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The Gang war is coming – are we ready?

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Police called to Head Hunters gang headquarters in Auckland after shots fired

A slew of police officers were called to the Head Hunters MC gang headquarters in Auckland after shots were fired overnight on Sunday.

Several police officers were outside the gang’s HQ on Marua Rd in Ellerslie along with unmarked police cars on Sunday.

Gang members were waiting outside while police carried out their enquiries, with one member giving the finger to a Newshub camera.

The domestic criminal gang scene has probably never been under the unique stresses it is now facing.

2000 ‘501’s have been forcibly removed to NZ in the space of 5 years. In almost all cases, these people left NZ when they were children and have little or no connection to our country.

40% go on to offend in NZ, and while all are not hardened criminals, those who are have brought a level of violence to the criminal gang scene that is completely outside the norm for NZ gangs.

Kiwis like to think our domestic gang scene is rough and dangerous, the truth is that we are very tame when compared to the Australian crime scene.

Th 501s are bringing an enormous level of violence to NZ and are using it against the domestic gangs in stand over tactics. They are also bringing high quality, cheaper meth from South American Cartels alongside guns to enforce those stand over tactics.

Th 501s are targeting existing leaders in various gangs and we have seen that violence escalate recently with this drive by shooting of the HeadHunters pad and the killings of various domestic gang members.

In response, domestic gangs have gone on a meth cooking binge while also trying to buy as many guns as possible to counter the 501s.

What we are seeing is a market in chaos with an invasive new species taking over.

This becomes a political issue when ordinary Kiwis accidentally get caught up in the cross fire. We are not used to this kind of gang violence, and when it erupts, Kiwis will demand a response from the Police that will border on the paramilitary.

National and ACT will capitalise on this the moment it happens and Labour’s attempts to unpick the factors that cause crime will be seen as grossly underwhelming.

 

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Political Caption Competition

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CHRIS: Great news Judith, Christ has risen!

JUDITH: Can he win me the 2023 election?

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School Climate Strike a flop – Adults can’t keep relying on children to stop our climate crisis 

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The latest School Climate Strike was a flop, compared to the incredible turn out last time...

A sea of people waving placards and megaphones lined New Zealand’s streets for the nation’s biggest Strike for Climate action to date.

Strike organisers say about 170,000 people around the country took part in Friday’s action.

Schoolchildren, adults and activists all banded together to protest against climate change.

It was the third school strike to take place here this year, inspired by 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

…last weeks strike was in the tens of thousands, not hundred of thousands and it is a desperate reminder that it is obscene for adults to shrug their obligation off to fight against Climate Change to our children!

It is not up to our kids  to fight climate change, it is up to us as adults!

We can’t demand ideas from them, we have to do that!

So much energy is spent by those who benefit from the status quo trying to con us into believing change can only be created by the individual choice of consumers rather than political action, we have to understand that the only way to force change is by political action and on that front, it is completely up to us as adults.

We must stop up to this obligation rather than leave it to our kids.

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Beneficiaries are becoming debt slaves 

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Government putting more beneficiaries into greater debt, with loans totalling almost $2 billion

Figures released to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show almost 560,000 people now owe $1.9 billion to the Ministry of Social Development.

It’s 50,000 more people than in 2018, when $1.5 billion worth of interest-free loans were handed out for things like school uniforms, the dentist, electricity, and car repairs.

Each person owes almost $500 more than three years ago, with the average amount being $3420.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni told 1 NEWS that it’s much better than families going to get high interest loans “to cover some of these basics”.

This is crippling.

Beneficiaries  barely have enough money to live on as it is, and for the unexpected costs in life, the State lends them money rather than recognise that the benefit simply isn’t enough.

What’s most egregious is that a chunk of this debt is over payment, that’s mistakes by WINZ, not the beneficiary.

This is leading to debt slavery where Beneficiaries will die in debt to the State.

They are punished by an obtuse system within WINZ that does all it can to be toxic, and they are punished by low welfare that force them to borrow from the State.

The State claims that this is preferable to Beneficiaries borrowing the money off loan sharks, and while there is some truth to that, WINZ eyes that loan as an asset so they are gaming the system while bennefitting from it themselves.

This is no way to treat the poorest amongst us.

The debt must be written off.

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Principled, Pragmatic and Expedient? You Betcha! A Reply to Paul Buchanan.

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MUCH IS BEING MADE of the fact that New Zealand firms are exporting military equipment to unsavoury regimes. Geopolitical consultant, Paul Buchanan, reflected the views of many critical of New Zealand’s involvement in the international arms trade when he declared on his Kiwipolitico blog: “If NZ is to regain a semblance of integrity in diplomatic circles, its foreign policy decision-making matrix must change away from trade obsessed expediency and towards the principled but pragmatic orientation that grants it the independence that it claims to have.”

“Regain a semblance of integrity”? Seriously? Does the rest of the world truly monitor New Zealand’s miniscule contribution to the international arms trade so closely? Are foreign chancelleries truly so insensitive to their own governments’ complicity in the world’s horrors that they expect all other sovereign states to be unblemished moral exemplars?

Certainly, New Zealand’s arms exports are not going to be condemned by their principal recipients (which, if Buchanan is to be believed includes the NATO countries and many of our most important regional allies). Nor should we tolerate the slightest reproof from the five members of the UN Security Council (USA, China, Russia, United Kingdom, France) who also just happen to be the world’s five largest arms exporters. Unlikely, too, that this country will suffer criticism from the really “bad buggers” on our list of arms importers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They, at least, have no expectations of ever being regarded as unblemished moral exemplars. Murderous autocracy is its own reward.

So, if the foreign offices and state departments of the world are not going to waste a moment tut-tutting little New Zealand for daring to export military equipment to their friends, allies and leading petrochemical suppliers, then who is?

A couple of idealistic RNZ journalists, seemingly.  Tipped-off, perhaps, by that outspoken anti-imperialist Valerie Morse, who has never seen a gun she didn’t abhor – unless it was in the hands of her wannabe freedom-fighter friends “exercising” in the Urewera bush.

Then there’s the Greens’ Golriz Ghahraman, who has been tut-tutting fit to beat the band. But, then, Ghahraman, if properly cross-examined, would probably admit to not wanting New Zealand to have an arms industry at all – or, for that matter, an army. In the eyes of the Greens, guns (and mortar sights) are inextricably bound up with imperialism, colonialism, white supremacy and all those other things deemed injurious to children, animals and other living things. Away with them!

One can only feel a pang of sympathy for the boffins in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). On the receiving-end of a flurry of Official Information Act requests, they had little option but to reveal the extent to which New Zealand’s high-tech industries have been making the most of the world’s insatiable appetite for the weapons of war.

Promoting trade is, after all, MFAT’s job, and, to give them their due, they’re bloody good at it. Like the rest of the world’s diplomats and bureaucrats, ours tend to work on the principle that what is not expressly prohibited is tacitly permitted. Should someone have been looking over someone’s shoulder when the application for a permit to export military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE came across their desk. Probably. Politicians hate surprises, so a good public servant anticipates trouble before it becomes a headline. Even so, no laws were broken.

Buchanan has posed the question: “Principled, pragmatic or expedient”. Once again, the proposition is a curious one. Is he arguing that it is possible to be both principled and pragmatic but not expedient? His positioning of the word “or” would suggest so. But to treat all expedient decisions as in some way morally objectionable is to render practical diplomacy impossible.

The conduct of sovereign states is almost always dictated by what their rulers deem expedient. Indeed, it is easier to mount a moral case for the most principled diplomacy being that which delivers the most expedient outcomes for all the states involved in an international dispute. Pragmatism, in this context, may be seen as the ability to obtain the maximum of one’s country’s objectives with the minimum of moral and material compromises.

Buchanan would also have New Zealand draw a clear distinction between the moral status of its Five Eyes partners – most especially his homeland, the United States – and other international actors. Included on his list of countries with whom it is unacceptable to seek expedient outcomes one finds not only Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Indonesia, but also the People’s Republic of China. The latter is castigated by Buchanan for systemically abusing human rights at home, denying individual and collective rights as a matter of course and treating minorities as if they were foreign enemies.

As someone who has worked closely with not only America’s soldiers, but also America’s diplomats, Buchanan must be aware of the speciousness of this line of argument. The great distinction between Chinese and American imperialism is that China, for its whole history, has been a contiguous land empire. Unlike the United States, which, upon subduing (and in many cases exterminating) all those who hindered its expansion across the North American continent, proceeded to extend its imperial reach across the entire planet, China has been content to remain within its historical borders. Ethnic and religious threats to China’s rulers have always been dealt with internally. Threats to America’s global hegemony, by contrast, almost always originate offshore. From Korea to Vietnam, Afghanistan to Iraq, the USA – no less than China – has abused human rights with wanton and murderous abandon.

Buchanan’s laborious description of the United States process of determining whether or not arms should be supplied to a particular regime would be funny if it was not for the sobering fact that this former participant in “the decision-making chain” for “US military sales and training, etc. to Latin American countries” clearly believes every word he is writing. As if the sickening history of Uncle Sam’s murder and mayhem in Latin America was perpetrated by some other power. “The process was slow and circuitous but in the end it was comprehensive and transparent.” Tell that to the victims of the Contras, Paul! Tell it to the Mayans!

Perhaps it is Buchanan’s own experiences in Latin America that cause him to treat expediency as a dirty word. Certainly, what New Zealand finds it expedient to do differs greatly from what the United States considers expedient. Buchanan knows full well that New Zealand’s size and relative powerlessness severely restricts the harm it can do. Ultimately, the well-being of New Zealanders depends upon their country’s trading relationships with the rest of the world. Maximising that trade is, accordingly, the principled, the pragmatic and the expedient thing to do.

Buchanan is the son of a brutal imperial power. New Zealand used to be the colony of one and must now do all within its power to avoid becoming the colony of another. It ill-behoves a former citizen of the United States (and a newly-minted citizen of New Zealand) to lecture his adopted country on the morality, or otherwise, of its foreign policy. The Kiwi, unlike the Bald Eagle, is not a bird of prey.

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Tuesday – 13th April 2021

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, Qanon lunacy, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics, 5G conspiracy theories, the virus is a bioweapon, some weird bullshit about the UN taking over the world  and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Trading Military Equipment With Israel Is A Human Rights Outrage

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Revelations that foreign affairs officials have approved the sale of military equipment to a host of human-rights-abusing countries, including Israel, is an outrage.

In recent years foreign affairs has been dominated by trade priorities with concerns for human rights sidelined. Senior foreign affairs staff at all levels have advised successive ministers of foreign affairs to prioritise trade above everything else.

The tragic outcome was seen in last night’s television one story.

In Israel’s case the situation is even more galling because New Zealand has also been importing military equipment from Israel which has been “battle-tested” on the civilian Palestinian population.

In 2012 the New Zealand Superfund withdrew investments from Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems Limited, because it was involved in grave breaches of international law through building Israel’s “apartheid wall” which the International Court of Justice declared in serious breach of international law.

Despite this the New Zealand Defence Force continues to purchase military equipment from Elbit Systems.

Meanwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta is advised by these same officials not to speak out about Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians; Indonesian human rights abuses against the people of West Papua or stop the importation of “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara. Ironically these three cases all involve struggles for self-determination by indigenous people against colonisation – something Nanaia Mahuta said would be a priority for her.

The only human rights abuses the government has spoken out about are in China, Hong King and Myanmar because these are what our five eyes “allies”, led by the US, want us to talk about rather than the human rights crimes of America’s friends.

The government needs to wrench control of official advice from the trade junkies and US-first-at-all-costs officials in the Minister Foreign Affairs.

We should speak clearly against human rights abuses wherever they occur.

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Kiwi Seafarers Endangered By Vaccine Policy – NZ Seafarers

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Kiwi Seafarers continue to feel shortchanged by the New Zealand Government.

On the 1st of December 2020 the UN general Assembly called for all Seafarers to be designated as Key Workers. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim said “the key worker designation should ensure seafarers and maritime workers receive priority vaccination, to allow them to work and maintain vital global supply chains”. On the 9th of March 2016 New Zealand became signatory to the IMO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) this provides a legal framework to governments to ensure that vulnerable seafarers health and wellbeing is taken care of.

The New Zealand Government has deliberately left Kiwi Seafarers off the list for the New Zealand Vaccination schedule. Seafarers have not been recognized in group 1 as border workers even though Port authorities and border officials have been. They have not been included in group 2 even though our Olympians have been given special exemption, and not even in group 3.

Kiwi seafarers work at Ports, on ships transporting essential goods to New Zealand, and exit through the borders to work, work that is essential to the New Zealand economy.

After being queried, the Ministry of Health responded with: 

“While we recognize that seafarers play an important role in global trade unless currently subject to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing) Order 2020, this employment group has not been identified for prioritized vaccine access”Correspondence received Friday 26th March 2021

90% of trade travels via Ship, as an island nation reliant on exports and imports New Zealand’s economy would be devastated without the essential work of Seafarers who keep our trade routes alive. But our government does not consider them essential key workers.

It was announced today (Sat 19 Apr) that Port Taranaki received the ship Boka Summit. That ship had a crew member that tested positive for Covid-19. The International crew was delivering the Boka Summit to be used as part of the team of vessels who will be demobilizing the FPSO Umuroa in the coming weeks. The intention was to handover to a Kiwi crew today. This close call is another prime example of why New Zealand Seafarers urgently need to be recognized as essential workers by the New Zealand Government and to be treated as such.

The Government continues to ignore the fact that in order for our supply chains to remain intact New Zealand needs Seafarers, and we need those Seafarers to be healthy and protected from Covid-19. Whether they are based in New Zealand or travelling to and from New Zealand to perform essential work, Kiwi Seafarers need to be vaccinated for Covid-19 because they transit in and out of ports and come in to contact with foreign crews all over the world.

We believe strongly that the New Zealand government is risking New Zealand Seafarers health and the health of our economy. There is no advocacy for Kiwi Seafarer’s welfare at the Bee hive, after months of having all lines of enquiry to local representatives ignored or roadblocked we are asking the New Zealand Media for help in getting answers and progress.

Kiwi Seafarers are essential. Help us protect their lives.

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Rawiri Waititi: “Rotorua Council Needs To Clean It’s Shit Up”, After Sewerage Catastrophe

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This week MP for Waiariki, Rawiri Waititi was invited to attend a community hui at Hurungaterangi Marae in Ngapuna, Rotorua – where locals spoke of the physical and psychological suffering they are experiencing, caused by faulty sewerage plant infrastructure in their backyard.

“I smelt the problem before I got out of the car”, said Waititi. “The neighbourhood literally smelt like shit. The sewerage pump at the plant was broken and the pipes are too old causing leaks everywhere.”

“The smell is foul and is making the people physically sick. Their sewage systems are exploding and wastewater is being discharged into the Puarenga stream; their ancestral waters. Also, in heavy rain, the incompetent sewerage system means that sewerage overflows onto their properties. This has happened despite previous patch up jobs”

“I understand the Council has said that the issues have been resolved. Well they haven’t been. They’ve patched the job up, yes, but how enduring is this patch up? What is the long-term plan to prevent this from happening again? The fact that the water issues are fixed for the meantime, ignores the wider issues here,” said the Waiariki MP which includes Rotorua.

“The Council are not listening to mana whenua and they have had enough. They’ve been constantly fighting this battle since the 1960’s and it rears its head every decade or so and still nothing of substance has ever been done. They have been doing patch up jobs on this sewerage plant since it was established and they end up back at square one; shit in their backyards”

“Ngapuna want a long-term plan that they are involved in. They want the Council to appoint a delegate to remain in constant consultation and contact with the Hapū because they deserve more transparency. We want the old pipes replaced (not patched up) and pumps fixed immediately. Ultimately, the Ngapuna community want the plant and pipes removed and that needs to be incorporated into the city’s long-term plan which is being developed now.”

“Until these matters have been addressed, there is no resolution to the water issues just a patch up job” said Waititi.

“This is no different to what the Tauranga Moana people are experiencing in Whareroa. A small Māori community being invaded by industries; alienating indigenous peoples from their land with their toxic chemicals and the Councils are allowing it to happen”

“If this was a Pākeha community, or a rich one, the issue would be fixed straight away and a complete overhaul on the system would be in play. In fact, if it was a Pākeha community, the plant wouldn’t have been put there in the first place”

“It is about the health and wellbeing of the community. It is about equality. It is about honouring the Fenton Agreement. The Council’s negligence coupled with their disregard for the severity of this issue is concerning and they need to act on a long-term solution now”

“More than that though, it’s about honouring Hurungaterangi’s ancestral links to their lands, to their waters, their whakapap

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Government Needs To Come Clean On Foreign Buy-ups Of NZ – Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations

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The current government needs to instigate far stricter controls on foreigners buying up New Zealand’s countryside says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations as well as keeping the New Zealand public informed of the extent of outsiders buying up country-side.

“Frustratingly figures are few and far between to make an accurate assessment but the public should be given regular and accurate statistics on an issue which most New Zealanders feel strongly about,” said CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft.

Most Kiwis Opposed

Past opinion polls indicated as many as 90 percent of New Zealanders were opposed or concerned he said.

In late 2019 it was revealed by Radio NZ that the four largest private landowners in New Zealand are all foreign-owned forestry companies.

The investigation found, despite a clampdown on some overseas investment, including a ban on residential sales to offshore buyers, the Labour-led government has actively encouraged further foreign purchases of land for forestry through a streamlined “special forestry test”.

Fewer Jobs

Since the 2017-20 coalition, Labour-led government was formed, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved more than $2.3 billion of forestry-related land sales – about 31,000 hectares of it previously in New Zealand hands and often sheep and beef farms.

A 2019 analysis of Wairoa, where 8,486 hectares of sheep and beef farmland was converted to forestry, showed forestry provides fewer jobs in rural communities than sheep and beef farms.

Andi Cockroft said the environmental effects of turning the New Zealand hill country into monocultures of pines were detrimental.

Silt Deposits

The clear felling practices result in deposition of silt into rivers, streams and coastal estuarine areas and pine debris littering beaches.

There were other negative results from pine trees with impoverished and acidification of soils and excessive water intake by pines resulting in dry creek riverbeds.

He said the only source of data on foreign purchases seemed to be the “Watchdog” bulletin of the organisation Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA).

Not NZ Companies

“In CAFCA’s latest “Watchdog” it was revealed in just four weeks i.e. January 2021 decisions showed overseas forestry interests of a UK company, an Austrian countess and a Japanese company purchased land for exotic forestry.”

It was difficult to pinpoint foreigners as mostly they disguised themselves as New Zealand companies.

In the January 2021 approvals by the Overseas Investment Office, Summit Forests NZ Ltd is 100% Japanese owned while Ellis Campbell NZ Ltd is 100% UK owned.

“Government owes it to the public to strip these smoke and mirrors disguises away and give the true extent of the sellout,” he said.

Outdoor Access

Access for the public’s outdoor recreation such as fishing, tramping, hunting and other pursuits, usually suffered as overseas buyers invariably came from a culture different from New Zealand’s egalitarian society.

“Locked gates are the usual consequence of foreign buyers of New Zealand’s rural land whereas the traditional Kiwi farmers almost always gave access permission to bona fide recreationalists.”

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ECE Needs Flight Plan Overhaul, Not Flying Squads – Early Childhood Council

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News the Ministry of Education is bringing back a Provider Assessment Group, a ‘surprise visit’ investigation unit that shut down 17 early learning services will only add to providers’ woes.

There’s no question safety and quality comes first, and we can’t tolerate practice that puts children’s safety at risk.

Instead of tying providers up in red tape, why not use funding to support them, incentivise the right behaviours and ensure we get the best outcomes for our children. Along with fairness and transparency.

We don’t think crowing about shutting down 17 providers is right. Dragging centres, already struggling with underfunding, the COVID pandemic, a severe teacher shortage and compliance burdens over the coals for extremely minor breaches like the odd incorrect word in their Health and Safety policy doesn’t seem right.

There’s no other sector in New Zealand where a small businesses or community organisations have to comply with over 303 rules and regulations every minute of every day.

We have to ask, are teachers there to fill in forms and tick boxes, or provide high quality care and education to New Zealand children?

These concerns were raised with Education Minister Chris Hipkins at a recent sector forum about the compliance burden on providers, but the sector has had no response.

We have no problem with spot checks, but instead of investing in teams of surprise investigators, a better idea would be fixing the broken funding model to drive the right behaviours.

An added bonus would be parents being able to understand how their taxes are being used in their children’s education and care.

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New Zealand Food Safety Minister Silenced In TransTasman GE Forum – GE Free NZ

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New Zealand’s Ministerial engagement in the Trans Tasman GE Food Standards approval process has been silenced. The Conran review of the Council of Australian Governments COAG fora has recommended the dismantling of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Ministerial Forum proposing that the meetings are “time-limited, when needed and for specific tasks with specified, sun-setting time frames of no longer than 12 months…”[1]

The Conran recommendation comes at a time when Bayer are ready to unleash their gene edited (GE) herbicide-tolerant Xtendflex food plants. They will be regularly re-engineered to increase the amount of pesticides the plants can tolerate, leaving the foods unlabeled and laden with a cocktail of toxic herbicide residues. [2]

“New Zealand has yet again been treated as ‘trash’ by Australia,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ “The loss of the Ministerial Forum oversight on GE foods has serious health implications. The food chain will become a toxic quagmire of unlabelled GE foods, the risks going undetected because of lack of tracing and diagnostic tools. This will further burden the NZ health system.”

Editing (GE) is the process of slicing chromosome strands in half using an enzyme from bacteria attached to RNA. Dr Jonathan Latham describes the GE process as random and messy. The severing of the DNA causes “panic” in the chromosome triggering the emergency repair mechanism to patch the damage. This “panic” causes unreliable and random insertions or deletions of DNA at the points where the genome was cut, which can lead to the death of the cell or to off target effects and mutations that may be detected when the cells are grown.

Dr. Kawall’s research (2021) identified that the GE alterations have potential to accidentally alter the plants’ ability to cope with climate change; interfere with the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, which could affect the defense mechanisms; and disrupt the internal and external ecosystem communication. These GE combined or cumulative destructive interactions pose an unknown risk to the environment, human health, and subsequent generations. [3]

Dr. R Ono (2019) found that in mice there were unintentional horizontal gene transfers, of bovine, goat, and e-coli DNA from the vectors, inserted at the double-strand break (DSB) sites introduced by the CRISPR-Cas9 system. These mutations and pollution of the cells’ DNA have been overlooked or neglected by developers. [4]

“Such neglect of GE mutations and the risks taken by developers shows how important regulatory oversight is for all GE organisms. Our food chain is under threat from a deluge of unregulated GE foods that have no labels, no testing for safety, and no meaningful New Zealand Ministerial oversight,” said Bleakley.

The dismantling of the Ministerial Forum removes the only avenue where New Zealand has the ability to ask about the safety of the process, as the FSANZ Act does not allow a submitter to challenge a decision, only the applicant.

“The FSANZ approval process is being treated as a rubber-stamping exercise and consultation with consumers is being treated just an irritating formality. The Ministerial Forum oversight was able to challenge any decision and gave New Zealand a voice, that is now being silenced” said Bleakley.

“It is time for an urgent re-set on food safety regulation allowing New Zealand to divorce from the trans Tasman FSANZ body. We need to reclaim our sovereignty and create a stand alone New Zealand GE food standards regulator.”

References:
[1] https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/final-report-review-coag-councils-ministerial-forums.pdf

[2] Hussain A, Ding X, Alariqi M, Manghwar H, Hui F, Li Y, Cheng J, Wu C, Cao J, Jin S. Herbicide Resistance: Another Hot Agronomic Trait for Plant Genome Editing. Plants. 2021; 10(4):621. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040621

[3] Kawall, K. (2021) Genome-edited Camelina sativawith a unique fatty acid content and its potential impact on ecosystems. Environ Sci Eur 33:38 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-021-00482-2

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368560/

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Is Fiat Money at its End?

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If you ask the question whether fiat money is soon at an end, it should first be clarified what exactly fiat money is in the first place. All currencies backed by governments today are referred to as fiat money. This includes the euro, the U.S. Dollar, the Swiss franc and all other currencies equally. 

However, unlike gold, fiat money has no material value of its own; it is a purely nominal value set by a government. From this perspective, what is happening in the financial markets seems to be like playing in casinos. By the way: You can find out where to find the best casinos at Online Casino NZ or onlinecasino-australia.com.

Fiat money gets its value from the government

The moment a government says that a certain piece of paper has a value of, say, $200, it automatically becomes fiat money. 

Thus, money receives its value solely through government power. The situation is completely different with gold, silver or other precious metals, for example. 

They always have their own value without any government decree. Another variant in this context is the cryptocurrency. Here, too, the value is not determined by governments, but solely by supply and demand.

Why today’s currencies are no longer backed by gold

It is always claimed that gold is supposedly the “perfect money”. But if that is so, how can it be that today’s currencies are no longer backed by gold? 

The answer is both easy and worrisome. It is extremely important to governments that they not only have sovereignty over money, but also over the type of money. In this way, the value can be adjusted according to political interests. In this way, it is possible to influence the economy, among other things, and it is also possible to finance wars. 

Here it quickly becomes clear that solid gold money would get in the way of ideological-political projects. For this reason, gold money was unceremoniously replaced by the states’ own fiat money in the early 1970s. 

Gold becomes important in any crisis

It has never been different. Every time the world is shaken by debt crises, terrorism or even by excessive lending, investors distrust both politics and the financial system. Here it is then seen each time that people fall back on the anchor currency of gold, as in earlier times. 

If one looks at fiat money a little more closely, it very quickly becomes apparent that these currencies are mainly characterized by three criteria. 

Criterion No. 1: Fiat money is produced by state-owned central banks, which at the same time hold the monopoly on money production.

Criterion No. 2: The fact is that fiat money has no value of its own at all. It gets its value only from the ink that prints the paper, and likewise from the entries of “bits and bytes” on computer hard drives. In this way, the money supply can be multiplied at will. 

Criterion No. 3: Usually, fiat money is produced by bank lending. That is, these are not loans backed by “real savings.”

The role of investors

For many investors, these facts are changing the way they look at fiat money, as it suffers from both economic and ethical defects. For one thing, fiat money is chronically inflationary and thus loses its purchasing power over time. In addition, fiat money also ensures an antisocial distribution of income and wealth. As a result, economic disruptions are triggered and the indebtedness of national economies is steadily pushed up. 

As a result, this shows a clear reaction of the markets. Here, cryptocurrencies are gaining more and more importance. They can compete with the money function thanks to the blockchain. This web-based, decentrally distributed ledger of accounts opens up a new dimension of transaction possibilities. Most importantly, cryptocurrencies cannot be controlled by governments or banks. This is rightly arousing the interest of many investors. 

 

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Smokefree Action Plan Must Elevate Vaping As A Safe Switch – Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy

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A leading vaping advocate has joined mounting pressure on the Government to take all the necessary steps available to achieve the country’s decade-old smokefree ambition.

This comes as Associate Health Minster Dr Ayesha Verrall prepares to release a discussion document on a draft action plan to meet the Smokefree 2025 targets.

While the Cancer Society recently launched a petition to drastically reduce the number of tobacco stockists, the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) is now calling on the Government to urgently rethink its approach to regulating vaping.

From 11 August, it’s proposed that all but three vape flavours – mint, menthol, and tobacco – will be removed from general retailers such as supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores.

The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing submissions on its draft vaping regulations. However, that work must dovetail with the country’s smokefree action plan, says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).

“Finalising the vaping regulations and the smokefree action plan must not been done in silos. The two are intrinsically linked, with vaping an effective tool towards Aotearoa achieving the smokefree goal. It should be regulated proportionately.

“As the most effective smoking cessation tool in history, vaping has been key to reducing our national smoking rate in the past decade. Going forward, encouraging smokers to switch to much safer and less expensive vaping products is absolutely critical to achieving smokefree,” says Ms Loucas.

The tobacco harm reduction advocate realises that achieving Smokefree 2025 is now unlikely, however all is not lost with the Associate Health Minister elevating it as a priority workstream since her appointment late last year.

“Dr Verrall is a public health expert and a strong proponent to getting Smokfree 2025 back on track. She knows it will require some drastic measures and has the knowledge and determination to make this 2011 goal finally happen,” says Ms Loucas.

AVCA believes the imminent discussion paper on a draft plan to meet New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 aspirations needs to focus on access around both tobacco and vaping.

“It makes sense to reduce the availability of tobacco products, but it makes no sense to reduce the availability of vaping products. The current plan to only allow specialist, registered vape stores to sell a wide range of popular adult flavours is bonkers.

“If we want to avoid Kiwis returning to cigarettes then the Government’s plan to limit vape flavours needs to be purged before it comes into play. We expect this contentious issue, and ways to ensure more smokers can successfully switch to vaping, will feature as distinct discussion areas in the Government’s paper out soon,” she says.

AVCA also hopes everyone involved in tobacco harm reduction in New Zealand will be actively called upon and listened to in the shaping of the smokefree action plan.

“To achieve smokefree all the right incentives and interventions will need to be rolled out. If we don’t take big steps, then New Zealand won’t be smokefree for nearly two more decades and Maori won’t be for another four decades. So, it’s now or never,” she says.

Nancy Loucas says if the smokefree discussion paper doesn’t adequately deal with the Government’s vaping strategy and regulations, then ministers should. Cabinet will be asked to approve the Ministry of Health’s finalised vaping regulations by the end of June.

“2021 is arguably the most critical year from Smokefree 2025. We have hugely consequential vaping regulations being finalised and a smokefree action plan being formulated. Commanding an absolute majority, this Government can be bold. We now wait with bated breath,” she says.

About AVCA

AVCA was formed in 2016 by vapers across New Zealand wanting their voices heard in local and central government. All members are former smokers who promote vaping to help smokers quit – a much less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco products. AVCA does not have any affiliation or vested interest in industry – tobacco, pharmaceutical and/or the local vaping manufacturing or retail sectors.

www.avca.org.nz

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The Sunday Night Grill with Bomber Bradbury – wrapping the weeks Politics, Culture, Current Affairs & UFOs

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Comrades, it’s been 17 years since I last hosted a Sunday night Talkshow, and to my immense surprise and delight, I will be doing so again.

I start Sunday 18th April on the MagicTalk Radio Network.

The show starts at 7pm and goes through until 10pm Sunday night each week. It will feature a live weekly one on one interview with a Politician, talkback on the weeks big issues in politics, culture and current affairs and at 9pm each week we will host the best most raucous panel debate allowed by Broadcasting Law.

Oh and there will also be New Zealand’s only weekly UFO report.

Yes, you read that right, a weekly UFO report. With the Pentagon releasing all their UFO information in June-July, I’m getting a front row seat to that action. Forbes called 2021, the Year of the UFO, and I intend to watch that up close.

Our first show will feature a one on one interview with the former leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges and the 9pm Panel will feature Associate Professor Susan St John, former Labour Party Chief of Staff Matt McCarten, Political commentator Chris Trotter and Stuff Columnist and Libertarian, Damien Grant.

Tune in, you won’t have heard politics like this before.

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