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Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if…..?

Written By: - Date published: 1:28 pm, October 15th, 2008 - 40 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, same old national - Tags: ,

I have to declare – yes, I am an urban liberal. So I would be embarrassed if a member of my family said this:

The National Party’s candidate for New Plymouth (Jonathan Young) says homosexuality is a choice and strongly objects to it being seen as a “normal alternative“:

Jonathan Young’s views, printed in the Taranaki Daily Times at the weekend, angered GayNZ.com readers in New Plymouth who contacted us. “One of my associates was an ex-lesbian,” Young told the newspaper. “She discovered through her own journey and talking to others that a lot of things happened to her in her childhood that affected her deeply and caused her to become [homosexual].

“One of the things I do strongly object to in terms of the people who have made this choice is the presentation of it as a normal alternative,” he concluded.

The article goes onto say:

Young, 50, was Senior Minister of CityChurch Waitakere in West Auckland for 18 years prior to moving back to his birthplace in Taranaki this year. He is one of the nine children of Venn Young, the long-serving National Party politician who championed homosexual law reform and became well-known for his failed attempt to legalise ‘homosexual acts’ in 1975. GayNZ.com has attempted to contact Young via phone and email, but has not received a response as yet.

That’s not quite the fresh image I thought National was looking for? I wonder what Mr Key thinks of his candidates clearly stated opinion? But then again Mr Key did oppose civil unions, despite having no problems personally with them…

40 comments on “Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if…..?”

  1. Daveski 1

    I think it is difficult if not dangerous to use conscience matters to categorise political parties. While I’m sure the balance is different in Labour, you could equally take comments from conservative Christians in Labour (I assume they still exist!) and say it’s not a good look for Labour.

    On these types of issues, party lines are almost useless. Try another line of attack.

  2. John Stevens 2

    My god, another christian for the National party. He may have this opinion based on his religous beleifs. At least he is not saying to kill homos like ‘the religion of peace’.

    I think you will find under National people are allowed to be more opiniated than Labour MPs.

  3. randal 3

    I was embarrassed last night to listen to all of john keys lies. He keeps talking about his economic experience but he never actually made anything. there never was a john keys and co. furthermore he knows that one solution for new zealands economy is specialised niche manufacturing but no pronouncements on that score either. natoinal is an embarassment fullstop.

  4. John, I’m not worried about whether they’re opinionated or not, I’m worried about their opinions.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Specialised niche manufacturing – do tell. Examples please sounds fascinating.

    I would have thought most manufacturers in NZ niche or otherwise have moved their manufacturing offshore.

    [there are hundreds of thousands of people employed in manufacturing in NZ, many in small high-tech industries, we need to encourage that further. We can’t get richer exporting primary goods and providing services to each other. SP]

  6. insider 6

    I’d be more embarassed by a government MP saying stoning people was ok as long as it wasn;t in NZ.

    Wonder what Dover and Taito think about gays

  7. Scribe 7

    Good points insider.

    Don’t forget Ross Robertson. What about Sua William Si’o?

  8. insider 8

    Forgot to add Steve, this is a democracy with a range of views in society. It’s hardly surprising some things are said you don’t agree with. Not everyone in Labour agrees with everything that is their policy – I thought you liked diversity?

  9. Scribe 9

    insider,

    you know full well that words like “tolerance” and “diversity” are only applicable to certain sectors of society.

    “You must tolerate me, but don’t even expect me to tolerate you”

  10. Nick 10

    Bloody chinless scarf-wearers.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Young told the newspaper. “She discovered through her own journey and talking to others that a lot of things happened to her in her childhood that affected her deeply and caused her to become [homosexual].

    “One of the things I do strongly object to in terms of the people who have made this choice is the presentation of it as a normal alternative,’ he concluded.

    So which is it? A choice, or something caused by external factors?

    Whatever else he is, surely we can agree this guy’s an idiot who hasn’t thought out his position here.

  12. Daveski 12

    PB – I have no doubt given my personal values and beliefs agreeing with you the that the guy is an idiot.

    However, in other sectors of society (including many core Labour voters) he would be seen as being too liberal!

    The point many have made is don’t use this type of crap scenario to score petty politic points. In fact, I think it scores an own goal 🙂

    But yes, I think the guy is an idiot 🙂

  13. Paul 13

    I’m just completely confused by the use of the phrase “was an ex-lesbian” and why he thinks that’s relevent ….

  14. Scribe 14

    Paul,

    I’m just completely confused by the use of the phrase “was an ex-lesbian’ and why he thinks that’s relevent

    It’s probably said to support his claim that sexual preference is a choice that can be changed, rather than something innate, like being a redhead, that can’t be changed.

  15. Dom 15

    Yes, and we gays are to blame for everything from the hole in the ozone layer to the Wall St crash.

    Look, there are stupid views over homosexuality across all parties so you can’t blame National for this but you can blame them for not keeping a lid on it – Labour has been good at reining in their moral conservatives – Key needs to do the same…

    BTW, our family lived not far from Venn Young’s house in Hawera back in the 1980s. If this is the same guy I remember (he’s 10 years older than me) he was a tosser to one of my sisters at school.

  16. Scribe 16

    Dom,

    Look, there are stupid views over homosexuality across all parties so you can’t blame National for this but you can blame them for not keeping a lid on it – Labour has been good at reining in their moral conservatives – Key needs to do the same

    Thanks for proving the point I made above about selective tolerance.

    The prosecution rests.

  17. Tim Ellis 17

    Jonathan Young’s views are in line with a large proportion of New Zealanders. Don’t they have a right to have their views expressed as well? [of course he has the right to express his opinions, just as Dancer and the rest of us have the right to express how appalling we find them and how we think they make him unsuitable for a role as MP and cast doubts upon the leadership of his party. The right to free speech is not a right to not be criticised for what you say. SP]

    It seems to me that the greater hazard is telling people how they must view the world. Apparently John Key should be embarrassed for not actively opposing sporting contacts with South Africa, despite many people at the time actively encouraging it.

    There are many conservative Muslims in New Zealand who have very different views about society than the Rainbow Labour faction. Are we supposed to ignore that Mr Choudhary is a Labour MP?

    Or is it only the Right who is supposed to be embarrassed by its bigots?

  18. Dom 18

    Scribe – you can’t rest – you haven’t actually made a coherent point.

    Choudhary voted for civil unions Tim, choose another example.

  19. Tim Ellis 19

    SP, as a courtesy, it would be helpful if you add a separate comment rather than adding rebuttal into the middle of my comment, otherwise I don’t get to see that there are comments on it.

    You may have missed that Ashraf Choudhary has said that he believes the Koran is correct to advocate stoning of homosexuals and adulterers.

    Dom, Choudhary only swung in behind the Civil Unions Bill following pressure from fellow Labour MPs. It clearly isn’t his private view. He also abstained on prostitution law reform.

    There are many NZ First MPs who voted against many liberal causes. That doesn’t appear to be a barrier to them being joined at the hip to the Labour Party in government. Winston Peters voted against civil unions, prostitution reform, and the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. There seems to be one rule for Winston, and another rule for National candidates.

  20. Scribe 20

    Dom,

    You want moral conservatives to be reined in and not say what they think. And you’ve lauded Helen Clark for doing so.

  21. higherstandard 21

    Aha Dom I always thought that the CFC effect on the ozone layer was a bit of a stretch, don’t let Eve know that the economic crash is a gay plot she’ll be crestfallen. 🙂

    Were you present on the grassy knoll as well ?

  22. Rex Widerstrom 22

    Yes HS, homosexuals were present on the grassy knoll. Oswald (well known for having hardline Soviet views which included, of course, hostility toward homosexuality) was nobly trying to stop all the buttsecs when the rifle misfired. Three times.

    (Well it makes as much sense as all the other JFK conspiracy theories out there) 😀

    Back on topic:

    Kudos to Young for forthrightly and openly stating his views and beliefs so voters can judge him accordingly.

    If I were in New Plymouth… I’d have taken a wrong turning and would be looking desperately for the signs back to SH1 before I heard the sounds of banjos… 😀

    Sorry, I’ll try that again…

    If I were in New Plymouth I’d have just decided not to vote for him on the basis of those opinions, but I’d be thankful to the man for expressing them rather than trying to hide behind a thin veil of pseudo-liberalism and then letting loose with his archaic morals once elected as others have done.

    I wonder if those who are carping that he should shut up would prefer that alternative?

  23. Weather Eye Of The North 23

    The bigoted religiosity of Mr Young and his ilk insists that homosexuality is simply a choice, an outrageous choice, an abomination which responsible choice can wipe out completely presumably.

    There’s no question of fundamental, in-your-sexual-bones-difference. It’s simply a matter of corrupt choice.

    OBVIOUSLY, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A DAY IN MY LIFE WHEN I MADE THE CORRUPT CHOICE TO BE HOMOSEXUAL RATHER THAN HETEROSEXUAL. Can’t actually remember it I have to say but it must have been around puberty I guess.

    So, adopting your approach Mr Young and rejecting as you do fundamental difference, I now ask you to share with me THE DAY YOU MADE THE RESPONSIBLE CHOICE TO BE HETEROSEXUAL RATHER THAN HOMOSEXUAL (presuming that indeed you did choose the former).

    That foolish, bigoted man Phil Raffills (God rest his soul), one time senior educator principal of Avondale College, used to espouse the same rubbish. And was then seriously embarrassed when a former head prefect of his choosing publicly acknowledged that he was and continued to be gay, viz. had made the “corrupt” choice.

  24. insider 24

    I think I might be even more embarassed by a PM saying that her opponent had had a tantrum and nearly cried…very sad piece of sour grapes driven damage control. She expected to work him over and even the Standard writers (happy Lynn?) agree he at least equalled her.

    From the NZH

    Helen Clark laid into National leader John Key’s performance in last night’s head to head debate today saying it was lucky he didn’t cry and accusing him of having a tantrum.

    “The fact he didn’t burst out crying on the set probably counted for him,” she said during a Radio Live question and answer session this morning.

    Later in the day she didn’t resile from her criticism telling reporters that expectations around Mr Key’s performance before the debate were low and; “the fact he didn’t collapse with a stress attack on the set probably gave him marks”.

    Maybe she needs to listen to Irish Bill a bit more on taking PR advice. This surely is not part of the plan?

  25. Tom Barker 26

    Since the pitiful Mr Young’s family connections have been brought up, it’s worth noting that he’s also the brother of veteran Herald political journo Audrey Young, whose paper is staunchly pro-National but who has been known to demonstrate some independence of thought in the past. Some fiery debates around the Young family’s kitchen table in the past, perhaps?

  26. randal 27

    its obvious that natoinal had a whole gang of shills ready to phone in!
    even twiedmeonions had the pm ahead until they rallied the troops. yes indeedy!

  27. insider 28

    Having listened to these bits from HC that I mentioned above re sour grapes, I’m happy to admit I think it reads a lot worse than it actually sounded and note I read it before I heard it.

  28. Dom 29

    No, I was not on the grassy knoll (I’m too young for that). But you can blame 9/11 on me. And the All Blacks failures at the World Cup. And the popularity of the Macarena a decade or so ago. 🙂

    Scribe – I don’t see a problem with reining in this sort of hate speech. Yep, that’s what it is. This ‘choice’ view makes gays seem unnatural – and that leads to bigotry and violence. Happy for all politicians across the political landscape with these sort of archaic views to keep their traps shut.

  29. Pascal's bookie 30

    I must confess to not really understanding the argument made by scribe. I’ve seen variants on it all over the place. Ian Wishart’s a fan of it for example, which doesn’t bode well.

    Is the idea that only people who don’t oppose bigots can really be said to oppose bigotry? That seems too silly for words.

    Or is it that people who oppose bigotry, are really just being bigoted against ‘bigots’. But this means opposing bigotry is impossible doesn’t it? Or is it possible to oppose bigotry while tolerating the actions and policies of bigots? How?

    I’ve always suspected it’s just a cheap rhetorical trick rather than an actual argument, used where a person can’t defend a prejudice so tries to claim victim status.

    I’ll note that no one has even tried to defend the content of the National party candidate’s quotes. Not directly anyhow. We’ve seen the liberal wing of the National party do their usual apologetics.

    LibNats. Objectively pro-bigot. Seems harsh, but I’ll stop saying it when the LibNats actually stop defending bigots, and start saying we don’t want bigots to vote for our party. Rather than just pretending not to hear the dogwhistles.

  30. Scribe 31

    Dom,

    Hate speech? Nice try. This isn’t even in the ball park of hate speech — regardless of whether one agrees with what Young said or not.

    Pb,

    It’s the selective outrage that makes the position of some people inconsistent. Homosexuals and Muslims can’t be targeted; Catholics and rich people can be. One is either for free speech or against it. (That doesn’t mean people should be able to say whatever they like, but Young’s comment is tame. If he’d delved into some of the Fred Phelps vitriol, I’d be the first to condemn it.)

    As someone said above, Young has put his views out there, now the public can decide if they want to vote for him. That’s the beauty of democracy.

  31. The whole Ian Wishart critisizing someone for critisizing and so on and so fouth is a fiarly complicated argument, no grounding in logic. For the uninitiated a general rule to picking who’s in the right goes christens and national supporters right, most other people wrong.

  32. ropata 33

    @Scribe
    Great comments. Young has dared to express doubts about one of Labour’s sacred cows, so now he’s vilified as an heretic/bigot/hater. The gay lobby is increasingly shrill in its demands to indoctrinate pliable young minds, and on this thread we see a typical intimidation campaign.

    @Killinginthenameof
    You’re wrong.

  33. Dom 34

    Wow Scribe and ropata – both of you are practially gleeful.

    Being gay is is one of the only acceptable forms of discrimination. If Young made this comment about Maori he’d be vilified but it’s okay to put a boot into the gays.

    If you can’t see that this is a form of hate speech – that it makes it acceptable to treat me differently for something I was born with, to hate me (as so many Young types do) – then let’s agree to disagree. Until you’ve been bashed in the head for being a faggot I don’t think you will get it.

    If anyone is shrill it’s the anti-gay lobby – I mean, isn’t this the epitome of shrill – what is the problem with Young, why did he even have to go there? It’s a non-issue but totally designed to drum up hate and mistrust. Most gay people aren’t worrying about why they are gay – we’re just trying to pay our bills like the rest of you. Young and his ilk have an unnatural fascination with us – it’s actually creepy.

    ropata – indoctrination is the domain of religion (raised Catholic here) and the very fact you’ve gone there tells me all I need to know.

    As for me, this argument is the same one I’ve had all my life – as you can imagine it’s pretty boring to battle the same, old, tired, ignorant homophobic opinions.

  34. ropata 35

    @Dom
    I see the gay movement as essentially religious in nature and therefore I have natural reservations about its adherents’ desire to promote their questionable innovations to culture, lifestyle, fidelity and family, under the guise of secular education and endorsed by a secular state.

  35. ropata 36

    PS: I admire your ability to annex the moral high ground and pass judgment upon all who fail to conform to *your* opinions. I am all for human rights and freedom, this includes a little respect for other people’s space. I suppose it’s too much to ask from a political activist who is indulging in a bit of professional outrage.

  36. Pascal's bookie 37

    That’s just your own religious baggage talking ropata.

    This notion that secularism is a religion is simply ignorant. Sorry, but there is no other word for it. Secularism simply means acting without regard to religion. I assume your mechanic uses a secular approach to fixing your car. (If not, change mechanics 😉 )

    In the same way, the west has developed a tradition of secular government. This has been achieved through trial and error, by design and by accident, as a result, funnily enough, of darwinian processes. Non secular states struggle to survive these days, let alone prosper. We can talk about why this is some other time perhaps.

    One, (if not the), major reason for state secularism is to protect freedom of religion. This is really important to understand. Secularism is merely the absence of religious reasoning. It merely means that the state cannot do things for religious purposes. If you don’t have a secular state, you can’t have freedom of religion.

    This means that there are a whole bunch of things that are allowed, and some few things that are not.

    Allowed:

    – The religious can call the rest of us sinners, perverts whatever you like, citing religious beliefs. The state can’t. The state enforces secular law. Churches of whatever flavour can discriminate in their religious activities however they like, but not on the government’s dime.

    – Other people can respond by calling the religious names as well, idiots, morons, bigots, whatever they like, citing their own philosophies.

    Not allowed:

    – forcing religious beliefs/practices upon people by force of law. This includes laws discriminating against people because of their religious status.

    – Prohibiting people from practicing their private religion, as long as said religious practice does not break secular laws. No human sacrifice, religiously sanctioned theft etc.

    In this case, certain brands of religious belief hold that homosexuality is sinful. They are free to do so. They are free to say as much. They are not being oppressed by the fact they are being prohibited from forcing others to follow their beliefs however. They would only be being oppressed if they were prohibited from calling it sin, or forced to practice themselves what they believed to be sinful.

    As I said at the beginning these are traditions. Some of it is codified in laws. The religious, as part of their freedom are free to try and change that. Religious political parties are free to try and change the state to a religious one.

    The rest of us will try and stop them though, and history is well and truly on our side. Our way is simply better for everyone.

  37. ropata 38

    Thanks for the democracy lesson, but I’m not asking the state to enforce a particular religion. In fact the opinion of a large swathe of NZers remains that homosexuality is a disordered state. Embracing a gay identity is a choice fraught with peril, at least admit the sad statistics that belie the rosy PR campaigns.

    Speaking of history,

    No major world religion has ever endorsed homosexuality which can be openly practised only in peaceful, affluent and cosmopolitan times. Even in classical
    antiquity, homosexuality was controversial, and despite the exaggerated claims of today’s partisans, there was no place or period where it flourished in complete freedom from moral opprobrium. History shows that male homosexuality flourishes with urbanization, soon becomes predictably ritualized and always tends toward decadence. So my radical brothers and sisters should stop bitching about sincere Christians, Jews and Muslims who are merely exercising their constitutional right to free speech, and whose vast philosophical perspective easily triumphs over the provincialism and amorality of the gay world.

  38. Pascal's bookie 39

    Thanks for the democracy lesson

    Your welcome.

  39. Weather Eye Of The North 40

    You sure you’re not a hidden one there Ropata ?

    You’re just a bit too vile really not to ask.

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

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

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    7 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago