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What went on at the ‘horn?

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, June 17th, 2008 - 53 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , , ,

Reports have been circulating around Wellington for several weeks about a night on the town for John Key with a couple of senior (though not old) Press Gallery members. Apparently John called them up and said he was in town and did they want to go out for a drink. One drink turned to a number of drinks at a couple of venues, most notably the Matterhorn.

Now some readers might see this as an interesting thing for the Leader of the Opposition to do, and certainly it raised a number of eyebrows in the Press Gallery itself (mainly from those not invited presumably!)

But it has been brought to our attention that Mr Key became somewhat ‘free and frank’ towards the end of the evening. He was heard commenting on the attributes of caucus members, including those who were ‘mad’ (Nick Smith) ‘out of her depth’ (Judith Collins) and ‘a prick’ (Gerry Brownlee).

He clearly had admiration for Bill English’s abilities though, because he said he thought he would ‘probably’ be rolled by him if he became PM.

Before the right wing commenters start attacking this as all just rumour and gossip, they might like to check with their National Party friends as to whether this event took place, and who remembers what was said. Small town, Wellington.

53 comments on “What went on at the ‘horn?”

  1. Disengaged 1

    Speaking as someone who quite often drinks too much at the Matterhorn and says things that he later regrets I think that this sort of interview technique should be encouraged. Can we move the live televised debates to the Matterhorn? I wonder if Peter Dunne will be so in love with the worm if it comes at the bottom of a bottle of Tequila? 🙂

  2. the sprout 2

    “mad’ (Nick Smith) “out of her depth’ (Judith Collins) and “a prick’ (Gerry Brownlee)

    seems Key is quite a good judge of character after all.

  3. T-rex 3

    Sprout – I was gonna say the same. If this is true I’ll have to reevaluate the guy…

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Well, Key has actually gone up in my estimation (from a very low base, admittedly). As Sprout says, he’s made a good call, on his caucus colleagues and his own future (18 months max, win or lose).

    Care for another, John? I’m buying.

  5. randal 5

    give him a joint and a couple of lines of peruvian marching powder and he will blow the whole gaff…

  6. the sprout 6

    He he, true T-rex and GS.

    English has a sharp knife ready for Key’s back to be sure.

    Maybe having a few beforehand would improve Key’s ability to speak on camera too? God knows he couldn’t do any worse than his past attempts.

  7. I heard this also. In fact, I’m pretty sure Key streaked down Courtney Place Barry Soper has photos.

    During the same night, Helen Clark, who called senior public officials into “Coyotes” for a fair few drinks, also got a bit “free and frank”. She said Mallard was a “complete dick”, said she considered Cullen as “nothing more than a mama’s boy”, while also admitting that Hobbs “had an eye on her back”. Obviously a bit tipsy, and to the disbelief of those officials there (presumably egged on by those who were not), Clark then called for WWIII against Kevin Rudd for slighting her with his ideas for Asia.

    She also said that she would rather watch paint dry then listen to the complete bullshit promoted and instilled in hard-core Labour lackeys lactating on the embarrassing site called the Standard, who has done nothing but further the embarrassments of her government.

    Credible? Probably not. But then I was only trying to fit into the generic, slanderous filth of this post. How am I doing?

    Before you left-wing commentators start attacking this as all just rumour and gossip, they might like to check with their Labour Party comrades as to whether this event took place, and who remembers what was said.

    Small town, Wellington.

    [I have checked with my leftwing contacts and can confirm that Hoolian’s stroy is not true. When I contact rightwingers regarding the events outlined in the post, they say ‘yeah, I heard about that’. SP]

  8. Tane 8

    You’re obviously out of the loop Hoolian.

  9. dave 9

    Reports have been circulating around Wellington for several weeks Do you mean reports, or gossip…or slander. Or nothing at all.

  10. Stephen 10

    Left wing, right wing, why the hell does it dispose someone to believing/disbelieving rumours – arg!

    they might like to check with their National Party friends as to whether this event took place, and who remembers what was said

    That makes some might big assumptions about the posters on this blog!

  11. Felix 11

    Hoolian just doesn’t have any friends to check with.

  12. Hoolian 12

    You’re obviously out of the loop Hoolian.

    How come? Because you truly believe that Key would: 1 invited press gallery members out to drink with him in public, fully knowing that they could print what he says; 2 would then tell these people his private thoughts about his caucus (which JUST happens to coincide with what the Standard thinks of English, Collins and Brownlee). Do you really expect us to swallow this drivel?

    I refuse to give your rumours any credibility. They’re pathetic and reek of school girls gossiping in Maths class when the teacher is out. The only people who are going to even think that this sort of crap is true, is those who want to believe it.

    Hoolian just doesn’t have any friends to check with

    You’re right. It all comes down to the fact that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It couldn’t possibly be that this post and all its contributors are furthering salacious hearsay. No, you’re right. There’s a massive right-wing conspiracy and I’m desperately trying to cover it up.

    Not even Farrar stoops to this low. Congratulations on your new level of nepotism.

  13. Hoolian: “They’re pathetic and reek of school girls gossiping in Maths class when the teacher is out.”

    Don’t boys gossip, Hoolian?

    captcha: ful recalled. Close.

  14. Quoth the Raven 14

    Congratulations on your new level of nepotism.

    What on earth do you mean? Please look up nepotism in a dictionary Hoolian.

  15. r0b 15

    Congratulations on your new level of nepotism.

    This is obviously some new use of the word “nepotism” that I wasn’t previously aware of.

  16. alex 16

    So assuming this happened at all, did this happen ‘off the record’, otherwise why hasn’t an article about this been published?

    And why would John Key ring a couple of reporters and hang out with them at the ‘horn?

  17. My sources tell me that Key is not by any means unacquainted with the ‘Horn and is known to partake of the cheapest pinot noir. This seems a much greater sin to some of us than the rather banal observations about his colleagues.

    Small town, Wellington? More of a big village, surely.

  18. Tane 18

    So assuming this happened at all, did this happen ‘off the record’, otherwise why hasn’t an article about this been published?

    Bro, a lot of stuff happens in politics that never gets reported. Don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it is.

    And why would John Key ring a couple of reporters and hang out with them at the ‘horn?

    It’s basic media relations to maintain cordial relationships with journalists, something Labour would do well to take note of.

  19. mike 19

    Interesting post but not does not really fit the Key persona to get pissed and slag his teammates’ off to a couple of press hacks does it?

    More likely the latest attempt to smear the guy who is pasting the incumbent in the polls at present.

    Rumor mongering is bottom of the barrel stuff but its obviously getting pretty desperate eh fella’s

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    A lot of very short memories here – why is everyone so incredulous? Have you all only been interested in politics for the last eight days or so?

    Wonder why this got Hoolian’s back up so much. Did Key promise you a few drinks and then bail on ya? Was it the same night even?! Rough bro. You just can’t trust that Key guy eh?

  21. Lukas 21

    And you guys accuse Ian Wishart of creating far flung stories…

  22. Joker 22

    “Congratulations on your new level of nepotism.”

    The only possible explanation I can think of for Hoolian’s use of the word nepotism is that he thinks you all had a vacancy for bedmates and from the list of applicants chose your mothers.

    Therefore he is calling you all mother fcukers.

    Or he used the wrong the word.

  23. Felix 23

    Have you all only been interested in politics for the last eight days or so?

    This is the same conclusion I’ve drawn from a lot of the more “frothy” commenting here and elsewhere. Eight days might be an exaggeration, but certainly not longer than one election cycle.

  24. all_your_base 24

    We’ll see Lukas, someone just emailed to say they reckon they saw a “tired” John Key and “a tv-looking guy” drinking late at the Matterhorn bar towards the end of April, maybe Wed the 23rd.

  25. Lukas. It’s not a far flung story. I had heard it, a_y_b had heard it, from people who were there. The Nat staffers have been talking about it. In fact, there was even a newspaper article about Key buying drinks a few weeks ago. I’ll try to track it down.

  26. alex 26

    Tane, cheers for your response.

  27. Lukas 27

    Got any names, to go with all these people who have heard it SP?

  28. Joker 28

    Steve,

    “Everyone’s talking about it so it must be true”.

    I hate to do this but…I have heard from a mate who knows a guy who was in the DPS on Helen Clarks detail that he used to drive her to Judith Tizards house for late night shinanagans.

    I have heard similar stories elsewhere and other people tell me that they know Labour party members who have told them its true.

    You cant use speculative poorly informed hearsay and then get stroppy if it is used in a way you dont like.

  29. Ok. here we are (great resource the wellington library databases).

    from the Diary section of the Dompost on April 29

    “Spotted trawling for votes among the Wellington barflies was National leader John Key… Making the most of a parliamentary recess, Mr Key was in relaxed form for his night out on the tiles last Wednesday [that’s the 23rd], starting at the distinctly student pub the Southern Cross, before sashaying down to Cuba Mall hotspot Matterhorn… Mr Key even plonked his credit card on the bar at Matterhorn for a select few and, speaking of plonk, he appeared to alternate between a nice Marlborough pinot noir and Monteith’s pilsner beer. “

  30. Lukas 30

    Joker… I would say a fair chunk of NZ has heard similar rumours about Helen… SP most of the people I have talked to have heard the same stories Joker and I have… must be true then eh?

  31. the sprout 31

    umm, Hooli’s use of “salacious” is also fallacious.
    seems to have gone to the same school that Key got his media training from.

  32. Lukas. I wouldn’t know and I don’t care, and it’s not politically relevant, just like all the other stories one hears about politicians’ private lives.

    But Key was out on the tiles with Espiner and Garner, the night out was reported in the Dom, and we’re told that on that night out Key commented “on the attributes of caucus members, including those who were “mad’ (Nick Smith) “out of her depth’ (Judith Collins) and “a prick’ (Gerry Brownlee).

    He clearly had admiration for Bill English’s abilities though, because he said he thought he would ‘probably’ be rolled by him if he became PM.”

    That matters – if the man who would be PM expects not to be PM for more than a token period of time and has no respect for senior collegues who would be ministers under him.

  33. Lukas 33

    Yes it is politically relevant if Helen is playing around with Judith… that would seem to influence her voting on a number of issues would it not? Also would say speak volumes to her character if it comes out that these stories are true would it not?

  34. No, it wouldn’t.

    I can name half a dozen MPs from all parties that are not openly homosexual but have been known to partake. There’s also the various affairs. The illicit relations with employees, and the one who takes problems out on caravans. None of it is politically relevant – that’s just people being people and what people choose to get up to in their private lives, as long as it’s legal and not behaviour which they have publicly against, is their own business.

    A wouldbe PM saying he expects to be rolled within months of winning and who thinks he wouldbe senior ministers are wacko is politically relevant.

  35. Lukas 35

    Is a current PM saying they only got married for political reasons politically relevant than?

  36. all_your_base 36

    Lukas: I’d advise fronting with a quote if you really want to discuss.

  37. r0b 37

    Is a current PM saying they only got married for political reasons politically relevant than?

    Possibly it was in 1981. Not now.

  38. lprent 38

    Lukas: That is just crap. Old and long discredited except for people who cannot rub braincells together.

    Helen and Peter had been living together for a while before her selection. They got married because in the late 70’s/early 80’s living together wasn’t as common as it is now. Politicians were meant to look conformist, and in those days especially the rare female ones. So they got married rather than just living together because it made the more traditional voters in the electorate happier.

    So no it isn’t relevant except in the minds of prurient dick heads like you who prefer conspiracy theories to listening to what people say. These days they’d have just carried on living together.

    I’ve known Helen for a long time. In fact I dumped a computer on her desk at home in the early 90’s and told her that I didn’t want an illiterate (by my standards) prime minister. But I’ve been known to have a narrow definition of the word illiterate. I wonder what I’d define you as if I met you?

  39. Lukas 39

    A_Y_B

    “There is certainly some evidence that Clark?s personal issues are manifesting themselves in Government legislation. Take this comment from the Myers book in 1984 on the virtue of marriage:

    ?I felt really compromised. I think legal marriage is unnecessary and I would not have formalised the relationship [with husband Peter Davis] except for going into Parliament. I have always railed against it privately.?”

  40. lprent 40

    So? I lived with my ex for 7 years without marrying. You could as easily say that my personal issues were affecting legislation, along with everyone else that lives in defacto relationships.

    For that matter you could say that my addiction to programming is affecting the whole NZ economy bearing in mind how many systems and programs I’ve written over the years. So what is your point? That people should be like you?

    Being aware of the differences between people in society is a critical part of the politicians job. Mind you it is hard to see how much relevance a money speculator has to most kiwis

    Anyway, this is more than slightly off topic. The post, if substantiated, could raise my estimation of Key. It is rare for a politician to have such a clear view on his incipient termination prospects.

  41. Lukas 41

    I agree that it is off topic, so I will drop the issue until such time as this discussion comes up again…

    This whole ‘rumor’ reminds me of how John Tamahere spilled his guts on the Labour caucus before the 05 election… main difference is ofcourse that Ian had the interview on tape and was able to back up his stories.

  42. Anita 42

    Avoiding the shouting about free speech for a moment…

    I am fascinated that someone as closely connected to National as DPF would post those cartoons. It seems like a high political risk for a low possible pay off.

    Is this simply an un-checked rush of blood to DPF’s head? In which case, what will/should National do to distance itself from the embarassment?

    Or is it (yet another) of the Nats using Kiwiblog to float a potentially risky tactic/idea at arms-length and see if it should become part of the National strategy? If so, why are they sure DPF’s actions will never reflect back directly on the party?

  43. Anita 43

    Ok, might go copy that comment to the right thread – dammit 🙂

  44. Lew 44

    I’m with Pilott – I can’t believe anyone is the least bit surprised about this all. I worked in and frequented a wide range of Wellington bars and restaurants in the late 90s, and anyone who did for any length of time has stories such as these, mostly more eye-opening but less clearly-rendered than this episode.

    Interesting in the sense that gossip is, and it might be worth wagering a pint or two on English rolling Key mid-term, but anybody claiming to base a vote on this was already voting that way.

    I say bravo, Mr Key – keep getting out and about among your would-be constituents.

    L

  45. Dean 45

    “None of it is politically relevant – that’s just people being people and what people choose to get up to in their private lives, as long as it’s legal and not behaviour which they have publicly against, is their own business.”

    Labour never made any mileage out of Brash’s extramarital affair. No, sir. Nothing to see here, move along.

    Absolutely pathetic, SP. Is there actually any chance whatsoever of you being at all objective about anything Labour or National ever do or have done?

  46. RedLogix 46

    Labour never made any mileage out of Brash’s extramarital affair.

    In general politician’s family and personal life is off limits. Except when either or both of these conditions apply:

    1. There is gross hypocrisy involved.

    2. Or the matter has a legitimate political dimension.

    Brash had used his marriage to LeJan politically and his affair was more than just humiliating to her, it fundamentally called into question Brash’s integrity. With this history he could never be PM.

    But the Press gave Brash a free pass over the most damaging apect. Having an affair with the Vice Chair of a lobby group who is one of your Party’s biggest backers is not only unquestionably political, but stinks of yet another sordid episode in National’s long history of secret “policy for cash” deals.

    Brash’s affair(s) failed both tests. Considering what a dead duck he was Parliament let him off relatively lightly.

  47. Rex Widerstrom 47

    alex asks “So assuming this happened at all, did this happen ‘off the record’, otherwise why hasn’t an article about this been published?”

    Oh good heavens, absolute masses of stuff that goes on and gets said by those in politics in dimly lit Wellington bars never gets reported! Partly I think it’s because some reporters just love the feeling of knowing something a lot of people – and certainly the public – don’t. And they like the idea they’ve been trusted with the confidences of someone really important.

    I’m sure Helen Clark has made similar comments to journos at some point and that if Key didn’t do it on this occassion he did so on another.

    And I’ll also bet that neither had anything nearly as interesting to say as Winston, and some of the people I met when I was with him, and which have yet to see the light of day… yet.

    *evil laughter echoed across The Standard as the mysterious figured melted once again into the blackness from whence he’d materialised*

  48. expat 48

    You think he’s looking to bump three deadbeats down the party list?

  49. expat 49

    Or is Labours spin machine fomenting happy mischief?

  50. Nedyah Hsan 50

    Ohhh… this is magic.

    I’d heard rumours that John Boy would step aside for Bill Boy after making his mark as PM and inserting it on his CV.
    Appears that hearsay of his night out with his flag waving journos seems to back that up.
    So I guess the party line now needs to run as “National; A Vote for Key, is a vote for B.E”

  51. Phil 51

    “National; A Vote for Key, is a vote for B.E”

    I’d tap that… I think Bill deserved better than ’02, and I think he learned some tough lessons.

  52. Just a small public service announcement on my behalf given I’ve been getting a few questions from political reporter colleagues as to whether I’m the Felix that’s been posting here of late.

    No it’s not me – it seems to be one of those rare occasions when there are actually two Felixs about.

    trust me it doesn’t happen often 🙂

    As you were.

  53. Hoolian 53

    Brash had used his marriage to LeJan politically and his affair was more than just humiliating to her, it fundamentally called into question Brash’s integrity. With this history he could never be PM.

    Redlogix – Go back to whatever hole it was that you crawled out of. Your narrow-mindedness is grotesque.

    There is no way that snotty, ignorant berk who sits on his computer blogging all day has any right to make outlandish allegations and slight anyone, let alone someone who isn’t in a position to defend himself.

    Your slighting of Brash is a sign of your total bigotry towards anyone who doesn’t sit on your side of the argument. Brash didn’t use his marriage “politically”; certainly no more than Clark did who openly admitted marrying Mr Davis for political reasons. There is no evidence to show the Brash did anything other than make a mistake that thousands of people make every day in this country. Extramarital affairs are not confined to the corridors of power.

    How did the allegations of an affair call “into question Brash’s integrity”? You knob. He ‘might’ have had an affair, but that is no ones business but his and his families. Its certainly no more the publics business than Clarks sexuality, Mallard’s wandering eye and Horomia’s secret after-dark visits by lonely girls.

    You have obviously decided that what’s good for the goose, isn’t good for the gander. Dishonest hypocrite.

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    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
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    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    41 mins ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Flicking the switch on a clean powered public service
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government of Infrastructure delivers for New Zealanders
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Boost for child, maternity and mental health
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Transport infrastructure upgrades to get NZ moving and prepared for the future
    $6.8 billion for transport infrastructure in out six main growth areas - Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Queenstown. $1.1 billion for rail. $2.2 billion for new roads in Auckland. The Government’s programme of new investments in roads and rail will help future proof the economy, get our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the funding of four major rail projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme is yet another step in the right direction for New Zealand’s long-term rail infrastructure. “This Government has a bold vision for rail. We said we would address the appalling ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
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