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What should Labour and the Greens do in Ilam?

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, March 11th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, national, Politics - Tags: ,

In a fascinating development Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji has announced that he will be contesting the seat of Ilam against Christchurch Rebuild Minister Gerry Brownlee in the 2017 election.

The seat is and always has been a National stronghold and has been won by Brownlee since it was created in 1996. Last election his majority was 11,898. Normally it would not be in play.

But Manji, who is a local councillor, is well respected and could do Brownlee’s chances some damage. As far as I can tell his ward, Waimairi, occupies at least some of the same area as the Ilam seat. And he is highly regarded and does a good job managing Christchurch’s finances. So things could get interesting.

From Stuff:

Christchurch City councillor Raf Manji says he has the support of National Party voters in Ilam and believes he can beat incumbent Gerry Brownlee in this year’s general election.

Manji confirmed on Friday he is standing as an independent candidate in Christchurch’s Ilam electorate, after Stuff revealed the Waimairi ward councillor was considering making a play for the seat.

He believes that he has a chance.

 

Manji accepted National was “very strong” in Ilam, but believed that was changing.

“I’ve had two elections here over the last three-and-a-half years, and won both of those, and the feedback I get is people want some change and they want a different perspective and a different type of leadership as well.

“The way way that I’m approaching it is people can still vote for their party, and that’s actually what the real vote is, but they can have me as an electorate candidate.

“I think the challenges for Christchurch are actually still very large, we’ve got another five to 10 years ahead of us and we seem to have no plan for what’s going to happen.”

 

Manji should be a card carrying member of National.  He previously worked for the same Merchant Bank that John Key worked for and spent a decade working in London’s Financial markets.

But clearly he is upset at National’s handling of the rebuild.  Brownlee’s disdain for heritage, and his autocratic mode of dealing with issues and blaming others for any mistake mean that Manji obviously thinks he has nothing to lose.

Labour’s candidate is Anthony Rimmell who Manji bet easily in the last Council election.  The Green candidate is David Lee who is a Wellington City Councillor and has some unusual ideas about campaigning.

This can be tough on candidates who generally immerse themselves into campaigns and give it their all.  But some sort of accommodation with Manji should be considered.  Because if anyone could beat Brownlee it would be him.

48 comments on “What should Labour and the Greens do in Ilam?”

  1. mikesh 1

    National voters who vote for Manji will still party vote National and, in any case, if Manji wins the seat he will probably support National in parliament. I think Labour and the Greens should stand candidates in that electorate to try and increase their respective party votes.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I agree but … imagine the look if Brownlee lost the seat.

      Actually it could be an Epsom scenario although from what I know of Manji he would as a minimum not be an un critical supporter of National.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.1

        Stand either a Labour or Green candidate, not both. Nats votes could be split.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Looks like the Green candidate is only there for the party vote. Hard to see the benefit for the Greens of not standing. Labour will stand because they stand in every electorate.

      • mikesh 1.1.2

        I agree it would be worthwhile having a “virtuous” National supporter in parliament, keeping them honest, but Gerry will get in anyway as a list MP if he doesn’t win the seat and, as in Ohariu, there is the overhang factor to consider; National will receive all the seats their party vote entitles them to but will receive an extra seat, in support, over and above those, if Manji wins.

        • Psycho Milt 1.1.2.1

          National will receive all the seats their party vote entitles them to but will receive an extra seat, in support, over and above those, if Manji wins.

          Exactly. Forget the schadenfreude possibilities if Brownlee were to lose, the possibility of National ending up with two more MPs than its party vote entitles it to should have the left scrambling to make sure Brownlee retains the seat.

          • Antoine 1.1.2.1.1

            Also, if Manji wins, he can start a small right-wing political party and potentially get people in on his coattails in 2020…

            However I don’t think he is going to win (unfortunately).

            A.

  2. Anne 2

    Stand aside and leave the floor to Manji?

    It could pay off at election time if a Labour-led coalition is on the cusp of winning a majority but needs one or two extras willing to support supply measures etc. and make their position more comfortable – not unlike the current Nat-led coalition of today.

  3. The Fairy Godmother 3

    Interesting. But lets say Manji wins the seat. who would he go into coalition with? Would he support National? If so it would mean that National looses Ilam but gets another list MP so we have the Dunne senario all over again. I would be very careful about this.

      • The Fairy Godmother 3.1.1

        If it looked like Manji could win with Brownlee coming second I would hold my nose and vote for Brownlee and party vote Labour if I lived in Ilam.

        • Chris 3.1.1.1

          Do not ever vote for Brownlee because is a complete and utter self-serving pig who needs to be ousted ASAP. He is filth.

    • AB 3.2

      Spot on. It would be the ‘Epsomising’ of Ilam and a total disaster.
      Best thing to do with Gerry would be to leave a trail of pies from Fendalton to a security door emblazoned with “Do not Enter” and suspended above the deepest, fastest stretch of the Waimakariri …
      (Sorry, body-shaming. I apologise unreservedly)

  4. As an Ilam resident of 36 years, and one who voted for Raf Manji in the 2013 local government elections (a boundary change meant I could not vote for him last year), I just want to point out that Raf has been good for Christchurch. The Council finances needed a tidy up after the quakes and a semblance of control restored. There were many different competing priorities and I don’t think the financial committee under Bob Parker knew what it was doing.

    Although I disagreed with him on housing, he has been pretty pragmatic about how Christchurch City Council should prioritize its spending. There is still some silly stuff happening, like art purchases I don’t believe we need. This is where the money could be better spent on making facilities more accessible to those with mobility issues, putting in more rubbish bins so the city is cleaner or clearing them more frequently and so forth.

    But of this potential scrap with Gerry?

    BRING IT ON.

    He did not attend the 2014 or 2011 Meet the Candidate events where the public got a chance to grill the prospective candidates. Voters seem content with a familiar face rather than a competent one – there are areas of low income housing around Aorangi Road, Brookside Terrace, Christian Street and so forth.

  5. Ad 5

    11,000 and a Cabinet Minister? Stop inhaling Mickey.

    Only chance for electoral change is if English calculates he needs another coalition partner and actively shoves voters Manji’s way. Unnecessary on current polls.

    Not impossible, just highly unlikely.

  6. Tamati 6

    Not a chance.

    People often call Fendalton the Remuera of the South, however it’s much closer to London’s Kensington that Remuera.

    Full of born to rule aristocractic families who have been living there since the 1870s. People there will actually look down on you if you went to the ‘wrong’ school.

    The fact that Gerry has fucked over the poor people out East, Will probably gain him votes in Fendalton.

  7. RedBaronCV 7

    If I remember correctly the Nact’s wanted the ChCH City Council to privatise some of it’s profitable companies (the power company for one) and put the money into the rebuild.
    Now again, IRRC someone in Chch did an end run around this by handing over the company income for a certain number of years to ACC? Super Fund? in return for a lump sum up front and then the income reverts to the council in the future.

    Made them a largely worthless sale. Was this Manji?

    • greywarshark 7.1

      redBaronCV
      That sounds like a financier type of deal. But one that was quite clever in serving all interests. Sounds like it gained immediate money, in exchange for a period with little income or none, but still retaining and regaining the asset at the end. Not a worthless sale at all. Emergency cash flow measures rather. I don’t know about that financial deal, but do know that Christchurch has struggled sometimes urgently, to get the money it needs without being asset stripped.

      What a great lot of comments about this bloke who makes good noises on the media, seemingly backed up with practical, intelligent actions. All the commenters have different scenarios and everyone with an opinion explaining the background leading to possible future result. So diverse. I don’t know where to put my bet, and the odds? Keep discussing.

    • millsy 7.2

      I think the Hawkes Bay RC did this with its leasehold properties.

  8. Keith 8

    He’s National in everything but name. All you’d be voting in another rich boy Tory to replace an arrogant tired Tory. Same shit, different bucket.

    Better to leave him to split the National vote like McVicar did in Napier.

  9. Cynical jester 9

    It would be amazing for Gerry to lose his seat but we’re dreaming. Hillary Clinton has a better shot at being named president this afternoon. That seat is hardcore national and gerry embodies its personality very well, these are the people who received little damage but whose homes were fixed at first priority. Raf is the guy who said when asked about a budget shortfall said “wouldn’t it be great if chch had two million people” claimed it should be illegal to walk home drunk and that people who go to hospital with injuries related to alcohol shouldn’t be seen which is nonsense, he seems like a nice guy and the best but those snobby wankers will never vote for anything other than self interest.

    • Ian 9.1

      Gerry lost his house in the earthquake but has not made a big deal out of it.Took a while to fix.

  10. mac1 10

    Party vote is paramount.

    If Labour or Greens do not contest Ilam then party vote might diminish a bit, but the result in Ilam will not affect the party vote determinant of the constitution of Parliamentary seats.

    If Labour does not contest Ilam, then I can no longer taunt National for not being fully National when it does the same. It would have about the same effect upon National- my taunts or Labour not standing- SFA.

    It’s also what National does. Labour and the Greens would be tarred with the same brush.

    I can’t see a benefit to outweigh the cons, frankly.

  11. repateet 11

    The good folk of Ilam will vote for Gerry. They will roll on their backs and let him tickle their tummies while they blithely ignore their neighbours he stomped all over to reach them.
    Any impediments to a speedy journey for him will be circumvented, airport security style. The only likely hold-up will be a stop for an ice-cream and pie on the way.

  12. Keir Leslie 12

    This is a terrible, terrible idea.

    Raf Manji is a centre-right councillor who governs from that perspective: centre-right, pro-asset-sales, anti-Living Wage, anti-social housing etc.

    His major solution to the Council’s financial difficulty was a fire-sale of the Council owned companies. The RMTU, EPMU, SFWU, PSA, local Labour MPs & councillors all had to dig in and fight to avoid this disastrous, ruinous programme of seeking to sell the Port, CityCare, Orion, Red Bus etc etc to overseas buyers. They managed to succeed, and that is what has driven the Council’s financial strategy, not Raf’s short-termist asset sales agenda.

    He isn’t at all left, so why should Labour step aside for him? From a strategic point of view, Gerry isn’t any better or worse than any other National MP, and he’ll get in on the list anyway. As others have pointed out up thread, Raf winning would simply create an overhang, and there’s no good reason to think he’d do anything but prop up a National government — that’s his ideological background.

    • mickysavage 12.1

      So he would be like Brownlee but without the aggression?

      • Keir Leslie 12.1.1

        Like Brownlee, but without the aggression and with an overhang and a sense of disappointment from leftie voters in Ilam we’d abandoned them to two rich tory boys.

        I also think there’s a long term disadvantage to giving right candidates the veneer of centrism which we should be careful of, and frankly, Manji’s got very little chance of winning so we may as well stand on principle.

        • mickysavage 12.1.1.1

          I will repeat a comment I made below.

          This post is not a hard proposal for [Rimmell] to stand down. It notes the fact that Manji is standing and is to float an idea. Having read the wisdom of the crowd I am coming to the view that Manji standing presents a great opportunity to split the vote and open the way up for you.

          The Greens may wish to reconsider standing a candidate although that is their call.

          • Macro 12.1.1.1.1

            Micky – in almost every electorate the Green candidate does not run for a double tick. In fact there have only been a handful of occasions where the Party has agreed for a candidate to run for the Electorate vote as well as the Party vote. Why? Because a candidate vote at the expensive of the Party vote is a wasted vote as far as the Greens are concerned. When someone comes up to a candidate and says “I gave you my vote”… nice, but if they voted for another Party, as far as the Greens are concerned – that is a waste of time.
            David Lee has what it takes to represent the Greens in Ilam – a staunchly conservative electorate. He is not seeking candidature, but is there solely to present Green Party policy, to an electorate that is uniquely “blue”. He will have achieved his goal if he increases the Green Party vote, and achieves zero Electorate votes.

  13. Cynical jester 13

    Oh hes running as an independent my bad. Hmmm still i think my dead grandma will do a backflip before national loses that seat

  14. Michael 14

    Labour should withdraw its candidate and advise anyone in Ilam who supports it to vote against Brownlee. Whatever it takes to get the Nats out.

    • weka 14.1

      I suggest you read the comments because there are some good explanations for why under MMP that strategy might give NACT another seat.

  15. Anthony Rimell 15

    As the Labour Party candidate in Ilam I’m standing to grow the party vote and change the Government.

    This needs to be THE priority in 2017.

    I note Manji’s decision to run, and the opportunity we will all have to debate the policies that will make a real difference for kiwis – especially our most vulnerable.

    Policies such as affordable housing, available health care, available education

    Whether it’s Brownlee, Lee, Manji – or me – the people of Ilam need to hear our vision and vote for what they believe is best for New Zealand.

    I believe Labour’s vision is the best one: that’s why I’ll continue to run, and to fight to have those policies heard.

    • weka 15.1

      Nice one.

    • mickysavage 15.2

      On ya Anthony.

      This post is not a hard proposal for you to stand down. It notes the fact that Manji is standing and is to float an idea. Having read the wisdom of the crowd I am coming to the view that Manji standing presents a great opportunity to split the vote and open the way up for you.

      The Greens may wish to reconsider standing a candidate although that is their call.

  16. weka 16

    Looking at the numbers,

    The total right vote (N, Act, Conservative) was 21,500
    The total left vote (L, G) was 12,300

    So if Manji gets a big chunk of the right vote, there is a chance of a left candidate winning (if Manji gets more than 9,200 votes). Presumably in this instance that should be Labour with the Greens standing aside. It’s hard to see what the gain would be there of the Greens giving up their party vote campaigning. Although I’m not sure if there is any reason that a party can’t campaign in an electorate if they’re not standing there. Is that a funding issue?

    • Ben Clark 16.1

      Standing in the seat gets you invited to all the local debates, which you might be discluded from otherwise. So it does make sense for Greens to stand, even if they then say at every debate/opportunity: Party Vote Green, Candidate Vote Labour.

      It’s also useful having someone dedicated to that area’s party vote campaign.

  17. Daniel 17

    An independent winning an electorate seat doesn’t create an overhang. From the Electoral Commission website:

    “If an electorate seat is won by a candidate not representing a party contesting the party vote, the Electoral Commission subtracts that number of seats from 120, and works out the allocation of seats between registered parties based on that lower number.”

    If Manji wins, seat allocations are calculated as if it were a 119-seat parliament – in effect, another party loses one list seat. As the (presumed) largest party, this will most likely come from National, in which case it means no net change to the balance of power (assuming Manji supports National on most issues) – but the lost seat could come from one of the current opposition parties, in which case it would be an extra seat for the right wing.

    (If the 120th quotient seat was allocated to a minor party with one or more electorate seats, and an insufficient party vote to get additional list seats, Manji’s election could cause an overhang, but the minor party’s seat would be the overhanger, not Manji’s seat. The effective outcome would be one more seat for the right)

    Again, assuming Manji will give National at least support on confidence, his election would be either neutral or negative for Labour/Greens and the balance of power. L/G should hope Manji does not get elected.

    Either you could encourage L/G voters to vote Brownlee, at the risk of driving down L/G party vote, and being accused of ‘dirty deals’, etc, or you could hope to come through the middle in the case of a split vote and encourage Green voters to vote for Rimell (and maybe the GP should withdraw their candidate), but this also runs the risk of being dubbed a ‘dirty deal’, although it at least seems less ‘dirty’ to ask left voters to coalesce around a left candidate to keep out a righty, than to ask left voters to support a right candidate to keep another right candidate out.

    It may be best for L/G to just stick to their regular campaigning, avoiding the ‘deals’ narrative, and hope that the electorate sticks with Brownlee, rather than pushing for an unlikely symbolic victory for Rimell that won’t change the balance of power, but I guess it will depend how seriously Manji is being taken, and how polls are looking, closer to the day.

  18. mosa 18

    I have found myself to be in the electorate of Ilam after moving north from Dunedin and having Todd Barclay as my MP in Clutha-Southland another Tory seat last held by Bill English, now i have got Big Brownie instead which does not fill me with joy.

    I have seven months to familiarise myself with the local area and issues ahead of the general election but my limited knowledge tells me that the National party has done very well in Christchurch and in the previously held safe Christchurch Central Labour seat has gone to Nicky Wagner of the National party since 2011 but Duncan Wbb for Labour is making a serious run and the infamous Poto Williams represents Christchurch Eat for Labour of course.

    But the all important party vote has favoured National.

    The Greens have David Lee (a former young Nat and election campaigner for Murray McCully) who is currently a Wellington city councilor running in Ilam in September but is only contesting the electorate vote and is not on the list and considers Brownlee his “mentor”.

    With that background and affection for the sitting MP i hope he is sure that it is the Greens he wants to represent.

    In the meantime i am prepared to “drop, cover, hold” should it be necessary.

  19. DoublePlusGood 19

    The real question in all this is why the hell the Green party have a National party sycophant as a Wellington councilor under their banner, and why they think it’s appropriate to run said Wellingtonian in the seat of Ilam.

  20. Antoine 20

    The suggestion on Kiwiblog is that Raf knows he can’t beat Brownlee in 2017 but also that Brownlee won’t be around forever. Has a certain plausibility

    A.

  21. Ian 21

    Lets pin a weasel on that post

  22. Jan Rivers 22

    Raf Manji’s interests are far more varied and progressive that those of the National Party He is interested in and supportive of:
    independent journalism,
    social enterprise,
    innovation and entrepreneurial approaches to business
    universal basic income and the impact of tech and robotics on jobs
    issues of equity and human rights,
    international institutions and their role, broader international relations and participatory democracy.

    None of these are core territory for the NZ National party or its MPs. There’s IMHO been a huge gap in our politics of compassionate centrists. Its good to see this space populated by Raj and incidentally by TOP and I think it represents a welcome change from the hard right, austerity privatisation and neo-liberal regime of our government.

    Raf’s approach to economics is definitely not neo-liberal kind and includes ideas from NZ Prue Hyman Living Wage economist and NZ Fabians 2016 guest Ann Pettifor amongst others


    http://www.tedxchristchurch.com/raf-manji/

    Not sure what it means for the Ilam electorate but mischaracterising Raf’s politics is not a helpful starting place.

  23. It’s worth considering a bit of election maths for this, as credible independent candidates actually function differently than minor parties, in that they subtract out a list seat from Parliament rather than adding an overhang seat, so it’s actually a little harder to determine who they benefit than just looking at political alignment, as you also have to determine who they replace in Parliament. The likely scenario is that the lost seat would be from National, but that’s not actually completely certain, as it’s entirely possible for other parties to secure that 120th list seat. Whoever would normally have it would lose out to Manji, and while that’s good if it’s National, it’s actually pretty bad if it’s Labour or the Greens. (the Greens are also a relatively likely party to lose a seat to an independent, as they frequently narrowly gain a seat based on the special vote)

    As for David Lee, it’s certainly a weird situation, especially as every electorate candidate is automatically qualified for the List, so that means that the selection group wanted him as an electorate candidate despite no plausible connection to Ilam and no desire to stand for the List at all. It sounds almost like they didn’t have anyone else of selectable quality willing to stand and really wanted in on that seat. Granted, Lee is a good fit for Ilam, and it’s nice to know they’ll have to replace him in the Southern Ward for 2019, as it’s a bit of a reluctant choice as to who you got there between right-wing Labour, right-wing Green, and virtual unknown.

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    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    7 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    7 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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