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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    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    60 mins ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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