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Why the Right is worried 2: Key

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, October 19th, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags: ,

Key’s tarnished brand – While the economy burns, Key is fiddling with spiders. He is the good times PM, all about getting himself in front of a camera and having a grin – as if he’s on a 3 year project in collecting pictures for his photo album, rather than Prime Minister and leader of the country. The way Key responded to Paul Henry’s  racist outburst against the Governor-General by just sitting there grinning and making a joke was a very public exposure of the fact that the man is not a leader and has no principles.

David Farrar has admitted that Key’s personal brand is all that National has; as it loses lustre, the party is stuffed. People want a government that they think is working for their interests, not what one National MP calls ‘The John Key Show‘. We want someone who does the job they were chosen to do, not a circus clown who tries to make us feel like everything is OK when it isn’t.

Key got away with failures of leadership in the past, but the Henry incident marked a turning point. Now, Key is being embarrassed for refusing to congratulate the Nobel Peace Prize winner for fear of annoying China and looking cold-hearted for not stepping in to prevent the deportation of three Kiwi kids to the Indian slums. The Teflon is flaking off and we’re seeing there’s nothing underneath.

So, expect to see more and more the Right go from leading hero worship of Key to attacking Goff and Labour. They know there’s a fight on now, and they’ll go hammer and tongs. The first tactic will be a mantra of ‘Goff can’t win’. As the poll numbers continue to sour, it’ll get more personal. They won’t try to fight on policy (they never do), instead they’ll try to frame every policy as hypocrisy by comparing it to something in the past. But none of these are offensive tactics, they’re all attempts to slow down the loss of votes to the Left.

Next – Part 3: Policy. Full series here.

54 comments on “Why the Right is worried 2: Key”

  1. comedy 1

    One of the most ironic posts ever.

    Oh what joy, a presidential type campaign from both sets of drongos with two of the nicest yet most uninspiring, boring and vapid candidates for PM since…… well since last election.. and the time before that…….. and the time before that.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      vote on policy then, not personality. That’s what I’ll be doing.

      It’s the drongos who vote for Key because they think he’s funny that worry me… and that National depends on to win.

      • comedy 1.1.1

        Are those the same drongos who voted for Helen in 2005 because they were scared of the religious bogeymen ?

        And as for policy all well and good but I trust you remember the old Whittakers chocolate ad ?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          Labour won the 2005 election because of the late-breaking interest-free-student-loans bribe. The fact that it is also bloody sensible policy doesn’t hurt, either.

          • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1.1

            L…if it was “bloody sensible policy”, then why would you need to call it a bribe?

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Because it was a bribe. Just because it’s sensible, doesn’t mean it isn’t also a bribe.

              If they’d announced it, say, 4-5 months before the election, as opposed to a few days before, then it wouldn’t be as obviously a bribe.

        • Irascible 1.1.1.2

          More than likely the same persons who think that Paul Henry, Paul Holmes, Michael Laws and Key are deep thinking individuals with rational analysis based on informed evidence. Even the mis-managers at TVNZ have realised that the Henry-Key exercise in informed debate was beyond the pale…

        • Vicky32 1.1.1.3

          “Are those the same drongos who voted for Helen in 2005 because they were scared of the religious bogeymen ?”
          You are editing history, comedy. As you well know, the issue was not the EBs, it was the Nats’ dishonesty. The “last straw”, that was…

          • comedy 1.1.1.3.1

            Vicky

            I think you’ll find that a number of drongos did vote against the Nats purely because of the EB bogeymen, that does not however discount Lathanide and yourself making the point that some also voted due to the student loan bribe and the Nats dishonesty.

            Just like the last election some voted due to the tax bribe, some voted against Labour dishonesty and some voted due to the nanny state bogeyman and a proportion, of course, just vote for the team they’ve always voted for

            • bbfloyd 1.1.1.3.1.1

              C… if you keep going round in ever decreasing circles like that, you are in danger of disappearing up your own arse..

            • Vicky32 1.1.1.3.1.2

              I think you’ll find, comedy, that I know a tad more about why people voted *against* National than you do! Perhaps the only person who would have voted against the Nats specifically on religious grounds would have been Leighton Smith – if he voted which he doesn’t because he wishes he was American and so won’t get NZ citizenship…
              I shouldn’t ask, but er – what Labour dishonesty?
              Deb

              • Bill

                The right to vote isn’t reliant upon having citizenship.

                • Vicky32

                  Ah, I didn’t know that – and it seems neither did Leighton Smith back in the days I used to listen to him! (He specifically said he didn’t want NZ citizenship because he wanted to go (back) to the USA, having been there when he was 2 years old.) 😀
                  Deb

  2. deemac 2

    the local election results have certainly got the right worried hence the move from belittling Goff as ineffective to attacking him as dangerous. Shows Labour is on the right track! We need policies to help NZ not image manipulation and spin, and as more voters feel the pain in their wallets, the smile and wave approach will wear thin.

  3. Sweetd 3

    deemac

    While the local elections are interesting, I wouldn’t see this as the start of a trend. Brown ran and was elected as an independent, and while I know people that voted for him, these same people have not and will not vote labour in the national election.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      That’s why Brown spoke at the Labour conference, right? And why the media have called him “the Labour candidate for Auckland”?

      All of the major centres went left in the local elections, except for CHCH where Parker’s no-campaign campaign after the quake got him over the line, although he clearly doesn’t deserve it for simply doing his job as any other responsible mayor would have.

      • Rob 3.1.1

        I think the point is that voting Brown in the local may not be the same as voting Labour in the national election. There was a general apathy to the local thing, lots of people did not vote. They are unsure on how it is all going to work and a still a little naive to how big it is all going to be , the super city et al.

        Also I think you need to be careful labelling JK as a good time prime minister – he inherited a shit sandwich as a result of a whole lot of things. He did not ride the previous good environment, where a lot of things could have been actioned that wern’t. Be careful, people that are looking to cast their vote in a discerned manner do have memories.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          I think the point is that voting Brown in the local may not be the same as voting Labour in the national election. There was a general apathy to the local thing, lots of people did not vote.

          Yes there was a lot of apathy. Amongst Banks’ National leaning supporters.

          Len’s Labour leading supporters did just fine with their turn out however, as you may have noticed.

          By the way we are not saying that JK is a Prime Minister for good times. We are saying that the reason he is Prime Minister is because he wants to have a good time.

          • Rob 3.1.1.1.1

            Exactly the point, so what happens when the same degree of apathy is not there, and they are committed to vote. Remember the memories of the previous years was carter, tizard, king et al having a fuken great time.

        • Irascible 3.1.1.2

          Key made his own sandwich at the Double Dipton Cafe. He selected his own fillings.

      • Sweetd 3.1.2

        So the way to get a labour candidate elected is to have them all stand as independents and not under the labour brand? For all the trend of going left in local elections, it is not reflected to any great degree in the national scene. Therefore, I think local and national elections are comparing apples and oranges. People vote for different things at different government levels.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          People vote for different things at different government levels.

          Yeah at a local level we really like public transport.

          Too bad National backed the roading horse then,

          Out they go!

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Conference showed what Goff is made of. As well as sticking it to Guyon, an interviewer who simply and obviously overplayed his hand at every turn.

    NATs will be nervous now the whole party has swung in hard behind the Goff-Father in readiness for the battle of 2011.

  5. Carol 5

    They won’t try to fight on policy (they never do), instead they’ll try to frame every policy as hypocrisy by comparing it to something in the past.

    I think this is a big danger, so there needs to be a concerted effort to show what is new about Labour/left policies. Rod Oram made some good points on Nat Rad this morning. Firstly he said that National spent the 9 years in opposition working on how to get re-elected, rather than working on policies. So they’ve scrambled while in office to cobble together some policies.

    IMO, they’ve done the country no good by falling back on neoliberal policies, and loads of PR and spin. I recall on one of the Sunday shows (Qu & A or the Nation), someone said that, while cutting workers in parliamentary services, National has increased the workers in the finance dept, as well as significantly increasing the people working on PR. But, IMO, that sort of approach can only fool people for so long.

    Key (plus a load of spin, and whispering smear campaigns) got National elected, and kept them high in the polls, but he has little else to offer as a PM. And National is the party just recycling old neoliberal policies that are now shown to have caused global disaster and dissarray.

    Oram also highlighted the fact that Labour needs to work with all interested people (business people, scientists, unions etc) to develop a NEW way forward, in fleshing out the broad approach they’ve oultined.

    I’m glad that Labour has returned to its traditional principles. But I think it needs to show how they have learned something from the last two decades, and have policies that are suited to the 21st century.

    Key’s approach of spin and a hollow man with no principles, are fast becoming an anachronism, especially since the GFC. Relying on “celebrity culture”, PR and spin, is so 80s/90s, and has little to offer the majority of people that are now struggling with the very real uncertainties and insecurity of work, the economy and resources that have been exposed in the 21st century.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I think you are on to it Carol. This is not simply a cross-disciplinary approach that Labour needs to build but a cross-societal approach. One which will involve of a lot of different groups.

      But this is also not time for feel good talk fests. 2011 is a battle and Labour must provide the political leadership within the process to ensure that strong cohesion and strong direction ensues.

    • National spent the 9 years in opposition working on how to get re-elected, rather than working on policies

      Good point Carol. They sure did. In contrast Labour has spent two years thinking about things and they are in the process of developing a coherent plan.

      You know that when people such as Hickey, Pellett, Ganesh Wana and Walleycome out and advocate radical change you know something is happening. These guys are not cloth cap wearing trade unionists from the North of England, these are some of business’s elite.

      We live in interesting times …

  6. the sprout 6

    Key’s inability to handle Paul Henry like a real leader put a deep scratch in his Teflon. The brand is fading.

    exactly.
    of course there have been numerous demonstrable failures of leadership from Key,
    but that one really cemented in the perception across a broad base of constituencies.

    the problem is compounded for Key by Henry having to resign (something probably avoidable had Key acted like a leader at the time and nipped it in the bud then and there), because that’s just pissed-off his ‘PC-gone-mad’ redneck voters.

    Key’s leadership failure over Henry has been a lose-lose for him, costing him the respect of civilised and redneck voters alike.

    no wonder Key’s minders don’t let him front up to the media if he can botch even patsy interviews so badly.

  7. freedom 7

    a small issue but this has got to be one of the more honest photos of the PM we have ever seen in the media

    no smiling facade just a very natural portait,

    • BLiP 7.1

      Looks tired out.

      • Maynard J 7.1.1

        Disagree – I reckon he just looks normal, if not determined. Like someone who could get things done, and not to be messed with. Yes all he tries to do is smile, and wave, and look a bit silly.

  8. tc 8

    Gonna be interesting how the nat friendly MSM whores go about their business as the facade crumbles, the lack of plan/vision comes to focus and sideshow/blinglish’s continued harping on about ‘9 yrs of economic mis management under labour’ cuts both ways as the numbers don’t lie despite their best efforts to smudge and deceive.

    Yes the economy was already in recession (drought) but cullen/clark had prepared us for it by paying off debt and maintaining near full employment (as noted by world commentators)……you can only spin so far but when GST/gerry’s electricity meddling/cuts to frontline/beating up education and welfare continue to gnaw away the tide will turn and those tax cuts for the rich could be the straw that breaks this PR fixated camel in 2.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “tax cuts for the rich could be the straw that breaks this PR fixated camel in 2”

      Interesting point. Had National actually passed the tax-cuts (which were still unaffordable) that it had campaigned on and then “postponed indefinitely” instead of the tax-cuts-for-the-rich they ended up delivering, they certainly wouldn’t have had the potential downside that this move has given them. A top rate of 37% is much preferable than a top rate of 33% as we now have.

  9. Carol 9

    Key doesn’t even sound like a competent politician in parliament. When he answers questions in parliament, he always makes me wonder what sort of a lunch he has had. He slurs his words, sticks out his chest, and looks very satisfied with his own jokes – like a drunken after dinner speaker:

    eg, answering questions from his own team he starts, ‘What an exshellent queshtion…”

    • come get some 9.1

      he then almost falls back into his seat and slumps down into slouch mode, never looks like he’s having a good day.

      eg, answering questions from his own team he starts, ‘What an exshellent queshtion…”

      Reminds you of “it dshodsent give my oppsonshents smuch times eisha”

    • Blue 9.2

      Key’s on the good juice. In his world, wages are rising, he single-handedly slew the inflation beast, and NZ is a land of foreign-owned milk and honey.

      He’s showing impressive control just being able to stand up in Parliament when his name is called.

  10. ak 10

    It’s the Big Picture that swings moods. And changes governments.

    Lange’s “Big, Inclusive smile” swept the 81 gore and division out, and Spud’s “Decent Society” put the nails in their traitorous, infighting coffin.

    “Helen and the Optomilleniumism” swept the 90s misery behind us, and the heavily-promoted fantasy “Grinny Me-too” mesmerised with its “financial wizard” optimism in the shadow of the looming GFC.

    Now showing (in glorious new Lenslide multi-media): “Keynute”: the tragi-comic odyssey of one ordinary salesman flailing against history while hilariously assailed by his own petards.

    For early release next year, the epic docu-drama: “Out of the Cuckoos Nest: Progression Reboot”.

  11. Tanz 11

    Key is loved by millions still, and the Left find that hard to stomach. Key is anoher Lange, but for the right.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      Lange? the man who smiled and waved and made people laugh while his Cabinet betrayed the public, broke every promise they made, and sold the country down the river?

      Hey, they do sound a lot alike.

      Funnily, enough Lange was also a sprinter – PM after only two terms like Key – and it turned out to be a disaster.

    • Bright Red 11.2

      Tanz. another few questions. Is ‘loving’ Key enough? Don’t you want a good government?

      Or is all you want from a government just a PM that you ‘love’?

      When you think about your ‘love’ for Key does it excite you?

    • lprent 11.3

      I’d have to say that I was never particularly impressed with Lange either, and for much the same reasons as for Key.

      Both of them were/are far better on the smile’n’wave and simple rhetoric than they are at running a government.

      Both of them were/are incapable of getting their cabinet (or caucus) heading in a coherent common direction.

      Both of them look like bloody useless managers of the country, and pretty damn spineless at controlling rogue ministers.

      I suspect that the end of Keys reign will be the same catastrophic mess that we were left with when Lange stepped down – for most of the same underlying reasons.

      I’m uninterested in having a entertainer in charge of the country. I’d prefer having someone capable of actually managing to move the place in a coherent and clear manner. John Key isn’t that person. About the only thing he is competent at appears to be sprouting what he thinks is a good idea every few months that he is incapable of following through on, hanging around waiting for a camera to focus on him, and being charming in social occasions.

      Not prime ministerial material in my opinion…

      • comedy 11.3.1

        One thing I will say for Lange is that he was a very capable orator, especially in his later years post politics. I attended some excellent dinners where he was the after dinner speaker and he leaves the current lot that you see debating in parliament for dead.

      • Rob 11.3.2

        But hey, if you load the cabinet up with whole lot of Cater’s , Tizards, Benson Popes and the like , I am sure you can have a very co-ordinated a peaceful cabinet. Not much gets acheived and you have the collective wisdom of a light bulb , but I am sure it is lovely place to have a cup of tea.

  12. Tanz 12

    You keep going on about Key’s lack of leadership re the Paul Henry affair, but if it’s such a big deal, how come the MSM arn’t interested and have only focussed on Henry and not Key? They must love him, too, I’d say he’;ll get another two terms at least, barring an absolute disaster happening. The public are gaga over Key, for whatever reasons.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    “MSM arn’t interested and have only focussed on Henry and not Key”

    That’s not even close to true. There was plenty of comment about Key’s response.

  14. Chills 14

    The “smile and wave” brand of Key definitely has it’s limitations, but we musn’t forget that next year we have the World Cup, which Key will no doubt use as a vehicle for copius smiling and waving. If the cup goes well both on and off the field Key will be able to ride it for all it’s worth all the way back to office.

    I for one am a massive rugby and ABs supporter but success that arena next year doesn’t bode well for next year’s elections…

  15. markus 15

    “The first tactic will be a mantra of ‘Goff can’t win’.”

    This is what has me a little concerned about the Mana by-election (as a Labour supporter and Mana voter). The Nats, the Tory blogosphere and the MSM have all greatly exaggerated the strength of Labour’s hold on Mana (much emphasis on it supposedly being one of the great Labour strongholds of all time / conflation of old staunchly-Labour Porirua seat of pre-1996 FPP days with greatly expanded and much more marginal Mana / National as enormous underdog fighting impossible odds…).

    Result: Very high benchmark / enormously raised expectations for Labour’s Fa’afoi. Much emphasis in MSM and Tory blogosphere on the idea that anything other than a significant Fa’afoi majority (some suggesting at least 6000) would constitute disaster for Labour and Goff / vote of confidence in National.

    Problem is: Mana is not quite the stronghold portrayed.
    – Two-thirds of all current Electorate MPs have majorities larger than Laban’s 6155.
    – Of Laban’s 6155 majority, 4452 votes came from people who split their vote (casting their Party- Vote for parties other than Lab in 2008). Without the luxury of two votes, it’s not entirely beyond reason that these 4452 could return to their preferred Party in the (one-vote) by-election (for example the 1757 Greens who in 2008 split their vote between the Greens (Party-Vote) and Labour’s Laban (Candidate-Vote), simply voting for the Green candidate this time rather than Fa’afoi). Arguably, then, the Party-Vote may be a better reflection of Mana’s political complexion than Laban’s Candidate-Vote. And Lab’s majority over the Nats in the Party-Vote in Mana in 2008 was just 2508. Relatively marginal.
    – On top of this, by-elections almost always involve a much lower turnout. And, more often than not, those staying at home are lower-income Labour voters (South Aucklanders at recent local election excepted, of course).

    Hence, Labour may be being set-up for a fall in Mana. Given the above, it’s more than possible that Fa’afoi will win with a reduced majority (quite possibly despite a genuine swing in sentiment towards Labour). Result: the Nats, the Tory blogosphere and,most importantly, the MSM (certainly the DomPost’s Tracy Watkins) will attempt to make mincemeat of the Party.

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    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago

  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 mins ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago