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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    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    7 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    59 mins ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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