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Worrying, or what I did with my holidays

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, January 26th, 2009 - 58 comments
Categories: blogs, interweb, labour, Media - Tags:

I’ve meaning to write a wee post thanking Young Labour for inviting me along to speak at their Summer School the other weekend. I’m told it’s a bit of a tradition at these summer schools to have some speakers from outside the party to give a different perspective, which is a bloody good idea. Falling into my natural role of nitpicker, I gave a critique of Labour’s web-presence, which they seemed to take pretty well. Scoop’s Alastair Thompson and I also spoke on the role of the Internet in politics, particularly in relation to traditional and emerging media, including our respective sites. Alastair’s insights were fascinating and, well, I hope I didn’t ramble too much.

I think we’re in interesting times for the media. The creation of the Fairfax/APN foreign-owned duopoly in our print media began an asset-stripping process where maximum profits were extracted by slashing costs (ie the number of journos and their pay), which has led to declining quality of output. The rise and rise of the Internet has dramatically accelerated this process in three ways:

  • Rather than paying for 50 pages of ads and a few articles, most of which they don’t read, people now view the articles they want online for free and with little ad revenue generated.
  • Readers are being lost to largely amateur websites, including the blogosphere, that are very topic-specific and often offer better coverage than the professional media.
  • Most importantly, the print media is losing its traditional cash-cow, classified advertising, to the likes of Trade-me.

Both APN and Fairfax are in severe distress because of this – the Herald is effectively for sale but there is no buyer. And there is nothing to be done about it – the tide of Internet-driven change is washing over the traditional print business model and no King Canute will be able to turn it back.

Now, the prolonged recession is set to make things much worse very quickly. I have heard industry estimates that some major newspapers will see their revenue drop 25% this year, mainly due to falling ad revenue. The inevitable reaction of the owners will be to further slash journo numbers and their pay even (heaven forbid the owners should cut their dividends). That, of course, will only promote the decline in standards and drive readers to other sources of news.

Something new is going to emerge from the long collapse of the traditional print media and the rise, from what are still small beginnings, of the Internet-based media. My worry is whether or not that new something will be able to fulfill the vital, if largely abandoned at present, role of the media in a democracy as the fourth estate.

58 comments on “Worrying, or what I did with my holidays”

  1. Lew 1

    As someone who spends his days and nights knee deep in the media, I recommend Gordon Campbell’s article on the state of such things: http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/the-dividing-line-between-pr-and-news-disappears/

    L

    Captcha: `villain watching’. But are the villains being watched, or doing the watching?

  2. Daveski 2

    An interesting post SP

    I think your general comments are accurate. I noted in Gordon Campbell’s article about the “business of the news” which of course is at the heart of the issue.

    Mind you it’s not news – Gang of Four’s album “Entertainment” – in the late 1970’s canvassed that issue way back then ie news as entertainment.

    Interestingly, one of the criticisms of the Labour govt was the use of comms staff to play the game. While I have some sympathy – that’s the rules of the game now – they have certainly contributed to the control of the news by the spin merchants.

    The conflicting comments from KB and here show that there is never consensus on what the fourth estate should be saying. So long as there is no controls on who says what, I think the future will hold more independent web based sites grouped around issues and themes while the mass media focuses increasingly on entertainment and content that is driven by subscription.

    To that end, the Standard is well positioned to play a significant role in representing views from the left.

  3. mike 3

    I think you will find newspapers around for a long time yet SP, as a lot of advertisers are discovering they do not get the same exposure with the “pull” format of the internet as opposed to the “push” media (newspapers, magazines, mailers) Its’ horses for courses obviously but print media is still the preferred and cheapest method of getting your message to the masses.

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    That article by Gordon Campbell is shocking. If ever there was a reason to stop wathcing the idot’s hour of evening news that provides it. And didn’t I say not long ago that Mike McRoberts is Mike McPropaganda.

  5. Redbaiter 5

    The only real ‘print media/um’ in NZ is Ian Wishart’s “Investigate”.

  6. Lew 6

    RB: That statement tells us more about you than it does about the media.

    QtR: Why stop watching, other than to starve them of ratings and drive more actual journalists – yes, they exist – over to the PR dark side? Why not watch, take into account the explicit and implicit agendas, the hidden and not-so hidden distortions and keep yourself sane by comparing and contrasting to a wide range of other media, analysis, opinion and (most critically) primary sources such as press releases? You can’t just ignore the media and hope it goes away – better to arm yourself with the tools to properly contextualise and understand it.

    L

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    Lew – I do read and watch a wide range of news media. In doing that I think it demonstrates how particularly bad our local media is. They would be more watchable if they were open about their respective biases. There are other reasons not to watch the evening news like their sickening focus on crime.

  8. The print media in NZ have only themselves to blame. People like me who used to buy their newspapers every day – often several – to get a feel for “opinion”, no longer want to buy those papers.

    For one thing, the “opinions” these days are too often either stupid, uninformed prejudice (Garth George and fellow travellers) or overtly slanted in favour of the party that business sees as its own. Of the newspapers imply refuse to print news they find politically inconvenient….as the Herald did in effectively suppressing news stories reporting evidence supporting climate change until AFTER the election…..when we finally got to read many things that had been reported almost daily for months prior.

    Collectively, No Right Turn, The Standard and Kiwiblog give me a more balanced “take” on the news of the day than the NZ Herald or the DomPost. The NZ Herald and The DomPost tend to be mostly Kiwiblog-ish most days…and I know there is more to the news that that. There are other values that must have a voice the newspapers refuse to give them.

    So I don’t buy newspapers as much or as often as I used to. I don’t trust them. Why would I reward them for being untrustworthy by giving them my money?

  9. Redbaiter 9

    There are very few real “journalists” in the NZ mainstream media. Most are fake, Pravda style propagandists for socialism, and this is not anywhere more evident than in their unquestioning endorsement of the shady bat eared crook Barack Obama who can’t even prove he was born in the US, (as the Constitution requires). Yet, when this charlatan and fraud has hidden every facet of his background from public view, the same sleazy impostors who travelled by the plane load to Alaska to dig dirt on Sara Palin, and who subpoenaed George Bush’s dental records, now write in the Herald of how he brings “openness” to government (Audrey Young) and “hope” to the world. (author Paul Holmes, that well known right wing attack dog).

    Now totally discredited for ever, these scum going broke is something they themselves have begged for for years. Writing to suit their ideology rather than their market, they’re dropping like flies. Soon they’ll be extinct, and it can’t happen soon enough in my humble opinion. Good riddance to evil rubbish.

  10. Ag 10

    If the Herald goes, I’ll cheer. It’s run by illiterates anyway.

    Redbaiter is still foaming at the mouth bonkers, I see.

  11. Ari 11

    Redbaiter, you’re as salient as ever. Barack made his birth certificate public, and it shows him as born in Hawaii. (in fact, he posted it to the internet as well, which is a step further than most politicians go when they make something public.)

    Digging dirt is a very large part of a journalist’s job. They’re supposed to do it so that we have some sort of moral enforcement, and incitement to the government to be moral and honest. Sad as it is, digging dirt is only a viable strategy against those who have dirty pasts.

    Oh, and good luck trying to prove the Herald are shilling for socialism by any objective metric. There hasn’t been a bigger bunch of social conservatives publishing together since Rupert Murdoch decided he quite liked the idea of a media conglomerate 😛

  12. @ work 12

    I find it odd how critical some people in the blogshpere can be of the media, but as soon as there is a supposed scandal to be had in what they are saying, the words of the media are taken as gospel.

    (any one else have a bit of a laugh at DPF calling for calm and to wait for the full facts to come out over this police shooting thing?)

  13. Redbaiter 13

    “Barack made his birth certificate public, and it shows him as born in Hawaii.”

    A gross lie. Go away if that pathetic propaganda is all you’re good for.

  14. @ work 14

    Thats not a refutation. Your going to have to give a reasons why he’s wrong or your claim isn’t logically valid.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Ari:

    Barack made his birth certificate public, and it shows him as born in Hawaii.

    No no no no no.

    BHO is Malcom X’s secret bastard offspring. ( ‘Barack’ is the mooslim form of Barry, his so called father’s name, plus – look at the ears! Totally the same ears).

    That it doesn’t say that on his “birth certificate” is only evidence of how far back his unbridled ambition for power goes. If they’d fake that then the place of birth is nothing. Anyway, Dan Rather proved accurate equals fake.

    Why do you think he ‘fumbled’ the oath taken on the Bible? HUH?HUH? Why did he not swear on a bible in the private do over??3/!!!1

  16. Redbaiter 16

    “Thats not a refutation. Your going to have to give a reasons why he’s wrong or your claim isn’t logically valid.”

    I’m not in the habit of spoon feeding facts to drooling idiots. Anyone who has read on this issue knows the full long form birth certificate (that shows much more detail than the short form, including ACTUAL place of birth, not ‘place of registration of birth’) is under lock and key in an Hawaiian hospital and Barack has fought tooth and nail to keep it hidden from public view. The left have spread lies to try and cloud this simple distinction, and that is what Ari is doing above.

  17. @ work 17

    By “I’m not in the habit of spoon feeding facts to drooling idiots” I assume you mean that you know what your claiming is questionable at best so your argument sounds far stronger if you just gloss over and pretend its fact. Your argument just is not built on sound premise’s.

  18. Baiter – you’re a legend. Is it true you are a founding member of the National Front?

  19. Redbaiter 19

    “Is it true you are a founding member of the National Front?”

    No, but its true you’re a worthless smearing coward. All you’ve ever been. Ignorant too, or you’d know that Redbaiter’s ideas of small weak government fashioned along the lines of the US Republic after the War of Independence are totally incompatible with the political ambitions of the National Front. The Front are big government believers. That makes them your buddies.

    BTW, now that you’ve got that cowardly smear out of the way, anything to say on the issue of the Herald’s sycophantic reporting on the thug Obama? That’s actually what I’m commenting on, something you probably overlooked in your feverish haste to smear, as usual.

  20. @ work 20

    C’mon sod, your either with us or against us!

  21. I’d like to see some evidence that you’re not, baiter. You seem pretty fascist to me. I’d also like to know if your homosexuality is an issue for your NF mates or whether they’ve become more queer-tolerant.

  22. Redbaiter 22

    Yawn. Like most commies, when you’re confronted with truth and reason, you melt like ice in the sun. Hate, lies and smears are all you ever have. Fuck off bore.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    Its ok – this is RB’s usual MO – bait anyone who disagrees with him using conspiracy theories, made-up terminology and invalid logic, and when called on it, claim he’s above the argumentation he started. That’s why he calls himself redBAITER.

    There’s another prefix I think is rather more appropriate, but anyway.

    L

  24. Redbaiter 24

    Moderator- please don’t feel obliged to publish the previous comment. (presently held in moderation) The unintelligent narcissistic bore is not really worth even that small amount of effort.

    [lprent: did it before i saw this..]

  25. Redbaiter 25

    Conspiracy theories… pfft, more obfuscation. The people trying to get a look at Obama’s long form certificate are lawyers, teachers, politicians, professional people from many walks of life. There’s no conspiracy. All that’s needed is for Obama to cease hiding his original certificate from public view. If this was Bush or any Republican, you’d be screaming to see it, and so would Audrey Young and Paul Holmes. The mainstream media are pathetically beholden to the left, and their fawning over Obama, as in the articles referenced above, and so many similar articles, is enough proof of this to satisfy anyone who isn’t a blind left wing bigot.

  26. Lew 26

    Just for clarity – the so-called `narcissistic bore’ above is me, not PB.

    L

  27. Redbaiter 27

    “Just for clarity – the so-called `narcissistic bore’ above is me, not PB.”

    Well OK, if you say so, but I really meant the low IQ poseur Robinsod, so in love with himself and his self professed intelligence he’ll never awaken to what a boring drone he really is.

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Gee Baiter, last I heard Obama was so far to the Right of us blind left wing bigots that it must be the right-wing media trying to prevent him from being discredited.

    Otherwise there are a lot of people in the RWNJ KBR crowd (probably all of them excepting your good self) that need you to ‘correct’ their views of the US Democrats…

  29. Lew 29

    RB: So … are you going to argue that the Supremes are also `blind left-wing bigots’? That’d be cool.

    Oh, also … sadly, it seems ‘Sod is the bore, not me. A coveted title indeed.

    L

  30. Oh noz! Baiter haz mocked me! Baity-mate you don’t like my self-love because you think it leaves no room in my heart for you… And you’re right.

    edit: don’t worry Lew – I still think you’re a bore…

  31. Redbaiter 31

    “Gee Baiter, last I heard”

    Yeah Matt, but with sources that are entirely made up of left wing propagandists, why would what you have “heard’ be worth remarking on?? Obama is a hard left socialist, and has already implemented a series of actions that prove this beyond doubt. You won’t read about this in the fawning mainstream media, or any other of the poisonous to democracy left wing sources you are devoted to.

  32. Redbaiter 32

    “Sod is the bore, not me.”

    Make your mind up for chrissakes. Girl.

  33. You won’t read about this in the fawning mainstream media, or any other of the poisonous to democracy left wing sources you are devoted to.

    No indeed! You’ll only find it in brave and peerless web publications such as: http://www.nationalfront.org.nz/

  34. Redbaiter 34

    “The New Zealand National Front is a party of genuine democracy which belongs to its members. Its governing body is the National Council which is an elected body, which then elects a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and other party officers. The policies of the party are determined by its members at an annual conference and all decisions are binding upon the party leadership.”

    Haw haw, this could have come directly from the Internationale Socialist’s website. They’re (the NF) your buddies Robinsod, because they believe in government, the bigger the better, just like you. Now, for the third time- anything to say on the issue, or are off topic feeble and cowardly attempts to smear all your sad tiny little intellect is capable of??

  35. sad tiny little intellect

    You’ve lost a little panache since we last argued bait.What has happened to your long rambling insults peppered with terms like “communist troglodyte”???

    As much as it pains me to say this about a legend such as yourself – you’re becoming dull and uninspired…

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    Again, Baiter, you’ll need to pass that info on to your RWNJ mates of the KBR – they’re the “left wing propagandists” that have been professing that Obama is relatively well over to the right, from an NZ perspective. Try and read comments before replying, you can’t bait someone when you’ve failed to comprehend what they’ve said to you.

    You’re slipping, the fiesty fella of a few years back wouldn’t have failed so miserably to comprehend my comment. Like the ‘sod, I’m disappointed.

  37. Billy 37

    you’re becoming dull and uninspired

    Actually, everyone seems to have become so on this thread. The highlight for me was when Lew displayed his boorish narcissism by assuming that a comment about a narcissistic bore must be directed at him.

    Everyone has become a caricature of himself (with RB starting well ahead of the pack).

    To spice things up, I suggest that ‘sod argue RB’s position and vice versa. Lew should try to be MP (thereby displaying a sense of humour and humility that he does not possess). MP should try arguing like a narcissitic bore.

    I will be like Drew Carey and award points at the end of the round.

  38. Lew 38

    Billy: Hey, but then we wouldn’t be able to have a serious discussion!

    oh, wait…

    L

  39. Billy 39

    Very promising start, Lew. Didn’t sound like you at all. I’m awarding you 800 points.

  40. Billy – I don’t have a position. I have many positions. And I started as a caricature of myself. But I do agree that something, some spark, some sense of spirit or soul is missing from the ‘sphere nowadays…

    I yearn for the simpler times of 2007/08 when I was still allowed on Kiwiblog, I had not a care in the world, all that fun with Cameron was still to be looked forward to and you could make truly filthy comments on the standard without fear of being banned …

    Those were the days, eh billy me old mate? Those were the days…

  41. Billy 41

    I agree entirely. I was only really ever in it for “the crack” and that seems to have been moderated out of here.

  42. Redbaiter 42

    Yawn…… zzzzzzzzzzzz

    What Robinsod yearns for. What Robinsod’s position is. Robinsod had not a care. Who the fuck is interested (besides you) you narcissistic bore?????

  43. Billy 43

    No points for that, I am afraid Redbaiter. You didn’t sound like ‘sod at all. Please try harder.

  44. Redbaiter 44

    lprent- pretty poor you know. I knew the Standard was plagued with knuckle dragging losers, but really, this is how you want it?? Pathetic.

    [lprent: On the odd occasion these things flare up (especially when the ‘sod or yourself or a few others gets involved). I tend to let them run as long as they stay moderately civil. Haven’t gone all of the way back on this burst, but so far it looks no more than mildly objectionable. ]

  45. Billy 45

    Oh dear, you’re not very good at this game, are you?

    Lew has taken a substantial lead and I really don’t like your chances of catching him on your present form.

  46. What kind of lickspittle commie scumbag troglodyte to you take me for billy??? Unlike you and your petty vain and self-important socialist KKKomrades I’m not here to entertain! My sole purpose for writing here is to put the truth in front of people so they can have their eyes open to the freedoms they have lost and the cover-up from the complicit left-wing media and hopefully rise up against the tyranny of government.

    Oh and I’m too scared to leave the house and so have no other avenue for social contact.

  47. Matthew Pilott 47

    You guys are making the ‘sphere sound like a microcosm of how the media and right want us to believe the left have made reality…

  48. Billy 48

    …and suddenly a new contender emerges.

  49. What Robinsod yearns for. What Robinsod’s position is. Robinsod had not a care. Who the fuck is interested (besides you) you narcissistic bore?????

    Are you in love with me?

  50. Hey – aren’t you gonna give me some points???

    Cap: “Adios agreement”. Yes. Yes indeed.

  51. Billy 51

    And after the first round the scores are:

    Lew: 800 points
    Matthew Pilott:1,500 points
    ‘Sod: 2,000 points
    Redbaiter: no points.

    So RB concedes a substantial advantage with all to play for in the all important quick-fire buzzer round.

  52. randal 52

    hi folks
    spent some of my holidays reading “Who Says Elephants Cant Dance” by Lou Gerstner about how he turned round IBM when they were up against it so any predictions about the death of the media I would take with a grain of salt.
    and SP
    did you tell the young labourites that the main reason for the death of the old STANDARD was a result of the bluenoses in the party not allwing the paper to print race results?
    anyway the way to go is always counterintuitive
    e.g.
    necessity is the mother of invention
    not so
    invention during the formative years of the industrial revolution came about when attempts were made to reduce labour costs
    okay
    over and out

  53. lukas 53

    Randal, are you PhilU?

  54. Redbaiter 54

    Billy, such a knuckle dragger he sees nothing incongruous in appointing himself umpire when he’s-

    1) Competing

    2) Partisan

    3) Retarded.

    You’ll die happy now anyway Billy, seeing as you finally got the attention from Redbaiter you’ve been so desperately begging for.

  55. Billy 55

    Use of “retarded” alone isn’t going to get you there, RB. Try making an inappropriate joke about my Mum, or porcine bestiality.

  56. Porcine bestiality is no joke when you’re baiter.

  57. Matthew Pilott 57

    ‘Sod, redbaiter refers to redbaiter as redbaiter – I think you lose 501 points for that infraction.

  58. No way dude – I was pretending to be you pretending to be redbaiter (and doing a bad job of it). That means those lost points come off your score-card… Or do they just pretend to…? Shit… now I’m as confused as a Redbaiter in a world without Hitler…

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    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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks 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
    20 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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