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Why is Jacinda Ardern so popular? (part 2)

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, November 20th, 2019 - 71 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, leadership, Politics - Tags: ,

Politics is bloody hard and often brutal, and Labour cop a fair amount of shit, some of it deserved, some not. So it’s great to see something like this being done so well. Fuck the tourism angle, the value I see here is New Zealanders getting to feel good about our PM in the absence of the creepy smile and wave factor. The video is funny, engaging, and at the right moments serious and touching. Well done Ardern and Colbert and thanks for the feel good.

For all the problems with centre left governments in NZ, we got incredibly lucky with the change of fortunes in the lead up to the last election. Ardern’s compassionate neoliberalism presents a specific conundrum for the left, but we can still be grateful that she is really good at her job as a stateswoman. Let’s take a moment to enjoy.

 

71 comments on “Why is Jacinda Ardern so popular? (part 2)”

  1. michelle 1

    Good promotion for our country and our PM soimon sounds jealous 

  2. observer 2

    Ardern is very good at being true to herself. That sounds like a platitude, but –

    One problem that affects many politicians (across the spectrum) is that they are all too obviously trying to deliver their pre-scripted lines, and they come across as insincere, simply because they are. Simon Bridges is the obvious current example, but a series of Labour leaders had the same problem, to varying degrees.

    In formal interviews and stand-ups you might get away with that ("That's not the issue, but what I can say is … [line]"). It's the supposedly "non-political" situations that often reveal more. (As an example, when politicians appear on 7 Days some are really stiff and hopeless, like John Banks was, while others are relaxed and do well, like Phil Goff and Chris Bishop).

    Ardern is enjoying herself in these Colbert clips. She doesn't have to remember what she is supposed to be saying, she trusts herself. That's not something you get from media training. It is just who she is.

    • weka 2.1

      I think this is a large part of it, and its political gold not just because it works better at the PR level, but because we need someone who isn't a sociopath.

      • Karol121 2.1.1

        However, Weka, it would be sad to consider that a politician (as party leader) is voted for or well liked, mainly because she doesn't present as a sociopath, especially in a place like NZ.

        But you do make a valid point, being (as I suggest) that so many NZ politicians have presented as indifferent, cynical, self serving opportunists, and so many have made such ludicrous statements as to suggest that they are at least borderline sociopathic as defined generally (as opposed to that which might be defined specifically in say, a psychological disorders diagnostic manual).
        That is; unwilling to seriously demonstrate even a very basis empathetic characteristic most of the time, and prone to making cruel or very careless statements as if those they present to are too stupid and valueless to comprehend the ramifications.

        The recent statement by Simon Bridges in relation to the removal of human rights was a shocker, and as a lawyer he should have comprehended just how easily such words could be misconstrued, or worse, that the statement might be taken as being future national party social policy. But he is far from being politically alone with regard to this angle.

        Can he even define human rights and civil rights?

        As has been posted just a short way down by Rosemary McDonald, Jacinda Adern does not seem to be that popular with many, but she does do good telly most of the time, (when she is operating in her own personal political safety zone).

        Bear in mind also, that she was well coached prior to entering NZ politics in relation to public appearances and statement management, which is to her credit and to the credit of those who have backed her, and who presumably continue to do so.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    "….compassionate neoliberalism…?

    Good oh.

    I must be speaking with the wrong kind of folk because really, Ardern doesn't  seem to be that popular with many, if any.

    But she does do good telly….

    • observer 3.1

      Well, who we talk to is hardly the measure, since we all tend to gravitate towards people on our wavelength.

      That's why professional, weighted polls are a useful guide, and Ardern's approval rating is around 62%, having been as high as 72%. (TV3 and TVNZ polls).

    • weka 3.2

      Why is Jacinda Ardern so popular?

      Maybe you misunderstood what I am saying? 

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1

        Those Kiwis living precariously on low wages or punitive welfare might not be feeling the love quite so warmly.

        Trouble is….Ardern is following in footsteps of a master smarmer…after the Previous Incumbent, many are now immune to this kind of performance.

        As with Key…makes me think what as yet unpublicised shit storm are they trying to distract us ftom?

         

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          Taste is personal I guess, but I am wondering if you are saying that for you, you cannot like someone whose politics you hate. It's different for me.

          I see three things: one is Ardern as a person, and I suspect that I would like her well enough in real life. The second is how she performs as a politician, statesperson, PM. I think she does that job well, sometimes really well. The third is her politics. We both have a problem with that.

          Why does that matter? Because we were this close to having English as PM, and as poor as Labour are on many things, those on punitive welfare would be much, much worse off especially over the long term. Leftie rhetoric of Lab and Nat are both as bad as each other feeds the non-vote and that makes it harder for us to move left. In case you think I'm being an apologist of Labour or Ardern's politics, I'm not, I'm saying that nuance matters and we are lucky that Ardern rose when she did.

          • Siobhan 3.2.1.1.1

            'Nuance' ..you think 'nuance' is really going to deal with Climate change and embedded inequality?

            I am interested in your dismissal of the 'non-vote' however.  Are Labour and its supporters still under the impression they can woo the 'soft' National voter? Hows that going really? The most spectacularly unpopular dimwitted leader of National EVER..and still support for National is pretty much steady.

            'Lefties rhetoric'..by which I presume you mean those of us that bang on about silly things like people actually needing homes, health care and adequate income NOW is something your average voter has supported before, and could again, but only if it is presented to them as both moral and the basis of a real thriving economy.

            Labour has chosen not to do that.

            So here we are, on the road to nowhere..with the clock ticking..

             

             

            • weka 3.2.1.1.1.1

              "you think 'nuance' is really going to deal with Climate change and embedded inequality?"

              Far more necessary and likely to succeed than the left shitting on itself, yes of course.

              I didn't dismiss the non-vote, I pointed to the problem the left has of discouraging people from voting (that's an argument for supporting the non-vote to vote btw).

              "'Lefties rhetoric'..by which I presume you mean those of us that bang on about silly things like people actually needing homes, health care and adequate income NOW is something your average voter has supported before, and could again, but only if it is presented to them as both moral and the basis of a real thriving economy."

              You mean like the Green Party platform that not even lefties can bring themselves to vote for en masse?

              What I said (always helps to read a whole sentence rather than the first two words),

              "Leftie rhetoric of Lab and Nat are both as bad as each other feeds the non-vote and that makes it harder for us to move left."

              Translation: people running political lines that Lab and Nat are the same are part of the problem creating the culture that leads some people to not vote.

              I'm guessing you didn't bother to stop and thinking about what I was saying and just reacted. At least this is what your comment comes across like, because you don't seem to have understood what I was saying. Disagree with me all you like, I enjoy a good argument, but it would help if you understood what you are arguing against first.

              • Molly

                I'm in the same position as Rosemary and Siobhan, in that I'm not enthusiastic about the decisions and moves of the current coalition government and that translates to a discord with our current PM.

                Like you, I'm sure that as a person without her position of power, I would find her extremely likeable.  But as a politician who speaks of the need for kindness – I want to see the follow through.  I want to see that position used to be kind to those on welfare, those without housing, those with mental health or disabilities.  I don't want just the words.

                In terms of compassion, I want the superb response to the atrocity at Christchurch to be followed up by her team ensuring that the families have the support they need, both financial and emotional. 

                I don't want to hear about climate change being our nuclear moment – and then read the watered down version of the Carbon Zero Billl and be expected to celebrate.

                I would prefer that those words that warm the heart, blaze into a fire that reaches those that are cold and isolated, rather than bring a warm glow to those already comfortable.

                From my own personal point of view, this lack of effective follow through is more influential to my reaction than any great PR activity, or singular event.  

                Am I pleased that we have Jacinda Ardern rather than Simon Bridges?  Of course.

                  But am I grateful that she is our PM in terms of what has been achieved in issues I am interested in?  No, there has been little to no improvement in those concerns. 

                • observer

                  Sometimes I wish Peters had gone with National. Then Rosemary and Siobhan and Molly could be demanding all these things …

                  https://www.labour.org.nz/progress-2yrs-2019

                  Only the totally deluded think there is no real difference, or tell themselves it all would have happened anyway.

                  And that is without the 61 votes for Labour and the Greens. If you want more, then help make that happen … or just keep ignoring basic arithmetic.

                  Complaining about Ardern "failing" is like suing the doctor who tries to save the patient.

                  • weka

                    I'm continually amazed at how much Labour and the Greens are blamed for the NZF effect. Otoh, many of us know that the lack of action on welfare has nothing to do with NZF, it's about Labour's philosophical position. There are other examples (eg Housing, and Health).

                    • observer

                      I agree that there are things Labour wouldn't do, even with 61 MPs and governing alone.

                      What grates is that Ardern is in no way more "cautious" or ‘centrist” than Clark, who had more favourable numbers for the first two terms. But Ardern seems to get more flack than Clark did. And it really seems to be based on little more than her media persona – in short, buying into the Right's framing.

                    • weka []

                      I think it’s more because many people have greater expectations of JA than what Clark did. It’s all the compassion language but that not playing out where it clearly should and could despite NZF. Also, lots of people are not that happy with Clark either, so it’s possibly not the best comparison. More of a concern for me is how we hold Labour accountable and work to getting them re-elected (with the Greens).

                  • Molly

                    I understand that you consider I said that she was "failing", but actually what I said was that despite the intention of promises and the stated outcomes, there is no follow through.  I would much prefer to listen to a PM that says, quite directly – because of the percentage we hold we are unable to enact these changes… and go from there.  Talking about kindness, and not even having a policy for Labour that effectively addresses those in positions of hardship, is – for me – a mismatch, a discordant note.  Talking about a nuclear moment – and then producing the Carbon Zero bill, is also a mismatch.

                    I often came here for the robust debate, but any critique about the current coalition government proposal or scheme, is treated as purely criticism and is stamped on. 

                    "Only the totally deluded think there is no real difference, or tell themselves it all would have happened anyway."

                    Better than, is just that – better than. 

                    However, in many cases, it is not good enough.  And if on a progressive blog, commenters cannot express their disappointment, then I would think that the tribal reaction is just as off-putting as our regular right-wing commentators. 

                    Your reply, makes several assumptions, and ignores passing any commentary on my personal preference for politicians that ensure their words are considered and able to be delivered upon.

                    I can never recall commenting on here about John Key in a personal manner (- although in those wild National government days – I may have understandably lost my mind and done so), but I did have the same disquiet when he promised the Pike River families the return of their loved ones immediately in the aftermath of the explosion.  And for me, it is the same with clear statements made by this government – make sure that what is being said can be delivered – or refrain from saying it. 

                    I consider this disconnection between rhetoric and delivery also feeds into disaffection with politics for many.  And this discord on the left, is also felt as hostile by those of us who ask for better, and get told to wait.

                     

                     

                    • weka

                      "I often came here for the robust debate, but any critique about the current coalition government proposal or scheme, is treated as purely criticism and is stamped on."

                      What do you think would change this here?

                      I also wish that Labour would frame things more in terms of what they can and can't do and the limits of the coalition. Even the Greens seem less willing to do this now. I don't get it. There would be attempts to undermine them because of it, but it could be framed as democracy and working together.

                    • Sacha

                      my personal preference for politicians that ensure their words are considered and able to be delivered upon

                      Did you like the part of the clip where he was daring Ardern to call an election on the spot and she replied that she was not 12. 🙂

                    • lprent

                      As an observation. I don’t think that you’re getting stomped on. It is more like a overly mannerly slap with a damp facecloth.

                      It could be that authors on their own posts can define the topic that they wrote about and can shunt comments off topic to Open Mike or issue a warning. There is nothing as irritating to an author than having someone trash their hard work (and it is) with people trying to superimpose their ideas over the authors view of the their post. If you think that is the case here, then perhaps you should read the post again.

                      I suspect however you are merely having people (including the author) disagreeing with you. That is what the site is for. So far that appears to be what I'm seeing here.

                      But as always I'm always happy to demonstrate what stomping actually looks like if you really want it. I like educating people in unmannerly debate actually looks like when I have the time… 😈

                    • Molly

                      lprent – I meant more the discussion is stamped on, rather than myself as an individual, and while I note the point about authors posts, I actually was responding to weka's points she has been making about the lack of discussion on TS, and her wondering why. 

                      Could've picked a better post for that I guess, but these PR activities didn't do much for me when John Key performed them, that doesn't change when it is our current PM.

                       

                • weka

                  Thanks Molly. I think the difference there is that I can separate out the policies from the other aspects of being a politician. The video won't be to everyone's taste and I'm sure it just makes some people angry. I did think about whether to put the post up or not, and expected there it be criticism (which is fine). I watched and enjoyed it for the humour and seeing JA do this stuff so well, but I don't expect everyone to.

                  One of the things that concerns me is just how relentlessly critical the left is and how much we all support macho, tear 'em down politics. This has its place, but I'm so over the superficial position of 'if you like JA you must be a Labour apologist'. I'm finding the conversations here hard going at the moment, because so much of it is people not listening to each other and taking reactionary positions.

                  I think a lot about what the election will be like next year and how many of us are fucked off with Labour and how that will translate into public debate that is also going to be full of dirty politics and MSM feeding frenzies. Likewise the Greens. I'm writing a post about welfare atm and I almost prefaced it with saying that we should get all our anger out about Labour now, because next year we need them to win.

                  For me it's almost always about the strategy, and how what we say and do helps resolve the problems we think are important. Maybe people think what they say here doesn't matter, but I do. I think having one of the biggest left wing blogs in NZ in good shape next year plays a part in our democracy, and what authors and commenters do here is what will determine how we are next year as a blog.

                  • Molly

                    "For me it's almost always about the strategy, and how what we say and do helps resolve the problems we think are important. Maybe people think what they say here doesn't matter, but I do."

                    I understand that in terms of strategy, but the strategy for politics almost always seems to be in terms of appeasing the status quo.  And for many the status quo, has become unbearable. 

                    I think a strategy also should exist for dealing with those who have legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of policies or proposals, but any concerns are treated the same way as opposition talkpoints.  That lack of listening doesn't bode well for a united front, and is easily manipulated.

                    • Sacha

                      How do we tell which concerns are 'legitimate'?

                    • weka

                      didn't quite follow that, do you mean that you think my strategy is based in appeasing the status quo?

                      "I think a strategy also should exist for dealing with those who have legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of policies or proposals, but any concerns are treated the same way as opposition talkpoints.  That lack of listening doesn't bode well for a united front, and is easily manipulated."

                      Again, not quite sure who you are referring to there. Labour?

                    • Molly

                      " For me it's almost always about the strategy, and how what we say and do helps resolve the problems we think are important. " 

                      I was kind of referring back to this sentence, about how the strategy not only needs to be concerned about the 'optics' of the left, but also about genuine willingness to engage with all those on the left, whether or not that engagement leads to policy.   There is a lot of dismissal on this site for those that point out inefficiencies or problems with coalition government decision making.  It is often regarded as unrealistic to expect transformative change.  We have a government that spoke of kindness, but whose first significant action was to ensure the signing of the TPPA despite years of protests and concerns.   I'm not really expecting transformative change from that government, but I'm also not going to unconditionally support them when I think they have made changes that will do nothing.   If we could discuss issues of concern without being confrontational, then both the public discussion of issues and the Overton window for politicians to act would widen.

                      “How do we tell which concerns are ‘legitimate’?”
                      Sacha, listening and considering would be all that is required, don’t you think?

    • alwyn 3.3

      She is rehearsing for a new job after the election next year. It looks more and more as if she will need it.

      I think she may do very well as a stand up comedienne. It's a shame that she spends so much time practicing that she can't keep track of what her Government is up to though,

    • Sanctuary 3.4

      Too much bitter has been known to reduce your tolerance for the sweet.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.5

      @Rosemary McDonald, Yep same here, sure the graphic designers, boutique food makers etc I know seem to like her well enough, but none of my more working class friends like her or Labour for that matter, at all.

      As I have said a dozen times here, next time you go to a Labour meeting take a note on what percentage of the audience seem to be working class, I can tell you around here in the Bay, well under 10% in my estimation, that to me speaks volumes.

      • solkta 3.5.1

        that to me speaks volumes.

        Yes, it says that working class people need to get their shit together and join political parties.

        • Adrian Thornton 3.5.1.1

          They do when they are offered something they can believe in, so I would say it is Labour who need to get their shit together..in a big way.

          Except they won't because they are not a political party that is of the working classes any longer, they are now a party of the middle and managerial classes.

          But if you want to see what happens when you dare to speak the word "working class" and can be trusted by the working classes to stand and fight for them and their families look no further than Bernie Sanders…

          'What Momentum Looks Like': Sanders Becomes Fastest Presidential Candidate in History to Reach 4 Million Individual Donations

          https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/19/what-momentum-looks-sanders-becomes-fastest-presidential-candidate-history-reach-4

          • solkta 3.5.1.1.1

            Thanks for proving my point: when they are offered something they can believe in

            People need to make something to believe in not sit there bleating waiting for someone else to do it for them.

             

            • Adrian Thornton 3.5.1.1.1.1

              You must be living in some sort of fantasy world..people don't do that, that is exactly why so few poor and disenfranchised people don't vote, but they do when a politician like Sanders or Corbyn come along and help make them feel enfranchised to get out and not only vote but to donate their time and money,   because as I said, and you seem to have bizarrely flipped on it's head …" when they are offered something they can believe in " they vote.

              Turn Labour Left!

              • solkta

                The only way to turn Labour left is through the membership. That is how political parties work. But lots just want to moan they no like Labour how it is. The working class has mobilised in the past. Study some history. 

  4. Gosman 4

    I don't particularly like Jacinda Ardern's government or policies but kudos to her on that. It was an impressive bit of PR work.

    • Sacha 4.1

      It was. I appreciate how she managed to seem natural as opposed to a novelty performing seal in exchange for the spotlight.

  5. Gosman 5

    One thing that is unforgivable though. Ardern and Gayford look like they use Pre-cooked sausages!!! That is appalling.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    As a fisherman I found the lack of seafood disturbing – I thought Clark had that covered.

     

  7. McFlock 7

    I can actually understand Ardern's appeal. She seems smart and genuinely interested in people.

    There have been a few "popular" politicians over the years I never saw the appeal of – at best they had a bit of light blokey banter, but it always seemed to be a veneer (sometimes over some very unpleasant traits). Some other politicians come across as reserved (and often quite bland), with basically two settings to look important: "serious" and "grimly serious".

     

     

    • weka 7.1

      Genuinely interested in people will go a long way, especially when then dealing with serious issues like the Chch shootings.

    • ianmac 7.2

      Jacinda comes across as sincere about her life, her people and her credibility. Can't help comparing her with our two past PMs and the current leader of the Opposition and find those men seriously wanting.

      Who would I buy a second hand car from? Easy answer there.

  8. Pat 8

    I suspect the biggest problem for the PM will be the fact as an individual she is unable to effect the result she desires,,,the problem is not herself but the system within she operates and those she needs to perform …..I wonder how long she will be willing to be the face of a failure to deliver?

    • weka 8.1

      this is a good point. I think we also forget just how much was broken in the key years and how much of what the govt is doing in its first term is fixing this, or having to adapt around it.

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.1

        "…just how much was broken in the key years…"

        Err….you've surely not forgotten the nine years  prior to those key years? And so on all the way back?

        That's  why some were so desperate that they swallowed the whole "transformative" bullshit.

        Go back and listen to the spiel from 2017…they promised.  They really did.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          why the nine years before key and not the nine years before that? You know me well enough to know my politics on neoliberalism and I've written plenty about the issues of the Clark years.

          I remember 2017, but I was not one of the ones convinced.

        • Adrian Thornton 8.1.1.2

          "That's  why some were so desperate that they swallowed the whole "transformative" bullshit."  Yes that is exactly right, what amazes me is that so many serious people on this site, who are obviously deeply and authentically concerned about the issues of climate change, housing (renting), inequality, fair wages and conditions etc can't see that none of those issues will or could EVER be solved by the NZ Labour party as it exists today, even if they had five terms in office..in other words a political party that is guided in absolutely every decision it makes by an ideology of free market liberalism can't fix these problems, so by extension either can the supposed beloved Ardern, and that unfortunately for us and the planet is just a plain fact.

           

          • McFlock 8.1.1.2.1

            The 2017 election had 80% turnout.

            80% of voters voted for national or Labour.

            If the Greens aren't left enough for you by far, the Communist League and the Money Free parties don't even have enough members to register.

            The Democrats, MANA, TOP, and a variety of other parties with vaguely egalitarian values all failed to get 5%.

            What fertile soil is there for a Labour Party that has "turned left" enough to placate you?

            • The Al1en 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Ah, the inconvenient truth, that giant truth fly in the poll numbers ointment, the never answered question even the missing million can't muster an answer to.

              It would appear there are no real votes further left than the greens, the majorities in parliament come from switching enough soft red/blue votes to the other side. If it can be proved otherwise, have at it.

              • McFlock

                I'm more of an incrementalist – the dominant political parties move a policy idea, the idea gets credibility for voters because powerful parties promote popular ideas, not silly ones. But parties adopt the policies of their membership (usually with a large dose of filtering/moderation by the higher levels of the party on the grounds of electoral practicality). And there is a role for policy "champions" at the higher levels of the organisation/government – e.g. Anderton bugging Labour for kiwirail until it happened.

                But if the established party oversteps the mark, the voters' previous reluctance to support that policy is too great and actually sucks credibility from the party. Do that too many times and you end up in the toilet.

                It's a balancing act.

                • The Al1en

                  Electoral practicality is the key, and whether some people like it or not, incrementalism is the way to shift the centre ground in NZ politics. That doesn't mean there isn't a desire, or need, for radical changes, but walking on the fringes of political society is often a very lonely place, as Adrian probably knows.

                   

                  • weka

                    How do you explain Labour in the 80s? That wasn't incremental. Don't think National in the 90s was either. Maybe NZ voters still haven't gotten over all that and thus don't trust so easily any more?

                    • Sacha

                      That is exactly why MMP happened.

                    • Pat

                      It wasnt incremental nor was it mandated

                    • The Al1en

                      Labour certainly paid a high political cost for those extreme policy jumps, which is sort of the point about sudden radical lurches.

                    • McFlock

                      Still paying that cost to this day, as you point out.

                      Especially as in 1990 National promised to reverse many of the Lab4 policies (Lockwood Smith signing a pledge to end the student loan scheme comes to mind). So in 1993 NZers voted to change the electoral system.

                       

                       

  9. There are troubles in my country, and sometimes we would like our government to fix some of them. There are wide range of options but nothing resembling a general agreement, nobody with a highly convincing silver bullet. That is a pity. But we have a leader who time and again has risen to the big occasion with charity and grace. She is very smart too. And for a small country to have a superstar prime minster is a real plus.

  10. mosa 10

    Off course Jacinda is not perfect but at least you can feel clean after you have watched her  unlike her recent predecessors.

  11. Sabine 11

     

    Good grief, i hated the person worship of St. John,  and i for sure don't have any use for the worship of St. Jacinda.

    Good grief, this is pathetic.

     

     

    • Sacha 11.1

      At least it's good grief, not the other sort. 🙂

    • observer 11.2

      As I said above, that is simply giving up on your critical faculties to superficial framing.

      Trump, "Boris", Blair, Obama, Trudeau junior, JFK and so on … it's the norm for media to be superficial. That's why politicians accept it. Otherwise they would all be Geoffrey Palmer – plenty of merit, very worthy, getting no votes.

      The tiny minority of political tragics (i.e. us) don't decide elections. Which is why candidates try and broaden their appeal.

      The question is not: "is that how they are presented?" but "is that all they are?". If you think Ardern has no other leadership qualities, then you're missing a great deal, and the Right's false framing has won. Might as well call her a "princess" and be done with it.

      • Sabine 11.2.1

        it seems to me that you – while you seemingly observe – don't see a lot. 

        First of all i commented on the part of media and publics need to worship people no matter how inadequite and pathetic they are generally. 

        Secondly, as for htis current Labour Goverment i am neither a fan nor do i hate them, i find them simply inadequite and pathetic, while i thought that the last National Government was criminally neglect and fully aware of that and pathetic. 

        As for your question : Is that all they are. I can answer that fairly simply: YES!. And if they would be more then they are they would not need little gushing write ups such as this here or in the MSM and elsewhere. 

        Cause Labour, while handing out band aids – kinder and gentler with some vaseline and red ribbons – has done nothing to change the root cause of what is ailing our society.  And people are already calling her Princess (go figure), and the right to some extend has already won and this is due in my opinion to Labour being gutless while at the same time being full of cowardice. 

        Sadly, they are still the better option to National, cause kinder gentler a tube of vaseline and a red ribbon.  Luckily, and i say this from the bottom of the heart, i do depend neither on Nationals nor Labour largesse. The day i do i would consider myself thoroughly fucked – no matter if they apply vaseline or not. 

        Cause so long as the unwashed masses fawn over faces they don't discuss issues.

      • Phil 11.2.2

        Otherwise they would all be Geoffrey Palmer – plenty of merit, very worthy, getting no votes.

        For all the intellectual and legal excellence, he didn't adequately address the Lange/Douglas-era baggage in the party and had the charisma of a cinderblock. Would have led Labour to an even worse defeat in 1990 than Moore did. 

  12. Dean Reynolds 12

    I would favour Jacinda any day, rather than the brain dead yapping hyena who leads the National Party

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    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    10 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    13 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    14 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 day ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 day ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago