You know your policy sucks when…

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, April 9th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: privatisation, public services - Tags: , , ,

It’s so vacuous and vapid that even Guyon Espiner is concerned about the lack of quality analysis and policy design.

To be sure, Guyon didn’t voice these concerns on air and he starts his blog by falling into the “we’ve got to do something, this is something, let’s do this” logical fallacy. And the “we have policies targeting social problems, those problems still exist, therefore those policies are useless and wasteful” nonsense, which is like arguing seat belts don’t work because people still die in car crashes. And surprise, surprise he automatically accepts the premise that privatisation will deliver better results.

But, eventually, Guyon manages to ask ‘hey, what is this Whanau Ora thing?’ and he’s unimpressed with the answers:

The taskforce report reads like a motivational self-help guide with banal slogans spread across its 71 pages. “Whanau Ora – well that’s us, it’s who we are,” reads one. “Whanau have to describe success in their own terms,” reads another. My personal favourite is: “Whanau ora is going to take us there and it has been since the beginning of time.”

Sometimes even the main text descends into complete psycho-babble: In searching for what Whanau Ora actually means the taskforce concludes that “whanau ora is distinctive because it recognises a collective entity, endorses a group capacity for self determination, has an intergenerational dynamic, is built on a Maori cultural foundation, asserts a positive role for whanau within society and can be applied across a wide range of social and economic sectors.”

So the challenge for the proponents of Whanau Ora is to explain how it will work and then to prove it does work.

Indeed. I noticed the silly ‘motivational’-type phrases in the report too. To me they sum up everything that is wrong with this half-arsed policy.

Guyon goes on to say that he likes Matt McCarten’s description of Whanau Ora as a ‘one-stop shop’ for social services. The problem is that the minister responsible, Tariana Turia, explicitly rejected that definition when Guyon put it to her on Q+A and such ‘one-stop shops’ already exist.

Guyon ends with a pretty silly comment. The same one, incidentally, that Wellington Airport passive-aggressively made to Wellingtonians when everyone hated the ‘Wellywood’ sign:

The challenge for the critics is: Have you got a better idea?

Hell, I’m a sucker, I’ll take the bait.

One better idea is not signing over hundreds of millions of dollars to unaccountable private organisations with no plan, no clear notion of what specific problems need to be addressed and how, no measures of success, and no checks against corruption. It would be better to carry on as is than take hundreds of millions out of existing services to make a punt in the dark.

Another better idea would be not cutting Pathways to Partnership, not cutting education, not cutting health.

My final idea stems from the example of the family that Whanau Ora is supposedly going to somehow help: single mum, three kids all in trouble because mum isn’t around because she’s working shifts.

It seems to me the problem in that family arises principally from the fact that mum can’t get decent work with hours that also allow her to be there for her family. The Whanau Ora report has some nonsense about an advisor ‘helping her find more suitable employment’ but that ignores the fundamental problem – the jobs don’t exist.

If the government were serious about helping families in need it’s priority would be getting people back into work and its second and third priorities would better pay and conditions for low income workers.

The fact that is has gone with this Whanau Ora nonsense instead shows it has no real intention of tackling the causes of this country’s social ills.

21 comments on “You know your policy sucks when… ”

  1. Its not a ‘one stop shop’…it’s more like ‘home delivery’ and thats the way the world is going.

    The problem with the solo mum example isnt the job. You could give her a job that pays well enough for her to spend quality time with her kids but thats not to say money will make her a better parent.

    The problem is how do you mend a broken spirit. Can you not see that’s what Maori suffer from ? Their present spirit is at odds with their past and unless you can reconnect them, they and their kids don’t have the spirit to look towards a ‘brighter future’ 🙂

    In dickensian terms, think of Scrooge and the ghosts of christmas. Whanau ora counsellors are putting themsleves in the role of spiritual healers and will time trip clients in the hope of reconnecting them to the nobler values of their ancestors and future progeny.

    But of course Tariana isn’t going to say that cos most eurocentrist have no idea how Te ao Maori/the Maori world works and nor will she hold that world up for even more public ridicule.

    Some things are just too sacred to be shared with just anyone. Remember that magic jawbone i referred to. It’s a tool for reinterpreting sacred lore and not everyone knew or knows how to use it.

    captcha : trees (some cant see the wood because of it as they have a massive splinter in the minds eye)

    • pollywog 1.1

      *edit*…”see” the wood dammit ! [fixed — r0b]

    • quenchino 1.2

      But of course Tariana isn’t going to say that cos most eurocentrist have no idea how Te ao Maori/the Maori world works and nor will she hold that world up for even more public ridicule

      Bullshit. That’s as stupid as saying that most Maori have no idea how the European world works; or that Maori have some kind of monopoly on being ‘spiritual’.

      Pushing on down that kind of separatist path leads off into wilderness.

      • pollywog 1.2.1

        That’s as stupid as saying that most Maori have no idea how the European world works; or that Maori have some kind of monopoly on being ‘spiritual’.

        But fella…Most Pasifikans inclusive of Maori have no idea how the european world works. From left/right wing capitalism/socialism, to the market, to financial literacy, dealing with insurance, mortgages, hire purchases, even to MMP and parliamentary process etc.

        You ever been to a marae and had to stand there all awkwardly not knowing the protocols and procedures ? That’s how some of us feel going into banks, insurance companies, gov’t institutions etc with people in funny uniforms speaking gobble de gook to us.

        I dont hold your ignorance against you, why hold yours against us and expect us to be the same ? I’m not saying Maori have a ‘spiritual’ monopoly but spirits do play a large part in our everyday lives, more so than the average eurocentric NZer.

        The way i see it, pushing off down that path leads to self determination and re empowering, but hey, some people will always ridicule what they don’t understand.

        • insider 1.2.1.1

          “But fella Most Pasifikans inclusive of Maori have no idea how the european world works. From left/right wing capitalism/socialism, to the market, to financial literacy, dealing with insurance, mortgages, hire purchases, even to MMP and parliamentary process etc”

          That;s about education and experience not inherently cultural. What you seem to be saying is that they are, as Pasfikans, incapable of learning from experience. Isn’t that incredibly patronising if not borderline racist? It probably would be considered the latter if I, a middle aged WASP, said it.

          I’m beginning to wonder how the Maori I know have ever managed to get jobs, or mortgages or a driver’s licence, or start businesses and pay their taxes. I must have dreamed it.

          • pollywog 1.2.1.1.1

            Education and experience from someone who not so much sold out their culture, but compromised it to become more eurocentrically culturally focused. In doing so, connections to ancestral spirits were weakened and in breeding from that culture of mainstream success, future generations went on to compromise their culture even more to get jobs, mortgages and start businesses.

            Of course we learnt by experience and mostly we learnt from bad experiences. Native Maori/Pasifikan bad, transplanted christian euro good. The underlying message constantly reinforced being, if we want to get ahead and prosper in the world we have to become more like europeans. I suppose the extreme is the ludicrously foppish, king of Tonga.

            Theres nothing racist about it. I don’t buy into the false racial construct. It’s all about culture, elitism and the compromise and sacrifice of traditional values.

            • insider 1.2.1.1.1.1

              my ancestors could have used the same arguments when my culture went from animistic religion to monotheism, and abandoned runes for Latin script and those fancy Arabic numerals. “I mean, what have the Romans ever done for us….?”

              If you want to see noble savage done over by cultural imperialism, so be it. I see it as a practical example of cultural evolution to adapt to forces greater than any individual or culture. You can rail at those who adapt as sellouts/uncle toms from your pataka but it’s not particularly helpful and will likely look as quaint as the guy with the sandwich board saying “the end is nigh”. Not everything that has been abandoned was good and not everything adopted was bad.

              PS enjoy your cultural elitistly imposed weekend 🙂

              • pollywog

                I’m all for cultural evolution but not to the extent that ones native culture becomes token for grants. I just want us to be honest in our appraisal of what was gained/lost, how/why and who benefitted most. Somewhere between my position and quenchino’s is probably a ‘happy medium’. Maybe thats who ‘whanau ora’ practitioners are.

                By the way ” the end is nigh”…and yeah, have a cracker of a weekend yourself 🙂

            • Puddleglum 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Hi Pollywog – I don’t think all left critics of Whanau Ora, or the Maori Party more generally, are unaware of the points you make. I’m certainly not. If Maori or Pasific people can provide an alternative way of organising this modern society so that it’s more humane then all power to them. But look at it from my perspective – and it’s a long one (I’m well read on this), way back to when my ancestors were just as collective, just as family focused, just as imbued with spiritual connectedness to the world as Maori were 170 years ago or maybe still are. But … something happened.

              My ancestors were colonised centuries before Maori were; they were pushed off their land, progressively denied their remaining customary rights; any attempts by them to gain some control of their own destiny (their ‘tino rangatiratanga’) were met with deception, rejection and violent suppression; they were treated as sub-human, their children were sold, prostituted, huge numbers of them were imprisoned. All of this was done to them in the first act of English colonisation – before it happened to the Scots, before it happened to the Irish, the Native Americans, the Africans (whose slave labour financially founded Britain’s emerging industrial economy).

              My ancestors were the English peasants who then, in time, became the English, urban working class – once living off the land was made impossible and they were herded into horrendous conditions whose only ‘positive’ was that it was better than starving. You see, they had to be colonised first. Their oppression had to provide the base for colonial expansion to Ireland, the Americas, Australia, India and New Zealand. They had to be ‘tamed’, ‘ripped untimely’ from their own culture, dispossessed, brutally oppressed for centuries to allow the sorry farce that is the history of the world over the last few centuries to begin.

              Note that this all began with English people oppressing English people. That might help you to understand why the English, historically, was so aware of class. That might help you to understand why some on the ‘left’ are SO concerned about notions of ‘left’ and ‘right’. When colonialism began is was not one race against another, one culture against another (although the new capitalist culture was definitely contrary to peasant culture). It was the powerful few against the powerless many.

              Also note that in Ireland, India and even here in New Zealand some members of the local elites actually did very well, thank you, from this continuing process of colonisation, just as some of my peasant ancestors grabbed the opportunity (as yeoman farmers) to get a foot on the ground floor of the developing capitalist world.

              So, my fear over Whanau Ora, and the Maori Party, is that history is just going to repeat itself. No new culture, no new way of organising ourselves will come out of it. This is just one of the many ways that real alternatives to the present system (what you, mistakenly, term ‘eurocentric’ when it bears no resemblance to the culture of my ancestors or to that of the mass of Europeans, many of whom retain immense allegiance, against the odds, to a deep sense of solidarity, family and community) get hijacked, defused and rendered neuter. My ancestors tried it all – and failed. Please don’t think there’s something different about Maori or Pasifika culture that would allow it to succeed where my ancestors’ culture failed.

              My sense is that this government is, wittingly or unwittingly, encouraging Maori – especially Maori leaders – to believe that, in fact, it’s all about different cultures. It isn’t. It’s about how the powerful have always treated the powerless – irrespective of common or different culture, common or different race.

              • pollywog

                Nice one Puddleglum.

                My ancestors tried it all and failed. Please don’t think there’s something different about Maori or Pasifika culture that would allow it to succeed where my ancestors’ culture failed.

                Yeah maybe, but given the opportunity to learn that ourselves would be nice. As a parent i would love for my kids to learn from my mistakes and save themselves the hassle, yet i understand the need for them to try, fail, and from the lessons learnt, make them better, stronger and wiser for it.

                In keeping with the powerful over the powerless from within a culture, I suppose this is my definitive take on ‘whanau ora’. What do you think ?

                http://www.thestandard.org.nz/more-to-worry-about-2/#comment-203214

              • Puddleglum

                I think it’s very insightful.

                If whanau can use this to exert pressure on their own elites (of whatever culture) then that would be ideal. But, I suspect that if that began to happen it would be ‘modified’ or even undermined. After all, from the point of view of those with power, what’s the use of power if you don’t use it to make sure you get what you want?

                I’m not a complete pessimist – I think gains have been made over the last century and a half. It’s just that it’s a hard road to hoe – there’s no bright new dawn of social progress, just ‘business as usual’ (i.e., a hard slog and constant vigilance, taking nothing for granted).

  2. Rob M 2

    Perhaps the original document was in Maori and something has been lost in translation.

  3. PK 3

    ***If the government were serious about helping families in need it’s priority would be getting people back into work and its second and third priorities would better pay and conditions for low income workers.***

    Those are the traditional left wing economic concerns but, as Chris Trotter has pointed out, identity politics has become more prevalent (ironically now under National). This just seems to show that ethno-politics become increasingly important in a diverse society. This isn’t primarily about nuts and bolts outcomes like those you mention, but about ethnic control.

    That’s not to say it won’t work, but I think the main motivation based on ethnocentrism, which is a natural outgrowth of nepotism.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      Well and that’s another problem.

      There’s an ethnonorm-ism inherent in this approach. It assumes (hell it states) that there is a ‘right’ way for a Maori family to live and it wants to impose that ‘right’ way on families.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        Yes and other whanau from other cultures that want to use whanau ora – remember it is now open to all BR

        • pollywog 3.1.1.1

          Sweet..so are the service providers gonna be non-exclusively Maori also ?

          Ayo aunty Tari…Where do i sign up for a laptop, wireless broadband and branded car. I want a silver one and a matching cell phone with a ‘borg’ like head set ?…and can i get a badge too ? Maybe one of them flip out wallets like the feds have on TV ? Oooh oooh and a stylin leather trenchcoat. Of course it goes without saying i’ll have the meke shades.

          I’ll look mean as rollin up, flippin out the badge and sayin “pollywog..whanau ora division. Come with me if you want to live…”

          Say whut ? Fucken eh i will sort your shit out cuz, just call me vodafone cos i will hook you up. Sheeeeit…i got a direct line to your ancestors owwww !!!

          chur 🙂

  4. ianmac 4

    Bright Red “It assumes (hell it states) that there is a ‘right’ way for a Maori family to live and it wants to impose that ‘right’ way on families.” This could be solved by training in the Catholic way of confession of sin and no birth control. No? How about a Destiny Church for all those who are poor but not quite poverty stricken. No? How about the Act Party so that the poor and disadvantaged could learn to satisfy greed at the neighbour’s expense. No?
    Yes. A very vexed question but maybe the traditional Maori way with extended family and respect for the Elders might work, but only if the “needy” want to buy into it and break the cycle. Who knows what the “right” way is?

  5. I remember reading the large Royal Commission documents that came out about Genetic Engineering and they managed to discuss a bi/multi-cultural approach to value systems while still at the same time delivering hard recommendations about implementation and policy.

    The problem with leaving all the spiritual stuff as nice aspirational goals is that is all to easy to pull the carpet out from under it later on. For it to anything at all to protect and engage with Maori cultural values it absolutely MUST engage with the dirty difficult world of policy.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Was it only 5-10 years ago that the The Maori way of knowing was all the rage as a viable alternative to the Scientific method.
    So we know have its cousin the Maori way of delivering social services.
    Whats the bet that Titiwhai Hawawira’s way of delivering mental health services can be seen again. Along with the Donna Huata way of doing reading recovery

  7. Gramsci 7

    What really concerns me about Whanau Ora is that it will further drive down the wages of the care workers in the sector. When patients were de-instutionalised in the eighties and nineties, there was a huge drop in the wages of those formerly working in well-unionised centralised sites. Care workers went from a few centralised agreements with a bureaucracy behind the front-of-line care to support their work.

    Please do not take this post as support of the institutions. There were problems with the institutions, but my point is regarding how the wages and conditions have dropped in this sector and the service levels have declined.

    What occurred was a disolution of these terms and conditions, with a corresponding drop in service. The work became casualised and further de-valued. There was no need for any level of qualification; the money that went to providers had to be soaked up in the first instance by a multitude of supporting bureaucracies before any of it got to the workers. It might be even less if there was a profit to be made by the organisation.

    These problems are still being grappled with by the sector and then along comes Whanau Ora. This will only further fragment and disolve the service levels and wages of those working in the sector. It will put wages back even further and make a unified response to the Government’s continual under-funding of this sector even harder to resisit.

    And that – comrades – is why the National Party supports it.

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    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
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    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
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    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
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    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
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    1 week ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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