

      Blue Greens …… also know as the ‘Black Ands’ …..

      Describes The Hiding that Nationals ‘wealth ‘ generation gives sustainability or other environmental concerns …. every time.

  7. saveNZ 7

    Bill English, like Key is open to anything to the highest bidder and the most persuasive crony argument – but unlike Key who probably paid a fortune to keep the idea alive in MSM that ‘he was such a popular PM’ – English is unable to keep the charade alive that he actually has a plan, let alone if it makes any sense.

    It’s now harder for Labour, because National has poisoned all the wells so it is hard to untangle from their destruction of our economy and social systems, from dirty environmental and stone age economics (building for new migrants and offshore commercial interests, Agriculture, citizenship, dodgy degrees and tourism) into the new economy – because we are now in very deep in that area and that’s exactly how Key, his banker friends and his off shore IDU chums probably wanted it. Any sudden changes and the ponzi scheme falls over, taking it’s victims with it.

  8. He is being pushed and prodded by his masters. He knows the big picture but can’t fill in the gaps. Sort of like making the village idiot kid the school dux. Andrew is going to slaughter him in the leaders debate.

  9. Sable 9

    The problem with the current crop of political parties is the same one the US voters face. Its not picking a good party is making the best of what you have and whats on offer is none too inspiring.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      We aren’t at Trump level at present, though Key was going amuse-and-confuse-the-populace route. So try to develop critical thinking in NZ, first applying to ourselves personally and then the country and its economy and we will be unlikely to get caught in a USA mire.

  10. Ad 10

    English is the most you can expect. Underneath English is his Minister of Finance, Mr Joyce.

    Neither of them have been able to explain clearly their plan for New Zealand. They definitely have individual plans, and individual deals.

    But what I would hope for any fresh government is this sense:
    – What kind of society do we want to encourage?
    – What kinds of industries do we want to encourage?
    – By what we celebrate, what do we show we value?

    I still find it a whole lot easier to answer those with Labour and Greens leadership than I do with English and his mob.

    Even with our shrunken, truncated, low-ambition and disaggregated public state as it is, a minimum job of government is to be coherent. It’s a big part of how I decide to vote.

    • saveNZ 10.1

      “Neither of them have been able to explain clearly their plan for New Zealand.”

      Their plan is to stay in power as long as possible!

      We all know their election strategy is to introduce tax cuts and ALSO seems to be to pump money into the regions to counter Winston Peters and Labour and into tech and science areas to counter they are complete idiots.

      This is to show they actually ‘care’ about the regions. sarc. And they are also funding areas outside of their normal stone age criteria, so they have something to say and pretend they are not dinosaurs, come election time. AKA Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) which will be based in Alexandra, with offices in Dunedin, New Plymouth, and Lincoln.

      Of course under a Labour government this would probably have been started years ago and is clearly a step in the right direction – but the timing of starting this, and the locations are interesting – especially since it is rumoured the government refused to properly fund and support previous climate change research and actually nearly drove the scientist over the edge… What a change of heart in election year!

      No doubt if Natz get re-elected the money will dry up next funding round or run into the ground with Natz cronies and go back to normal National pursuits and cronies of building leaky buildings, mining coal and leaching nitrates into waterways.

      That is why it is so hard to win against National – they can buy the election with OUR money and mimic other opposition policy for the short term to win.

      Hope Labour promises more and for the right reasons!

  11. Ian 11

    “A “fiscal conservative” who has run up record-breaking government debt.”

    I don’t want to get nit-picky and I am certainly no fan of Farmer Bill, but by what measure do you assert ‘record breaking govt debt’? If we use the commonly used public debt to GDP ratio, then that honour belongs to Labour (c. 66% in 1988).

    Second, our fixation on debt and deficit reduction – something both major parties focus on, is a Monetarist (and neo-liberal) approach to the economy and its management.
    A Keynsian or neo-Keynsian would make a good case that we haven’t leveraged enough deficit spending when the economy is tanking.

  12. Sam C 12

    Flipping this post on its head, what does Andrew Little believe in?

    Maybe that’s why he is mired in the preferred PM stakes, behind even Winnie.

    Come on Andy, tell us what you believe in!

  13. AB 13

    My impression is that Bill believes:
    1.) That markets are efficient and always produce fair and just outcomes
    2.) That there is a natural social hierarchy and that the shots should by and large be called by the better class of people who have demonstrated their superiority by accumulating wealth and power
    3) That the better class of people have obligations to the lower orders to ensure that they don’t suffer too badly, but not so much as to disrupt the natural order of things
    4) That human beings (particularly the lower orders) are sinful and will tend do the wrong thing ethically and financially (i.e. make bad choices) unless watched, controlled and generally not given too much leeway. While the better class of people should generally be free to operate as they please.

    I think Bill’s vision is essentially pre-Democratic.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    So back to my titular question, what if anything does Bill English believe in?

    He believes in personal wealth and power.

    Thing is, he also knows that to have that wealth and power the country needs to have lots of poor people and so he works in a government that creates poor people while a few get wealthier upon the work of those poor people.

  15. KJT 15

    From his own statement, “prisons are a moral and fiscal failure”.
    Just before approving the finances to build more!

  16. reason 16

    Sounds like a overt derail sam c ….

    If you know Bill E s stance on spam and dick pic s you could make yourself relevant to the topic

  17. In Vino 17

    Do I not remember Blinglish being secretly taped at a National Party Conference, where he did express some honest views about how we needed to toughen up on Welfare and spending on the people at the bottom of the heap? That was probably genuine, but I cannot remember the exact wording…

  18. risildowgtn 18

    He believes in low wages

    • In Vino 18.1

      For certain people – not himself. Double-dipper… By his deeds shall we know him.

      • In Vino 18.1.1

        There was definitely something he said about the need to ‘cut back’ (I think) on spending or policies aimed at assisting the lower echelons. Probably impossible to find it now unless somebody else remembers more than I do.

  19. Red Hand 19

    Religiously speaking he believes the Catechism of the Catholic Church, including forgiveness of sins.
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/credo.htm

  20. Ffloyd 20

    English believes that Nick Smith is ‘doing a good job acksherly’ Chuckle,wheeze,fall about!

  21. rod 21

    English believes in Hosking, Gower,Young and Trevett.

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    Open access notables  The United States experienced some historical low temperature records during the just-concluded winter. It's a reminder that climate and weather are quite noisy; with regard to our warming climate,, as with a road ascending a mountain range we may steadily change our conditions but with lots of ...
    3 days ago
  • What becomes of the broken hearted? Nanny State will step in to comfort them
    Buzz from the Beehive The Nanny State has scored some wins (or claimed them) in the past day or two but it faltered when it came to protecting Kiwi citizens from being savaged by one woman armed with a sharp tongue. The wins are recorded by triumphant ministers on the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Acceptance, decency, road food.
    Sometimes you see your friends making the case so well on social media you think: just copy and share.On acceptance and decency, from Michèle A’CourtA notable thing about anti-trans people is they way they talk about transgender women and men as though they are strangers “over there” when in fact ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: More Labour sabotage
    Not that long ago, things were looking pretty good for climate change policy in Aotearoa. We finally had an ETS, and while it was full of pork and subsidies, it was delivering high and ever-rising carbon prices, sending a clear message to polluters to clean up or shut down. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is bundling restricting electricity competition?
    Comparing (and switching) electricity providers has become easier, but bundling power up with broadband and/or gas makes it more challenging. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā TL;DR: The new Consumer Advocacy Council set up as a result of the Labour Government’s Electricity Price Review in 2019 has called on either ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Westland Milk puts heat on competitors as global dairy demand  remains softer for longer
    Hokitika-based Westland Milk Products  has  put the heat on dairy giant Fonterra with  a $120m profit turnaround in 2022, driven by record sales. Westland paid its suppliers a 10c premium above the forecast Fonterra price per kilo, contributing $535m to the West Coast and Canterbury economies. The dairy ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS’ Political Roundup:  The Beehive’s revolving door and corporate mateship
    * Bryce Edwards writes – New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the high level of influence corporate lobbyists have in New Zealand politics, and demands are growing for greater regulation. A recent poll shows 62 per cent of the public support having a two-year cooling off period between ministers leaving public ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Beehive’s revolving door and corporate mateship
    New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the high level of influence corporate lobbyists have in New Zealand politics, and demands are growing for greater regulation. A recent poll shows 62 per cent of the public support having a two-year cooling off period between ministers leaving public office and becoming lobbyists and ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A miracle pill for our transport ills
    This is a guest post by accessibility and sustainable transport advocate Tim Adriaansen It originally appeared here.   A friend calls you and asks for your help. They tell you that while out and about nearby, they slipped over and landed arms-first. Now their wrist is swollen, hurting like ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Surprising Power of Floating Wind Turbines
    Floating offshore wind turbines offer incredible opportunities to capture powerful winds far out at sea. By unlocking this wind energy potential, they could be a key weapon in our arsenal in the fight against climate change. But how developed are these climate fighting clean energy giants? And why do I ...
    3 days ago
  • The next Maori challenge
    Over the past two or three weeks, a procession of Maori iwi and hapu in a series of little-noticed appearances before two Select Committees have been asking for more say for Maori over resource management decisions along the co-governance lines of Three Waters. Their submissions and appearances run counter ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Secret “war-crime” warrants by International Criminal Court is mischief-making
    The decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue war crimes arrest warrants for the Russian President and the Russia Children Ombudsman may have been welcomed by the ideologically committed but otherwise seems to have been greeted with widespread cynicism (see Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants ...
    4 days ago
  • How to answer Drunk Uncle Kevin's Climate Crisis reckons
    Let’s say you’re clasping your drink at a wedding, or a 40th, or a King’s Birthday Weekend family reunion and Drunk Uncle Kevin has just got going.He’s in an expansive frame of mind because we’re finally rid of that silly girl. But he wants to ask an honest question about ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • National’s Luxon may be glum about his poll ratings but has he found a winner in promising to rai...
    National Party leader Christopher Luxon may  be feeling glum about his poll ratings, but  he could be tapping  into  a rich political vein in  describing the current state of education as “alarming”. Luxon said educational achievement has been declining,  with a recent NCEA pilot exposing just how far it has ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: More Labour foot-dragging
    Yesterday the IPCC released the final part of its Sixth Assessment Report, warning us that we have very little time left in which to act to prevent catastrophic climate change, but pointing out that it is a problem that we can solve, with existing technology, and that anything we do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Te Pāti Māori Are Revolutionaries – Not Reformists.
    Way Beyond Reform: Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer have no more interest in remaining permanent members of “New Zealand’s” House of Representatives than did Lenin and Trotsky in remaining permanent members of Tsar Nicolas II’s “democratically-elected” Duma. Like the Bolsheviks, Te Pāti Māori is a party of revolutionaries – not reformists.THE CROWN ...
    4 days ago
  • When does history become “ancient”, on Tinetti’s watch as Minister of Education – and what o...
    Buzz from the Beehive Auckland was wiped off the map, when Education Minister Jan Tinetti delivered her speech of welcome as host of the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers “here in Tāmaki Makaurau”. But – fair to say – a reference was made later in the speech to a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Catastrophe, but first rugby.
    Morning mate, how you going?Well, I was watching the news last night and they announced this scientific report on Climate Change. But before they got to it they had a story about the new All Blacks coach.Sounds like important news. It’s a bit of a worry really.Yeah, they were talking ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • What the US and European bank rescues mean for us
    Always a bailout: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Government would fully guarantee all savers in all smaller US banks if needed. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: No wonder an entire generation of investors are used to ‘buying the dip’ and ‘holding on for dear life’. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Who will drain Wellington’s lobbying swamp?
    Wealthy vested interests have an oversized influence on political decisions in New Zealand. Partly that’s due to their use of corporate lobbyists. Fortunately, the influence lobbyists can have on decisions made by politicians is currently under scrutiny in Guyon Espiner’s in-depth series published by RNZ. Two of Espiner’s research exposés ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • It’s Raining Congestion
    Yesterday afternoon it rained and traffic around the region ground to a halt, once again highlighting why it is so important that our city gets on with improving the alternatives to driving. For additional irony, this happened on the same day the IPCC synthesis report landed, putting the focus on ...
    4 days ago
  • Checking The Left: The Dreadful Logic Of Fascism.
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    4 days ago
  • Good Friends and Terrible Food
    Hi,From an incredibly rainy day in Los Angeles, I just wanted to check in. I guess this is the day Trump may or may not end up in cuffs? I’m attempting a somewhat slower, less frenzied week. I’ve had Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new record on non-stop, and it’s been a ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – What evidence is there for the hockey stick?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Carry right on up there, Corporal Espiner
    RNZ has been shining their torch into corners where lobbyists lurk and asking such questions as: Do we like the look of this?and Is this as democratic as it could be?These are most certainly questions worth asking, and every bit as valid as, say:Are we shortchanged democratically by the way ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • This smells
    RNZ has continued its look at the role of lobbyists by taking a closer look at the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Andrew Kirton. He used to work for liquor companies, opposing (among other things) a container refund scheme which would have required them to take responsibility for their own ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Major issues on the table in Mahuta’s  talks in Beijing with China’s new Foreign Minister
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has left for Beijing for the first ministerial visit to China since 2019. Mahuta is  to  meet China’s new foreign minister Qin Gang  where she  might have to call on all the  diplomatic skills  at  her  command. Almost certainly she  will  face  questions  on what  role ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • Inside TOP's Teal Card and political strategy
    TL;DR: The Opportunities Party’s Leader Raf Manji is hopeful the party’s new Teal Card, a type of Gold card for under 30s, will be popular with students, and not just in his Ilam electorate where students make up more than a quarter of the voters and where Manji is confident ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Make Your Empties Go Another Round.
    When I was a kid New Zealand was actually pretty green. We didn’t really have plastic. The fruit and veges came in a cardboard box, the meat was wrapped in paper, milk came in a glass bottle, and even rubbish sacks were made of paper. Today if you sit down ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how similar Vladimir Putin is to George W. Bush
    Looking back through the names of our Police Ministers down the years, the job has either been done by once or future party Bigfoots – Syd Holland, Richard Prebble, Juduth Collins, Chris Hipkins – or by far lesser lights like Keith Allen, Frank Gill, Ben Couch, Allen McCready, Clem Simich, ...
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Te Pāti Māori’s uncompromising threat to the status quo
    Chris Trotter writes – The Crown is a fickle friend. Any political movement deemed to be colourful but inconsequential is generally permitted to go about its business unmolested. The Crown’s media, RNZ and TVNZ, may even “celebrate” its existence (presumably as proof of Democracy’s broad-minded acceptance of diversity). ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Shining a bright light on lobbyists in politics
    Four out of the five people who have held the top role of Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff since 2017 have been lobbyists. That’s a fact that should worry anyone who believes vested interests shouldn’t have a place at the centre of decision making. Chris Hipkins’ newly appointed Chief of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Auckland Council Draft Budget – an unnecessary backwards step
    Feedback on Auckland Council’s draft 2023/24 budget closes on March 28th. You can read the consultation document here, and provide feedback here. Auckland Council is currently consulting on what is one of its most important ever Annual Plans – the ‘budget’ of what it will spend money on between July ...
    5 days ago
  • Talking’ Posey Parker Blues
    by Molten Moira from Motueka If you want to be a woman let me tell you what to do Get a piece of paper and a biro tooWrite down your new identification And boom! You’re now a woman of this nationSpelled W O M A Na real trans woman that isAs opposed ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • More Māori words make it into the OED, and polytech boss (with rules on words like “students”) ...
    Buzz from the Beehive   New Zealand Education Minister Jan Tinetti is hosting the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers for three days from today, welcoming Education Ministers and senior officials from 18 Pacific Island countries and territories, and from Australia. Here’s hoping they have brought translators with them – or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Social intercourse with haters and Nazis: an etiquette guide
    Let’s say you’ve come all the way from His Majesty’s United Kingdom to share with the folk of Australia and New Zealand your antipathy towards certain other human beings. And let’s say you call yourself a women’s rights activist.And let’s say 99 out of 100 people who listen to you ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The Greens, Labour, and coalition enforcement
    James Shaw gave the Green party's annual "state of the planet" address over the weekend, in which he expressed frustration with Labour for not doing enough on climate change. His solution is to elect more Green MPs, so they have more power within any government arrangement, and can hold Labour ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • This sounds familiar…
    RNZ this morning has the first story another investigative series by Guyon Espiner, this time into political lobbying. The first story focuses on lobbying by government agencies, specifically transpower, Pharmac, and assorted universities, and how they use lobbyists to manipulate public opinion and gather intelligence on the Ministers who oversee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Letter to the NZ Herald: NCEA pseudoscience – “Mauri is present in all matter”
    Nick Matzke writes –   Dear NZ Herald, I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland. I teach evolutionary biology, but I also have long experience in science education and (especially) political attempts to insert pseudoscience into science curricula in ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • So what would be the point of a Green vote again?
    James Shaw has again said the Greens would be better ‘in the tent’ with Labour than out, despite Labour’s policy bonfire last week torching much of what the Government was doing to reduce emissions. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTL;DR: The Green Party has never been more popular than in some ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gas stoves pose health risks. Are gas furnaces and other appliances safe to use?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Poor air quality is a long-standing problem in Los Angeles, where the first major outbreak of smog during World War II was so intense that some residents thought the city had been attacked by chemical weapons. Cars were eventually discovered ...
    6 days ago
  • Genetic Heritage and Co Governance
    Yesterday I was reading an excellent newsletter from David Slack, and I started writing a comment “Sounds like some excellent genetic heritage…” and then I stopped.There was something about the phrase genetic heritage that stopped me in tracks. Is that a phrase I want to be saying? It’s kind of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Radical Uncertainty
    Brian Easton writes – Two senior economists challenge some of the foundations of current economics. It is easy to criticise economic science by misrepresenting it, by selective quotations, and by ignoring that it progresses, like all sciences, by improving and abandoning old theories. The critics may go ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s Middle East strategy, 20 years after the Iraq War
    This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the Iraq War. While it strongly opposed the US-led invasion, New Zealand’s then Labour-led government led by Prime Minister Helen Clark did deploy military engineers to try to help rebuild Iraq in mid-2003. With violence soaring, their 12-month deployment ended without being renewed ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The motorways are finished
    After seventy years, Auckland’s motorway network is finally finished. In July 1953 the first section of motorway in Auckland was opened between Ellerslie-Panmure Highway and Mt Wellington Highway. The final stage opens to traffic this week with the completion of the motorway part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project. Aucklanders ...
    6 days ago
  • Kicking National’s tyres
    National’s appointment of Todd McClay as Agriculture spokesperson clearly signals that the party is in trouble with the farming vote. McClay was not an obvious choice, but he does have a record as a political scrapper. The party needs that because sources say it has been shedding farming votes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • As long as there is cricket, the world is somehow okay.
    Rays of white light come flooding into my lounge, into my face from over the top of my neighbour’s hedge. I have to look away as the window of the conservatory is awash in light, as if you were driving towards the sun after a rain shower and suddenly blinded. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • So much of what was there remains
    The columnists in Private Eye take pen names, so I have not the least idea who any of them are. But I greatly appreciate their expert insight, especially MD, who writes the medical column, offering informed and often damning critique of the UK health system and the politicians who keep ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #11
    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Mar 12, 2023 thru Sat, Mar 18, 2023. Story of the Week Guest post: What 13,500 citations reveal about the IPCC’s climate science report   IPCC WG1 AR6 SPM Report Cover - Changing ...
    1 week ago
  • Financial capability services are being bucked up, but Stuart Nash shouldn’t have to see if they c...
    Buzz from the Beehive  The building of financial capability was brought into our considerations when Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced she had dipped into the government’s coffers for $3 million for “providers” to help people and families access community-based Building Financial Capability services. That wording suggests some ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Things that make you go Hmmmm.
    Do you ever come across something that makes you go Hmmmm?You mean like the song?No, I wasn’t thinking of the song, but I am now - thanks for that. I was thinking of things you read or hear that make you stop and go Hmmmm.Yeah, I know what you mean, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The hoon for the week that was to March 19
    By the end of the week, the dramas over Stuart Nash overshadowed Hipkins’ policy bonfire. File photo: Lynn GrieveasonTLDR: This week’s news in geopolitics and the political economy covered on The Kākā included:PM Chris Hipkins’ announcement of the rest of a policy bonfire to save a combined $1.7 billion, but ...
    The KakaBy Peter Bale
    1 week ago

  • Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has delivered the Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua for its historic breaches of Te Tiriti of Waitangi today. The ceremony was held at Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton, hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, with several hundred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with Chinese counterpart
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has concluded her visit to China, the first by a New Zealand Foreign Minister since 2018. The Minister met her counterpart, newly appointed State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, who also hosted a working dinner. This was the first engagement between the two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivering world-class satellite positioning services
    World-class satellite positioning services that will support much safer search and rescue, boost precision farming, and help safety on construction sites through greater accuracy are a significant step closer today, says Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor. Damien O’Connor marked the start of construction on New Zealand’s first uplink centre for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Christopher John Dellabarca of Wellington, Dr Katie Jane Elkin of Wellington, Caroline Mary Hickman of Napier, Ngaroma Tahana of Rotorua, Tania Rose Williams Blyth of Hamilton and Nicola Jan Wills of Wellington as District Court Judges.  Chris Dellabarca Mr Dellabarca commenced his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New project set to supercharge ocean economy in Nelson Tasman
    A new Government-backed project will help ocean-related businesses in the Nelson Tasman region to accelerate their growth and boost jobs. “The Nelson Tasman region is home to more than 400 blue economy businesses, accounting for more than 30 percent of New Zealand’s economic activity in fishing, aquaculture, and seafood processing,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National’s education policy: where’s the funding?
    After three years of COVID-19 disruptions schools are finally settling down and National want to throw that all in the air with major disruption to learning and underinvestment.  “National’s education policy lacks the very thing teachers, parents and students need after a tough couple of years, certainty and stability,” Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free programme to help older entrepreneurs and inventors
    People aged over 50 with innovative business ideas will now be able to receive support to advance their ideas to the next stage of development, Minister for Seniors Ginny Andersen said today. “Seniors have some great entrepreneurial ideas, and this programme will give them the support to take that next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government target increased to keep powering up the Māori economy
    A cross government target for relevant government procurement contracts for goods and services to be awarded to Māori businesses annually will increase to 8%, after the initial 5% target was exceeded. The progressive procurement policy was introduced in 2020 to increase supplier diversity, starting with Māori businesses, for the estimated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Continued progress on reducing poverty in challenging times
    77,000 fewer children living in low income households on the after-housing-costs primary measure since Labour took office Eight of the nine child poverty measures have seen a statistically significant reduction since 2018. All nine have reduced 28,700 fewer children experiencing material hardship since 2018 Measures taken by the Government during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at Fiji Investment and Trade Business Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Tēnā koutou katoa, ni sa bula vinaka saka, namaste. Deputy Prime Minister, a very warm welcome to Aotearoa. I trust you have been enjoying your time here and thank you for joining us here today. To all delegates who have travelled to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investments boost and diversify local economies in lower South Island
    $2.9 million convertible loan for Scapegrace Distillery to meet growing national and international demand $4.5m underwrite to support Silverlight Studios’ project to establish a film studio in Wanaka Gore’s James Cumming Community Centre and Library to be official opened tomorrow with support of $3m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government future-proofs EV charging
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has today launched the first national EV (electric vehicle) charging strategy, Charging Our Future, which includes plans to provide EV charging stations in almost every town in New Zealand. “Our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to have world-class EV charging infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • World-leading family harm prevention campaign supports young NZers
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has today launched the Love Better campaign in a world-leading approach to family harm prevention. Love Better will initially support young people through their experience of break-ups, developing positive and life-long attitudes to dealing with hurt. “Over 1,200 young kiwis told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First Chief Clinical Advisor welcomed into Coroners Court
    Hon Rino Tirikatene, Minister for Courts, welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s appointment of Dr Garry Clearwater as New Zealand’s first Chief Clinical Advisor working with the Coroners Court. “This appointment is significant for the Coroners Court and New Zealand’s wider coronial system.” Minister Tirikatene said. Through Budget 2022, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for affected properties post Cyclone and floods
    The Government via the Cyclone Taskforce is working with local government and insurance companies to build a picture of high-risk areas following Cyclone Gabrielle and January floods. “The Taskforce, led by Sir Brian Roche, has been working with insurance companies to undertake an assessment of high-risk areas so we can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New appointment to Māori Land Court bench
    E te huia kaimanawa, ko Ngāpuhi e whakahari ana i tau aupikinga ki te tihi o te maunga. Ko te Ao Māori hoki e whakanui ana i a koe te whakaihu waka o te reo Māori i roto i te Ao Ture. (To the prized treasure, it is Ngāpuhi who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government focus on jobs sees record number of New Zealanders move from Benefits into work
    113,400 exits into work in the year to June 2022 Young people are moving off Benefit faster than after the Global Financial Crisis Two reports released today by the Ministry of Social Development show the Government’s investment in the COVID-19 response helped drive record numbers of people off Benefits and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vertical farming partnership has upward momentum
    The Government’s priority to keep New Zealand at the cutting edge of food production and lift our sustainability credentials continues by backing the next steps of a hi-tech vertical farming venture that uses up to 95 per cent less water, is climate resilient, and pesticide-free. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Conference of Pacific Education Ministers – Keynote Address
    E nga mana, e nga iwi, e nga reo, e nga hau e wha, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou kātoa. Warm Pacific greetings to all. It is an honour to host the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Aotearoa is delighted to be hosting you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New $13m renal unit supports Taranaki patients
    The new renal unit at Taranaki Base Hospital has been officially opened by the Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall this afternoon. Te Huhi Raupō received around $13 million in government funding as part of Project Maunga Stage 2, the redevelopment of the Taranaki Base Hospital campus. “It’s an honour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Second Poseidon aircraft on home soil
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the country’s second P-8A Poseidon aircraft alongside personnel at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Base at Ohakea today. “With two of the four P-8A Poseidons now on home soil this marks another significant milestone in the Government’s historic investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further humanitarian aid for Türkiye and Syria
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide further humanitarian support to those seriously affected by last month’s deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “The 6 February earthquakes have had devastating consequences, with almost 18 million people affected. More than 53,000 people have died and tens of thousands more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Community voice to help shape immigration policy
    Migrant communities across New Zealand are represented in the new Migrant Community Reference Group that will help shape immigration policy going forward, Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced today.  “Since becoming Minister, a reoccurring message I have heard from migrants is the feeling their voice has often been missing around policy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State Highway 3 project to deliver safer journeys, better travel connections for Taranaki
    Construction has begun on major works that will deliver significant safety improvements on State Highway 3 from Waitara to Bell Block, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan announced today. “This is an important route for communities, freight and visitors to Taranaki but too many people have lost their lives or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ginny Andersen appointed as Minister of Police
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has today appointed Ginny Andersen as Minister of Police. “Ginny Andersen has a strong and relevant background in this important portfolio,” Chris Hipkins said. “Ginny Andersen worked for the Police as a non-sworn staff member for around 10 years and has more recently been chair of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government confirms vital roading reconnections
    Six further bailey bridge sites confirmed Four additional bridge sites under consideration 91 per cent of damaged state highways reopened Recovery Dashboards for impacted regions released The Government has responded quickly to restore lifeline routes after Cyclone Gabrielle and can today confirm that an additional six bailey bridges will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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