What if there were only 34 31 more whitebait harvests left?

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 20th, 2019 - 66 comments
Categories: Conservation, disaster, farming, sustainability, water - Tags: , ,

Three years ago I put up a post What if there were only 34 more whitebait harvests left? It was based on this graphic by freshwater fish expert Stella McQueen that suggests whitebait will be extinct by 2050.

From the post,

“We’ve seen this increase in a number of our fresh water fishes becoming endangered. So 1990 20% of our forty native fishes were endangered. Now around 75% of them are endangered. We need to protect them so that they can be there for the future”.

– Al Fleming, Forest and Bird.

Some twitter commentary from this week hit the nail on the head,

@hardsell,
 
How do you measure absolute stocks, rather than just species makeup by region? Commercial fishing can be reported, but not recreational volumes
 
@grahamsurrey,
You’ve hit the nail on the head there. In the whitebait fishery recreational and commercial takes are one and the same, given that there’s no restriction on the amount that a ‘recreational’ whitebaiter can catch and legally sell. It effectively incentivises greed.
 
What’s the solution? I reckon banning the commercial sale of whitebait is a no-brainer. Adopt the same rules as for trout. If you want a feed go and catch it yourself. Continuing the commercial sale of threatened species with no quotas or records of catch volumes is crazy
 
Meanwhile, the National Party Extinction Machiavellian are living up to their reputation, telling porkies and encouraging Coasters to literally and figuratively eat their kids’ futures.
 
 

Eugenie Sage’s Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill restricts whitebaiting in conservation areas. Responding to National’s ‘mischief-making‘,

“There are absolutely no plans to ban whitebaiting,” Ms Sage said. 

“The Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill does enable areas of conservation land to be closed to whitebaiting.

“That means native fish can have some rivers and streams where they can swim upstream and spawn without ending up in a net and a whitebait patty.

If National weren’t busy politicking New Zealand could be having a discussion about how people can be supported to transition to making a living from enterprises that regenerate nature not destroy it.

Managing native fisheries is critical, and giving DOC more tools to do that makes sense when facing multiple extinctions. Ultimately we need to start respecting the mana of all waterways, and restore and maintain their health. If we’re not going to ban whitebaiting while the stocks recover, maybe we should ban dairy farming along waterways instead.

More from the 2016 post,

We are living in a time of unparalleled environmental destruction: in one generation most of our freshwater fish have made the threatened species list and unless we act quickly they will be all but gone in another generation. As with most other environmental problems there is a lag period and we are now seeing the impacts of previous decades of unsustainable land-use hit home. Even if we stop the destruction right now and start protecting our freshwater ecosystems, these species’ declines will continue for some time.

To save our freshwater heritage we need amendments made to the freshwater fisheries regulations and to the Wildlife Act, and we must have effective regulations put in place in the agricultural sector. Government-employed and funded freshwater scientists’ hands are tied with political tape, meaning these changes must come from the people.

So rise up all those who want their grandchildren to see native fish and have swimmable rivers. Target the environment, fisheries, State-owned enterprises and conservation ministers, councils and Fonterra and tell them we refuse to accept the loss of our fish and our rivers.

We can have a strong farming industry and clean waters but not when the emphasis is on unlimited increases in production. There is a limit to what the land can produce sustainably and what waste the rivers can assimilate and that point has long since been passed in many parts of New Zealand.

Mike Joy and Amber McEwan, freshwater ecologists

66 comments on “What if there were only 34 31 more whitebait harvests left?”

  1. I saw one old codger on the news almost in tears saying he's vehemently opposed to this legislation because he wants his grandchildren to be able to go whitebaiting.  Sometimes the amount of cognitive dissonance a human can exhibit while still being able to breathe, eat etc like normal is just plain astonishing.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      There's a peculiar kind of selfishness about some people.

      What he really means is he wants to be able to go white bating with his grandchildren.

      Closing parts of the fishery now might mean he's unable to before for he's dead. That is a greater driver than wanting his adult grandchildren to be able to go whitebaiting after he's gone. It is likely he doesn't care about that – these people never do.

      My advice to the teary old codger is to take his grandchildren to the Fox River clean up. There they might learn something.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Sarah Dowie claims it's "sneaky".

    Breathtaking.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Save the whitebait – practice "catch and release".
    Personally, I think National are making a big mistake here. Public sentiment is heavily on the side of conserving these native fishes and the noise from the whitebait’s will strengthen that concern for the fishery. As well, most whitebait’s know there’s a need for regulating the activity and will see through the hype and misinformation. They’re pretty canny, the baiters.
    National’s chosen the wrong creature as poster-fish for their campaign.

    • Rapunzel 3.1

      LOL not too many NZers will be missing out, we are given some up here in the North from the South brought up by those who can and are spending many, many $$$ on it  We aren't immediate receivers of it but it comes via a third party, older person, who we give fresh fish to. I doubt any much or even any part of the high prices that can be received are ever seen by IRD.

    • Robert Guyton 3.2

      "whitebaiters" auto-corrects to "whitebait's" on my machine. I don't often notice the intervention, expecting none.

  4. Chris T 4

    Just reading the bill from the link, there doesn't seem anything overly bad about it that the Nats should go on about.

    Does seem a tad using a sledge hammer to open a nut, but there you go.

  5. Ad 5

    Needless expenditure of parliamentary time and effort.

    Just decrease the catch limit grams every year, or month. Like most other fish.

    Regulation already fine. If needed you could even license the fishers, like fly fishing.

    • gsays 5.1

      All the regulations in the world don't mean a thing without enforcement.

      Are you aware of a receipt being generated when whitebait changes hands in exchange for cash?

      Do you imagine whitebait being declared as an income stream* to IRD?

      *I can't have Robert getting all the quality puns in this thread.

    • New view 5.2

      Ad. I’m with you on this. It would be no different to the rules around taking shell fish and enforced in the same way. Most comments here suggest that all baiters are mindless greedy people who would pillage the river until empty. Of course some might. Just like those caught with sacks of undersized Paua. And greed covers all races. The other side of that story is that these bait fishermen have been been doing it for a long time and are in an ideal position to work with Doc in monitoring the fisheries. Wouldn’t it be better to work with them to replenish these rivers than to legislate. It’s something  this country does a lot of but in my opinion is often done badly. 

      • weka 5.2.1

        What legislation allows DOC to do that, and how would you prevent National from reversing any policy developed?

        I don't think all whitebaiters are greedy. I think the system allows people to take more than their fair share, and some whitebaiters are part of a culture that thinks DOC is bad and won't read the science.

        If you look at the first tweet in the post and read the whole, short thread, it's a good example of denial or ignorance of the science. Hard for DOC to work with that (although I do think there are issues on DOC's side as well, generally, because they tend to silo themselves off from the public at times).

        • New view 5.2.1.1

          The baiters have to register their spot now as I understand it. Just like duck shooters on the river. Why can’t limits and information sharing be applied as they do there. As for the old codger. I saw that clip and didn’t see any body ask him what his catches were like where he was baiting. Everyone's perception of the clip is relying on how the situation was portrayed. It may have been spot on and maybe it wasn’t. Do you believe everything you read and see is portrayed in context. 

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            What clip?

            The little bits I read about the Bill are that DOC want better tools for regulating a range of native freshwater fish issues. Re the WB specificaly I would guess that having to control stand by stand, or even river by river, is not particularly efficient.

            I also think the situation is so serious that we are beyond adjusting limits. The freshwater scientists watching the species collapse are saying we need an outright ban for a number of years to let stocks recover and to allow time to restore waterways outside of conservation. The Bill is a big compromise on that.

            Ad and yourself can assert that the tools already exist, but I'm still not seeing it.

  6. gsays 6

    Sadly, in answer to the question about 31 seasons left, I can almost hear hands being rubbed together in glee, with the thought that the price is going to go up and up.

    What you have proposed above is science, and the defence of whitebaiting is an emotional arguement.

    It's like no-one has read The Lorax by Dr. Suess let alone Jared Diamond's Collapse.

    Looking at Wellington I see a lack of pollies willing to take on the whitebaiters.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Let's stop calling them "whitebait" to start with and give the five species their actual Maori names. "Whitebait" is a perfect description of the ignorant colonial attitude to the species – a bunch of white fish that are generically called "white bait"

  8. mauī 8

    "…New Zealand could be having a discussion about how people can be supported to transition to making a living from enterprises that regenerate nature not destroy it."

    Such a great line that.

    It seems our cultural relationship with these little guys is totally disrespectful. Māori would have put a rahui on this taonga long ago.

  9. mac1 9

    I had a colleague, a teacher of science and mathematics, who bemoaned the fact that he could no longer catch the fish he used to catch in a particular bay. "I used to be able to fill the bottom of my dinghy with fish, " he said. I said back, as a teacher of history, "Do you think there might be a connection between the two?"

    "You know," he replied, "I never thought of that!"

    • weka 9.1

      I've come across this too. It's a startling phenomenon, but I suspect we all do it. How many people are on board with climate change now that weren't ten years ago despite the scientific evidence being in the public domain for decades?

  10. Stuart Munro. 10

    I expect the role of bush in whitebait lifecycles is underestimated. The runs early last century were epic, supported presumably by innumerable creeks and rivulets and forest detritus that comparatively bare farmland does not provide.

    But if we're going to rebuild whitebait stocks there should be hatcheries and live release until stocks recover – we did that for trout, we can do it for whitebait.

    • weka 10.1

      I'm guessing this is one of the reasons that Sage is giving DOC better power to control whitebaiting on the conservation estate. Once those rivers are protected it will be easier to see what to do about the deforested ones.

      • Stuart Munro. 10.1.1

        It's partly a political perception issue, which of course is also what drives the Gnat critique. If the only recovery strategy is curtailing what may in many cases be quite a modest take, the public with some justice feel that they are carrying all the burden. But if there is an active fishery rebuild, supporting that by temporarily suspending one's own fishing seems less onerous.

  11. roy cartland 11

    I remember being aghast when I went to Hong Kong once and people talked about eating snake:

    "You're considered lucky to have eaten snake, as there are hardly any left," someone told me. This had led to a rush in people scoffing as much as they could before they disappeared completely.

    Here we see look of smug defiance on those who relish their whitebait fritters, knowing that they're devouring an endangered species, but "they're so delicious".

    I wonder how many harvests would be left if there were more unpolluted habitats for them?

    • weka 11.1

      In the 1800s, when the European settlers here realised that species were going extinct, they hunted them for stuffing because they wanted specimens before they were all gone.

      I don't think most baiters are like that, I think many are just in denial, and National egging them on doubles down on that.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        There'll hardly be anyone catching whitebait and stuffing them for posterity, weka; come on!

        • greywarshark 11.1.1.1

          Lol you couldn't resist that one Robert.

        • weka 11.1.1.2

          I think there are too many people stuffing whitebait already 😛

          Probably not going to get the image of wall mounted whitebait out of my head now.

          • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.2.1

            Trophy fish.

            The story of the huia and the fashion frenzy that hastened it's extinction is really interesting and chilling, in that it shows there are many drivers, some unseen and difficult to foretell, that contribute to the extinguishing of other organisms, some of whom we admire, others of whom we don't. I don't know that we can guard well enough against those influences, quite frankly. So far, we've done a poor job.

      • Matiri 11.1.2

        National egging them on ha ha!!

        Doing our bit for the fishery as we don't eat them, can't see what all the fuss and $$ is all about. Plus we could see that harvesting bulging netfuls of juveniles was going to cause this very problem.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Delicious, and 'I'm entitled.  Done this all my life, and father and grandfather before.  (Quoting authority.)  I shouldn't have to change.   (Deflection – It's all those townies and incomers who travel around in caravans and come stealing our fish.)

      • Robert Guyton 11.2.1

        But there is an issue…

        …with traditional harvesting (think, muttonbirds…)

        • greywarshark 11.2.1.1

          Mmmm Depends how far back the traditional harvesting has been … before 1840, then in 20 year increments?    And Maori did actually feed early settlers in their time of need.    Shouldn’t the offspring of settlers now concede the rights of traditional harvesting back to their kaitiaki use, in a return of generosity and respect for rights?

    • Robert Guyton 11.3

      I fore-swore eating them, at the point where I'd just won a kilo in a raffle; handed it back, shouldered the responsibility and wore the ribbing…30 years ago…

  12. WeTheBleeple 12

    I can set up breeding grounds if you have a stream connected to the ocean (and historic whitebait presence). Through restorative efforts we could raise the populations much faster.

    They come in on a king tide/storm system to breed and lay eggs in the roots of sedges and other plants at high water. This is higher water than normal (king tide) but the eggs stay damp via capillary action of the streams water. So the eggs are damp but also have air. On the next king tide they hatch and float out to sea where they spend several months fattening up to whitebait size. They return to where they were hatched, or very close to it. Some think they follow the smell of mum (pheremones), others think they detect if fish are present (livable). 

    Edge is where it's at – a planted edge. To greatly increase breeding potential greatly increase the edge. A fishbone pattern would be very effective. 

    Storm systems churn the water up a bit making it safer for fish to move about and lay eggs in the shallows. If going for artificial hatching low barometic pressure, plants roots and some rock dust to cloud the water can work. I'm the only person to do this without chemicals but it's quite easy once you understand the storms/water levels trigger egg laying. In a tank system you want an ebb and flow set up.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      "I can set up breeding grounds if you have a stream connected to the ocean (and historic whitebait presence). Through restorative efforts we could raise the populations much faster. "

      You will have heard of the work of this gentleman…

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/75922680/

      Charles Mitchell was the kind of environmentalist who loved progress, hated red tape and shared his knowledge with anyone who'd listen.

      The sustainable whitebait pioneer has been described by his children as a "mad scientist of the best degree".

      "He was a true polymath," his daughter Megan Mitchell said, "an artist, a musician, a sailor, a builder, a scientist, a historian and a father.  He was generous with his time and knowledge, inspirational in his innovation, and above all, kind."

      Charles died in September next to his fish ponds near Raglan, where he'd spent decades restoring whitebait habitat.

      • WeTheBleeple 12.1.1

        Yeah we hung out. I miss Charles he was a radical and a bit of a genius.

        • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1

          How many "whitebaiters" are involved with improving the fishery; physically involved, that is. I've often wondered this.

          • peterh 12.1.1.1.1

            there is more than catching that is stuffing up whitebait. what about the stuffing up of breeding grounds. I have been whitebaiting for 65 years. and thats the main problem. plenty of whitebait get up the river out of season. and at night but when they get there nowhere to bred. also last year was one of the best for several years  I agree some of the problem is the catching but there are more problems than that when there were large catches there were not many  whitebaiters some days now   on some small rivers in the Nth Island there are more whitebaiter then fish

            • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed; habit and management is all-important. If "people" applied themselves, galaxy numbers could balloon. I'm wondering how many "takers" actively work towards building fish numbers and habitat. Or is it just "environmental" types that do the mahi there? If so, are the salt-of-the-earth baiters biting the hand that feeds them by criticising DoC etc?

              • WeTheBleeple

                Charles was working with a Southland power Company restoring habitat/s down there but didn't get any more detail than that. You'd think they'd use the project for PR maybe he passed before it was finished.

    • Robert Guyton 12.2

      WeTheBleeple: Do you have problems with mice feeding on the eggs?
      And/or eels, feeding? Herons?
      Not looking for problems, just wonderin’

      • Psycho Milt 12.2.1

        I expect he/she's very much against it!

        Sorry. I'll fetch me coat…

        • Robert Guyton 12.2.1.1

          I surely poorly-constructerized that sentence!

          I'll fetch mine too.

          • WeTheBleeple 12.2.1.1.1

            HA! Off with you and your coat! Take a look at sedges (with cutty grass type edges) and their root systems. The eggs are very hard to detect/get at – though kokopu/inanga grew up without mammals and it's anyone's guess what the mice are doing to them. I imagine natural attrition has always taken some out via other critters grazing. 

            That's a He, PM, except on Fridays… Fruity Friday we call it in making-stuff-up land. 

            Are mice hydrophobic? Rats aren’t…

            Toi toi and manuka were featured on Charles fish pond’s banks but also the sedges featuring prominently.

            Just wondering if there’s special wet/dry states to sedge root mass. What if it opens up/softens then closes/hardens. seen much stranger phenomenon.

            • Robert Guyton 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Interesting… in Southland, grasses, usually rank pasture grasses are said to be the primary egg-laying medium. Pity about the "natural" waterside sedges etc. browsed off by livestock or sprayed into non-existence. So mice can easily predators galaxid eggs down here. Our purpose-built waterway system in the wetland reserve on the edge of town has harakeke and mingimingi beside the water, but mostly still, cocksfoot, but “cutty grass” is making a strong come-back.

            • Graeme 12.2.1.1.1.2

              If there's trout or eels around the mouse won't be swimming for long, life expectancy measured in seconds rather than minutes once in the stream.  Then happy fat trout / eel.

              • greywarshark

                Could there be a close, happy whitebait catchers group be developed? People who are part of the in-crowd, and turn up before the run and put in more plantings in a special screened off area each year.   They would form a special interest group involved in a kaitiaki group taking part in the whole fishery thing, not just taking out of the fishery to suit themselves.   Could turn up early for the plantings and for a celebration day and evening with guitars etc, a bit of simple community cheer.

              • Robert Guyton

                True, but…the mice feed from the land; the eggs are high and dry/moist when the tides are not king. Any fool mouse that slipped and fell, however, is toast.

                No worse than venturing into a hen-run though; the life of a mouse is terribly hard!

              • WeTheBleeple

                Good point Graeme, eels are always present in whitebait habitat.

                Eels will take prey off the bank Robert – mice? Don’t know…

                • Robert Guyton

                  They'd have to be quick!

                  With eel numbers fallen, I wonder what effect that's having on the galaxid populations? In any case, let's make more habitat for both and let them get on with their lives. A Giant Kokopu would eat an elver, I reckon, but probably the two don't often occupy the same space. I know they love small chunks of blue codsmiley

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    There's a sizable population of sizable giants here In AK but I won't tell anyone where they are… Predator prey cycles denote a lack of eels will boost whitebait numbers which in turn will help the ailing eels. The idea of habitat plus fisheries restoration is sound. One or the other is like fixing a bone with a cast but not setting it first.

  13. Monkra 13

    I live in Westland and work as a chef. I would love to know the size of the black market in cash sales of whitebait.

    I have never heard of any local restaurant being audited by officials concerning their whitebait stock. All the owner has to do is say they caught the bait themselves.

    As soon as the season starts i have fishermen offering me whitebait for sale, cash only, price determined by bush telegraph, $50 a kilo or more depending on catches made. 

    I personally know people who make $80,000 a season, cash, no tax. One fella got a ton of bait in two days near the Hokitika bridge. Another friend took $30,000 to South Westland to buy bait for cash, spent the lot, shipped it to Auckland netting $90,000 in 24 hours.

    Recreational pastime my ass.

  14. Cinny 14

    Well said Monkra.

    There's a sense of generational entitlement when it comes to whitebait.  There in lays the biggest problem.  Free money is the biggest driver, when the fish are running. 

    Have often heard of people earning six figures catching whitebait.  And yes they just take it to the city to sell, often via the kitchens back door.  Laughing all the way to the bank.

    Also have heard of large volumes just being dumped due to things like not enough room in the freezer etc.  That's not at all uncommon.

    What I haven't heard of is any whitebaiters having an interaction with any fisheries officers. 

    maureen pugh is just trying to stir up shite with propaganda on an extremely emotive subject especially for West Coasters.  People don't like it when you mess with their tax free incomes, cause in the end, for those upset, it often comes down to money.

    But there is hope, round the Tasman district the kids are being educated via Whitebait Connection.  And it's working.  A 11yr old from a whitebaiting family was explaining to me the other day about the dire situation and how we need to protect the species.  I was like dang, the kids are getting it, what's up with some of the grownup's…  greed or ignorance?
    https://www.whitebaitconnection.co.nz/

    Shout out to Stew who is doing incredible work too…
    http://tasmanbayguardians.org.nz/whitebait-connection

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/114696170/protecting-the-tasman-bay-is-crucial-for-ocean-health-says-the-man-taking-on-a-kaitiaki-role

    • greywarshark 14.1

      That's great to hear Cinny.   Mokra it sounds as if that is partly true and partly stretched fishy story.   Just another thing that government has been lacking on.   This is the sort of thing that central government should be concerned about as local government often gets bogged down in local habits.   Someone put a fishhook in their nether regions eh!

  15. Nigel Jones 15

    Most of you have hit the nail on the head. Don't always blame the farmers for whitebait stocks decline

     Blame those on the river who are selling their catch. For many it's ONLY ABOUT THE MIGHTY DOLLAR.

    To those who say that whitebait patties for sale at gala days and community fundraisers have always been the norm– find something else to sell. Do we ever see Trout sandwiches or snapper burgers at fundraisers? No never. Our thinking has got to change.

    STOP ALL WHITEBAIT SALES

  16. We could use the Maori word Inanga however that is probably being deemed as rascist ?

  17. The main problem is the destruction of the Inanga's habitat, and the poor water quality due to aggressive farming practices.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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