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Keloid Scarring: 6 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Them

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Everyone’s skin responds differently to injuries and for many people, keloid scarring is a common occurrence.

As you probably already know, keloids are raised scars that extend beyond the original injury and it doesn’t take much for it to form. A keloid can form after a simple injury such as a shaving cut, with most keloids only appearing several months after your skin was injured. 

Is It a Keloid or Not?

You can easily identify a keloid by looking out for the following characteristics:

  • The scar starts as raised and pink or red in colour. A keloid starts out as a raised scar that is red, pink or even purple in colour. The scar’s colour will start to get darker with time.
  • Growth is slow. Keloid scars form slowly, which means you will only notice it several months to a year after you actually injured your skin. 
  • The scar will feel soft to the touch. Keloid scars won’t feel the same as the rest of your skin. They tend to feel almost doughy to the touch.
  • It may itch and feel tender. As a keloid scar starts to grow, the area will feel tender and itchy, but this will subside once the keloid has reached its full size. 

According to keloid scar removal specialist in Mildura Dr Omarjee, a keloid scar can form anywhere on the body but they most commonly occur on the ears, chest, back, shoulders and neck. You can find more details here.

How Did This Happen?

When you injure your skin, it will repair itself by forming a scar. Unfortunately, scar tissue can continue forming long after the injury has healed, which is when a keloid forms. Unfortunately, there is no concrete reason why certain people tend to scar in this way. 

A keloid scar can form after puncturing or cutting the skin, getting a piercing or tattoo, after an injection or when healing from a condition such as acne or chicken pox. 

Some people are also more likely to develop keloids than others. A doctor for keloid scarring will usually remove keloids on people who fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Younger than 30
  • Black, Latino or Asian
  • Pregnant
  • Going through puberty
  • Family history of keloids

Can Keloids Be Prevented?

If you’ve developed keloids in the past or you know that you fall into one of the above-mentioned categories, you should refrain from doing anything that might injure your skin as often as possible, including getting a piercing or tattoo. If you are planning to get your ears pierced, you have the option to wear pressure earrings, which will reduce the likelihood of scars forming. 

Simple Solutions for Keloid Scars

When treating keloids, the goal is to shrink and flatten them but they’re not easy to get rid of and can return after treatment. Here are a few of the treatment options you can consider:

  • Cryotherapy. If the keloid is relatively small, it’s possible to reduce the size and hardness of the scar using controlled cooling. 
  • Keloid Injections. Injections that contain a special mixture of anti-inflammatory medication be used to shrink the keloid. 
  • Surgery. A keloid can also be removed by cutting it out but it’s very likely to return.
  • Silicone Sheets. Placing a silicone gel or sheet over the keloid will help flatten it.
  • Laser Therapy. Advanced laser technology can be used to fade the keloid’s colour and reduce its size.
  • Pressure treatment. By placing pressure on the scar after injury, it reduces blood flow and can prevent the keloid from returning.

Not all treatments will be right for you, which is why it’s best to speak to a qualified doctor who can assist you. Be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor to ensure there is very little chance of the keloid returning again. 

Are Keloids a Health Risk?

Keloids are definitely not harmful to your health but they can have an effect on your self-esteem. 

Most people don’t seek treatment because the scar is painful, they simply don’t like the way it looks and feel embarrassed in professional and social situations. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to treat them whenever they do form or if they return.

 

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9 Things You Might Not Have Known about Breast Reduction Surgery

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For many women, living with large breasts is no joke. Just a few extra kilograms can lead to an array of problems, including neck and back pain, low self-esteem and rashes. 

Breast reduction surgery is life-changing and has become increasingly popular across the globe. As with any type of procedure of this nature, it’s essential to have as many facts as possible before you go ahead.

For one, many resources state that patients can expect severe discomfort following their surgery but this isn’t the case. Here are a few other things you might not have known or heard incorrectly about breast reduction surgery.

Breast Reduction Surgery: 9 Must-Know Facts

 

  • Breast of all sizes can be reduced

 

Contrary to popular belief, your breasts don’t need to be overly large to be reduced – any size breasts can benefit from this procedure. Breast reduction surgery can be performed at any age and is ideal for patients who are in pain due to the size of their breasts or have breasts that hang low. 

 

  • Breast reductions incorporate a lift

 

The main goal during a breast reduction is to remove excess skin and tissue but the breast then also needs to be lifted in order to achieve the desired outcome. Lifting the breasts will ensure they look more natural. Get more details here

 

  • It’s not just for patients who have had large breasts since puberty

 

When most people think breast reduction surgery, they think about people who have lived with large breasts all their lives. However, many people only develop larger breasts later in life, which means they only undergo surgery much later in life too. Pregnancy is one of the changes that could lead to someone developing larger breasts later in life.

 

  • You won’t be able to choose a cup size

 

Unlike breast augmentation surgery, you won’t be able to choose your own cup size as a breast reduction patient. You will be able to discuss your ideal outcome with your surgeon who will then do whatever is possible to achieve that but there are no guarantees. 

 

  • Symmetry is not guaranteed

 

Asymmetry is one of the main reasons why women decide to undergo breast reduction surgery. While breast reduction surgery is highly effective for this, there is no guarantee that your breasts will be 100% symmetrical after your procedure. 

 

  • There is a chance you won’t be able to breastfeed

 

When you undergo breast reduction surgery, scar tissue forms inside the breast, which can sometimes affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed in the future. There is no guarantee that this will happen. Unfortunately, there is also no way to predict whether or not it will. The good news is that the majority of patients are able to breastfeed following breast reduction surgery. 

 

  • Liposuction alone is not enough

 

Liposuction is a part of breast reduction surgery but there is more to the procedure than that. Removing excess fat and tissue from the breast would leave you with excess skin. In order to achieve the best outcome, the excess skin also needs to be removed. 

 

  • Your breasts will still need to be supported

 

While you might be dying to wear cute bralettes after your surgery, your breasts still need support if you want to maintain the results of your surgery. Your breasts will continue to change over time and gravity will still have an effect, which is why supportive bras will still be necessary – at least the majority of the time anyway. 

 

  • Breast reduction surgery is known for its high patient satisfaction rates

 

Surveys show that breast reduction surgery has a high patient satisfaction rate. This is because so many patients feel instant relief after their procedure and are able to enjoy less pain, more clothing options and higher self-esteem. 


Now that you have more information about what breast reduction surgery entails, the next step is to research reputable and experienced surgeons in your area who can guide you through the next steps.

 

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How could you influence the cryptocurrency market?

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In 2019, this is one of the most popular searches on Google. Each user wants to know how the cryptocurrency looks and in what areas it participates. There are many sites and resources are devoted to this phenomenon and its fate in different countries. At this stage, it is a convenient payment system with various advantages. For example, you can send/receive instant payments and receive the highest level of security. The role of cryptocurrency depends on its position in the global market functions and aspects of which we consider in this review.

 

Bitcoin/Litecoin and other digital coins are virtual coins that have no physical expression. Today there are thousands of people and resources that use or offer digital coins. So we can conclude that the role of Bitcoin and other crypto coins is increasing. Why?

This is a simple answer question. Most users choose digital money because they guarantee 100% security. Their data is encrypted and cannot be duplicated, so the owner of Crypto is completely protected. Note the absence of an internal or external administrator. No financial institution can block your crypto account.

 

How can I get crypto-money?

 

Cryptocurrency transfer is irreversible – no one can cancel, block, challenge or forcibly complete a transaction. There are 3 ways to get a cryptocurrency and become a member of one of the most promising markets:

 

  • Cloud mining is one of the best ways in 2019. This is a rental of cloud mining service in the form of a contract for a year. After that, all earned digital coins will be credited to your account instantly. Experts say that mining helps to get fantastic profits that can reach 200 or even 300 percent. But this figure depends on the market situation. In this aspect, the user needs to avoid “surprises” as the number of fraud sites increases.

  • The second method is the easiest. All you need is to make money and go to the exchanger to buy Bitcoin or another digital coin. Do not rush to take the wallet and spend the entire budget. It is no secret that the price of cryptocurrency always varies. You need to wait for the right moment when the price reaches the minimum value, which will save you money. After that, you will appear in the crypto market where you need to monitor trends and develop important strategies that will help you become rich and successful.

 

Prospects and the fate of cryptocurrency

 

In 2018, crypto money received one of the biggest corrections. Logically, that the prospects for cryptocurrency and their development paths have become a key topic not only on the Internet but also on TV and radio. Every modern Internet user wants to get to know whether digital coins will be able to replace real financial institutions and how humanity can avoid major economic problems.

The interest of small and medium-sized investors helped virtual money to become popular and achieve excellent results at the end of 2017. Such a sudden success surprised all experts who followed the existence of new money since 2008. As a result, the market value of this segment reached a record of $2+ billion. A large number of people began to buy small coins, which allowed Bitcoin to hold the leading position, but after a few months, the cryptocurrency market had a rapid fall.

But despite this, investors and Forbes.com talk about a positive outlook and great prospects that are realized in the future. The founders of digital coins still use a cryptocurrency that helps us form certain trends and forecasts. For example, the founder of a large investment company Standpoint Research says that crypto coins collect resources and money to make a new breakthrough. In 2019, this statement is confirmed by several facts:

 

1) It is still a large amount of crypto-trading that is provided by large companies/investors.

 

2) At the end of 2018, some companies stated that they plan to create new cryptocurrencies that will appear on the market soon.

 

3) Bitcoin sales last year helped attract millions of new users who bought coins and entered this market. These people use the money for different purposes, but this fact allows us to conclude that virtual money spreads in our society and becomes very popular.

 

“The market capitalization of virtual currency will grow over the next 5 years, rising to 10 trillion dollars,” said Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University Professor of Economics.

 

Explaining the decline in Bitcoin prices, Kenneth Rogoff added that 2018 was a recession for many companies. If you follow current news then you know that corporations like Apple/ Amazon/Facebook have lost money too. But in 2019, the price of their shares increases again and this trend appears in the crypto market.

 

At the moment, IT-specialists, investors, and developers are looking for new solutions that will help Bitcoin to become popular and in-demand again. Internet currency has received improved protection and anonymity that are provided to all customers. You can make a difference too. All you need is to buy at least one Bitcoin and use it. As you know, cryptocurrency provides many opportunities and you can always visit online casino in New Zealand and other platforms that work based on Bitcoin.

 

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Learn the Importance of Data Science and Analytics Gambling

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The Importance of Data Science and Analytics in Gambling

Within the gambling industry, data science and analysis have been rapidly relied upon. The gambling industry has come to the realization that their revenues and profits could be improved based on the data of their customers and how this data is analyzed and utilized.  Therefore, it’s pertinent to understand how gambling companies have access to customers’ data and the importance of data science and analytics in gambling. Understanding customers is something that the most popular websites in this industry do well ( and top online Casinos NZ are not an exception, if you’re interested in these, you would find more information on this website) The main idea behind the data utilization however are mutual benefits for both companies and users  as well.

Reasons why Gambling companies have access to data science and analytics

 

  • Compared to land-based (physical) gambling, online gambling (use of online casinos and online sportsbooks) has begun to trump land-based gaming and was reported at 2016 to account for 57% of gaming, though gamers still patronize land-based gaming for the actual experience. With an increase in online gaming, data is easily registered with the sportsbooks, and this increases the ability of gambling companies to know the preferences of their customers.
  • With concepts such as rewards for customer loyalty, gambling companies can easily link the preferences and it’s quite easy to understand the manner of purchasing relied upon by each individual customer.

 

Use of Data Science and Analytics in Gambling

Targeting profitable Customers: This works best for online gaming operators who are targeted with free offers upon registration, such as welcome bonuses, free spins, moneyback offers, better odds amongst the various offers. Data science and analytics therefore help gambling companies pay attention to the customers who are likely to yield them profits.

Make suggestions to Customers based on preference: With data science and consumer analytics, it’s easy for sportsbooks and online casinos to find the sequence in which online gamers prefer to play. With access to these, gambling companies are able to use the observed patterns to suggest products for each customer. This way, data science and analytics help boost profits as customers are very likely to select the suggested games.

Risk Models: As regards risk models, data science and analytics help in the area of credit risk and prevention of fraud. In this area, credit risk and prevention of fraud refer to permitting customers make use of credits or credit cards to carry out actions on the online casinos or sportsbooks for instance, to pay for games they wish to play with the permitted methods of payment. 

Secure online payments: Most online casinos and sportsbooks offer their customers variety of payment methods. With the use of data science and analytics, the payment details could easily be saved on these websites for ease of payments, however this is based on the preference of the user. Most users prefer not to have their payment details online and so choose not to save them for security purposes ( though online sportsbooks and casinos usually have a secure network topology which comprises of intrusion prevention and firewall systems, encrypted communication, authentic and access control as well as external and internal audit tests.)

Customer Behavior: Data science and analytics help gaming companies easily track the previous purchases made by customers as well as conduct of each customer, and helps the companies offer the customers incentives which still have corresponding benefits to these gambling companies. Data science and analytics also help these gaming companies offer their customers loyalty rewards. They’re also helpful in sending personalized emails to customers. In terms of customer behavior, data science and analytics also help online gambling companies and online sportsbooks suggest similar results to customers when carrying out online searches.

Lifetime Value: With data science and analytics, each customer has their value summarized in numbers and indicators which are measured as life-time value. The measurement of a customer’s life-time value assists the online gaming companies in evaluating the expected returns from the individual customers over the period of time such customer is registered with the online gaming company, the marketing costs, cost of managing accounts amidst other projections.

Conclusion: Data and Analytics in the Emerging Gambling Industry

With acquisition of data as well as based on customer records, gambling companies (includes casino gaming companies and online sportsbooks) have abundant data which they can evaluate to identify why customers have acted in certain ways previously as well as to envisage the future actions of their customers. Also, with data science and analytics, these gambling companies wield adequate information to boosting their revenue and returns. However, the downside of Private Data Acquisition should not be ignored, like in the case of the Facebook Intrusion

 

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Top 5 Oldest Brand of Watch In History

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Today, you can see a lot of different kinds of watch brands and all of them create their unique watches like Luxury, Classic, and Modern types of watches. Other watch brands have specific types of watch which is for racing, diving, space travel, and even for fitness. Watches are here for so long from simple pendant to wristwatch.

 

The capability of watches also changed, from a simple wristwatch that can only tell time to the most advance smartwatch of today that has so many features that provide convenience to its user. Knowing about the oldest brand of watch in history is important because this will help you find your perfect dream watch and that will all be discussed here.

Vacheron Constantin

One of the oldest brands of watch, the Vacheron Constantin started in 1755 by a swiss horologist Jean-Marc Vacheron. Although, the Vacheron Constantin is twenty years behind the world’s oldest watch brand that has been registered but it was still tagged as the oldest watchmaker in production without any interference.

 

It is difficult to identify which brands are older compared to others, since some of the watchmakers stopped for some time. Other brands were forced to give away their company to other watchmakers because of their competition with less expensive watches. The Vacheron Constantin is famous because of its craftsmanship, quality, and high price.

Ferdinand Berthoud

This watch brand was made by Ferdinand Berthoud itself. A watchmaker and a scientist at the same time, he started his business in Paris, France in 1753. Ferdinand Berthoud was working for the French navy and he helped develop the first marine chronometer type of watch which used to determine west and east position of the boat while traveling in the sea.

 

The company was stopped in 1876 because of the death of Charles-Auguste Berthoud which suppose to be the heir of the company at that time. The brand recovered its status and relaunched a new watch which is the Chronometre Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 in 2015. This specific timepiece is a tribute for the lifework of Ferdinand Berthoud.

Jaquet Droz

In 1738, Pierre Jaquet Droz created his brand of watch in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Pierre Jaquet Droz is a very imaginative and creative type of person and because of his ingenuity, he produced the automata. An automata or automaton is a mechanical art type of piece that includes music and movement.

 

Pierre Jaquet Droz’s market is mostly wealthy people in Europe and also in China. Although the brand has a very good run, unfortunately, in the late 19th century the brand was stopped due to Napoleonic Wars. In the year 2000, Swatch bought the Jaquet Droz brand and produced a very unique and luxurious timepiece.

 Favre-Leuba

In 1737, the Favre family headed by Abraham Favre started their family watch business in Le Locle, Switzerland. Through the years, their watch business was continued by his sons and grandsons and produced a classic luxury watch. In 1815, from a family of great watchmakers and merchants, Auguste Leuba joined forces with Favre and created the Favre-Leuba brand.

 

Favre-Leuba watch designs and style has a lot of similarities with other top luxury watches that you can find in the market right now. Examples of these top luxury watches are the Tissot Heritage 1973, Omega Speedmaster, Audemars Piguet, and Tag Heuer Autavia Isograph. Just like these best luxury watches, the Favre-Leuba wristwatch has the best features and design.

Blancpain

Blancpain is the oldest watch brand in the whole world. They started their first production in 1735 by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain in Villeret, Switzerland. Since then, Blancpain produced top of the line watches and some of its best watches are the Fifty Fathoms Collection which is also the first modern diver’s watch that can be bought at that time.

Takeaway

These are the top oldest watch brands in history and they all share different stories from the time they started their company and how they maintain their business. Although, some of the oldest watch brands need to join forces with other brands to continue their business since the watch industry is very expensive to maintain and has a lot of competition.

 

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No more excuses on specialist shortages crisis – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

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Patients are increasingly being turned away for treatment and there can be no more excuses from the Government over properly funding district health boards to boost specialist numbers in public hospitals, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists.

Ongoing ASMS staffing surveys in DHBs reveal an estimated shortage of medical specialists of around 24% nationwide.

“We will be publishing the results of the most recent completed surveys over the next few weeks starting with Northland tomorrow.”

“The shortage is acute and in some DHBs, patients who qualify for treatment are increasingly being turned away or are facing major delays,” Mr Powell says.

“Hospital specialists are paying for this underfunding with their health”.

ASMS research has revealed:

50% of specialists have been burnt out.
88% have had to work while sick and 75% while infectious.
44% are dissatisfied with their hours of work.
25% intend to leave public hospital employment over a 5-year period.

“This situation is dangerous for both patients and hospital specialists. It is the height of irresponsibility for the Government not to require and enable district health boards to allow this high-risk situation to continue,” says Mr Powell.

“The Government has procrastinated on addressing the specialist shortages crisis in public hospitals for nearly two years. Now it’s expecting to post a $7.5 billion surplus, the public and specialists who are bearing the burden of years of underfunding, have a right to expect action. There are no excuses left.”

ASMS acknowledges that the Government can’t fix the problems caused by nine consecutive years of underfunding overnight. But it should fund DHBs to a level which meet their real existing operational costs including addressing these critical shortages.

Mr Powell says “that would mean ensuring safe working hours and conditions for specialists freeing them up to improve the accessibility, safety, and quality of patient care. It would also remove the current burgeoning DHB deficits”.

“The government should not sit on the budget surplus waiting for a rainy day – that rainy day is here”.

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MEDIA WATCH: Tova O’Brien just called Winston Peters a 74 year old toddler

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Tova O’Brien just called the deputy prime minister a 74 year old toddler. It was after a very negative news story covering the NZ First conference where she repeatedly called NZ First supporters groupies.

Winston had a punch at Mediaworks pending shut down and Tova clearly took offence.

Which is totally human, but Jesus, that kind of Fox News style coverage won’t help the government think they should rescue them

I think in the last death throws of TV3, the journalists are just going to be dropping sick burns after sick burns until the plug gets pulled.

Less news, more Roast.

 

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Gun nuts have the audacity to claim to NZ First that THEY are victims in the Christchurch terrorist atrocity!

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Gun nuts have the audacity to claim to NZ First that THEY are victims in the Christchurch terrorist atrocity!

They claimed to Winston outside the NZ First conference that they ‘feel’ like they are victims in the Christchurch atrocity because they’ve lost their sacred right to own machine guns.

I know, can you believe it?

I’ve never seen such vapid white male entitlement masquerading as legitimate grievance  outside of an Incel 8 chan chat room.

All I could think while looking at their screwed up ruddy angry faces was ‘Who hurt you’?

COME ON! Such self victimisation is best suited for Massey University, not amongst the hunting and firearms community!

See what I did there? Slaps to the left, slaps to the right.

Dear pissed off gun nuts who are now all paranoid and rocking in the dark holding their guns whispering ‘my precious’, you are not the bloody victims of the Christchurch atrocity because the weapon of choice by that terrorist has now been banned.

Such a conflation of your sense of entitlement trying to trump genuine damage from an act of violent is beneath your mana.

Let me spell this out, we’ve all collectively decided that civilians don’t need machine guns, that means you have to hand back your machine guns. End of story, we aren’t going to budge on this, so sure let’s ensure the fine print is logical and reasonable and Police aren’t over stepping powers, but the machine guns go.

If you are reading this and wanting to chime in that these guns aren’t machine guns, if technical gun geek semantics is your defence, let’s just pop that in the backside right now.

If it looks like a machine gun.

Sounds like a machine gun.

And kills like a machine gun.

It’s a fucking machine gun.

Civilians don’t need to kill anything that fast.

I get it’s scary, you are all white males, we are totally used to getting our own way in almost every other dimension of our lives and when a weapon we invest so much of our sense of masculinity gets taken off us, it feels like a complex emotional cocktail of outraged tantrums mixed with fervent mass shooting justifications.

It’s tough, I get it.

But time to pop the big boy pants on and acknowledge that civilians won’t own machine guns and that law abiding gun owners need to step up and win back public confidence in them, after all the terrorist had 3 complaints made against him and no one at his gun club picked up on that.

Why did that happen and are the law abiding gun own community stepping up to the plate to combat extremism?

These are questions and endeavours we would like to see from our law abiding gun community, telling Winston Peters that 250 000 gun owns are also the victims from the Christchurch terror attack makes us feel you are all being a tad disingenuous.

I grew up on a farm, a home kill block was over the fence from my room, I fully acknowledge a gun is a tool and the vast majority of gun owners are extremely careful and good with fire arm safety. I would also always stand up for farmers and hunters to have the right to own guns, but to attempt to ignore the reality of what happened in Christchurch is beneath us all.

Civilians don’t need machine guns. Christchurch showed us that in grim horror. There’s no going back on that.

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Mark my words – The Woke are empowering ACT & this free speech self censorship at Massey will bite us in the arse

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Comrades.

This decision to strangle off free speech at Massey University will bite us in the arse.

You repress free speech at your own risk.

A University is EXACTLY the place to hold a feminism conference. A University is legally mandated to be the critic of society, they uphold that obligation with academic free speech. To conflate health and safety obligations to staff and students to protect them from ideas they don’t like is intellectually bankrupt.

Suppressing free speech in this woke censorship manner only empowers ACT.

Mark my words, this is going to bite us in the arse.

 

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If Labour want to guarantee an election win, they need NZ First – it’s time to think about an electorate deal with Winston 

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Winston’s power has always been as kingmaker, but can he carry that off if the electorate all believe he will side with Labour?

At 4% they are out, but NZ First always underpolls so they are almost assured of getting over 5%, but cutting a deal with Labour before the election would surprise voters, lock in loyalty around Winston, promote some big vision ideas and convince voters that NZ First will be the effective brake-peddle to the Governments more cosmopolitan inclinations.

If Labour stood aside their candidate in Northland allowing Jones to run, NZ First gain an electorate in the very provinces they need to build into for the future.

Imagine Winston and Jacinda jointly announcing the decision and taking back the agenda with a joint promise on a big vision project if re-elected.

Simon Bridges will be getting counselled to dump Winston altogether pre-election, a pre-emptive move would throw National off balance.

 

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Crusher goes full blown climate denial 

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Something that slipped under the news radar this week was that National Party Leader Aspirant,  Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins, went full blown climate denier.

I’m not talking her normal red meat dog whistling, nod, wink, unsubtle playing to her National-Party-low-horizon-imagination-hate-the-greenies-and-can’t-accept-climate-change-rump-supporters, oh no.

I’m talking fill blown the earth-is-held-up-on-four-elephants-standing-on-a-space-turtle kind of climate denial.

Judith published an opinion piece on the fossil fuel paywall gated community that is ‘Carbon news‘ last week which argues against zero carbon, the Paris agreement and downplays the magnitude of what we are facing.

She is doing the classic ‘question the science’ tactic, which the tobacco industry used to argue there was no clear connection between cancer and smoking. She is also signalling to the deep pockets of the pollution industry that if she was leader they would have a much more benign environment to operate in.

Judith is also directly leading the climate denier electorate who refuse to point blank accept any of the science. Here is what science blog has had to say about Judith’s absurd claims

The Zero Carbon Bill implements this agreement for New Zealand. It implements what the National-led government agreed to when they signed the Paris Agreement, which Judith Collins now states “is not justified by any scientific findings” – this after innumerable scientists and delegates, including those of the New Zealand government, pored over and agreed to every word. Since the Agreement was signed, the IPCC 1.5ºC report – “1.5 to Stay Alive” – has strengthened the case for 1.5ºC. There is a broad consensus, both in New Zealand and internationally, about what needs to be done. Contrary to what Collins claims, the NZ emission target does not have “almost zero chance of being achieved”; it is entirely feasible and will lead to health and economic benefits for all New Zealanders.

As for “there is no indication they [the costs of global warming] are insurmountable”, it partly depends on what value you place on mass extinction and the loss of treasures like the Great Barrier Reef, not to mention coastal cities. How can this be surmounted?

The existential risks are real if difficult to size up. Hans Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and climate advisor to the EU, Angela Merkel, and the Pope, said in 2018, “I think there is a very very big risk that we will just end our civilisation. The human species will survive somehow, but we will destroy almost everything we have built up over the last two thousand years. I think we have more than a five percent chance of [preventing this]. But it’s definitely less than 50% in my view.”

…in a very real sense, allowing climate denial to become an openly discussed policy plank of the largest political party in NZ is probably more dangerous than anything else that happened this week.

And yet it received almost no attention.

James Shaw said he refused to debate the arguments Judith raised, and that is a terrible mistake.

We are desperately needing to engage now and no one is.

Except us.

Pub Politics – Climate Crisis or Climate Hoax? November 11th

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TV3 is a cultural treasure – if the Government can give $300m to the worlds richest man, they can spare a dollar for Guy Williams

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News that Mediaworks’ vulture fund owners are prepared to amputate their TV arm by Christmas if a buyer isn’t found should be taken seriously.

NZ media have always found living by the market difficult because our population size is too small to successfully keep the advertising dollars going, it has always required state assistance.

This weakness has been exacerbated by a deregulated fractured media market that has allowed profit over fourth estate responsibilities to triumph and duopolies emerge. The market dynamics of vulture funds buying media using debt just to strip the asset and sell it hasn’t helped either.

TVNZ that is and isn’t a public broadcaster is a major issue as well. Backed by a Government that will always bail them out, they have all the benefits of protection with none of those benefits handed to viewers. TVNZ is protected from the market yet the market intrudes into the viewers world via never ending adverts on the channel.

TV3 is a cultural treasure and it would be wrong to allow it to fail because of a warped market. Claims that free to air TV is some sort of ancient relic akin to blockbuster ignores radio technology that is still here and still powerful.

Mass market public squares are more important than ever, as our society heaves through the animosity of social media echo chambers, mass market public squares brings us together to have the debates and common reflection on everything from news, culture and social norms.

Removing mass market public squares and the enormous service they bring simply retreats us into more insulated echo chambers.

Sure there is much to be desired with the pitiful content TV3 offers up, but it’s still an infrastructure worth saving.

The Government have to get off their arses, show some initiate and come up with some clever blue sky thinking here.

TV One SHOULD be advert free, so increase government spending so that it can be, which will allow that advertising dollar to flow TV3’s way.

Facebook and Google should face a ‘journalism’ tax that is ring fenced and plunged back into national broadcasters.

Allowing MediaWorks to go belly up when there are solutions the Government could adopt would be outrageous especially as they are handing the worlds richest man $300million for a TV series…

Lord of the Rings screen grant could be precious for Amazon

Amazon and its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos could receive a subsidy worth more than $300 million from Kiwi taxpayers for producing the Lord of the Rings television series here, the ACT Party says.

…if we can pay Jeff Bezos $375m for a Lord of the Rings TV show, why can’t we save tv3?

 

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GUEST BLOG: Kevin List – State of Play: What’s Happening to Kiwibank and How Many Branches Are Closing?

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Evening Report looks into the separation of Kiwibank from New Zealand Post, and considers the impact on the public’s access to banking services in their communities. Kiwibank. What’s going on?

Kiwibank and New Zealand Post are in the process of separating the two businesses. This means that both Kiwibank and New Zealand Post are looking at their network models, going forward.

Kiwibank’s decision means that they are looking at having two different types of branches.

One type will be Kiwibank owned and will concentrate on purely banking services. The other type of Kiwibank outlet will be a Transactional Plus model for franchise branches.

This new model will affect the availability of services at the franchise branches which incorporate New Zealand Post.

There will be a reduction in services regarding opening and closing accounts. Foreign currency services will also be affected.  Though it is understood that many franchise branches may still be able to continue providing these particular services.

Kiwibank Closures

Kiwibank launched in 2002 and by the end of that year had 211 branches situated throughout New Zealand. It was the brainchild of the late Jim Anderton, who advanced the idea that New Zealanders needed a bank of their own, a bank that operated on Kiwi values and as an alternative to dominant foreign owned and controlled banks. Kiwibank’s business model was pitched while Jim Anderton was the leader of the Alliance Party and deputy prime minister in the Labour-Alliance coalition government (1999-2002).

Kiwibank was able to open so many locations due to Kiwibank’s banking services being partnered with New Zealand Post. It was a clever move that ensured Kiwibank had a presence and branch all over the country.

But now, New Zealand Post and Kiwibank are in the process of separating out their services. This process will lead to a reduction of the number of actual physical branches.

As at October 18, 2019 there were 208 total physical points of presence for Kiwibank (number excludes ATMs).

This number is broken down into:

  • 42 standalone Kiwibank branches (financial service only)
  • 33 co-located shared service branches
  • 115 co-located franchises
  • 18 Kiwibank agents (transaction only).

In the period October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019: 24 Kiwibank outlets that were shared with NZ Post were transitioned  to standalone Kiwibank branches in the same location. Kiwibank also relocated in five areas – Tauranga, Henderson, Queenstown, Ashburton, and Porirua. Kiwibank also withdrew from 18 shared premises.

According to Kiwibank, where they have made the decision to withdraw, there are other branches in close proximity (no more than 15km away).

Kiwibank states: “We are also part of the NZBA coordinated Regional Hubs pilot and will provide shared banking services with five other banks in four regional locations including Martinborough, Opunake, Stoke and Twizel.”

In the next 12 months, Kiwibank has confirmed withdrawal dates for six locations. Also, Kiwibank is relocating in two areas, Westgate/North West and Newmarket, and opening a new Kiwibank standalone branch in Sylvia Park. Kiwibank also intends to transition five other shared Kiwibank and NZ Post shops to standalone Kiwibank branches which will stay in the same location.

Kiwibank has also confirmed it’s working through additional closure plans and communicating its intentions for further closures over the next 24 months.

Kiwibank defends its decision to close branches by pointing out that it is committed to retaining a presence in the regions and investing in standalone branches in places such as Westport, Whitianga and Tokoroa.  For customers in urban areas where Kiwibank has withdrawn services other banking options are suggested.

In correspondence with Evening Report, Kiwibank states: “Branch numbers will continue to change as our separation from NZ Post plays out. For every city where we consolidate there is a regional town celebrating our investment in their community.”

It adds: “As you can see these changes are complex and the numbers constantly changing. Driving our strategy is feedback from Kiwibank customers who are telling us they want an environment better suited to more in-depth financial conversations. This means a focus on financial services and consideration to how we best meet customer demands and stay relevant for our customers in to the future.”

The Banking Environment – Physical banking services in New Zealand (as at October 2019)

Although it is the fifth largest bank in New Zealand, Kiwibank still has the largest retail footprint in New Zealand.

According to the 2018 KPMG Report on banking, Kiwibank is the only bank with more than 200 physical points of location.  Australia New Zealand bank (ANZ) had 179 branches in 2018 while Westpac had 161 locations throughout New Zealand.  All the major banks had a reduction in physical locations for banking according to the KPMG survey.

Kiwibank’s suggested solutions to reduced services

Senior citizens challenged by the modern internet world and the potential closure of their Kiwibank are being offered the support of a “Kiwibank Angel” and a hearty cuppa tea. This is designed to help people who remain unfamiliar with internet banking, to learn, or be assisted to complete their banking tasks.

Kiwibank also intends to tackle growing customer dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of physical banking services by partnering with Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa. This is an Alliance that delivers ‘Stepping UP’ Digital Banking courses in libraries and community centres across the country. This course is open to anyone, not just Kiwibank customers.

Other ways Kiwibank intends to mitigate grumpy customers that feel ‘Jim’s bank’ is being messed with is by supporting Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa’s DORA (Digital on Road Access) – a portable bus unit that travels around Aotearoa offering online banking training in retirement villages, near Marae and in other community locations.

At some Kiwibank branches there are a number of services provided such as providing identification through the Real Me service.  But how many branches provide these services, and can new owner operator franchise outlets choose not to provide these and other services?

Kiwibank responds: “As at today we have 87 locations which provide RealMe identity services. Locations of the outlets offering RealMe is determined by geographic spread for the service rather than by operator choice. To date we have only included the service in eight of our standalone Kiwibank branches due to geographic coverage requirements.”

But is this good enough?

At present the banking jury is out on whether Kiwibank’s solutions will work in transitioning, and appeasing, discontented customers who want face-to-face customer service.

Kiwibank states: “Like other industries banking is being disrupted. The preferences of our customers are changing, and we must evolve to stay relevant.

“Although it is the fifth largest bank in New Zealand Kiwibank still has the largest retail footprint and we’re proud of that.

“We have committed to retaining a presence in the regions, investing in standalone branches in places such as Westport, Whitianga and Tokoroa. Where we have withdrawn services, it is in urban areas where there are other options nearby.

“We’re putting a lot of effort into education and support for our customers, especially those challenged by a changing world,” Kiwibank states.

Kiwibank’s board of directors are appointed by shareholders of Kiwi Group Holdings Limited (ACC, NZ Post and NZ Super Fund) in accordance with the Shareholders’ Agreement and requirements of the Reserve Bank. The shareholders are the New Zealand Government, currently represented by various ministers in the Labour-led Government.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Evening Report is continuing its investigation into whether Kiwibank will retain the elements of its original purpose and presence. We are seeking a response from the Government and have Official Information Act requests lodged with appropriate ministers. To be continued…

Kevin List is a respected researcher and writer who specialises in political issues. He is a former reporter and duty editor with Scoop Media, was an accredited member of the New Zealand Parliamentary Press Gallery, and also served as a parliamentary press secretary for the Green Party.

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NZ’s 70-year-old commitment to Palestinian Right of Return

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In a press release on 4 October 2019, the UNHCR’s Regional Representative in Canberra, Louise Aubin, welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern‘s formal announcement of our refugee resettlement quota increase, noting that it “sends an important message to the world that every country can make a difference in sharing responsibility for the global refugee situation”. As the UNHCR acknowledges, the majority of refugees are confined in countries neighbouring their homelands.

In Lebanon, where over 470,000 Palestinians are registered with UNRWA, the refugees exist in conditions that UNRWA describes asdire and characterised by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.Palestinian refugees have few rights; they are not allowed to work in as many as 39 professions, neither are they allowed to own property or land. The number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon has swollen since the war in Syria forced out so many from that war-torn land.

There are, altogether, 12 refugee camps in Lebanon where, during the 1982 Israeli invasion, one of them, Shatila, and its adjacent neighbourhood, Sabra, were the scene of an Israeli Army-supervised atrocity in September 1982 that has gone down in history for its utter barbarity. The Israeli Defence Minister at the time was Ariel Sharon and, with the approval of his government, the Israeli military ordered its Lebanese Falangist allies to ‘clean out’ the Palestinian refugee camps. The whole operation was planned and supervised by the Israeli military which, having trained and armed the Falangists, commanded them during the massacre. The order to enter the camps came from the Israeli military, as did the order to leave and the Israeli Army surrounded the entrances so that escape would be impossible. During the night, Israeli forces illuminated the camps with flares, to make it easier for the Falangists to search, violate and kill. Many of the slaughtered 3,500 victims were women and children.

Right of Return

With regard to the global responsibility for refugees referred to by the UNHCR’s Regional Representative in her welcoming response to Jacinda Ardern, the plight of Palestinian refugees actually calls for urgent recognition of their Right of Return to their homeland. It is tragically overdue. On 3 October this year, South Africa’s ambassador to the UN, Jerry Matjila, criticised the UN for failing, since 1948, to implement any the 72 resolutions it has adopted concerning Palestine. In 1948, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194(III), affirming the rights of Palestinian refugees not only to return to their homes but also to obtain restitution and compensation. The Right of Return is universally-recognised in international refugee law, human rights law, the law of nationality and the law of state responsibility. Moreover, that right is also provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13).

UN Resolution 2535 recognises “that the problem of Palestine Arab refugees has arisen from the denial of their inalienable rights under the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Other UN resolutions, including 393, 2452 and 3236, further recognise the Right of Return for Palestinians forcibly driven from their homeland by Israel in 1948 and 1967. In a recent debate with John Minto, David Cumin, a director of the Israel Institute of New Zealand, said of the “right of return” that “there is no such right in any international law.Israel openly declare that the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees would undermine the Jewish character of Israel and the support of powerful allies is enabling Israel to continue to violate international human rights law.

In the same debate Cumin said that in 1929, the League of Nations had “laid the political foundation for the creation of the 22 modern Arab League States and the one and only modern Jewish State of Israel.” He then went on, seemingly to admit,Yet no one openly questions the borders of any of those countries, except Israel.That is true, Israel violates its own UN Partition Plan borders, as well as those of the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It militarily-occupies the Palestinian West Bank and moves its settlers onto the land in perpetuity. Israel has also seized, and claimed sovereignty over, the Syrian Golan Heights, again moving members of its population to settle there. Cumin probably, in fact, meant to convey that Israel is the only state whose borders are in question but the way it came out is closer to reality.

Also during the debate with John Minto, David Cumin used the term indigenous seven times in justification of Zionist territorial ambition. He even said that calling Jesus a Palestinian erased his Jewish identity. Jesus was indeed a Palestinian Jew and, for centuries, people of different religions had, in Palestine, made good neighbours. In his time, the Palestinian King Herod was appointed by the Romans as king of Judaea, Herod’s father was a convert to Judaism and both were of Arab origin. Yet, while Israel claims its legitimacy is derived through the United Nations, it every day shows contempt for both the UN and the indigenous Palestinian people. The Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that: “The violent birth of Israel led to a major displacement of the Arab population, who either were driven out by Zionist military forces before May 15, 1948, or by the Israeli army after that date or fled for fear of violence by these forces”.

Life under foreign military control

On another level, the ideologically-inspired violence continues to this day – day after day – and by night! The malevolence is not only to be found in Israel’s occasionally news media-headlined air strikes on defenceless Gaza. It relentlessly expresses itself in heartless acts of population-control in areas under Zionist military Occupation.

Already this month (up to and including October 15), the Israeli Army has made 47 raids on West Bank towns and villages in order to conduct home invasions. Of these, 17 were carried out at night, two of them in UN refugee camp. Two homes were completely destroyed, some partially. Israeli Occupation settlers add to this misery by spray-painting racist-hate messages on the walls of Palestinian homes.

It is now the season of olive harvesting in Palestine, which is targeted by both the Israeli Army and settlers. Here are just two examples:

Salfit 11:00, the Israeli Army seized and bulldozed agricultural land in the al-Batun area in Farkhat village, uprooting 160 grapevines and 50 almond trees.

Bethlehem – 11:30, a gang from the Gush Etzion Occupation settlement invaded agricultural land in al-Khadr and assaulted olive harvesters. One harvester, Fadil Ali Abdel-Hameed Hamdan (60), was hospitalised with head injuries.

There have been 14 such attacks on West Bank agriculture so far, up to and including 15 October.

Israel’s promise

On 11 May 1949, the 207th plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly considered Israel’s application for admission to membership of the UN. The Israeli representative, Moshe Sharett, peaking to the assembly promised that, as a UN member state, Israel would adhere to certain principles, one of which would be “Support for all measures which strengthen peace, guarantee the rights of men and the equality of nations, and enhance the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations”.

NZ’s commitment and call upon Israel

Also addressing the Assembly, Sir Carl Bebendsen, representing New Zealand, said that, while his delegation would vote in favour of Israel’s admission to the United Nations, it would however, “expect from the Government of Israel the same respect for the decisions of the Organiation as that which devolved upon all Member States. In the existing case, the pertinent decisions were those concerning the repatriation of the Arab refugees and the establishment of an international regime in those areas of Jerusalem specified in resolution 194 (III) of the General Assembly.”

While there have been more than 135 reaffirmations at the UN of Resolution 194’s consistency with international law, Palestinian refugees still wait in vain for member states to rise to their duty and obligations.

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Political Caption Competition

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That moment when you don’t understand the geopolitical ramifications of removing your troops and accidentally start a war. You fucking moron.

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