New Zealand

Simon Collins pimps a hard luck story for anti-smoking troughers

Simon Collins is the go-to person for hard luck stories, and he is pimping a story about the defunding of anti-smoking lobby groups.

New Zealand’s biggest anti-smoking lobby groups face likely closure after a Government decision to slash funding for anti-smoking advocacy.

The Smokefree Coalition will close next month, Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) faces closure unless it can find new funding sources, and Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa and Pacific anti-smoking agency Tala Pasifika have all lost their funding from this week.

Instead, the Ministry of Health has awarded a single national anti-smoking advocacy contract to West Auckland-based Maori health agency Hapai Te Hauora.

Total funding for national advocacy has been cut from $1.7 million to $450,000.

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New Zealand v Wales Game 3


Please keep the rugby related chats and scores out of Backchat, even when the game is over.  Some people may still want to watch it delayed so let’s not spoil their day.

As per usual, guess the final score before the game starts, and if you’re closest, you get bragging rights for the week.  Read more »


The hypocrisy of Lisa Lorenzen, she lives in an ex-statehouse


Lisa Lorenzen went public with her outrage and anger that the state house for sale across the driveway next to her was being sold.

She went on Newshub to express her outrage.

It was while I was reading through the comments on my earlier post that I realised something…it was only an inkling, so I did a bit of research on Sidlaw Street in Strathmore.

I looked up the property records for the entire street. There are 117 properties. Of those 117 properties there are currently 19 state houses or 16% of houses on Sidlaw Street.

A quick look through the history of the titles of all these properties tells me that the entire street used to be state houses.   Read more »

New Zealand v Wales – Game 2


You know what to do:  1) leave your score before the game starts.  2) no game talk in Backchat  3)  Join us here while we multi-screen.  4) do Nige’s quiz while you wait for the game to start…

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Here’s a shocker: Antarctica’s CO2 levels are higher than New Zealand


Carbon dioxide levels in Antarctica are the highest they have been in four million years.

There are now no more monitoring stations on Earth measuring an atmospheric carbon dioxide level of less than 400 parts per million (ppm).

On May 23, Antarctica hit the dubious milestone, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced.

The frozen continent at the world’s South Pole was the last place on Earth to reach that level of carbon pollution, NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network Pieter Tans says. Read more »

McCully blunders into another made-for-movie moment

Sometimes you have to wonder about Murray McCully: he can’t say the word terrorism and now he won’t actually ask a simple question.

Surely, he could have seen this coming? It is the law after all.

New Zealand will not ask the United States to confirm or deny whether a visiting warship is nuclear armed if the invitation to send a vessel later this year is accepted.

Such a visit would end a 30-year standoff that started when New Zealand adopted an anti-nuclear policy in 1985, rejecting the proposed visit of the ageing destroyer USS Buchanan. The anti-nuclear legislation was passed by the Lange government in 1987.

The US has not sought a ship visit since that time, but is mulling whether to accept an invitation to join the New Zealand navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations in November.

New Zealand law, endorsed by National and Labour governments, requires the prime minister of the day to be satisfied any visiting ship does not carry nuclear weapons and is not nuclear powered.

However, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has verified that no foreign country is required “to make any declaration on nuclear armament or propulsion”.   Read more »

Dodgy science on sea level rise exposed

With much fanfare and a complicit Media party the Royal Society made huge and outrageous claims about how fast and far sea levels were going to rise in New Zealand.

The Media party dutifully piled in and ran all sorts of scary scenarios about how much damage this was going to cause and how we must all do something.

But what if I told you their claims were as fanciful as Aesop’s fables?

The Royal Society of New Zealand’s recent study on sea level rise claims that, in the next 100 years, sea levels will surely rise by 0.3m and 1m is possible. It strongly recommends action should be taken now to deal with this.

The claim does not stand up to close examination.

First, the rise in sea level and New Zealand coast has been about 0.14m over the past 100 years, with no sign of a recent increase in the rate.

There is no solid evidence to indicate this steady rate will increase rapidly in the future. The Royal Society’s claims are based on flawed climate models that predicted, by now, temperatures would be 0.5° higher than they really are and increasing faster and faster.

When this dubious data were fed into sea level models, they predicted rapidly increasing sea level rise. How surprising!

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New Zealand vs Wales


This is the spot for chatter about today’s game.  Please leave Backchat for people who aren’t interested.  Also, leave the scores OUT of Backchat, in case someone doesn’t want to know the final result yet.

I hear the TAB have stopped taking bets earlier today as the ABs were paying $1.01 for the win.   The win is probably inevitable, but I hope Wales can at least give us a scare or two.

Wales have never lost a game.  They just finish the 90 minutes with the other team on more points.  Read more »


Wales will play to win, win or lose


Sam Warburton will give his players a simple message when they attempt to turn back the clock against world champions New Zealand in Saturday’s first Test – who dares, wins.

The Welsh skipper, fit to return to action in Auckland after a six-week stint on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, wants his team to be bold as they attempt to become the first team since France in 1994 to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park. Read more »


Why is Labour trying to convince voters John Key turned New Zealand into a slum?


The Legatum Institute has released its annual global Prosperity Index, which ranks the most prosperous countries in the world.

Approximately 89 variables are analysed — everything from economy and governance to education, health, and security.

Pakistan ranked 130, while Ireland came at number ten.

Here are the top 5 performing countries out of the 142 that were tested — and you’ll be happy to know New Zealand made the cut.  Read more »