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Why is it wrong to want a better world?

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 25th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

“If you are under an illusion that class warfare is non-existent in our society, then look no further. Today an incredulous Deborah Hill Cone took aim at the Occupy Movement. She cunningly opens her piece with a suggestion that “I’d have thought Aotea Square was more an embodiment of what is wrong with socialist-type centralised planning.” From this opening position she descends into a one-eyed rant that can really sum up everything that is wrong in Modern New Zealand society.

Her first line of attack blindly follows the wider mainstream media reaction to the movement around the world,

I don’t have much of an inkling of what the Occupy This and That movement is really wanting. Do they have a clue? As some wag quipped at a few hundred ragtaggle people with signs saying “We are the 99 per cent”, it seems they are rather bad at maths.

 

After pointing out no facts, offering no logical reasoning, she goes on ask “why is it that I find myself thinking the protesters seem not inspirational but a bit brattish? Anyway, I suspect many of the Occupy protesters are not so much against capitalism per se, as feeling miffed that they personally are not rich capitalists.” 

But she reveals the ‘truth’ later in her rant,

Back in 1994 when The Bell Curve was published, Murray sounded a warning, arguing that those with high intelligence (the “cognitive elite”) are becoming separated from the general population of those with average and below-average intelligence, and this was a dangerous social trend. He was right, but it is probably not a conclusion the protesters in Aotea Square would like to hear. As T.S. Eliot said, humankind cannot bear much reality.

Can you believe this? Fortunate as I am to enjoy the luxury of conscious thought and a reasonably rational mind, I was skeptical. Then I remembered, just yesterday I’d read comments from one of New Zealand’s top academics, Dr Campbell Jones of Auckland University. The article is entitled ‘Occupy Wall St has a message for Kiwis’. In it, Dr Jones says,

“So what is this movement about? In part, the answer is quite simple. The Occupy Wall Street movement targeted the centre of financial power in the United States and indeed the world. In this sense “Wall Street” symbolises finance, the banking and financial services sector. So let there be no mistake – these occupations are opposed to the economic power of finance capital.”

 Dr Jones goes on to offer insight based on research, reason and facts,

“MANY people in New Zealand value equality, and think of this country as being egalitarian. The blunt reality, however, is that New Zealand has become one of the most unequal societies in the world, and is in the process of becoming increasingly so. Last week, Dame Anne Salmond called for a change of heart in our country, racked as it is with social and economic inequality.

A change of heart would, however, require changing the ways that we think. It would involve changing how we think about the 151 individuals in this country whose wealth expanded by $7 billion this year, while at the same time real incomes fell for almost everyone else. It would involve changing how we think about rising poverty and social deprivation. Such a change of thinking would enable us to see how 1 per cent can do very well indeed, while austerity and crisis are the fate of 99 per cent.”

So after a few moments pondering Deborah Hill Cone’s suggestion that the ‘cognitive elite’ are becoming separated from the general population, I asked myself; who does Hill Cone actually believe the cognitive elite to be? Obviously I assumed that, being the sharp and informed journalist she believes herself to be, and applying her superior cognitive abilities, she took it upon herself to research the issues behind the movement, and consider opinions of experts in related areas. If so, it would appear she has come to the conclusion that to be ‘cognitively superior’, you must have money and power. She appears to have concluded the reasoning presented by Dr Jones as misguided and ill-informed, which allowed her to affirm her belief in just who the superior ‘cognitive elite’ really are. Then I thought, well I’ll consider another view as well, since these two appear to be quite at odds.

Dame Anna Salmond is a great New Zealand writer and academic, she has excelled in her career and deservedly gained recognition. Last week she wrote ‘We could do with a change of heart

The problem, it seems, is a loss of balance. In the pursuit of profit, everything in the world – the earth itself, other species, knowledge and indeed, other people – has been turned into a “resource” to be exploited, often without care or conscience.

In the process, ideas of justice, truth and the common good have been undermined. Without these bulwarks, democracy falters, capitalism fails to share wealth and the distribution of income shifts dangerously out of kilter.

Since the 1990s, income inequality in New Zealand has soared.

She goes on to make a poignant observation, that I suppose Deborah Hill Cone dismissed as misguided and ill-informed,

The philosophies that persuaded many Kiwis to betray their own best values are bankrupt, and our future is at risk. A nation that does not care for its children has a death wish. A society that destroys the environment that sustains it will fail.

This, then, is the puzzle. Why do people support policies that are not in their own interests, let alone those of future generations?

Some suggest this is because the middle 40 per cent of income earners aspires to join the top 10 per cent and does not want the bottom 50 per cent to displace them. This may help to explain the rise in consumerism and household debt, but it is only part of the story.

People also have to be persuaded that there is no alternative to the policies that beset them, or that external factors are to blame, or the likely impacts on their lives are misrepresented.

Here, the freedom of the press is vital. If the independence of the media is compromised, the flow of information is in danger and independent voices are silenced. The press becomes a tool in the politics of diversion, with stories about celebrities and scandals displacing reporting on serious issues.

I’ll leave the final words to Deborah Hill Cone, she appears to be the authority,

The truth is, the world cannot be made perfect: the protesters are like toddlers having a tanty. “It’s not fair!” Why should some people be born into money while others are born into poverty? Why should some people be healthier or prettier or more charismatic than others?

I know how they feel, but let us try to face this reality together, like adults, rather than running away from home and setting up a tent at the bottom of the garden like sulky children.

New Zealand is an egalitarian society with no class divisions? Yeah, right. 

Rijab

37 comments on “Why is it wrong to want a better world?”

  1. deemac 1

    there certainly is something wrong with the world when a nitwit like DHC is paid big bucks to write her inane column!

  2. uke 2

    Could this be her Marie Antoinette moment?

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Oh, for full public ownership and operation of a nationwide newspaper and a nationwide TV network.

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      so you can distribute government propaganda against everyone’s will? even if you don’t like what the herald publishes, at least recognize the fact that is allowed to have an editorial slant, seeing as it is privately owned and all that. thestandard owns this website and is not subject to external editorial control, why should the herald? twat

      • KJT 3.1.1

        There should at least be a requirement that they do not lie.

        Having to reference News paper articles would be a good start.
        So we can see for ourselves how much they have slanted things from the source.

        • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1

          lies? i see no lies by dhc? just because mr smith belives that she is lying or mis-informed, does not make it so, even if you agree with him. or are you referring to david parkers guest post over on kiwiblog?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        so you can distribute government propaganda against everyone’s will?

        What’s the difference to distributing corporatist and bankster propaganda against everyone’s will?

        • TightyRighty 3.1.2.1

          Doofus. You don’t pay to produce the herald or the dom post whether you read it or not. If you don’t like whats written, don’t read it. if you have a real problem, don’t buy from those who advertise in it in protest. Just please don’t try and pull the wool over the eyes of intelligent people with your demands for a fully government owned newspaper network. we know it will just be a mouthpiece for the government of the day if it is set up under a left wing government. you already have a nationwide public tv broadcaster, as if you weren’t obviously stupid enough.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            🙂

            Rupert Murdoch’s getting fucked for his little game of political control by MSM.

            Don’t pretend that isn’t happening my friend.

            Public broadcasting all the way mate, push big money out of the MSM and out of politics.

            You don’t pay to produce the herald or the dom post whether you read it or not. If you don’t like whats written, don’t read it. if you have a real problem, don’t buy from those who advertise in it in protest.

            My protest is to fuck the corporate MSM. Do you have a problem with that? I’ll do a lot more than withold my $2 from the Dom Post lol

            • Gosman 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Yeah sure you are going to fuck the corporate MSM. I think you might be having a little attack of delusion of grandure Colonial Viper.

              How are you going to achieve this fucking exactly, by posting left wing comments on a left wing blog perchance?

              It would be sad if it wasn’t so damn funny.

  4. AndrewK 4

    “Oh, for full public ownership and operation of a nationwide newspaper and a nationwide TV network.”

     Trouble is the government of the day can control content by stacking the top management with running dog lackeys -National Radio and the appointment of Richard Griffin springs to mind. (I still listen to National Radio in spite of its banning of Martyn Bradbury, but I stopped reading the Listener after the great leap to the right- about the same time they got rid of Gordon Campbell.)

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      If you can protect the independence of the fraking Reserve Bank and of Stats NZ you can sure as hell protect the public news service.

    • Gosman 4.2

      What you want is to ensure those that work for a Government controlled media organisation thinks ‘correctly’. A few years in a re-education camp on the Chathams chanting the Communist manifesto should sort them out.

    • seeker 5.1

      Thanks for the link JS- have just copied this quote from its editorial:

      “We are not just a handful of dreamers – we are realists. We are not stupid – we know something is very, very wrong with the world. We are not cowards – we are stepping up and putting ourselves forward to take part in this movement. We are not naïve – we know the problem is not a few greedy people ruining the system, the problem is a system based on greed that ruins people.”

      I would love for Thatcher to read this just before she leaves this earth for good. So she can see what evil the system she set up has wrought on the society she said, for her own convenience, never existed.
      It was so much easier for profit to economically quantify everyone and say we did not exist,only as individuals or units. So much easier to reckon with. (Paula Rabstock uses this method.) What a waste of Thatcher’s life to have brought so much misery to so many people and all in the name of money!
      Well she will be going somewhere pretty soon where she will have to deal with an account she won’t be used to; an account of herself and her ghastly policies and actions.She will have to give this account to someone far more powerful than herself and it will have to be the truth whether she likes it or not.
      I hope Douglas, Richardson, Brash, Ashcroft, Key and his Blues band, PhilO’Reilly and the business roundtable, the Koch Brothers, not to maention the US republicans and Tea Partiesetc. note all this. Accounts will be required from them and they will be judged -pretty harshly I would imagine.-Because they have forgotten their neighbour ie.their fellow man and have worshipped money instead.Yuck!

      *My dad would not have been happy with what Thatcher and her ilk have done with the world over the last 30 odd years, especially as he nearly lost his life fighting for it in Europe from 1939-1946. He died just before she fully emerged from the woodwork in 1979. A great father and human being.

      NB I hope DHC reads this post -she might gain some insight and wisdom and thereby mature. If she gets a new hairstyle I will see this as a small sign of salvation occuring. At the moment her photo appears to reflect her thinking- lopsided and certainly outdated.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Do you mean read your comment or the post that this thread is about?

        Both are just typical left wing ranting at anybody who dares have an opinion contrary to the leftist world view.

        I’m pretty sure Thatcher and Hill-Cone woouldn’t be influenced at all by this biased nonsense.

        • seeker 5.1.1.1

          Gosman
          I was talking initially about Thatcher reading the quote I had extracted from the editorial of the first edition of the Occupied Dominion Post that JS 1.09pm comment5 had thoughtfully linked to and which I read
          .
          My “rant” was more supernatural than left wing – although the two do generally go together as my supernatural leaning tells us to treat our neighbours as kindly as we would treat oureselves which is more left wing and it is obvious that rightwing ideologies tend to put the individual first and are more akin to a nastier supernatural leaning which says “do what thou wilt.”

          My “rant” was about Thatcher and co’s ruinous legacy and her need to see it for what it was. This may help her, ‘cos even for Thatcher it is not too late to see how wrong her ideology had been and that she might, even at the last minute turn and say sorry.
          The others – and you Gosman- have a bit longer. However y’all still need to turn from the horrible errors of your ‘way’ and find a new one.Hopefully this Occupy Movement and articles like Dame Anne Salmond just might ignite a little spark of insight and remorse in your vain, hardened and almost, metaphorically speaking, dead hearts.

          NB DHC ‘s cynical article instigated parts of my diatribe Gosman , in case you thought I was off thread. And finally, I hope you are over what appeared to be early morning grumps today 🙂

  5. JS 6

    It is funny and sad how those at the top of the wealth and privilege pile like DHC just don’t have any insight into how the world is outside their little bubble.

  6. Uturn 7

    You’ve nailed it, Rijab.

    I find it unusual that the elite educated mind of DHC hasn’t learned that no matter what a person writes, their attitudes and perspective are revealed.

    As we so often see with the mindset of entitlement from the middle classes, “the world’s not perfect” does not apply to them. When their taxes increase, when super gets pushed out, when they have to abide by property laws, when they’re asked to consider those less fortunate, suddenly “world’s not perfect” just doesn’t cut it. Oh the squealing that ensues. They’ve worked hard, they own a business – why should they pay tax or abide by drink drive/speed laws – they’re owed a reward… aren’t they? World’s not perfect, don’t try to change it, don’t complain, take it on the nose… unless you’re one of us.

    The poor know it’s not perfect and they know the middle class upwards don’t give a damn.

    • KJT 7.1

      Actually a lot of people in the middle class do give a damn.

      Many of us support left wing parties.

      Samuel Parnell was a small businessman.

      Personally, my business/employment does a lot better when customers have decent wages and/or benefits are above subsistence..

      Apart from that. I benefited from cheap education, health care and infrastructure supplied by past tax payers. I do not think I have the right to pull the ladder up behind me.

      I believe a decent society looks after their children, elderly, sick and those who cannot find work.

      I have worked hard. but, I know that I would not have been able to achieve what I have in the USA or Somalia.

      DBH is typical of many wannabees I have met.

  7. The truth is, the world cannot be made perfect: the protesters are like toddlers having a tanty. “It’s not fair!

    That is the truth to an extent. The world obviously cannot be made perfect, far from it (but we can strive to make it better).

    To a degree there is some naieve “it’s not fair” among the protesters. When they get older they will learn that often life isn’t fair, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about it.

    Occupy is making some valid points and raising issues that need to be addressed, but from what I’ve seen there’s an abundance of wide eyed innocence of youth idealism. I’m starting to see more realism emerge from some Occupy supporters, if there is some pragmatism and thought about possible consequences of major changes to business and politics then Occupy may gather some useful momentum.

    We can’t fix the world, but we can make it better if we are forceful but realistic.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      To a degree there is some naieve “it’s not fair” among the protesters. When they get older they will learn that often life isn’t fair, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about it.

      In a past century, guillotines have usually started things rolling. As it were.

    • what a defeatist giver-upper – “we can’t fix the world, life isn’t fair, nothing you can do about it…” talk about a downer – no wonder they didn’t go for your plan, and thank goodness they didn’t.

  8. KJT 9

    What happens when the requirements, to be given crumbs from the wealthy table, is to suspend thought, ethics and concern for the results of your action

    The problem, as shown graphically by Coddington, is the, real, cognitive elite, who think deeply enough to care for the future, are being displaced in power and wealth by dimwitted puppets like Coddington, Brash and Key.

  9. Awesome post rijab and thanks for those links.

  10. Bill 11

    The second last line of her piece (also quoted in the post) is a kind of dead give-away.

    Why should some people be born into money while others are born into poverty? Why should some people be healthier or prettier or more charismatic than others?

    is basically equating an economic system to natural attributes or deficits that cannot be affected.

    She might as well have equated capitalism to ageing.

    So there is why it is ‘wrong to want a better world’. Our economy is a natural phenomena. And natural phenomena are…well, they just are.

  11. randal 12

    The problem is that we have constructed the wittgensteinian staircase but we haven’t climbed it yet.
    It was karl marx who first coined the term “false consciousness” and so far there are no signs that the proletariat let alone the born to rulers have any idea of what is in store when the shit hits the fan.
    We humans have an insatiable desire to acquire stuff for no bettter reason than to outdo the neighbours in petty vainglorious displays of gimcracks and gew gaws.
    then the whole dialectic goes out the widow when the struggle to survive becomes more insistent than ever.

  12. DeValera 13

    She is not worth the Oxygen of Publicity
    Resolution: ignore idiots, anything else only encourages them.

  13. DeValera 14

    Resolution No 2: Don’t argue with idiots: observers might not tell the difference between you.

  14. DeValera 15

    Resolution No 3:
    Never argue with an idiot: they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    7 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago