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Yanking our chain

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 pm, December 3rd, 2018 - 46 comments
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Tracy Watkins is in Korea paid for by the US to head off any support fro President Moon’s visit here. US security chiefs are here in Wellington today with the 40-grit sandpaper on Huawei. A high-ranking Russia “expert” from the UK was here last week because they thought Winston Peters wasn’t sufficiently outraged by the Skripal false flag affair. We’re in the gun in the information wars.

Tracy Watkins trip US-sponsored trip coincides with South Korean President Moon’s visit to New Zealand; in  my opinion  it is no coincidence. The US’s key message is in Watkins’ article, headlined about inter-Korean tourism.

Moon is also expected to raise the issue of sanctions in his meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Minister Winston Peters. New Zealand air force planes play a role in enforcing the sanctions, alongside our traditional allies, the US and Australia. Any repositioning by our government in favour of Moon’s call for greater engagement would put us at odds with those allies. That is because the US view is that tough new sanctions were what bought North Korea and any relaxation now would ease the pressure on Kim to comply.

The truth is that Koreans are not masters in their own country. South Korea would like peaceful engagement with the North; the US demands complete submission before any leniency.

We are being sucked into other people’s wars. Richard Harman’s Politik says that the Huawei decision “saw the old friends prevail.” It was Lord Palmerston of Opium War infamy who said that Britain did not have allies, it only had interests. The same is true of the US; it only has military bases, 800 or so around the world.

The US has effectively declared war on China, Russia, Iran and North Korea by name. We are being drawn in to take sides alongside our “traditional allies,” supposedly on the basis of common values. I’m not at all attracted to the values demonstrated by Donald Trump in his support for Saudi murder, genocide in Yemen and planetary destruction through climate change denial. And as the UK heads for Brexit self-destruction, like the US Democrats it looks for Russian distraction.

We used to stand up to them, and stand up for our values of peace and conciliation. We can’t expect the media to do it for us, but in my opinion letting ourselves be bullied is not in our interest.

 

 

46 comments on “Yanking our chain”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Without reading it, I saw the Watkins article the other day and immediately wondered why the hell she was writing it.

    Turns out she’s gun for hire. Amazing.

    Not sure how you can pretend to be independent from the funder of your travels…

    • tc 1.1

      Watkins is an owned as they come and lacks the skills to put up a facade.

      Thus she shills for her supper in a transparent and obvious manner.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Not sure how you can pretend to be independent from the funder of your travels…

      You can’t. The Golden Rule applies: He with the gold – rules.

  2. Jenny 2

    “A high-ranking Russia “expert” from the UK was here last week because they thought Winston Peters wasn’t sufficiently outraged by the Skripal false flag affair.”

    Yanking our chain
    By: MIKE SMITH – Date published: 10:32 pm, December 3rd, 2018

    A pox on both your houses

    The evidence that the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia was ordered by the Russian authorities, is as conclusive as the evidence that Jamal Kashoggi was murdered by the Saudi authorities.

    New Zealand if it truly wants to be an independent nation should not be beholden to any super power.

    We are living in very dangerous times.

    If we are not be drawn deeper into imperial conflicts we need to disentangle ourselves from all military and political ties to any superpower.

    Despite the risks of reprisals we need to pull out of 5 eyes, we need to pull out of ANZUS

    Maybe then we would have the moral authority to condemn China expansionism and empire building in the Pacific

    • tc 2.1

      That and proper socialism would get a new party plenty of votes IMO. Kiwis aren’t stupid, aside from that swinging middle we have who seem easily fooled.

      we need to be fence sitting when the bullies go at it.

    • Dean Reynolds 2.2

      +1 Jenny! China is our second biggest trading partner & the USA buys sweet FA from us. Why do we still grovel to the American war machine?

      We need to be non aligned & trade with anyone who wants to trade with us

      I challenge any hawk to specify the benefits we get from being a member of 5 eyes

      • francesca 2.2.1

        Its a protection racket
        If we tried to pull out can you imagine the interference and chaos that would be unleashed on us

      • Wayne 2.2.2

        tc and Dean
        You are forgetting Australia. If we went nonaligned, we presumably would also be saying to Australia, don’t count on us. Our preferred relationship with Australia would not last long after that.
        The reality is that our Australian relationship (hugely important to NZ) effectively ties us into the broader western alliance. Most people are willing to accept that reality.

        • Gabby 2.2.2.1

          Well we can’t really count on them can we wayney, except to be ocky pricks.

          • Wayne 2.2.2.1.1

            Well, it is true that the Aussies can be well, Aussies.

            But there is no other nation to which every New Zealander (except criminals) can travel to and live and work without time any time limits. Sure, people who would not qualify as immigrants are not eligible for some social security benefits, but they would not qualify for any sort of work permit in any country other than Australia.

            Our two economies are totally interlinked with basically no restrictions on trade, investment, state contracts, etc.

            So yes, Aussies may be bastards, but they are also our mates.

            Going nonaligned means we would loose just about all of the above advantages.

    • Richard 2.3

      The beauty of ‘false flags’ is that no matter what event occurs you can use it to reinforce your existing views. Hate the US – 9/11’s a false flag, hate the UK – MI6 poisoned the Skirpals, Love guns and jebus – atheist democrats faked Sandy Hook.

  3. Antoine 3

    > We are being drawn in to take sides alongside our “traditional allies,” supposedly on the basis of common values

    And that is what we should do (short of sending substantial amounts of troops to fight in other peoples’ wars).

    Who would ever have thought that NZ would side with Russia over Britain? An outrage.

    A.

    • Why? – New Zealand doesn’t have allies, it only has interests.

      Why should we be any different?

      • Wayne 3.1.1

        Our relationship with Australia is not just one of interests. That would be a more appropriate description of our relationships with say Japan or China.

      • Antoine 3.1.2

        > New Zealand doesn’t have allies, it only has interests

        Yes we do have allies, as I just pointed out.

        A.

  4. Ad 4

    We aren’t ever going to be the Switzerland of the Pacific. Real idealists roll up their sleeves.

    The choices aren’t getting easier, but we are still going to have to make them. Sure, maybe the hard left never want to make them. But governments always have to make choices in international affairs, especially when they are hard.

    It’s hard to have respect for this government when it manages to talk principles only at the easiest of UN set pieces or conferences, but otherwise just gets along to trade, making the smallest possible statement gestures to one side or the other for sheer minimal expedience.

    • Staying out of other peoples wars seems pretty principled , so does being a peaceful trading nation.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Exactly. We can’t stand on our own, so exactly who does Mike expect we should ally with?

      It’s the obvious question that he remains silent on.

      • One Two 4.2.1

        we can’t stand on our own…

        Only stone age thinking accepts such a premise….it also is a resignation of a race to an inevitable ‘end game’…

        Either the entire world learns to co-operate, or it doesn’t …and ‘we’ can forget about ever passing comment on issues like climate change…because it becomes a non-starter….a pipe-dream of hope that can not be realized….

        Because….allies…

  5. Absolutely blatant that our journalists are paid by a foreign state to disseminate slanted “news” in favour of that state’s aims and objectives.
    This isn’t informing New Zealanders, its indoctrinating them
    So now the Herald is the PR arm of the US Embassy?

    • garibaldi 5.1

      “So now the Herald is the PR arm of the US Embassy”. It has been this way since WW2 !

      • francesca 5.1.1

        Agreed Garibaldi
        But now so openly , insultingly transparent, in an age where foreign state interference and influence is so topical and generally decried

  6. A 6

    I get that the manipulation of public perception is happening, but I don’t understand why us? We’re the size of a minor city and surely its difficult to justify a budget of any kind for a tiny nation.

    • Anne 6.1

      We have influence in the Pacific region though and don’t forget the Five Eyes arrangement. They need us on board due to our close association with countries in and around the southern half of the Pacific rim.

      The CIA had a huge influence in the 1960s and 70s both in Australia and NZ. They even managed to manipulate the sacking of a democratically elected Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam who was showing signs of following and independent path. They would have done the same in NZ for the same reason but fortunately our Prime Minister, Norman Kirk died so they didn’t have to go that far here.

      That’s the way it is. Any person or any government that sticks his/her/it’s head too far above the parapet will have it cut off.

      • SpaceMonkey 6.1.1

        Or did they go that far…? I read something a while back about the CIA, as part of a general papers release on Australia & NZ, using Sodium Morphate to kill Norman Kirk, due to his supporting of an Anti-Monopoly Bill and Petroleum Amendment Bill. Or was that just a conspiracy theory? Internet is full of them. No idea tbh… and it is now so long ago… but it sounds like the sort of thing the CIA would have no qualms about doing.

        • Anne 6.1.1.1

          Norman Kirk had a heart condition which he successfully kept hidden from the public. He died of a heart-attack. There was no skulduggery of that sort, but the CIA was interfering in our politics in a big way and it continued beyond Kirk to include the Bill Rowling years.

  7. Bill 7

    Somewhat darkly…

    I agree with your takes here Mike – Russia! being used as a distraction on a few fronts; the playing of NZ public opinion so that the government can be “pulled into line” or adopt what might be taken to be the “correct” posture…

    Maybe it’s time to “do a Nelly” – ie, pack our trucks and be done with the whole circus of geo-political shenanigans?

    I understand the whole thing about snowballs and hell, but…essentially, NZ is in a pretty good place (both geographically and in terms of “development”) to open a front against the gross stupidities that are constantly being put on display by all nations engaging in and with the world’s international political (dis)order.

    If “Russia!” is being thrown out by various bit players who’d rather their domestic populations made like mushrooms while they got on pursuing “interests” unheeded, then I’d venture that almost everything else in whatever powerful political actor’s playbook, by both accident and design, is serving much the same role and purpose across all the world’s populations.

    There is the very real environment of global warming and climate change that may well have passed through a point (or points) of no return. And there is a manufactured environment of “how we do things” that all political and economic actors hold aloft and engage with as though it’s of sole or primary importance.

    You think there’s any chance that a NZ might call time on all the contrivances of the world’s nations and focus on, well… physics? Y’know, maybe a bit like how a parent might block out their child wailing and creating for an ice cream because “crossing busy road”?

    sigh – I guess we can always wait for a brown out in a fairly near future, scrape a slush ball from a defrosting freezer, and convince ourselves that snowballs and hell weren’t mutually exclusive after all… or that the slush ball in our hand is evidence that the hell in a wheelbarrow brigade were wrong.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Hi Mike;

    “The cold war” zealots are coming around for support from us looks like.

    Jacinda needs to stand firm and not get dragged into another far off war again.

    Leave Russia alone as “if it ain’t broke” don’t fix it”.

  9. Exkiwiforces 9

    Ok, Folks I have a 3 questions for you. I have no issue with NZ being a “Non-Align Nation, but we need to understand the “Pro’s and Con’s” if such a move did happen as sometimes it’s could better the “Devil you know” than the “Devil you don’t know” as the world is more inter- connected IRT’s to Trade and Commerce etc now than the last 40 odd yrs ago. To say that we are at the “Ass end of the World and what happens somewhere else in the world is none of our concern” is quite frankly a load of bollocks especially since NZ’s economy is purely an “Export led economy and the last 30 odd yrs of Neo Con/ Lib economic theory inflicted on NZ.

    Q1. If we go down the “Non- aligned route” without strengthening the NZDF and other elements of the Security/ Police Services and just relie on our diplomatic words and our overseas export and our importing trading partners.

    What happens if your Plan A fails, so what is are your Plan B or Plan C etc?

    Q2. If China (our largest trading partner in Asia) does somehow manage to force the closure or degrade maritime trade in the SCS. How would this effect our other major trading partners such as Taiwan, Sth Korea and Japan? And indirectly our other major trading partners such as the MER, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, other SEA nations and Western sea-broad of Canada and the US?

    What would be the overall effect of the NZ economy if this did happen?

    Q3. Would you support an increase Defence and Police/Security Forces and MFAT Budgets for a “Non- alignment Policy” especially since our major trading partners are not exactly down the road, by train or a at least a days travel by ship (where over 90% of all NZ’s exports or imports go by)?

    • Bill 9.1

      You realise that everything you’re referring to is going to be coming apart at the seams pretty soon, yes?

      Meaning that NZ can align with who-ever or what-ever, and NZ can take whatever measures in terms of defense and trade and what-not within the current framework of international relations…and it’s going to be counting for precisely zero in the face of physics coming a- knocking.

      • Exkiwiforces 9.1.1

        To answer your first question Bill, yes the current international norm’s are going to unravel sometime soon and when it does it happens it would happen quite quickly. I’m of the thinking, something similar to the start of WW1 which will leave NZ in the wind or becalm and very vulnerable to the power play/ politics of our bigger trading partners given the current state of our Defence/ Security Services and NZ’s Export led economy. Picking which side to back is going to be the hard one, is it the “Devil we know” or the “Devil we don’t know” which could be equally worst than option 1 or do we go for option 3?

        To answer your 2nd question Bill, I believe that NZ could go down the “Non Align” route and make it work quite successfully, but in NZ’s current state of affairs it won’t work as everything has been run into ground and no thanks to the last 30 odd yrs Neo Con/Lib economic theory in NZ. If NZ did take this option, then it would require a total revamp of the NZ does business, the overall following the economy, NZ Government Policy in all areas in particular towards Treasury, MAFT, Crown Research institutions, transportation (Rail, Road and Sea especially the MN) policy, the NZDF, Security/ Police Services and CD. At grass roots level/ personal level there will be need to a sense of community service for the greater of good for NZ similar to what you in the Nordic Countries, Austria or Singapore IRT National Service be it in NZDF, Security/ Police Services or CD.

        The other question is how much dosh are we be prepared to throw at the “Non-Align” Policy? Because it’s not going to be cheap and there is now wiggle room for short cuts either which NZ government tends to do on a regular basis. For staters just to protect, defend, deny the use of NZ’s Air- Sea Gap is going to huge and let alone convoy protection IOT maintain NZ’s economy, then there is MFAT and one only needs to look at Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland ( you could add the Thai’s and Vichy France) diplomacy during WW2 and the pressure place on them by the Allies and Axis Governments and the same could be said of the Security/ Police Forces As will.

        The other in the China shop is that totalitarian governments/ nations have a bad habit especially Asian ones at seeing “Non-Align” Nations as a sign of weakness so if NZ does adopt this option we must deal from a power of strength in diplomacy, economic and military strength, we must also be weary of democratic nations as well and we could quite easily get sucked into their vortex of double crossing.

        Option 4 Bill, is to pretend it’s not happening and it’s all a bad dream which seems to the current option taken by old Jandals and Winne atm. But giventhe current state of affairs on how run down NZ is atm it’s probably the only option and they appear to be playing for time like poor old Neville did in the late 30’s.

        I hope that answers your questions?

        • Mark 9.1.1.1

          The other in the China shop is that totalitarian governments/ nations have a bad habit especially Asian ones at seeing “Non-Align” Nations as a sign of weakness ….

          A cheap throwaway comment with nothing to back it up.

          Imperialism has a Western face, led by the USA, the most rapacious genocidal power in human history. And when evil disguises itself as good and points to good (or at least non-evil) as evil, that is evil that is completely irredeemable.

          • Exkiwiforces 9.1.1.1.1

            What about North Vietnam and China flouting Laos and Cambodia neutrality during the Vietnam War? Before we even start capping on about the US actions in Laos and Cambodia.

            Then we have the Japs conduct in WW2 IRT East Timor, Thailand and the Vichy French in Indochina and the same could be said about Australia in East Timor in WW2 as well.

            Then you have Nazi Germany IRT Belgium and Denmark’s neutrality in WW1 and WW2

          • francesca 9.1.1.1.2

            “led by the USA, the most rapacious genocidal power in human history”
            Also becoming notable for bucking the global trend of declining suicide rates
            China and Russia’s suicide rates have gone in to sharp decline in the last decade whereas The US has markedly increased

            https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/11/30/why-the-global-suicide-rate-is-falling

        • Ad 9.1.1.2

          I’d rather just keep relying largely on Australia.
          They have the government and society most closely aligned to ours.
          And they have the added bonus of owning much of us already.

          With whatever changes in the world coming up, as a very small and not well prepared nation, we are going to need all the help we can get.

        • Bill 9.1.1.3

          I was more “making an observation” – it’s like the kids (ie – the holders of institutional power in China, US, UK + everywhere else) are agitating and arguing over what flavour of ice cream they should get at the shop.

          Meanwhile, they’re seemingly oblivious to the fact they’re creating/playing up in the middle of a busy road and many tonnes of speeding, screeching metal is bearing down on them (and us).

          Why do we indulge them? Has anyone really got anything against any ordinary person from anywhere else?

          I’m saying “fuck the ice cream” – there’s more important and immediate shit deserving of our attention.

          • Exkiwiforces 9.1.1.3.1

            My apologies Bill, and yes I say “fuck the ice cream” as well and like there are important things to do at hand than partake in pissing or dick sizing comp atm.

            But unfortunately for us the big 5 and their deputies have better things do than address the more important things atm, with fidge players such as NZ are going to get caught in the vortex of their power plays in which no good would come out of it for either side.

            A Non-Align approach, if taken by NZ may or will work for us, but the big question how much is NZ prepared to pay for and even then we may end up the whirlpool of the big 5 pissing comp if the NZG of the day does a half ass job. Going on current tends by both parties (Labour and the “No Mates Party” it pretty good odds atm that they will do a half ass job no matter who’s in power.

  10. Gabby 10

    We don’t want to be limited to the trading partners the yankers graciously allow us.

  11. Mark 11

    Excellent article – well done Mike Smith.

    Some may or may not agree with their ideology, but this presentation provides the true context to what is happening in the world today:

    “The drive to war against Russia and China” is well worth an hour of your time

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    “The US has effectively declared war on China, Russia, Iran and North Korea by name.”
    Someone would only believe this if they were unable to tell the difference between war and robust diplomacy. No need to get hysterical about a stylistic difference between a US president and his predecessor.

    What concerns me is the G20 agenda: “G20 Argentina has put forth three agenda priorities for the G20 dialogue in 2018: the future of work, infrastructure for development and a sustainable food future. A number of attending countries have said they focus on the regulation of crypto-currencies at this meeting. Talks between the U.S. and China related to resolving the escalating 2018 China–United States trade war were a central issue of the summit.”

    So the top 20 countries don’t rate climate-change as a priority. No doubt we can be reassured that the threat of war between the US, Russia, and China, also didn’t rate as a priority. Even so, clearly the only priorities concerning the top countries are economy issues. Problems with business as usual, in other words…

    • Michael 12.1

      Agreed but what concerns me about the international order is how quickly and comprehensively its organising principles and norms have broken down. For a small, isolated bunch of commodity price-takers like us, that has to be a threat to our security, irrespective of which actors are to the forefront. Since 1945, NZ has hitched its wagon to an international order based on multilateral agreements (however imperfectly observed or enforced), albeit one heavily biased towards the interests of western nations (to which we belong in the eyes of the rest of the world, in spite of juvenile protestations to the contrary from some of us). It all reminds me of the Miletan dialogue in Thucydides: the strong do what they want while the weak do whatever they can. I think we are about to find out what that means in a 21st-century context.

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    . . 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
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 hour ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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