Plastic bag ban

The Government announced today that a ‘single use’ plastic bag ban will be phased in over the next year.

I’m all for drastically reducing plastic bag use, and plastic use. Waste plastic is creating a lot of problems.

Some large retailers are already at least working towards this, so the ban will just push some of this along.

I’m less sure that a one year phase in. It mat depend on the detail of the plan – especially whether suitable alternatives become available quickly and economically.

There is a risk this will add to business uncertainty, but it will be difficult to quantify that.


Single-use plastic bags to be phased out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.

“We’re phasing-out single-use plastic bags so we can better look after our environment and safeguard New Zealand’s clean, green reputation,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“We’re listening to New Zealanders who want us to take action on this problem. This year 65,000 Kiwis signed a petition calling for an outright ban. It’s also the biggest single subject school children write to me about.

“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags – a mountain of bags, many of which end up polluting our precious coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life, and all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business.

“It’s great that many people are already changing the way they shop. But it’s important we take the time now to get this right so we can help all New Zealanders adjust their shopping habits.

“We need to be far smarter in the way we manage waste and this is a good start.

“We are a Government determined to face up to New Zealand’s environmental challenges. Just like climate change, we’re taking meaningful steps to reduce plastics pollution so we don’t pass this problem to future generations,” said Jacinda Ardern.

Eugenie Sage said many countries and major cities around the world have successfully taken action on plastic pollution in recent years. She was confident New Zealanders would also embrace the change.

“Public calls for action have encouraged a significant number of retailers, including supermarkets, to move on single-use plastic bags. We want to support their efforts by ensuring the retail industry moves together in a fair and effective way.”

She encouraged people to read the discussion document and share their views.

“The Government will work alongside supermarkets and other retailers to help people make the change to reusable bags and we want to hear from New Zealanders as to how we can best do this.

“We’re proposing a six month phase-out period and we’re confident this is a change we can make together.

“New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation and we want to help ensure we live up to it. Phasing out single-use plastic bags helps do that,” said Eugenie Sage.

People have until Friday 14 September to share their views. This includes options for the date the phase-out is to be complete by, what bags should be included, any retailers that should be exempted, and how best to help people with the transition.

To have your say visit www.mfe.govt.nz.

Lizzie Marvelly supports Brash ban

Lizzie Marvelly has a bigger platform to speak than most – she is a regular columnist at NZ Herald, and she has her own blog Villainesse.

She also attracts attention on Twitter, as she did yesterday when she one of a small minority who support the banning of Don Brash from speaking at Massey University.

No, Brash hasn’t been silenced, he has been given a megaphone after being banned. That’s what attacks on free speech can do – generate far more speech than they try to suppress.

Marvelly engaged after some responses:

@MatthewHootonNZ: The young students who invited him may have. They were perhaps as young as 3 when he became leader of the opposition.

@LizzieMarvelly: As members of a university politics society it’s very likely they’ve heard him rabbiting on and on about the same tired old stuff, if not in real time (and that’s possible – bafflingly, he has continued to rabbit on outside of politics, and to be given airtime) then in old clips.

@JarrodGilbertNZ: But they invited him.

@LizzieMarvelly: Ah. That’s unfortunate. Can’t anyone find a new mouthpiece for anti-te reo, anti-Māori rhetoric?

It looks like Marvelly jumped into this issue without knowing anything about what Brash was invited to talk about, which was nothing to do with te reo or Maori specific issues.

@LizzieMarvelly:  Many more shocking calls are made every day to exclude or under-represent women and Māori speakers. Forgive me for not feeling outraged at Brash being deprived of one of the many platforms he enjoys.

For all Marvelly knows their may have also been women and/or Māori speakers scheduled to speak at the same students’ political society event, who will also been excluded from speaking after the event was cancelled.

Regardless, it seems obvious that free speech is not an important principle for Marvelly.

And she isn’t alone in her attitude. It is common to see people say that some groups of people should be given more speaking rights, and that the views of others don’t matter.

Interjection ban on National dog barker, and crappy “stupid little girl” cop out

Parliament’s question time can be raucous, with some members barking at every passing Minister. National MP David Bennett annoyed the Speaker enough today to earn a two day ban on interjecting.

In Question No. 9—Children:

Darroch Ball: What is the Minister doing to ensure that children get the best services that they need?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Excuse me, Mr Speaker. I forgot that we had one other question coming, perhaps. On behalf of the Minister for Children today, Oranga Tamariki are holding the first of 14 regional hui with their 525 providers to talk about how they will work together in the future to ensure that all services meet the best needs of the child. Collectively, they receive around $268 million from Oranga Tamariki per year. The ministry is trying to give them greater certainty around their funding and is moving to longer-term contracts—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! The member will resume her seat. David Bennett will stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Hon David Bennett: I withdraw and apologise.

In Question No. 11—Social Development:

11. ANGIE WARREN-CLARK (Labour) to the Minister for Social Development: What recent announcements has she made regarding the Growing Up in New Zealand study?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI (Minister for Social Development): Mr Speaker—

Hon David Bennett: Oh, has she got her notes this time? Good on her!

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Today, I announced that the Government would restore more than $1.9 million—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume her seat. Now, Mr Bennett, your interjections are very, very frequent. Referring to members using notes in the House to answer questions is an area which is totally my responsibility and not for you to comment on. I would like to remind the member that several of his colleagues rely heavily on notes, not to answer questions, which is quite a lot harder, but even to ask them.

In Question No. 12—Employment:

Hon WILLIE JACKSON (Minister of Employment): Thank you, Mr Speaker. In response to the first part of the question, of course I stand by my statements. As for the second part, the policy response for job seekers remains the responsibility of the Minister for Social Development.

Hon Paula Bennett: Does he stand by his statement that “people have commitments,” as reasons that unemployed New Zealanders cannot pick fruit, and, if so, how many commitments does an individual need to not have to show up to work?

Hon David Bennett: How many commitments have you got?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: Of course I stand by—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Order! David Bennett, once again you have interjected, involving me in the answer, and what we’re going to do is have you on an interjection ban for the rest of this question time and tomorrow. [Interruption] Order!

Overyapping in Parliament is unlikely to do the opposition any good, Putting a muzzle on Bennett for a couple of days will be better for the House.

Also under scrutiny is an as yet unidentified National MP – Newshub investigates: Which National MP made a ‘very sexist remark’ about Jacinda Ardern?

In Parliament last week, while the Prime Minister was speaking, a National Party MP hurled a “very sexist remark” across the Chamber.

He – and yes, Newshub can confirm the remark was made by a man – called Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a “stupid little girl.”

As soon as the comment was made, Speaker Trevor Mallard stopped proceedings in the House, calling for the person who made the “very sexist remark” to apologise.

A week later, the culprit still hasn’t owned up to the remark. If they ever do, they will have to stand in Parliament, withdraw the remark and apologise.

At the time the comment was made, Mr Mallard said the remark wasn’t made by Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges; “It was someone behind.”

Behind Mr Bridges sits Matt Doocey, Jonathan Young, Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith.

Other men in close proximity are Simon O’Connor, David Bennett, Jami-Lee Ross, Chris Finlayson, David Carter and Paul Goldsmith.

So with the culprit not big enough to own up all these MPs have a cloud hanging over them.

Newshub asked nine of the 10 male MPs who sit behind Mr Bridges whether they made the remark and whether they know who made it. The tenth has been contacted.

The nine MPs are named and all deny making the statement. The tenth must be Simon O’Connor.

Regardless of who it was this looks terrible for National.

Mr Bridges said he’d have to review footage before deciding what would happen to an MP who made such a remark – though he said these sorts of remarks are heat of the moment.

“Parliament’s a place of cut and thrust. People say things in the heat of moment, on all sides of the House, including, let’s be honest, the Speaker,” Mr Bridges said.

That’s a crappy cop out from Bridges. A decent modern leader would have made sure the culprit stood up in Parliament and made a damned good apology.

Without that National look like a pack of mongrel MPs who have no idea how to build respect in opposition.

No cost analysis, no consultation, no idea on oil and gas ban

Minister of Energy Megan Woods has said she isn’t aware of any cost-benefit analysis before the decision to ban future oil and gas exploration permits, no formal consultation was undertaken with the Petroloeum Exploration Association, and the impact on the price of gas was not considered.

And alarmingly, no estimates were made on whether global greenhouse gas emissions will fall as a result of the decision.

Newshub: Government did no cost-benefit analysis on oil and gas ban

The decision to ban future oil and gas exploration was made without a cost benefit analysis to back it up, Newshub can reveal.

It’s one of a number of admissions revealed in parliamentary written questions pointing to a lack of evidence behind the decision.

“I am not aware of a cost-benefit analysis using the Treasury’s CBAx tool being undertaken in relation to the decision to grant no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits,” Megan Woods said.

Dr Woods’ office told Newshub officials did not think it was appropriate to use the Treasury tool in this case as there were too many unknowns about how much gas and oil was actually out there.

“Searching for petroleum offshore is a low probability of success event but high impact if found, so trying to model the costs and benefits in a traditional option analysis spreadsheet would have required substantial assumptions to be made,” a spokesperson for the minister said.

So they just decided to do it regardless of possible costs and effects.

The Energy Minister has also admitted no formal consultation with the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) took place.

“No formal consultation was undertaken with PEPANZ in relation to the decision to grant no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits. However, I have spoken publicly about the Government’s direction to transition away from fossil fuels and my office has had open dialogue with PEPANZ before this announcement.”

Woods has just been to meet producers in New Plymouth this week.

“No specific estimate has been provided to me on the price impact on gas of the decision to grant no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits. Officials have advised that gas prices have risen in the past when the supply of gas has been constrained,” Dr Woods said.

No concerns about adverse effects of the decision.

There’s also been no estimates on whether global greenhouse gas emissions will fall as a result of the decision.

“No specific estimate has been provided to me. I have been advised by officials that the effect on global emissions depends on the response of New Zealand’s large gas users.”

And it seems that there was little or no interest in whether the ban would be effective or not.

It looks like this is a rushed ideological decision rather than evidence based.

And it looks negligent.

Sandpaper escalation in Australian cricket scandal

Australia’s cricket cheating disgrace has got worse with the revelation that sandpaper was being used to tamper with the ball. The main players have been given lengthy playing bans, but there are still questions unanswered.

SMH: Sandpaper, lies and videotape: Warner fingered by CA as architect

The twists and turns have just kept coming in Australia’s ball-tampering disgrace in South Africa with Cricket Australia admitting it was sandpaper and not tape that was used and that David Warner had been the architect, even instructing Cameron Bancroft how to cheat.

As Steve Smith and Warner received 12-months bans from playing for Australia – and were banned by India from the IPL – CA released a jaw-dropping charge sheet against the sacked captain and vice-captain and opener Bancroft, who has been suspended for nine months.

That is probably a career ending ban for Warner, who was also copped a life time banned from being captain again.

Smith is younger so would have time to try to get back into international cricket and into lucrative league deals, but that won’t be easy for him. Bancroft’s career may be over just after it started.

The most stunning revelation was that it had been sandpaper, and not a piece of yellow tape, that Bancroft had used to try and alter the condition of the ball at Newlands and then hid down his pants in full view of the television cameras.

However, CA also lambasted Smith for making “misleading” public comments about the incident and confirmed Warner’s position at the heart of the scandal, banning him from ever captaining Australia.

The governing body’s investigation established that Warner had not only told Bancroft to take the sandpaper onto the ground, but had gone as far as giving Bancroft a tutorial on how to tamper with the ball.

Warner was found to have been behind the “development” of the plan and was alleged to have given “instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”.

Further, and most damningly, it was concluded that he provided “advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done.”

Smith, who is prohibited from captaining Australia until a year after his ban expires, was also slammed for his part in the conspiracy and the attempted cover-up.

Smith was also found to have been guilty of “seeking to mislead match officials and others” about Bancroft’s conduct on the field.

At this stage coach Darren Lehmann has been cleared, and is now saying that Australia should learn from new Zealand’s approach to cricket – playing hard but fair, something Australia were known for a long time ago.

But there are still question marks.

It would be remarkable if the captain and vice captain planned to cheat by doctoring the ball without the coach’s knowledge. At the very least it suggests a corrupt culture they operated in, which is the coach’s responsibility.

It would also be remarkable that the bowlers, who would have most benefited from ball tampering, had no knowledge that they may get artificial assistance.

The big question is whether this was a one off or whether it the Australian players have done it before, and if so, how much.

Warner seems to be well practiced in tampering, and until the recent test was the player in charge of looking after the match ball. He handed that responsibility over to Bancroft for the fateful test where this all turned to yellow custard.

The culture of Australian international cricket is also in the spotlight, where a win by any means attitude has been obvious for some time (since Lehmann took over).

SNH: ‘What the f— is going on?’ The words that cleared Darren Lehmann

Cricket Australia has moved to distance Darren Lehmann from the ball-tampering crisis, saying he had radioed down to substitute Peter Hanscomb to tell him to ask “what the f— is going on” rather than to tell Cameron Bancroft that he had been sprung with a piece of sandpaper.

Lehmann said he was “confident it’s an isolated issue and a grave mistake”, although he could not be sure his team had not previously engaged such tactics.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who wonders whether the team had an arrangement where the coach effectively had a policy of ‘do what you want but don’t get caught and don’t connect me to it’.

The head coach maintained that the first time he had realised it was sandpaper that Bancroft was using – not tape as the opener had originally explained – was after the CA investigation had been completed.

While he has been cleared by CA of any responsibility for the conspiracy to cheat, Lehmann has been targeted elsewhere for overseeing a team culture that had deteriorated to the point where such reprehensible behaviour was allowed to happen.

That will be a key discussion point of an independent review of the team’s culture that has been announced.

“I’ve got no doubt that he feels some sort of personal responsibility for that,” Sutherland said.

He may well do.

Should New Zealand ban internal combustion engines?

It is difficult to imagine the degree of disruption and change that we would have in New Zealand if internal combustion engines were banned. But this is what some people want.

Dominion Post: Why New Zealand should ban internal combustion engines

THOMAS ANDERSON AND JONATHAN BOSTON

Bold and decisive actions are necessary if New Zealand is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions substantially.

The new Labour-led Government has committed to introducing a zero carbon bill later this year. But how should the aims of such legislation be achieved?

Of such measures, perhaps the most effective would be a ban on the sale of all new or imported used vehicles with internal combustion engines. Such a ban could take effect, say, from 2030.

At least that would be twelve years to prepare.

Many developed and developing countries have already introduced or are seriously contemplating such bans.

Britain, France, Ireland, Germany, India and China are listed – if car manufacturing countries ban internal combustion engines that would have a flow on effect here anyway.

New Zealand should follow suit.

As it stands, our transport sector accounts for around 18 per cent of annual gross greenhouse gas emissions and over a third of carbon-dioxide emissions. Emissions from road vehicles make up over 90 per cent of our total transport emissions. Hence, a ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles would, in due course, considerably reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

It could also considerably change how people travel. It would presumably also affect freight – and at the moment I don’t think there is EV technology that would handle long haul trucking. And if it also applies to rail that would require electrification of all existing rail lines, a huge and costly exercise.

About 85 per cent of our stationary energy comes from renewable sources and this percentage continues to increase. Accordingly, EVs can be recharged in New Zealand with a very low carbon footprint.

18% isn’t that much different to the 15% of non-renewable stationary energy.

And from RNZ yesterday: Electric vehicles could put strain on power network

There are fears that an increase in the uptake of electric vehicles could end up overloading the electricity network.

Electric vehicles make up less than one percent of the entire fleet, but it has been predicted they could make up 70 percent of it by 2050.

Consultant Simon Coates told Nine To Noon that if this happened they would account for 40 percent of domestic electricity usage and would place a strain on the network.

The above proposal is for a 100% electric fleet by 2030, but back to the ban proposal…

Of course, even with such a ban it will take decades to decarbonise New Zealand’s transport fleet. In 2016 close to 40 per cent of light vehicles were at least 15 years old. If the current age structure is maintained over the coming decades, it will be mid-century, even with a ban, before most petrol and diesel vehicles are phased out.

It  may make sense to move away from internal combustion as quickly as possible, but it will be complex, difficult and costly.

A ban of the kind suggested would serve multiple purposes. It would underscore New Zealand’s global commitment to substantial emissions reductions. It would help give substance to our claim to be ‘clean and green’. It would send a powerful signal to the automotive industry and consumers, thereby altering expectations and decision-making.

Moreover, it would help improve planning in the transport sector by providing greater certainty. In so doing, it would speed up the required investment in a comprehensive charging infrastructure and hasten the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The planning required would be huge.

It might be argued that the proposed ban is unnecessary. After all, by 2030 most automobile manufacturers will probably have ceased producing internal combustion engines. But a high proportion of vehicles sold in New Zealand are used imports rather than new vehicles. New Zealand must not continue to be a dumping ground for cheap, out-of- date, high-carbon technologies. We must aspire to a better, cleaner future and act accordingly.

This is fine as an aspirational ideal, but there is no attempt to detail what this would actually require and mean for New Zealand.

There is also no costings – how much would be required to convert? And what would the resulting transport costs be like?

Who has proposed this?Not a couple of young Green idealists.

Thomas Anderson is a Research Assistant at Victoria University of Wellington. Jonathan Boston is Professor of Public Policy at VUW.

Foreign ‘speculators’ house ban

The Labour led government has announced it is following through on a policy promise to ban non-residents or non-citizens from purchasing existing homes. Australians are excluded from the ban.

This has support from NZ First and the Greens.

NZ Government press release:


Foreign speculators house ban

Foreign speculators will no longer be able to buy houses in New Zealand from early next year, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis to buy their first home so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this.

“That is why we are introducing an amendment to the Overseas Investment Act to classify residential housing as “sensitive”. This means non-residents or non-citizens cannot purchase existing residential dwellings. Australians will be exempt as New Zealanders are in Australia.

“We expect legislation to be introduced before Christmas and take effect immediately once passed early in 2018. This will fulfil one of our key 100 Day Plan pledges.

“The previous National government chose to put foreign speculators ahead of Kiwi families, but we have chosen to protect Kiwi families and New Zealand’s best interests.

“That government claimed this could not done without breaching other free trade agreements and that a stamp duty would be the only effective tool.

“The advice we have had from officials is that we can give effect to the ban by a simple amendment to the Overseas Investment Act without breaching any agreement except the Singapore Closer Economic Partnership. The options with Singapore will be worked through.

“The proposed change means we can move our focus away from land issues at the negotiating table at APEC when negotiations on the TPP reach their final stages, and focus on Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses.

“We are concerned by ISDS clauses in the proposed agreement. These confer greater rights on multi-national companies investing in New Zealand than a New Zealand company has.

“We remain determined to do our utmost to amend the ISDS provisions of TPP. In addition, Cabinet has today instructed trade negotiation officials to oppose ISDS in any future free trade agreements.

“The change we have announced today are supported by all parties to the government.

“New Zealanders should be assured that the government I lead will have their best interests at heart when negotiating any free trade agreements.”


This was covered in the prime Minister’s post-Cabinet Press conference:

Arguing against climate change banned

Arguing against climate change has been banned by ‘weka’ at The Standard. She has moderated out dissenting views to her posts before, but has taken it to a new level of intolerance of differences to her opinion.

She posted Climate change – beyond the politics and the maths and the fear

In the winter of 2014 Russel Norman, as co-leader of the NZ Green Party, said that climate change was the not just the most important issue of our time, it was the most important issue of all time.

It seemed radical then, and appeared to go largely un-commented on. James Shaw said a similar thing last year, and then again, twice, in a speech this year. I remember feeling a surge of excitement and relief to hear this expressed by Norman, not only because we definitely need the suits to be thinking in this way (so all power to Norman and Shaw for taking that message to those communities), but also because hearing the deep truth from people in power brings hope and change.

In the past year I have noticed that the idea of climate change being the most important issue we face is popping up all the time. Many people are now saying it, and this my friends is change happening. People weren’t doing this even a few years ago.

We need to be ready for what happens next, and we need to make sure that as more and more people wake up, that we (collectively) follow the path of change, not the path of denial or rearranging the deck chairs or going down in a ball of flames.

She seems to be referring to just one path of denial, any questioning of her ‘path of change’.

So I don’t mean that everyone has to quit their job and join the front lines. Although that would certainly change things very fast, I don’t think it’s a realistic expectation and I do think more of us than currently are could start to make such radical changes.

But what I really mean is that we all now need to be on a war footing, all of us. Not because CC is a war, but because the recognition within communities during the Great Wars was of the need to put normal life in the context the greater cause. People understood the need to work together for the common good and this was largely a shared cultural value.

No-one is coming to save us. It’s up to us. All of us. While we certainly need high level change, we don’t have to wait for government or everyone else in order to act. We can change now, not because we are sure of what to do or what will happen, but because it’s the right thing to do any way you look at it other than neoliberally.

That’s an odd ideological approach. She is not sure what to do about it, or what may happen, but is sure that anything other than a ‘neoliberal’ approach is good.

We don’t all have to live radical lives, but we do need a radical change in how we are thinking. We need to find the way that best uses each of our skills and situations and resources to put all hands to the pump. We all need to be climate changers.

Her post gets support and congratulations. But not from everyone.

Kelly-Ned 8

Are you all really sure?
Have you actually seen the temp graphs going up? (They aren’t)
Are you actually sure that CO2 which is such a small and very necessary gas is causing the issue (if there really is an issue)?
Are you really sure? Actually read the data yourselves?
Not being manipulated by vested interests? (on either side)
I have yet to see convincing argument that gets beyond ‘we all believe it’ or ‘They all said so’
But please do send me a link as I’ve seen lots of stuff that says it is all natural causes, but I am open to persuasion.

That’s fairly general (and lame) dissent. But any alternative to the collective ideology is not allowed.

[I usually don’t let climate change deniers comment under my posts. The only reason I’m not moderating you out of here is because of the usefulness of replies below. But if you try and run any kind of further denialist lines in this thread not only will I move your comments, but I will ban you from commenting site wide for wasting my time and creating diversion from the post. – weka]

Wasting a moderator’s time is a ban-able offence at The Standard, meaning that if a moderator chooses to spend time shutting down views that don’t fit with their narrative the can self justify banning. It is used as a cute excuse.

Kelly-Ned 8.4

So you edit out all genuine debate? Justifying it by labelling a questioner as a denialist?
Well that is sure to get an unbalanced debate going.

[yes, that’s right. The internet is big place, go somewhere else if you want to debate the reality of CC. You are now banned from this thread – weka]

The reality is that weka has an aversion to anyone debating her posts (and often her comments). She doesn’t want debate, she wants people to agree with her and to congratulate her insight.

Kelly-Ned ran some typical generalised anti-climate change lines, but they are common and they are not going to go away.

Banning any alternate views is going to please the converted at The Standard, but it is a poor way of dealing with the many questions that still should be asked about the complex issues involved with climate change.

Those like weka who try to shut down debate are not helping address the issues.

(There are various ways people on both extremes of climate change views try to shut down debate).

Changing Standard

 

There has been noticeable changes at The Standard over the last few months. More rigid moderation has resulted in long time regulars being banned, and there has been a marked change in volume and nature of comments.

One of The Standard’s most prolific commenters, Colonial Viper, caused some controversy and last year was banned for several months. He returned to commenting yesterday, but didn’t survive for long.

Colonial Viper3.5.1.1.1

Hey always happy to argue my points hard out over a beer, but last time I was banned for a month for referring to what official exit polls said about demographics voting Trump.

So why bother.

[That’s not why you were banned. You were banned for making assertions as fact and not backing them up, and that specifically being a pattern of behaviour considered trolling. Here you are misleading about why you were banned. I can’t see any point waiting for yet another series of demonstrations of the patterns of behaviour that have led to multiple bans in the past, so I will just do it now. Banned until a month after the election. – weka]

That’s removed another dissenting voice for the election campaign. CV is wacky agt times, but he is prepared to challenge group think, something the new Standard seems to want to avoid. Ironically this happened on the 1984 post.

There were mixed reactions:

adam

I’m liking the new hard nosed weka.

To many people have spun shit about her point of view, they deserve what they get for misrepresenting her.

As we all should cop, if we tell porkies about the authors.

The authors offer enough reminders not to do it. Yet, people still do it.

Galeandra

Well you can carry on liking her on your own. I’m off again.

Weka banned me when she didn’t like her arguments challenged recently.

She was busy yesterday – also:

Peter Swift

Of course you are my bro, I’m inclusive. We’re all in this together, man, and like it or not, we are the BROtherhood of man.

Best stick that faux race outrage, I’ve lost the argument so will play a race card, back in it’s very naughty box where it truly belongs. :tut tut: 🙄

[ok, you’re out until Monday. Pattern of behaviour that is flaming, and you’ve been warned 10 mins ago and you still do it, so wasting mod time too – weka]

[just seen your response in the backend. You still don’t understand why you were moderated, so here it is again. You were banned for flaming, ignoring moderation, and wasting moderator time. If you don’t understand what flaming is, ask. That ban is now extended out to 1 month for ignoring moderation, wasting moderator time, and attacking an author. Expect moderations from now on to at least double but some will just go to past the election if you do something really stupid – weka]

Tim

The most reasonable commentator gets suspended because someone said the word ‘bigotry’… Your position is truly weak, weka.

[Peter got a short ban for blatantly ignoring moderation, and for flaming. Flaming is about behaviour. In moderation we are looking at patterns of behaviour that cause trouble for the site and increase work for the moderators. It rarely has anything to do with the content. Peter already has a history of this, which you are probably unaware of but the moderators are. Marty and adam were both warned as well and chose to tone down the flaming. I would have banned either of them similarly if they hadn’t.

Speaking of patterns of behaviour, and looking at your comments in general, I’ll let you know a couple of things. One is that I personally have a low tolerance for having my views misrepresented. People can disagree with me and they can go hard against my arguments, but when they start misusing my beliefs either against me or to further their own argument, then I will moderate. One of the reasons is that it’s hard enough being an author here without being attacked. The other is that I write to generate discussion, and if people choose to abuse or attack rather than debate then they need to go somewhere else.

You can count this as a warning. We obviously disagree politically, which is fine. But in addition to that you are stepping over a line that will result in a ban if you keep it up. Don’t make shit up about moderation (wasting moderator time is one of the quicker ways to get a ban), don’t attack authors, don’t misrepresent the views of authors. Pretty simple. – weka]

Weka does write to generate discussion, her Kaupapa Pākehā was good, but she also often puts strict boundaries on what can be discussed, and tends to ban when losing an argument (claiming things like ‘misrepresentation’, something she has done herself).

She is easier on some regulars, like:

bwaghorn14

”It looks like Labour are willing to bash those they see as being in their way politically”
it would appear you as a card carrying greeny are willing to bash labour when it suits weka

[ok, I’m torn between giving you a warning over stupid shit that’s against the rules (having a go at an author over perceived party politics), and asking you wtf you are on about. I’ll go with the latter. Please do explain what me being a GP member has to do with the post or what I said in it. I’m really curious what possible motivation I could have as GP member for apparently bashing Labour. – weka]

She uses her role as moderator to wield a stick in discussions:

Nope14.3.1.2

You can’t pretend your Green Party allegiance doesn’t influence your frequent attacks on Labour and Little.

Everyone has a political bias, and party membership and allegiance is a huge contributor.

I had hoped the MOU would give greenies a sense that there was one way to change the govt, and that was backing Labour and the Greens. Support for any other party that won’t commit to changing the govt just makes it less likely this will happen.

[“You can’t pretend your Green Party allegiance doesn’t influence your frequent attacks on Labour and Little.”

So much on one little sentence. I don’t have an allegiance to the GP. I vote for them and I am a member and I support many but not all of their policies, but if they had done what Little did I would be criticising them too. I don’t have to pretend anything. I like Little (that’s on record), I want Labour to do well, I want the Greens to do better, I want the govt to change. You and I disagree on how that might happen and what the best strategy is, that’s fine, make those arguments, but stop making shit up about me.

You will now provide 5 examples of my writing posts that attack Labour and Little in the past 3 months, or some other reasonable example of ‘frequent’ and ‘attack’. If you can’t/won’t do that, you have two choices. You can withdraw that comment and apologise, or you can have a ban. I’m putting you into premod until you answer. If I don’t see anything I will eventually ban just to tidy this up. I suggest you read the Policy and About and that you start paying attention to what is being said in moderation bold across threads so that you learn where the boundaries are.

You seem new here and look like you are bringing good commentary, so I’m cutting you some slack, but you need to understand that commenters are expendable and authors aren’t. Stop attacking authors, and debate the politics and points instead. If you don’t understand anything I’ve just said, ask for clarification. – weka]

These changes in moderation have generated quite a bit of comment. Violet:

Violet 2.1.1.1.1

We all know, that in little NZ, blogs like TS are often referred to. We also know that one of the biggest arguments against the left in NZ is that they fight amongst themselves constantly, and therefore are not capable of governing the country. The constant criticism of Labour here over the last few months, feeds directly into that view. And yes, I know this not a Labour blog, that is really not the point.

And as a reader for many years, I am sure this has been a relatively recent change. In the past, I have come to this blog to read a practical opposition to the government from a practical left wing perspective. Of late, it seems to be more often a fanciful view of what politics could be if everyone behaved in a way that is so far from practical reality.

I am so disappointed that this blog has turned this way over the last few months. What we need now, is strong support for a change in government at the next elections. And no, that doesn’t mean no criticism of Labour. But the reality is, like it or not, Labour doing well in the upcoming election is crucial for a change in government.

There is discussion on that, mainly from Weka, who continues here:

.weka 10

Violet, from here https://thestandard.org.nz/kaupapa-pakeha/#comment-1302361

A couple of points. One is that the Labour-bashing was going on for most of last year. I spoke against it quite a few times. I’ve even written a post about that that I haven’t published yet. It’s been delayed because of the US election mess here last year, and then more recently because of all the hooha over WJ (I had it loaded and just about ready to go). So whatever changes have happened in the past few months that you are seeing, Labour-bashing is not new here.

A large part of that was the fact that an author and prolific commenter had a lot of leeway here last year to Labour-bash. He’s not here now as an author and hasn’t been here as a commenter for much of the past few months either.

I”ve just had a look through the posts tagged Labour, and apart from the Kaupapa Pākehā one and the Poto Williams one, there aren’t really any ones that are that critical of Labour. Back in early Dec there were some but they weren’t critical of Labour so much as responding to criticism.

I”m not saying your perceptions are wrong, but that unless you can be specific they’re not that helpful in understanding what you mean or looking at what needs to change. I really like it when people talk about what works here and what doesn’t, so have it. I’d just ask that you give examples so we can know what you are referring to.

Long time commenter Anne:

Anne11

I am so disappointed that this blog has turned this way over the last few months. What we need now, is strong support for a change in government at the next elections. And no, that doesn’t mean no criticism of Labour. But the reality is, like it or not, Labour doing well in the upcoming election is crucial for a change in government.

My sentiments too Violet. Thank-you for expressing them so well. I have yet to figure out what exactly has happened to TS over the past few months, but there is a sense of intolerance and a lack of respect towards points of view that don’t always fit nicely with what the majority are saying on this site. I say that with some reservation because it only applies to a relatively few number of commenters who happen to be more prolific contributors, and by no means are all of them are at fault. However if it continues, it will start to turn people off coming here.

[TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

Weka herself posted several comments that were “off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in”. This double standard is effectively a warning to be careful what ones says, and where they say it.

Moderating is a difficult and thankless task. Every site has a right to do things as they want to. There’s no doubt that Weka’s interventions are having a marked effect at The Standard, for better and worse.

I’ve always had differences with the Standard on their moderation, but the bans and the need to tip toe knowing a moderator is hovering changes the nature and the value of discussions. It looks like this will become more of a thing as election year progresses.

Colonial Viper has been a Labour candidate (Clutha-Southland, 2011) and has since clashed in the party (in particular with Claire Curran in Dunedin South). He added a lot to The Standard (not to everyone’s liking) so his absence makes a difference.

The biggest difference is that even Labour supporters and members are now not necessarily safe to comment as they please there. Or at all. Earlier this week:

trpthestandard

So TRP can author posts but not comment on them?

That continued with CV joining in, click on this to see the thread:

 

Standard gang bans CV 2/2

Yesterday Colonial Viper was singled out by  Standard moderator TRP to comply with ‘;site rules’ despite them often being ignored by regulars – see Colonial Viper’s “extreme right wing views” 1/2.

Tensions must have risen there later in the day. Apparently a pro-Trump post by CV has been deleted, and there is a claim on Clinton vs Trump: Debate 3 that “much of the thread has been removed”. And on that thread CV has been banned.

Leading up to it:

Colonial Viper 27.3

Hey Sabine, the US kept selling arms and Treasuries to Saudi Arabia during the Obama/Hillary Clinton years, and is providing military support in their war against Yemen. What’s the Saudi record on abortions and the treatment of women?

Sabine 27.3.1

Go away Colonial Viper.

go the fuck away. Go have your Donald Fucking Trump make America Great again just like Hitler made Germany great for a while.

In the name of all those that perished during the great fucking time of the third reich Fuck off.

In my books you are useless, you serve no purpose, you have no champion and that is why you want to see the world burn.

And just for what its fucking worth, the US American Women and girl have as much value as any other Women and Girl on this planet.

Fuck off.

Only a select few get away with that sort of attacking at The Standard. It is somehow seen as acceptable but expressing a different opinion is ‘bad behaviour’.

marty mars 27.3.1.1

+ 1 well said – Kia kaha

rhinocrates 27.3.1.1.1

Exactly. Don’t play his game. Call him out on his trolling and derailing.

weka 27.3.1.1.1.2

+1, 2, 3

Great response Sabine.

Some of the usual mob joins in.

Colonial Viper 27.3.1.2

Do you think Clinton will return the tens of millions of dollars that horribly misogynistic women stoning Gulf States like Saudi Arabia have donated to the Clintons (like Trump suggested), or will she keep all that money?

weka 27.3.1.2.1

Go the fuck away, man who supports and promotes a sexual predator and rapist into a place of power and then tries to make out he cares about women being abused in other places so that he can score political points.

Your constant derails are really, really obvious, CV. You have no answer for the fact that your preferred candidate is a vicious bully, a sexual predator, a liar, and an unrepentant misogynist.

Literally no one is saying, “Hillary is the best person in the whole wide world and has no flaws.”

But on the issue of protecting the rights of women, there is absolutely no fucking contest between Clinton and Trump.

Stop exploiting other women as meat shields to deflect attention away from that fact. You’re just making it more and more clear that fundamentally, your problem with Hillary Clinton stems from her gender.

Someone dared defend:

fender27.3.1.4

That’s just nasty abuse. CV may have been a loud Trumpet lately but he doesn’t deserve that.

But

weka 27.3.1.4.1

He’s trolling, repeatedly. And his politics are vile. I’m not talking about him thinking Trump should be president, I’m talking about the weeks of rape apology, support for fascism and oppression and then misusing women’s pain to score political points as he has just done in this subthread. If any RWer was doing this people would be all over them with far worse.

At some time during that CV copped his ban (that isn’t time stamped):

Colonial Viper 23.2.1.2.1

The Clintons and their big money donors use exactly the same tax write offs available in law as Trump’s companies do. They’re such hypocrites.

[No they don’t. Different parts of the US tax code as has previously been pointed out.

CV, you were asked to substantiate some other bit of bullshit earlier today and you ignored the request. The policy around responding to requests for cites was pointed out to you as was the section covering trolling. However, you seem relentlessly intent on posting provocative bullshit as often as possible, presumably to troll and start flame wars.

You posted earlier today that Hitler made Germany great again, which is either a sad admission of how far you’ve fallen or the most epic bit of trolling seen here at TS for yonks. Either way, it’s offensive, deliberately provocative and not conducive to civilised discourse.

Trolling, ignoring moderation, starting flame wars, wasting mod time. Lets call it a week. Come back next Friday. TRP]

That’s what can happen if you challenge Standard group think and dare to raise controversial issues.

Some discussion followed, which included some defence of CV.

In Vino23.2.1.2.1.4

TRP – he said Hitler BRIEFLY made Germany great again. I suggest you go look at a map of who held what in Europe in 1942, and see if CV was right.

There is nothing offensive about this, except in your eyes for some obscure reason. CV did not directly praise Hitler – yet you leap eagerly to the conclusion that he did so.

An impartial moderator should be impartial. You appear to have lost the ability to be dispassionate.

[CV didn’t get banned for a single instance. It was multiple issues, and he had already been warned about them. That is clear in the moderator’s note, please reread it – weka]

In Vino

Sorry Weka, but much of the thread has been removed, and in the note you refer me to, which, conveniently, is the only one left on the thread, TRP still makes this unjustified assertion:

“You posted earlier today that Hitler made Germany great again, which is either a sad admission of how far you’ve fallen or the most epic bit of trolling seen here at TS for yonks. Either way, it’s offensive, deliberately provocative and not conducive to civilised discourse.”

CV’s word ‘briefly’ is omitted. I hold that entire assertion in contempt, regardless of whether it has been uttered by a moderator.

Of course TRP won’t be required to retract and apologise.

weka

I’m not sure if anything has been removed. Most of the moderation before the ban happened in the Daily US discussion thread.

https://thestandard.org.nz/the-us-election-daily-discussion-post-2/

If you can be more specific about deletions please do so.

Irrespective of what one might think about TRP’s moderation style (and I have my own reservations), CV has been causing a problem, and IMO it was only a matter of time until he got a ban. He’s had one before for similar behaviour (in the winter?). I agree the omission of the word ‘briefly’ misrepresents what CV said and was a mistake for the moderator to say that. However even if a moderator got that one paragraph wrong, there are still enough other reasons to issue a ban.

Commenters pointing out mistakes is useful IMO, thanks for that. I disagree with your assessment of the overall issue with CV. As bad as his politics are to many, it’s his behaviour that has copped him the ban (IMO).

I have seen some fairly bad behaviour given a free pass over the years at The Standard, including from Weka and TRP. Especially when getting into mob attacks and trying to exclude views they want to gag. They and others have blatantly broken their own rules.

Bizarrely I was brought into the conversation.

rhinocrates

Nope, I’m not playing. Your trouble is that like your idol saying “Nobody respects women more than me”, you don’t make a very convincing feminist. The insincerity sticks out enough to be a hazard to aviation.

People see what you’re saying as trolling and deliberate distraction from the actual point that anyone’s trying to make.

You’re not actually trying to have an honest discussion, you just want to continue your narcissistic and spiteful little martyr’s game. Pete George lives in Dunedin. Call him and the two of you can have a pity party together. Take lots of chocolate.

weka

I was just thinking about PG and what happened when it got to this point with him as a troll and someone who was damaging the community. Methinks it’s time to adopt the same response.

They still obsess about me and I rarely bother commenting there now.

It’s sadly ironic for Weka to say “a troll and someone who was damaging the community” given how much she has been involved in shutting out opinions she disagrees with. She has been a prominent part of the mob censorship that the Standard is well known for.

I only have to comment once there for “the community” to pile in and disrupt the thread, and then blame me for it. Much like CV has been blamed, shamed and banned for annoying the perpetually annoyed.

I see The Standard as a symptom of the intolerance of the left, Labour and the Greens to anyone deemed an enemy of their group think and therefore labelled extreme right. One of the few things I have in common with CV politically, condemned and labelled because we express views beyond their narrow and bitter alleyway.

While the mob rules at The Standard they will fly a flag of discontent, intolerance and abusiveness.

A late comment:

weka

“When CV makes comment on social policy, I see them as left wing, not extreme right.”

His views on identity politics, and rape and rape culture suggest is he alt-right. His views on Trump suggest he is in some weird no-mans land, but I definitely wouldn’t call it left wing. His views on the political spectrum in NZ suggest he is centrist (hence his praise of Peters). And yes, some of his views are left wing. I actually think it’s not possible to know what he thinks now, because his naked hatred of the left clouds most of the things he says. It’s not him challenging the centre-left, it’s him burning bridges with every natural ally he has who doesn’t see the world in the way he does.

The recent accusations of him being right wing are a lot to do with his promotion of Trump. As I’ve said, it’s possible to have a left wing analysis of the groups of people in the US who’ve been disenfranchised and thus vote Trump, but CV insists on throwing others under the bus as he tries to do that and he actively supports the right at times.

In case that’s not clear, there is the problem with his political shift in the past year, and then there is his behaviour. I think we’ve reached the point of intolerance for both because of how they intersect.

“We’ve reached the point of intolerance” may be telling.