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Will the real National Party please stand up

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 pm, August 18th, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

I think it’s likely that the emails leaked to Nicky Hager  for “Dirty Politics” have everything to do with the National Party. Nicky Hager identified the main source for his previous book “The Hollow Men” as six people from the National Party. He thanks “the National party staffer who first suggested he work on this subject” in the preface to “Dirty Politics.” It may well be that the both leaks come from the same source, and for the same reason. There will be many people in the National Party who will be disgusted at what is now being done under their name.

In the preface to the earlier book, Hager describes how after the 2005 campaign nearly brought Don Brash to the Beehive in a ‘successful” campaign, “some people in the National Party were profoundly unhappy with how some of this ‘success’ had been achieved. They believed that some of this ‘good’ campaigning had been so unprincipled and even unlawful that the country was lucky they had lost the election.” The preface concludes:

While reading (these) chapters, be aware of how rare it is to see the way politicians behave when they confidently believe that they are acting in secret. The public is usually fed an unnutritious diet of scripted media statements, clever advertisements and practised denials. This is a chance, thanks to National Party sources, to see and judge for yourself some of what really goes on.

We’ve certainly had a blizzard of practised, if unconvincing,  denials from John Key and Judith Collins in the last few days as earlier posts on this site show all too clearly. But the way the group of political actors in Hager’s Dirty Politics behave “when they confidently believe they are acting in secret” goes beyond unprincipled and unlawful to decadent and disgusting. That is why I believe it is likely that it is those with integrity in the National Party – and there are many there – are the ones who have called time and blown the whistle.

In the eponymous chapter in the “Hollow Men,” Hager talks about how the 2005 campaign’s focus on political correctness and the nanny state

helps National to avoid confronting a deep and fundamental rift within its own ranks. For most of its history, the party was a combination of conservative and interest group politics..Since the 1980s National has had two very different and incompatible policies at work: conservative and radical free market right.. This fundamental conflict has never been resolved.

Don Brash was definitely from the radical right. So is John Key, as the “Hollow Men” shows, with the addition of “detoxification” of the right-wing brand. But what Key has added and allowed is a worse form of toxicity, a slimy poison infecting the underparts of the National Party. Its focus is not only external but also internal, as detailed in Slater’s tactics to solicit money to affect National Party candidate selections by negative tactics in favour of an extreme right wing faction led by Judith Collins.

So it should be no surprise that those underhand and bullying tactics may now have been brought to light in my view by National Party conservatives, who represent an altogether more decent form of politics. Those I know will be disgusted by this type of behaviour. It’s also testimony to a massive split inside the party. The paper over the cracks has now been torn apart.

Also, John Key trying to paint Nicky Hager as an “extreme left-winger” is absurd – this comes from the “Hollow Men” Epilogue:

For the National Party, the underlying problem has been the lack of a clear vision and philosophy to offer the public. Without these, the party is disorganised and ineffectual, and susceptible to being taken over by cliques and outside interests. Until new leaders find a genuinely conservative vision of their own, ..the party will keep sliding back into the same two ruts in the road – a more or less free market agenda that must be pursued by stealth and deception.

For that to happen it may well be appropriate that the TeamKey government should end, and “not with a bang but a whimper.”

 

 

 

52 comments on “Will the real National Party please stand up”

  1. Not a PS Staffer 1

    Thanks Mike

    The behaviour of the current National Party insiders that you describe perfectly when you say it “goes beyond unprincipled and unlawful to decadent and disgusting” started with the shafting of Jim Bolger by Jenny Shipley & Co.

    The current smart-set in National have air-brushed Jim Bolger from their history. There are some remaining with decent values and hopefully they will assert themselves soon. I’ll never agree with the values of a Tory party and will always fight them: however New Zealand needs a healthy political landscape and a healthy, even if Tory, opposition.

  2. Pete 2

    I know plenty of decent men and women who are tribal National. If you get out into the smaller towns and rural communities, there are plenty there. Some of their MPs don’t deserve the vilification this scandal tars them with. The problem are the flash, urban, quick-buck set who seem to have all sense of empathy removed. I know I’ll get a little flack for saying this, but I still have some respect for Bill English, particularly after he spoke about how we have too many in prison. But he’s had his chance as leader. I wonder what his private thoughts are of Key.

    I really want there to be a progressive government in place on 21 September, but I want the government after that one to be less cruel and less vindictive. For that to happen, National needs to take a long hard look at itself and reconsider the position of people like Collins, Joyce, Brownlee and Bridges.

    • Harry Holland 2.2

      When the member for double Dipton was leader he seemed like a half-decent bloke I thought, for a politician and a tory that is.

      And this 2012 Washington speech summary from Bolger is interesting http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884963

      “He used the occasion to vent about the perils of deregulation leading to the global financial crisis in 2008, on multinationals making billions and paying little tax, and the responsibility of free traders to be focused on people.”

      “Mr Bolger brought them back to reality talking about the 1027 deaths in a Bangladeshi factory through a building collapse. My question is whether such tragedies move large corporates to demand proper standards, proper conditions for workers to get a lousy 58c a shirt for their work.”

      About as good as it gets from a tory politician. The speech also contained the usual hypocrisy and hubris, but all the same I can’t imagine Key giving a speech like that.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I know I’ll get a little flack for saying this, but I still have some respect for Bill English,

      The Double Dipper from Dipton?

    • Enough is Enough 2.4

      I think National will do more than have a good hard look at itself. I think this is the end of the road for the party. They cannot and will not survive this, at least not as a mainstream party.

      Key will go within 24 hours of the election. An almighty war will then erupt between the Collins and Joyce factions. English, and Brownlee will resign and the public will desert them.

      They will break up meaning there will be new hard core right party and a centre party, both struggling for relevance and 5% by 2017.

      Key will be remembered as the man that destroyed the National Party

      • Thinker 2.4.1

        A bit Shakesperian tragedy, I think, to dramatise this as the end of National. The Democrats survived Watergate, and National will survive this… eventually.

        That’s probably a good thing, long term, because we need two major parties of almost-equal strength, to stop this current kind of politics permeating either side of the house. Look what happened to Labour, when National became unelectable, in 1984.

        I think what’s brought this on can be traced back past Shipley, and to the door of the ‘new right agenda’ which, if you look at who’s who today, wasn’t really started by the Labour movement, but by a right-leaning faction inside Labour, part of which became the ACT party of today.

        I think it was a combination of three things: Rich, powerful people. Self-absorbed, powerful people, and a declining interest in politics by mainstream New Zealand that allowed the first two groups to capture parties on both sides of the fence, resulting in minimal real choice for voters. Like Ford’s Model T, you can have any politics, as long as it is neoliberal.

        To be true, both National and Labour need fixing.

        To fix National, well, that would be stating the obvious, after the past few days.

        But, for many years, Labour has allowed itself to be a watered-down-version of National, which has been a big part of getting us to where we are today. That’s what I admire most about Cunliffe – his acknowledgement of that fact, and his determination to do something about it. Winning the election is only the beginning for Labour, if it is to return to being a hand-on-heart egalatarian party.

        Rogernomics challenged the then-Establishment and, thus, became the Establishment. A generation later, we are seeing nothing less than a similar kind of challenge to Rogernomics. Anyone who’s read Animal Farm will recall that the pendulum swung far right, before it swung back to the middle. Hager’s book is probably only the match that sparked the fire, rather than the fire itself. Simply, the time is right for a generational transformation.

        With Labour back to being a party for the masses, National would have to offer more than it has been offering to mainstream voters, and return to thinking about more than just the top few percent, if it wanted to get back to power. Muldoon had his faults but, hard as he was, I doubt he would have approved of a government for just the top few percent, the way National has become of late. Other commentators have pointed out, there is probably a core of a better class of politicians inside National, waiting to come out after the dust has settled.

    • Stuart Munro 2.5

      I’d have more respect for him if he resigned. If you can’t run an economy for toffee you shouldn’t stay in the job.

    • Colonial Viper 2.6

      Yeah I have time for Bill English as well. And he has done sorta OK with the economy, given the constraints that his party and financial neoliberalism apply.

      Notice though how they are replacing a lot of middle of the road Tory MPs with younger hungry corporate types. Not a good sign for the future.

      • Pete 2.6.1

        And one of those corporate types is Todd Barclay, who was gifted Clutha-Southland. I guess one of the things about safe National seats is that they seem to go to the kind of person who would appear to take their responsibilities for granted. A sinecure rather than an obligation.

  3. Sable 3

    Yes and I know I belabor this point but lets not forget the slimy turds in the mainstream media who enabled this character. I suspect Keys would be out of office by now were it not for their on going campaign of stoogery, flattery and misinformation. If National needs to be reformed the MSM in this country does as well and with equal urgency…

    • tc 3.1

      +1
      A public broadcaster derived from the trainwreck that is tvnz currently would be the best option. Better be quick though before the nats park it inside the casino.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I’d say that the MSM needs to be reformed with more urgency. Blip’s list of National Party lies and distraction shows that. If the MSM had done their job National would never have got a second term. Hell, they probably wouldn’t have got a first term.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Better wingnuts apply within.

  5. lebleaux 5

    I too want a progressive government in place after September, but where are we gonna get one of those if its not lead by National … Hone, Laila, Winston, Wussell all leading David by the nose, bouncing from one apology to another … with Metiria dancing in the chorus. Say it can’t be so. Actually, have not seen or heard from David for a while now, is he still participating. Kelvin Davis for leader, that’s what I say.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Oh look, a Slater. Can I step on it or does someone want to pull its legs off first?

      • lebleaux 5.1.1

        Don’t dismiss Kelvin Davis so quickly – I just spent the weekend in the North, Kelvin is both liked and respected by a broad section of the community, a real asset. He could work really well with Shane Jones ….. oops ….. I mean he could work really well with Hone, Laila, Winston, Wussell all leading David by the nose, bouncing from one apology to another … with Metiria dancing in the chorus …. oh darn ….. no he couldn’t

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          Yes, and you’re associated with the lowest scum New Zealand has ever seen, and they live on the ninth floor of the Beehive. I’d vote for gang members before the National Party. At least they have the guts to stab people in the front.

        • tricledrown 5.1.1.2

          lowblow scum flots to the top slaters take on key

      • tricledrown 5.1.2

        Low blow for the lowbrow lurker OAB

    • You_Fool 5.2

      “Actually, have not seen or heard from David for a while now”

      Would that be David Cunliffe who has been all over the news for weeks now, just about all in a positive light despite the MSM’s best efforts?

      I don’t think I have heard from Dear Leader much, except to offer the latest denial

      • lebleaux 5.2.1

        As I said I have been in the North all weekend – Silent ‘T’s face was not to be found anywhere – not like that lovely man Kelvin Davis – he was everywhere. Looked to me like there was plenty of room on the billboard for Davey baby – but no show

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1

          Yes, your partisan ad hominem attacks confirm Nicky Hager’s findings. How is the view down there in the oil?

          That’s a rhetorical question 😀

  6. philj 6

    xox
    NATRAD and TVNZ needs a complete reconditioning. As does the MSM. It’s called democracy and a worthy 4th estate. Not the corporatocracy we have presently.

  7. Murray Rosser 7

    Mike, I think you are onto possibly the most concerning story in Dirty Politics – the chapter on Simon Lusk. Just who is now running the National Party – not the elected party officials and not the party leader either it appears when it comes to candidate selection. Of course candidate selection, especially of those in safe seats, is the key to the direction of the party. Has Key become so relaxed about selection that he is ‘quite comfortable’ seeing the future of the party handed over to hard right MP’s who’s selection has been engineered by Lusk and Slater?

    Or is this Key’s real agenda – continuing along where Brash and his Hollow Men left off but with a smile on his face and a relaxed attitude. Maybe style is the only real difference between Key and Brash? Certainly they both subscribe to the zombie economics refined by both National and Labour to a near perfect level in what was once our country but. increasingly, is just like New Zealand Insurance – ours in name only.

    Dingbat

  8. Saarbo 8

    Tonight on Native Affairs, Patrick Gower reckoned that Labour during the Clark years would have had some similarly dirty e-mails, somehow I doubt it. They may have been underhand and cunning, but not disgustingly ugly, hateful and filthy like the Slater/Lusk/Williams et al group.

    But, like National, Labour has a split. A split between a “free market right” and a group with a desire for more intervention, a group that has seen the damage that pure free markets have had on parts of our country and want to see a strong and effective government that can govern for all. This split is clearly the most damaging thing for Labour, unfortunately it seems, that we have this in common with National.

  9. Lloyd 9

    Isn’t it good that the Greens don’t have this problem?

  10. Ad 10

    Nice nostalgic idea Mike but the National Party aren’t like Labour’s. The National caucus are in Key’s image – both now and completely so in the next parliament after his root and branch renewal.

    You are really hoping that there’s a cohort of older National supporter who will shear away in disgust. They will exist, but they too are few and literally dying out. Most of them I believe will be more disgusted at Hagar for daring to attack the honour and therefore station of the Prime Minister.

    Nicky is merely holding a small mirror to New Zealand society on the morality of the Washington Consensus. By and large New Zealand voters chose this over several decades with their Faustian eyes wide open.

  11. North 11

    Mike Williams got it right on RNZ Nine To Noon yesterday when repeatedly he expressed that whatever went before in our politics this is different – these are “repulsive” people – “disgusting” people – when he cited the very tone and the very words seen in the emails.

    • tricledrown 11.1

      Repulsive behaviour North what I like about the Standard is generally we hold ourselves to a higher standard !
      lets keep it that way while we are pissed off and angry if we are going to criticise the Govt over sewer style politics we can’ t go their!

      • lurgee 11.1.1

        The comments here can get pretty nasty at times. Not Whaleoil nasty, but when you’ve got posters describing David Shearer as ‘mumblefuck’ and so on, we’re a few steps down the road. And posters calling Colin Craig a knob are another. Not as bad, but not good either.

        • tricledrown 11.1.1.1

          Time for all of us to grow up and not feed National a way out me included

        • Olwyn 11.1.1.2

          Expressions of fury and the mockery of opponents, are not on a par with revelations intended to do damage, in some cases serious damage.

        • vto 11.1.1.3

          What is it with Judith Collins forehead and eyebrows? She looks like some sort of fucking mutant alien ….

          the mutant alien

        • TeWhareWhero 11.1.1.4

          That’s the problem with the blogosphere – people like Slater don’t so much as raise the bar on what is acceptable as remove it completely. Yes, there are some people who post here who allow their anger to get the better of their political judgement – especially when they get into personalised exchanges with RW posters who are winding things up – but I have never seen the adrenaline charged spite that erupts regularly on Slater’s blog. More importantly than the occasional outburst of vitriol, what you get on blogs like this are thoughtful, principled – and sometimes downright brilliant – analyses of current political issues.

  12. tricledrown 12

    National need to take personal and collective responsibility for this mess!
    Shonkey John Key needs to take personal responsibility for this complete corruption of politics in New Zealand!
    John Key needs to fly to Israel to beside his Close Mate and help him out anyway he can I am serious about this Mr Key you can be a man and take responsibility for your loyal mate!
    Revelations that Cameron Slater knew what was in the book 2 weeks ahead of publication have brought this whole sorry saga out in the open.
    John Key and Co Williams Collins all should fess up resign from politics go and help Cameron Slater you lot are responsible for encouraging Cameron down this path so now is time to all of you to take
    Responsibility for the damage you have created!
    we on the left need to be very careful and understanding criticising the behaviour at not lowering our selves to the same level of behaviour!
    John Kirwan explains what Cameron Slater is going through right now.

  13. philj 13

    xox
    What does Slater have on JK? Why is JK so closely associated with Slater? Why does Key not distance himself? Why can’t Key see the smell? Any ideas folks?

    • Key can see the smell. He just doesn’t care. People like him* hire “the little people” to do the dirty jobs no matter if they can’t stand them.

      (* If any tabloid bloggers are watching, I mean “neoliberal rich pricks”, not his ethnicity.)

    • tricledrown 13.2

      Depression philj Slater has been battling depression and is in a dark place right now Key and Collins egging Slaters Manic attacks is a very low dirty and dispicable.
      Now they are distancing themselves from Cameron as well Lusk is abandoning Slater as well.
      Hence Cameron calling lusk gutless shows how low Lusk is!

  14. Chooky 14

    The old National Party is DEAD…( the one that my farmer grandparents voted for)

    The old National Party died when John Key became leader.

    The old respectable National Party transmorphed into a NACT Party

    The NACT Party is run by PR merchants and black ops personnel and John Key is its Chief Executive

    The NACT Party is a rogue privatised party

    (Winston Peters is the true heir to the old National Party)

    RIP old National Party

  15. fambo 15

    Jim Bolger was almost talking like an anarchist just before he was rolled – promoting the idea of devolving power down to lower levels of government such as councils

    • RJL 15.1

      Perhaps, but don’t be too quick to canonise Bolger.

      What he probably envisaged, in practice, was central government devolving itself of responsibility for social issues without really enabling local government to effectively do much.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Bolger did fine. A National PM who helped push through proportional representation for us. For that alone the man deserves a knighthood.

  16. Lanthanide 16

    He thanks “the National party staffer who first suggested he work on this subject” in the preface to “Dirty Politics.” It may well be that the both leaks come from the same source, and for the same reason. There will be many people in the National Party who will be disgusted at what is now being done under their name.

    Hager talked about this in his interview on Sunday with Wallace Chapman.

    Apparently it was a staffer who spoke to him a couple of years ago, and mentioned various names of people (probably like Ede?) who Hager hadn’t heard of at the time, but turn out to be all through Cameron’s emails.

    IIRC he said that the staffer said it was pretty open knowledge all this stuff was going on within National. Seems unlikely Key would have been in the dark about all of it, like he’s claiming.

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  • A note on apartments and bubbles
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    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”.
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    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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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)
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    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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    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
  • 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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
    11 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago