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What should Clark do?

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, November 18th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, helen clark, labour - Tags:

There’s a lot of talk about Helen Clark leaving Parliament in a year or so to head for an international role. While Clark would obviously be more than capable of performing well at that level, I would prefer to see her do something completely different.

Labour needs to build its membership and its connections with the communities of South and West Auckland in particular. It is a disgrace that they are losing seats and party vote support in the heart of working class New Zealand. Labour needs to rebuild itself as the people’s party and build the popular demand for an improved social democracy. I would like to see Clark, MP for Mount Albert, lead that effort.

Now, some will say that if Labour has lost some connection with the working class it is the fault of Clark and her top-down leadership style. And I think there’s some truth to that. Certainly the Fifth Labour Government failed to take its opportunity to build political consciousness, public demand for improved social democracy. But she is still the person for the job of fixing that. She has the mana, she has the leadership and organisational skills. We also saw in the final days of the campaign that underneath the tough exterior, underneath the ‘strong leader’ image, that Clark needed to win and keep her positions as Labour leader and PM there is still an idealist very much connected to her social democratic principles.

Such a role might not have the profile of a senior UN position but it is just as important. If Labour can build and extend its base, raise the political consciousness of the working class, our social democracy will be protected against whatever populist rubbish the Right can throw at it. Now, that would be a truly great legacy for Clark.

28 comments on “What should Clark do?”

  1. Carol 1

    I think Labour does need to rebuild its base as you outline. But I think Clark can do more good in an international role. I think her support for a UN direction towards a Green New Deal, perhaps in line with some of the direction the US takes under President Obama, will be good for the world, and indirectly for NZ. This could also help in a positive but indirect way for Labour, taking the same direction, while re-building its grass-root support.

  2. I think Aunty Helen would fit in with the UN, she should be given a plane ticket to New York right away.

  3. Joe Blogger 3

    Just leave.

    I don’t care where she goes or what she ends up doing but the sooner she leaves the country the sooner the Labour Party can begin repairing the damage she and her inner circle has inflicted upon the party’s supporters.

  4. Stephen 4

    Dunno bout carting Clark around south and west auckland…you seem to discount any possibility that Labour lost seats because people didn’t like the Labour/Clark combination…? I know you have anecdotal evidence that people didn’t really feel like voting Labour ‘just cos’, but still. If she does do that, her first job might be to explain to people what the hell ‘social democracy’ is.

    She’d do a fine job overseas, if so inclined. One thing one can’t argue with is how well she has handled herself and represented NZ overseas.

  5. Ianmac 5

    Joe and Brett: Sounds like you are suffering from fear and doubt. Mostly ex-Prime Ministers fade away after losing the Benches, and you add credence to the belief amongst most New Zealanders that Helen is still a credible powerful and respected person.
    W’da’ya scared of?

  6. MikeE 6

    As much as I don’t like Clark’s policies there is no doubt in my mind that she has an immense love for New Zealand and would always go into bat for the good of the country on the international stage.

    I think the international stage option is good for NZ, your suggestion is potentially good for the Labour party. You make the assumption that what is good for the labour party is good for NZ, which might not be the case.

    NZ would be far better off if she chose an international posting, similar to that that Mike Moore or others have done in the past. Above all though, the choice should be hers, she has earn’t a well deserved break.

  7. Felix 7

    Well if all these righties want her to leave…

  8. gingercrush 8

    Interesting idea, certainly has its merits. Don’t wish to talk about Helen Clark since its a good idea but I can’t see it happening. But its the other stuff you mentioned. That being rebuilding membership and connections. Which I think is really pivitol.

    South Auckland except for Maungakiekie went to Labour. Maungakiekie has had some major electoral shifts and much of it went into areas that typically vote National. So while its a seat Labour can win, I suspect its a seat that if largely stays in the same area, will swing left to right depending on who looks to be leading the polls.

    Mangere the real problem was a significant drop in voter turnout. Manukau East and Manurewa also was plagued by drops in voter turnout. Therefore, South Auckland is an area where you have to get people to go out and vote. In 2005 they came out largely in fear of what a Don Brash led National would deliver. 2008 its likely that Key wasn’t someone to be feared like Don Brash and National looked far more likely to form a government and as such the voters decided not to vote. Critically though, that meant Labour lost more votes and thus they could not even come up with the numbers to form a government.

    Waitakere too had a seemingly smaller voter turnout compared to 2008. It went to the right this time but not by much. Some suggestions were made over talkback and the mass media that the anti-smacking bill upset voters there. Such an argument I would suggest is too simplistic. I don’t know West Auckland very well at all. Is there a shift in who is living there? Are the demographics more conservative? In 2005 Labour won that electorate but its an electorate that I though had a real chance to turn blue in 2008. In fact I’m quite surprised but my opinion of what was likely to happen between 2005 and 2008 turned out to be rather accurate. Its the same idea Manning over at the news website Scoop also had.

    New Lynn and Te Atatu however were complete surprises and I did not expect those electorates to have National leading the party vote. Its not an area I know terribly well so I’m not quite sure what type of people live there. They don’t seem to necessarily have the same values as South Auckland but still looks to be working class suburbs.

    So I certainly agree with your assertion that in West and South Auckland Labour needs to engage much more in its people.

    But where I have problems is that you center on West and South Auckland and don’t look at other more significant electorates.

    South Auckland is not going blue its a matter of getting people out to vote. West Auckland does seem to be having slight shifts to the right but I don’t think is yet in danger for Labour.

    I think there are questions over certain electorates in Auckland city itself. Those being Mt. Roskill, Mt. Albert and Auckland Central. Two of those went blue. Now one reason I argue Mt. Roskill did not go more blue was due to the strength of Phil Goff. Had he not been there I would think that would have been a much larger swing to the right. Likewise without Helen Clark being the electorate MP for Mt. Albert, there’s a question as to how that could shift to the right. Auckland Central in terms of red/blue went blue. But if you look at Labour-Green and National-Act votes. Labour-Greens are ahead by 2000 and that surely should increase with the special votes counted. So its not an electorate that went to the right. But I dont think its an electorate where Labour would want to lose the party vote to National. Those three electorates can expect further changes in the future when Helen Clark and Phil Goff eventually go and right now I would say its shifting right.

    But more critically I think is Christchurch. Christchurch you saw National swallow up large chunks of votes in Christchurch Central and Wigram. Ilam extended to the right. Port Hills went to the right. Waimakariri went to the right. And even in the more solid Labour electorate of Christchurch East significantly closed up with a difference of just 4000 votes. Christchurch has working class elements but is a complete different city than South and West Auckland. There isn’t a huge Maori population nor are there many Pacific Islanders. There’s a number of Asians and Indians however. I’m not sure what you could do in Christchurch. But to ignore Christchurch which is growing pretty fast and has become New Zealand’s second largest city is something that could do significant damage to Labour in the future. Also potentially in the long-term due to new housing developments Wigram could prove to become blue. Port Hills and Christchurch Central have a few areas that are set to really start pushing out working class homeowners.

    Dunedin and Wellington have shown that they continue to and will always be Labour unless a complete catastrophe takes place. Likewise,while you didn’t win the vote in Hamilton. I still see Hamilton as largely swinging left/right depending on who is leading. But at the same time I think Hamilton may ever slightly be shifting towards the right.

    But Labour’s most pressing issue are the provinces. North to South they went Blue. And while some like Clutha-Southland, Kaikoura, Rangitikei, Taranaki-King Country you expect to go blue there are several electorates that shouldn’t be that Blue and really should be red.

    Nelson and Invercargill both went blue this time. Invercargill is extending out and included areas such as Riverton and due to population growth is likely to extend further into Southland so its got potential long-term problems for Labour. Nelson if you crunch the numbers Labour-Greens got about 500 votes more than National. Suggesting its still likely to tend red and certainly centre-left. But likewise there is a chance shifting boundaries may bring in more National supporters.

    Other electorates where I think the party votes should be much closer if not red would be: Napier, New Plymouth, West Coast-Tasman, East Coast and Rotorua.

    The provinces are pointing to increasingly favour the right.

    —–

    Yes South Auckland and West Auckland are critical to the long-term success for Labour and ultimately the centre-left. But to ignore Christchurch, Auckland City and certain provinces in the North and South and you’re looking at real potential long-term problems.

    And for that it needs more than an inspiration leader such as Helen Clark. It means real grass-root organisations and different ideas and policies that are not just about the working class. Especially when Urban working class are very different to other blue collar workers.

    —-

    I know I’m often just talking about National and Labour and not thinking about voting blocs. Those being centre-right and centre-left but besides a few electorates the Greens and Act votes don’t make much difference.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Clark should do whatever she wants. She owes the Labour Party nothing. She did more in nine years than Labour managed in the previous fifty.

    Labour voters will return because of what this government does, and because Goff is smart enough to know when to hit and when to hold off. National will lose 10% in the polls in six months, and never regain that support.

  10. Kerry 10

    Im torn somewhat……i think what you suggest is perfect for the future of the Labour party…but wonder whether it would be enought for Helen.

    Either way she was a person of morals and a bloody good leader…both of which we dont have under this shonk Nat/Maori/Act/United Future government with old “ï’ll say anything and smile at anything to be your PM Keys”.

    Shallow as puddles whose right wingers…..

  11. I have no fear or doubt, I just think Aunty Helen would fit in perfectly with the UN, it’s her type of people.

    Where else would she go? and what else would she do?

  12. gingercrush 12

    gobsmacked sorry but where do you see that 10% coming from? 2005 election Labour/Greens won 46% of the vote. 2008 Labour/Greens won 40%.

    2005 National ran a right-wing campaign and the left here including you are saying National is exactly that this year. But then a 10% can’t be possible. Even if you include those who chose not to vote and would have voted Labour/Greens you’re still missing about 2%.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Gingercrush

    Lose 10% = National 35%, give or take.

    5% is natural drop-off, from people who just projected their own vague wishes onto the ballot paper. It happens to most incoming governments. It’s even more likely to happen when the Change message is so soft, that reality can’t hope to match it.

    5% is the economy. And lose an extra 5% if they stuff up badly on presentation and disunity (I think they probably will, but I’ve generously left that out of my numbers!).

  14. gingercrush 14

    I don’t really see how that works. And you haven’t included the change in leadership within Labour. Helen Clark always polled better compared to what Labour polled as a party. I’m not saying Goff and King are going to do much damage to Labour. I don’t expect much change. But I have to believe at least some Labour supporters remained loyal due to the Helen Clark factor.

  15. Felix 15

    gc,

    I think National ran a fairly left-wing public campaign (by promising to keep most of Labour’s policies and programs) with a simultaneous right-wing dog whistle campaign (hinting that they’d prefer to get rid of many of those policies given half a chance).

    The question is who do they stay true to – the traditional right-wing or the “Labour Plus” voters?

    I don’t see how they can maintain the support of both groups.

  16. gingercrush 16

    Well where are the traditional right-wing meant to go?

  17. gobsmacked 17

    GC

    Well, time will tell. We’ll discuss it in six months!

    John Key, yesterday: “We have to do more with less and that is the practicality of the economic circumstances we face. Every minister in my government has to front up to that.”

    This was not the message to voters before November 8. He didn’t “front up” himself. Now he has to deal with the consequences of raised expectations, for which he is personally responsible.

  18. randal 18

    gingacrucnh
    I read your material but there is never any conclusion
    are you just filling in space or do you have something positive to contribute
    ditch the waffle and lets hear it

  19. I know I would be very proud were Helen to be in a senior position in the UN, after all we’re going to need someone decent representing us what with Murray McCully just being appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.

  20. Felix 20

    gc,

    “Where are the traditional right-wing meant to go?”

    That is exactly my point – they go further to the right, to ACT – and giving ACT more power pulls National further to the right thus alienating the “Labour Plus” voters.

  21. gingercrush 21

    We’ll see though good point.

    The left thinks John Key and the National-led government has gone too far to the right and not nearly as moderate as they claimed to be. Thus they are questioning why mass media are ignoring what this government is doing. The right generally thinks so far Key is doing a job well done and some Act supporters are having orgies.

    And the ones who swing left/right are so far a mystery. Do they fall asleep after an election or keep following things?

    I only know one person who changed their party vote this time. Went from Green to Progressive. Reason was Kiwibank. We tend to forget Kiwibank was Anderton’s project.

  22. the bean 22

    god I am with gobsmacked on this one! Steve, I normally think you are pretty spot on but in this instance I have to strongly disagree.

    Firstly let Helen, and Peter for that matter, get on with the rest of their lives minus large burden of Labour party. I am sure Helen will always be involved in some capacity but she needs to move on to doing something totally different where she won’t have the abusive crap that has been leveled at her from some sectors in the electorate.

    Secondly the best way for Helen to retain her mana is to go gracefully- as she has- not to stick around and try to carry the Labour banner further. It is up to others in the party now and Helen shouldn’t sully her legacy by being a core organiser of a Labour renewal.

    Thirdly- and as already hinted at- reconnecting and renewing should be done by the new base (or the old new base depending on who you are talking about). There is major talent at all levels of the party and it is time for the work to be done by others precisely to ensure the future of Labour. If Helen keeps doing everything then the young talent will lack exposure and experience once she really is gone.

  23. ak 23

    Right on, bean. Hels has sacrificed more, worked harder and achieved more real gains for kiwis than any politician in living memory, and her legacy and stature will ensure that she stays right up there with Michael Joseph for eternity.

    And her reward? The most vicious, filthy, unfounded media-abetted campaign of personal attack and demonisation ever seen in this country, coupled with relentless and traitorous back-stabbing from former friends – the Moores, Ralstons, Shadbolts, Woodhams, Tamiheres, and their craven, egotistical ilk – culminating in the abject failure of those she has worked so tirelessly for to even get off their arses and vote.

    Her disappointment at the public’s reaction to the disgusting Orewa One racism was palpable at the time: its tacit acceptance of the disgraceful low-level misogynic “nanny state” campaign and their willingness to replace her with a grinning lobotomised car salesman should convince her that it’s now time for Helen.

    More than any other kiwi right now, she owes this country nothing. Your talent and dedication will forever be acknowledged Hels, but right now we’re still insufficiently mature to deserve you. Go and enjoy yourself girl, you’ve earned it.

  24. randal 24

    I think she should hang around till the snap election next november when natoinal will bite the dust

  25. Akldnut 25

    Yeah I agree with Randal. She should just “Hang with the peeps” and step in to cleanup the mess with Goff and crew in 12 months or so.

    Why go overseas and cleanup shit for Nat after all the bs and spinning!!!

    Nah! stay home and have a break.

  26. Sarah 26

    Oh the UN can have her. Hopefully it’ll bring down both of ’em at the same time.

  27. Felix 27

    gc,

    “And the ones who swing left/right are so far a mystery. Do they fall asleep after an election or keep following things?”

    Yeah I wonder that too.

    My feeling (and it’s just a feeling) is that swing voters are fairly apolitical most of the time and decide pretty late based on a range of emotional and brand-driven factors.

    Of course there are plenty who shift between Nat and ACT or between Labour and Green etc but those who actually swing between left and right surely can’t be too interested in politics generally.

    For example I heard tonight from a usually Labour voting friend who voted National for the reason that Helen Clark doesn’t have children. Whether she wasn’t aware of this salient fact at the last 3 elections or it suddenly became important to her I have no idea.

  28. Spectator 28

    Randal: don’t hold your breath waiting for an early election. Remember that turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas. Unless Obama pulls off a financial miracle and staves off the looming recession in America, our economy will flounder along with theirs; and you can expect to see mass disaffection from people who notice that this Government will have promised much but delivered little.

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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
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    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
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    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    10 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    11 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    12 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    7 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    1 day ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    5 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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    5 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    5 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
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    6 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
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    7 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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