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22,000 more jobless Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 4th, 2010 - 108 comments
Categories: unemployment - Tags:

Unemployment hit a startling 7.3% in the December quarter, far higher than the 6.8% expected. There are now 159,000 officially unemployed workers in New Zealand. Add in the those who want to work but have given up looking and there are 276,000 jobless Kiwis who wanting a job. That’s the highest number of jobless since 1992.
 
Cheers “Do nothing” Key. I’m sure all these New Zealanders and their families are happy you had three weeks in Hawaii while they were losing their jobs.

108 comments on “22,000 more jobless Kiwis”

  1. snoozer 1

    to be fair, Key only went on holiday after most of these people had lost their jobs.

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      I totally agree!
      One richly deserves such a rest after completing such a monumental feat without causing a civil uprising and even doing well in the polls. Most politicians would have been flayed alive.

      The boy is slick, I will give him that.

  2. todd 2

    Great time to increase the minimum wage then,lets get them all back to work

    • snoozer 2.1

      todd you moron. Even arch rightwing economist Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.

      • Ah, he does no such thing. In fact, he says precisely the opposite to what you claim.

        Econ 101 and the minimum wage

        And nor does he call himself “right wing.”

        So perhaps a correction on two counts is called for here.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          And nor does he call himself “right wing.’

          http://antidismal.blogspot.com/2010/01/political-spectrum-quiz.html

          • Peter Cresswell 2.1.1.1.1

            Irony is really beyond you, isn’t it.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Right wing attempts at it?

              Often so yeah.

              So throw me a bone PC. Where’s the irony I’m missing?

              On what economic issue would you say Paul would be left of centre on?

          • Paul Walker 2.1.1.1.2

            I didn’t call me that, the test did. I would would say I’m classical liberal.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Good for you. But in this place and time, that’s a distinction without a difference. “Classical liberals” are pretty far out on the right wing of political opinion.

              • Rightwing meaning what?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Fergawdsake.

                right and left are kind of shorthand. They are relative terms. political positions on various issues are put on a continuum.

                Where a particular position is on that continuum may shift over time. Ideas that are centrist in one century, will be extremist in another (like the divine right of kings, or slavery, or laissez faire economics).

                With economic issues, the type of liberalism you hold to, with little or no room for state intervention, has pretty much been associated with parties placed on the right. The historical reasons for this, are that those parties were protecting the interests of the powerful establishment from ‘leftist’ reformers.

                Sorry if the term offends you, but there are no hard and fast definitions of it, and yet, the overwhelming majority of people seem to cope with the concept. Which is why people use it.

              • “With economic issues, the type of liberalism you hold to, with little or no room for state intervention, has pretty much been associated with parties placed on the right. The historical reasons for this, are that those parties were protecting the interests of the powerful establishment from ‘leftist’ reformers.”

                Not so. Many governments that have been called “right” were hugely interventionist, which makes my point, the term is meaningless.

              • Pascal's bookie

                As I said,

                Where a particular position is on that continuum may shift over time.

                That’s because left and right are relative terms (spatial metaphors are like that), not absolute ones. That doesn’t make them meaningless.

                Anyway, you seem to cope with the meaning here well enough, which just kind of makes me think that maybe you are just being an arse.

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          He admitted it here the other day Peter.

          • Peter Cresswell 2.1.1.2.1

            Then you’ll be able to supply the link then.

            • Mr Magoo 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Awesome…just awesome.

              I guess wolves in sheep’s clothing should not howl at the moon.

              arrooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo……

              I don’t think you get to name what side of the fence you are on and neither do your opponents.

              • Bright Red

                by which I mean, check out the Paul Walker comments

              • Which says, just as he says he says at the link I originally supplied,
                “As I have noted below no economist thinks the minimum wage increases the *overall* unemployment rate. What economists do say is that minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers.”

                Which is what he has always been saying

                So since you can’t comprehend basic English, maybe you’re another one like Marty G who Paul thinks “needs a smack ‘over the head with a textbook.”

              • felix

                Didn’t read the whole thread, did you Peter?

                I linked to the relevant part too. Oh well. As Irish Bill notes:

                And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.

                Paul hasn’t really disputed this except to say he didn’t accept the 20-25% estimate. But I’m sure you have an answer. Then.

              • “Paul hasn’t really disputed this except to say he didn’t accept the 20-25% estimate. But I’m sure you have an answer. Then.”

                Actually what I said was

                “But no, you would need very large elasticities in the effected groups and a large increase in the minimum wage to have a large effect overall. Given all the other things that effect labour markets, finding the effects of minimum wage changes in the overall unemployment stats would be very difficult.”

                And this is what you see in the data. Little effect on the overall rate but more of an effect on the groups at the minimum wage.

              • snoozer

                thsi started with me saying “Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.”

                he and Peter have both confirmed that. They argue that there are affects (invisible to the statistics for some reason but not to Paul) for people on the minimum wage but he says it doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.

              • “thsi started with me saying “Paul Walker admits that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.’

                he and Peter have both confirmed that. They argue that there are affects (invisible to the statistics for some reason but not to Paul) for people on the minimum wage but he says it doesn’t increase the unemployment rate.”

                The effects are not invisible to the statistics, just look at the evidence. To quote from a paper that Marty G referred to in a previous comment on the effects of the minimum wage:

                “We review the burgeoning literature on the employment effects of minimum wages in the United States and in other countries that was spurred by the new minimum wage research beginning in the early 1990s. Our review indicates that there is a wide range of existing estimates and, accordingly, a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment of an increase in the minimum wage. However, the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect. A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions emerge from our review. First, we see very few if any studies that provide convincing evidence of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.’

            • snoozer 2.1.1.2.1.3

              haha. Pretty much made a cock of yourself there, Peter.

              “So perhaps a correction on two counts is called for here.” eh?

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.4

              Thanks BR. Then specifically the comments from about here in the thread, Peter, where he states several times that minimum wage levels have no noticeable impact on overall employment rates then.

              Then it makes for interesting reading, particularly the points raised by Irish Bill which Paul appears to be unable to answer then.

              Then.

      • Paul Walker 2.1.2

        Snoozer, what exactly does “rightwing” mean? Other than things you don’t like.

        • snoozer 2.1.2.1

          You know what rightwing is and it’s nothing to do with what I like or don’t. don’t be a dork.

          if you really don’t know, look at your political spectrum results. Or better yet, read a f#cken book.

          • Paul Walker 2.1.2.1.1

            Actually no I don’t know. If you read political philosophy its not clear what “rightwing” means. So what does it mean?

            • Lew 2.1.2.1.1.1

              But there’s the thing: he doesn’t read political philosophy. He reads blogs and supposes that they tell him all he needs to know because they’re ideologically safe.

              Anti-elitism, of its own sort, is very much alive and well on the left.

              L

              • Puddleglum

                Cheap shot. Given the discussion, I’m tempted to ask you “what is ‘the left’?” After all, I’ve read quite a bit of political philosophy and “it’s not clear”.

                Instead, I’d rather ask Paul W. ‘what IS a ‘classical liberal’? Is it the John Stuart Mill kind who argued in On Liberty that, of course, we shouldn’t provide other races with the liberties discussed herein because, like children, they haven’t developed yet to the point where we can expect them to use such liberties wisely (did you realise that, for ‘classical liberals’, there’s a qualification required in order to be ‘given’ liberty? A point I’m happy to amplify upon if requested.) Or, perhaps you’re the John Locke kind of ‘classical liberal’ who famously (and since the two of you are so well read in political philosophy, I won’t insult you by providing a link) argued that it was acceptable to appropriate the american continent off the native americans for the classically liberal economic reasoning that, since they weren’t ‘improving’ the land (from the French and literally means ‘im-profit’ment’, BTW) then, for the general good, it should be appropriated and put into a market system so that the magic powers of the market could unleash its boundless resources in an efficient way for the human race.

                But, perhaps, Paul, you’re more the modern kind of ‘classical liberal’ – like Don Brash? Remember him? He was the Prime Minister-in-waiting who once told Kim Hill during an ad break in her ‘Face to Face’ interview with him – and then repeated it at her request when they came back live – that “no-one” could argue that the social and economic system imposed upon New Zealand by the British in the 19th Century wasn’t manifestly superior to the system then present and that we should all be grateful that it was indeed imposed (He was probably channelling John Locke as he exercised his own ‘classical liberal’-soaked economic mind – but that’s only speculation).

                Or perhaps Hayek and Popper are your men? Ever read ‘Road to Serfdom’? I’ve just finished it and, to be charitable, all I can say is that he appears to have spent a lot of time sitting alone at home reading books of other academics and government policy papers and getting his dander up. He would have done better to get out and about, make some empirical observations (and I don’t mean playing around with government statistics as seems to be the case with so many ‘empirical’ economists) and find out just what it was like for the majority of British people in the first half of the twentieth century basking, as he seemed to think, in the glorious classical liberal values of ‘tolerance’, self-reliance (dole queues, soup kitchens anyone??), etc. etc. for which the world, apparently, should forever thank Britain.

                Or are you the kind of classical liberal who likes to claim that all the social progress made to date (e.g., closer to equality between the sexes and races, abolition of slavery, public sanitation, the welfare state, etc.) are demonstrations of what benefits liberal democratic societies can incrementally provide? If so, you might want to check the mobilised mass movements, radical political views of those actively pushing for these reforms and even the Christian (rather than ‘Liberal’) motivation of those involved. Oddly, there weren’t a lot of card-carrying ‘classical liberals’ manning the barricades for any of these causes (perhaps they were too busy manning the drawing rooms of their Tory friends and relations?). These were gains largely made by the long and protracted efforts of radicals (sometimes over generations) and, only once progress seemed to be a fait accompli, did any ‘classical liberals’ dare rally to the cause. Till then they were more often than not busy digging their heels in, arguing that such reforms would jeopardise social stability, etc., etc.and so one should proceed ‘softly, softly’, if at all. Have a look at the British ‘classical liberals’ in the 19th Century and get a sense of the true role of liberalism in western societies – reform only if absolutely necessary (i.e., when the people are revolting), otherwise fulfill the de facto role as the oh-so-reasonable handbrake on social progress (moderation in all things, you know) to allow the elite to readjust their strategies for dominance – which, not unnaturally, they then proceed to do.

                So, Paul – what IS a ‘classical liberal’? Please tell me because, when one reads political philosophy, it isn’t clear (or perhaps it’s all too clear – and I don’t mean belief in the ‘economic freedom of the individual’ or, in utilitarian mode, ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’).

              • Bill

                @ puddleglum

                Thankyou for bringing a wee smile to my face. One of the more pertinent comments I’ve read on this blog.

              • Lew

                Puddleglum, thanks. If only it had been snoozer who’d written that up; I do love to be proven wrong when I misunderestimate someone.

                But you really do make Paul’s point for him: it’s not clear. The raw terms are only useful up to a point and then only within a shared frame of philosophical reference. That’s a problem when they’re employed as glib labels to discount someone’s position, in lieu of engaging with their actual argument. Granted, a lot of the time it’s futile, but this is not such a time. The guy’s not a blind partisan ideologue trying to score points; he’s an economics lecturer, attempting to engage on a substantive point of theory which underpins the discussion.

                By ‘the left’, I meant it as it’s often used here: in that glib sense of “us”, opposed to “them”, encompassing various brands of liberal (though rarely the classical kind) and many more brands of socialist, anarchist, social-democrat and environmentalist. I am actually a part of that motley bunch — my use of ‘the left’ is not “them”, but “us”, although for my troubles I think they often they want to cast me out or tag me as one of “them”.

                Decrying the tendency of people to rely on received wisdom from ideologically safe blogs rather than potentially challenging literature, I’m not advocating that people must agree; I’m advocating that people must learn enough to know whether they agree or not, rather than simply disagreeing out of misguided partisan loyalty. You, Puddleglum, appear to have done so, and you’re an example to them — err, us — all.

                L

                Captcha: “thoroughly”

              • Instead, I’d rather ask Paul W. ‘what IS a ‘classical liberal’?

                I would say the short answer to that is someone who believes in negative liberty as in Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty.” The term can not be perfectly defined but I would say it is still better defined than “rightwing”.

              • snoozer

                Lew. I don’t know who you think you’re impressing. Maybe Paul. But both of you know what rightwing is and you both know that Paul is rightwing.

                He might claim to adhere to a particular branch of rightwing ideology (the same one that Farrar claims, the ideology of the slave-owning founding fathers of USA) but that only reinforces the fact that he is rightwing.

              • Bill

                So hang on!

                Adequate learning comes from literature and if one persists and struggles through dense enough works of political philosophy one may arrive at a point of wisdom?

                That’s disgusting snobbery Lew…a dangerous position to take and bullshit into the bargain.

                We of the Party …or the learned priesthood…having undertaken the correct study in the ancient flim flam flom are the only ones in a position to correctly understand the true nature of our predicaments and will now devote ourselves to your service.

                From on high.

                And in luxury.

                Behind walls of theoretical certainty that are beyond your intellectual grasp…. ’cause you haven’t read the book properly… or at all maybe…but we have. And so are above and beyond reproach or challenge.

                Oh yeah. And we’ll have an army and a police force protecting you from any reproach or challenge to this correct ordering of human affairs.

                Any questions?

              • Lew

                Adequate learning comes from literature and if one persists and struggles through dense enough works of political philosophy one may arrive at a point of wisdom?

                Bill, no. Anyone’s free to have and express opinions, and to act on them, and there’s plenty of wisdom outside book-learning.

                But this was about a discussion of political-philosophical theory: concepts of “left” and “right” in politics aren’t literal or even very practical, they’re abstract. In discussions of theory, it helps to have a grasp of that theory. If you don’t, then the question is: what is it you’re actually discussing? This is the trouble I think snoozer fails to appreciate: he has some preconceptions about what “right-wing” is, and they don’t quite marry up to what the existing body of theory says. Since he refuses or is unable to articulate them, it renders the discussion somewhat meaningless, and gives the impression he’s just shooting from the rhetorical hip.

                It’s pretty common, and as I say: not very useful. Unless the purpose is just to score rhetorical points, in which case it’s probably not worth bothering with.

                L

              • snoozer

                don’t be a fuckwit lew. I could ramble on for a thousand words about what rightwing is as well as you or anyone here but we all know so what’s the point? I’m not writing for Kiwipolitico so I want people to bother to read my comments.

                Is Paul Walker rightwing? Of course he is. he even describes himself as classical liberal, a rightwing ideology.

                I’m not interested in your post-modern handwringing and your philosophical wanking. All you do is alienate everyone because we’ve got no time for you smug bullshit.

                We know what is leftwing, we know what is rightwing, we don’t need approval from pricks like you.

              • Lew

                snoozer,

                The nerve. There it is.

                We know what is leftwing, we know what is rightwing,

                This is the problem: an excess of certitude, a reflexive tendency to self-congratulate, and a lack of willingness to reflect. The left is weak because it’s largely run by people who think that theory is simple and obvious and anyone who doesn’t get it is either stupid or evil.

                I don’t care if I alienate people who are so secure in their own righteousness that they’re beyond reasoned discussion anyhow. As long as I’m pissing off people like you, who’d rather not examine your own ideological blind spots or debate the questionable assumptions which prop up your worldview, I figure I’m heading in the right direction.

                For the record: I don’t care if he’s right-wing or not. The point is that, to demonstrate that he is, you need to put up something more than “I know he is and so do you”.

                L

              • snoozer

                “The point is that, to demonstrate that he is, you need to put up something more than “I know he is and so do you’.”

                No I don’t.

                It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if you couldn’t call a rightie a rightie without having to submit an evidence sheet. It’s an observable fact to anyone with a political brain. You just have to read what he writes. You should be able to tell from the first comment where a person sits politically, it’s not hard, there are not an infinite variety of ideologies and there are only two primary classes.

                Next you’ll be wanting an essay before I can call Douglas a rightie or a thesis to back it up if I label Turei leftwing.

                It’s dumb, it’s just talking for its own sake given that everyone knows Paul Walker is rightwing and he himself says he ascribes to a rightwing ideology.

                I don’t see why we should bow to your faux academic elitism.

                On a deeper level, Lew, this is why you get everything so consistently wrong.

                Just yesterday you were mocking the idea that the right (oh, shit do I have to define that for you?), led by the Herald (want a definition of that too?), was trying to launch a debate on the flag to distract from the serious issues of the day. A day later and look at the Herald, look at Farrar – there’s no conspiracy, this is just how politics works. The right needs a distraction. The ‘flag debate’ is that distraction, provided by a rightwing actor. And you don’t understand that because you don’t understand political actors. You’re too busy trying to intellectualise everything, reduce them to component parts, and, most of all, show off that you have read a few books.

              • Lew

                snoozer, I don’t think Sir Roger or Metiria would questions that broad assessment of their ideological leanings (as Paul did), and in either case it’s much more clear. All your assertion rests on is that he’s an economist who believes in free markets. There’s more to being a right-winger than that, as you bloody well know.

                The right needs a distraction. The ‘flag debate’ is that distraction, provided by a rightwing actor. And you don’t understand that because you don’t understand political actors.

                What I understand is that politics is bigger than policy. Competent political actors (the Herald included) understand this as well, but it’s another thing that the iconoclast economic left doesn’t really get. The flag debate, while it is a distraction from the economic and policy issues of the day, is a legitimate one which people care about, especially at this time of year.

                I’d have a lot of sympathy for the analysis you make at any other time of year. If the flag issue was brought up at, say, Budget time, then you’d have a fair point — but at this time of year there’s a perfectly good reason to debate these issues. Alleging that the Herald is playing the arse-covering game by picking the topic is a conspiracy theory — there’s a much more reasonable explanation. There is good, solid news and public engagement value in having that debate take centre stage at this time — even if you personally don’t think it’s valuable. At Waitangi, the matter of NZ’s national identity is larger and deeper topic than a tactical economic indicator and the rollout of a bad education policy, as important as that is. They’ll still be there next week, when Parliament sits again. The carriage is not going to turn into a pumpkin.

                But anyway, this distracts from the real issue, which is that you think I’m some sort of ivory tower apologist for the Herald and National and the right-wingers, whoever they are. I’m sorry that you find my writing dry and academic, but the thing is that I actually work in political communication. I’m serious about this sort of stuff; it’s not just about point-scoring and casual offhand condemnation which fits a particular idological brief. Understanding and rationalising this sort of stuff is what I do; I know a thing or two about it, both in theory and in practice. Perhaps you do too, in which case, what’s stopping you from showing it?

                L

              • Bill

                I think you’re at it Lew.

                It’s true that if you read political philosophy, it becomes unclear what right wing and left wing mean …which says more about political philosophy than common understanding and use of the terms right and left as used in discussion and debate here and elsewhere.

                As for Paul Walker being right wing, he basically claimed ownership of right wing credentials when in another thread he spouted on about what economists did and didn’t think in a defensive response to the post which suggested that right wingers thought such and such. ie he tied his economic theory flag firmly to the mast of right wing ideology.

                here’s the link.

                http://www.thestandard.org.nz/minimum-wage-myths-unemployment/#comment-188353

              • Is Paul Walker rightwing? Of course he is. he even describes himself as classical liberal, a rightwing ideology.

                Then why is classical liberalism rightwing?

              • “As for Paul Walker being right wing, he basically claimed ownership of right wing credentials when in another thread he spouted on about what economists did and didn’t think in a defensive response to the post which suggested that right wingers thought such and such. ie he tied his economic theory flag firmly to the mast of right wing ideology.”

                What I wrote was “Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this.” This seems obvious to me, I’m talking about the views of economists. Marty has attacked economists for views they don’t by and large hold.

                May be those views are “rightwing” but we need a definition of rightwing to know this. As far as I can see the term is useless.

              • pollywog

                It’s true that if you read political philosophy, it becomes unclear what right wing and left wing mean which says more about political philosophy than common understanding and use of the terms right and left as used in discussion and debate here and elsewhere.

                sheeit…polynesians dont have a chance eh ? just when we think we know our left from right on a level playing field, you move the goal posts :)

                captcha :isolated

              • Bill

                Moving the goalposts you say?

                Bit optimistic that, old chap.

                We’ve decided it’s cricket for now…at least until you get your pads on.

              • Lew

                Well, Bill, snoozer’s the one with the rulebook which supposedly makes it all plain. He can start reading from it any time he likes. In the interests of getting the historical origin of the terms right, it might be handy to begin at the bit where the liberals in 18th Century France sat on the right of the Legislative Assembly.

                L

              • Wender

                Jesus this lew guy is a tosser.

              • pollywog

                We’ve decided it’s cricket for now at least until you get your pads on.

                hah…yeah and look what happens when you let the polys play cricket without all the old boy school tie shit ?

                errr ross taylor anyone ?..yes please and more like him thanx :)

                captcha : successfully

              • Pascal's bookie

                This is all very silly.

                Paul you claim to be flummoxed by the idea that Classically Liberal views are right wing, and that you find right wing to be meaningless. Yet in this post, you write:

                In other words Soros is trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Or may be he just want economists to be even more left-wing.

                … the context being that by ‘more left wing’, you mean less of a belief in unchecked free markets. So I’m not quite sure why you object to the idea that a belief in less/non regulated markets is rightwing. Perhaps you could explain why the terminology confuses you so much in this conversation, but not in that one?

                And this:

                What I wrote was “Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this.’

                The point being that Marty said “right wingers claim…”.

                He didn’t claim that economists say that. You were equating right wingers with what economists think. So to turn around and say that you don’t know is meant by ‘right wingers’ is dishonest. Or it at least it looks so to me.

                For the last couple of weeks you’ve been accusing people of attacking strawmen with regard to the min wages effects on unemployment. The fact however, is that the claim is made. John Key made it for one when he said that they wouldn’t raise the MW by much because they wanted to protect jobs. Todd made a similar argument by implication, in this thread. But you never seem to feel the need to correct those comments. Again, this looks more like rhetoric than anything else.

                As you have so helpfully pointed out, the evidence for significant overall job losses is small, the effects that do appear are in many cases insignificant, and there is little data for the NZ context.

                So as I’ve said before, the data about job losses from min wages does not appear to be a particularly strong argument against min wages. The small effects that do exist, on job opportunities for a subset of workers, could be mitigated for in other policies like training etc. Perhaps this is what accounts for the cases where the effects are found to be insignificant.

                But I guess all this questioning what is meant by ‘right wing’ is a way not to talk about that. Or at least, that is how it appears.

                But perhaps we could test it?

                Perhaps if we popped out into the street and asked 100 people whether if certain things were left or right wing….

                -raising the minimum wage
                -abolishing the minimum wage
                -compulsory unionism
                – the privatisation of state assets
                -the nationalisation of private assets

                that sort of thing.

                I’m fairly confident that a strong pattern would emerge and it would show that certain things are seen as right wing, and others are left wing. I’d also say that there will be a high level of consensus about which is which.

                Do you honestly disagree that that would happen?

                If not, then the terms clearly have meaning. The meaning you yourself used in the post I link to above.

              • Bill

                ffs Lew.

                So you know what a fruit is, right? And do you know what a vegetable is? And do you know what cereals are?

                We use these terms to denote certain foods and don’t have much difficulty in understanding what each of us is referring to when using the terms. Right?

                But then you might go and study some botany or whatever and prior certainties fall apart. But that doesn’t alter the common understandings nor the utility of these terms for us in communicating information.

                Except that by your reckoning we have to discontinue ‘uneducated’ applications of our language

                So you can talk of left and right because you have studied the books.

                But by the same reckoning, unless you have done the requisite study you are never to employ the terms ‘fruit’, ‘vegetable’ or ‘cereal’ in meaningful conversation again.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable#Fruit_or_vegetable.3F

                In everyday, grocery-store, culinary language, the words “fruit” and “vegetable” are mutually exclusive; plant products that are called fruits are hardly ever classified as vegetables, and vice versa. For scientists, the word “fruit” has a precise botanical meaning (a part that developed from the ovary of a flowering plant), which is considerably different from its common meaning, and includes many poisonous fruits. While peaches, plums, and oranges are “fruits” in both senses, many items commonly called “vegetables” — such as eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes — are technically fruits, as are most cereals, as well as some spices like pepper and chillies. Some plant products, such as corn or peas, may be considered vegetables only while still unripe.

              • Deep deep

                Lew: “but the thing is that I actually work in political communication”

                Reminds me of Jake Quinn claiming he has been a press sec.

                Reading some newspapers and listening to some talkback does not make you a political player. You don’t work in political communication.

                Real players don’t do exaggerating their CVs to impress strangers on blogs.

              • Puddleglum

                I would have liked to have responded earlier but I ‘chose’ to work instead.

                Not sure where this comment will be placed but I wanted to reply to Paul Walker’s comment at 10:33am today.

                From your comment, Paul, I’m not sure if you align yourself with Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism or simply with the classical liberal notion of ‘negative liberty’ (i.e., freedom not to have others obstruct your plans for yourself) but, for what it’s worth…

                Berlin, if I remember correctly (it’s been a while), was really making the argument that people value lots of things – justice, equality, compassion, freedom, etc.. It’s pretty hard, according to him, to rank these in any particular hierarchy so it’s best not to make a fetish out of any one (or number) of them. Why? Because there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll end up finding yourself supporting or defending something that offends some other of your values or is just plane inhumane. It’s the ‘ends justify the means’ point. Interestingly, in his list of values people might be tempted to sacrifice others to, he included ‘even liberty’. (On this point, the last politician and political movement to employ an ‘ends justifies the means’ utopian rhetoric on a grand scale was Roger Douglas and supporters of ‘Rogernomics’ – the Promised Land always lay somewhere out there beyond the pain!).

                That, I think, is the danger inherent in liberal philosophy. That is, one person’s ‘liberty’ (area of unobstructed plans) is fetishistically defended in the political sphere even though it may result in injustice, inequality and simple inhumanity (That’s why I mentioned Locke’s support of colonialism and Mill’s unthinking paternalism and racism). It’s also interesting that Berlin approvingly cited Tawney saying something to the effect that the freedom of the physically or economically powerful must be constrained (Because of deeply held human values other than freedom).

                I have a lot of sympathy for Berlin’s analysis. He may have called himself a liberal but, on the strength of that essay, I’d call him a pluralist – which is actually something different, though related. In political terms, it means sometimes supporting legislation that is propelled by some other value than ‘negative freedom’ – though always with awareness that such freedom is, indeed, being sacrificed (as Berlin would say, we can’t have everything simultaneously). There are no guarantees that you’ll be supporting the ‘right’ thing at any one time, of course, but if you only ever support one thing (e.g., ‘negative freedom’) there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be ‘wrong’ quite a bit of the time given the diversity of deeply ‘imprinted’ human values.

                Life is actually just a series of ungrounded ethical acts (which, admittedly, is not a comforting idea). Let’s not pretend, then, that ‘reason’, ‘science’, ‘philosophy’, ‘religion’ or anything else ever justifies what we do to others in some absolute way and provides us a place to hide from the effects of our (free?) choices.

                Perhaps you’re actually a pluralist?

              • Lew

                Wender, see my earlier comments about giving a damn what you lot think.

                Bill, the only reason I raise the objection is that this is supposed to be a discussion by people who know what they’re talking about; folk who I thought could be expected to use terminology properly and knowledgeably. If I were a fruiterer in a conversation with grocers and market gardeners, I’d expect that. Apparently not here, though.

                Deep deep,

                Reading some newspapers and listening to some talkback does not make you a political player. You don’t work in political communication.

                If that was what I was talking about, you’d have a point. But that’s not what I do, and I wouldn’t consider that to qualify, either.

                Real players don’t do exaggerating their CVs to impress strangers on blogs.

                Fair cop. I’m not answerable to The Standard’s commentariat, and I could be making shit up anyhow, so yeah.

                Anyway, as Bookie says, it’s silly. I’m off to the beach. Enjoy your weekend, folks.

                L

              • Bill

                “….the only reason I raise the objection is that this is supposed to be a discussion by people who know what they’re talking about; folk who I thought could be expected to use terminology properly and knowledgeably. If I were a fruiterer in a conversation with grocers and market gardeners, I’d expect that. Apparently not here, though.”

                So now I must study botany before holding forth on a knowledgeable conversation on gardening or horticulture. More than that, I must be a fully accredited academic before contemplating entry into the grocery trade. And I better put away those gardening tools ’cause using words and assuming informal common meanings rather than specialised meanings when I use those words advertises the fact that I don’t know my arse from my elbow when it comes to growing veggies or fruit or whatever.

                Now if only I’d learned Latin I could content myself with flower arranging instead. (sigh)

                Maybe a spot of fishing will do the trick, but then since I haven’t studied marine biology or/and oceanography I wouldn’t know what to do there either. But never mind. I can console myself by buying fish and chips…. ah, but unless somebody posts the scientific name for Blue Cod I will obviously be regarded as an unintelligible moron and refused service by the eminently qualified local chippy owner.

              • “Or are you the kind of classical liberal who likes to claim that all the social progress made to date (e.g., closer to equality between the sexes and races, abolition of slavery, public sanitation, the welfare state, etc.) are demonstrations of what benefits liberal democratic societies can incrementally provide? If so, you might want to check the mobilised mass movements, radical political views of those actively pushing for these reforms and even the Christian (rather than ‘Liberal’) motivation of those involved. Oddly, there weren’t a lot of card-carrying ‘classical liberals’ manning the barricades for any of these causes (perhaps they were too busy manning the drawing rooms of their Tory friends and relations?).”

                Actually no. As an example heck the history of the term “dismal science”. It has to do with slavery and includes JS Mill.

              • From your comment, Paul, I’m not sure if you align yourself with Isaiah Berlin’s pluralism or simply with the classical liberal notion of ‘negative liberty’ (i.e., freedom not to have others obstruct your plans for yourself) but, for what it’s worth

                Just making the point that classical liberals went for negative liberty whereas modern liberals think more in terms of positive liberty.

              • “John Key made it for one when he said that they wouldn’t raise the MW by much because they wanted to protect jobs.”

                And he is right, raising the minimum wage wage will cause unemployment in that area of the wage distribution that is affect by such an increase. What it will not do is have much affect on the overall unemployment rate.

              • Puddleglum

                Thanks Paul. Yes, I was aware of Carlyle’s writing on slavery and Mill’s response. I’m also aware that Mill supported many reforms including formation of unions and the vote for women. People are complex. As Berlin pointed out in ‘two concepts’, Mill had two logically independent intellectual commitments: One to ‘negative freedom’ the other to a range of virtues which are not necessarily entailed in ‘negative freedom’. There’s a pretty good chance, for example, that his support for unions was based on some other value than ‘negative freedom’.

                But, you’re not quite right if you are implying that Mill was somehow a major influence on the ending of slavery. Formally, the slave trade was halted by the 1809 Act. Wilberforce’s first bill was defeated in 1778 prompting a flood of petitions to parliament from working class organisations and a 300,000 petition organised by women’s associations. By 1833 most slaves had been freed over those areas Britain ruled. Mill was born in 1806. He was indeed precocious but mostly in learning Aristotle rather than stopping the slave trade. And, he wrote his response to Carlyle’s 1849 defence of slavery (on economic grounds) sometime after, rather than before, slavery was a political issue in Britain. It was, of course, still an issue in the US, but it is hardly ‘sticking your neck out’ to criticise what’s happening in another country (particularly if it shines a positive light on your own country’s ‘enlightenment’).

                In an interesting aside that bears on my point about liberals, Wilberforce wasn’t pleased that slavery abolition became associated with radical groups such as the levellers and he was also keen that slave owners’ property rights should be protected (hence massive ‘compensation’ was need in the end – ‘bailouts’ are not a recent phenomenon). He also supported the 1795 Combinations Act that outlawed trade union and other radical activities.

                Still, you’re right. Mill’s heart was often in the right place.

              • Pascal's bookie

                And he is right, raising the minimum wage wage will cause unemployment in that area of the wage distribution that is affect by such an increase. What it will not do is have much affect on the overall unemployment rate.

                But he doesn’t make that distinction Paul. It is not at all clear that he intends to. Which leaves the impression that the unemployment rate will be affected. What’s more you have previously told me that we don’t have the data in NZ to be sure about this effect in our conditons. Perhaps we would be one of those groups where the effect is insignificant. So I don’t think the data supports ‘he is right’. At best, he is possibly right, if you squint, and read him in the most charitable way possible.

                And from our previous discussions, doesn’t the research show that there will be a loss of ‘employment opportunities’ in the affected groups? That seems to me to be a different thing from a loss of existing jobs. If they meant to say that there would be increased unemployment, why change the terminology?

                But let’s leave that for the moment, and perhaps you could explain what you meant by Soros maybe wanting “economists to be even more left wing.”

              • “But let’s leave that for the moment, and perhaps you could explain what you meant by Soros maybe wanting “economists to be even more left wing.'”

                From what I remember all that I meant was being more like Soros. Whether or not Soros thinks he is leftwing I don’t know and he could well argue that the term doesn’t apply to him. And given the meaninglessness of the term he would have a point.

              • Pascal's bookie

                From what I remember all that I meant was being more like Soros. Whether or not Soros thinks he is leftwing I don’t know and he could well argue that the term doesn’t apply to him. And given the meaninglessness of the term he would have a point.

                That’s special. Seeing you criticised snoozer for using the term ‘right wing’ and suggested that he meant by it just ‘things that you don’t like’, there is a certain irony there.

                From what you wrote however, the only implication I can see is that is that you thought, that moving from less regulation to more regulation is to move from the right to the left. On this natural understanding of the words you wrote, which I am certainly not criticising you for, Snoozer was using the terminology in exactly the way that you did.

                It seems that no matter which way you cut it, your alleged befuddlement is more about your rhetorical needs than anything substantive.

                But like I said, it’s all very silly and transparent, and it’s a too beautiful day to waste it dismembering right wing sophistry.

              • That’s special. Seeing you criticised snoozer for using the term ‘right wing’ and suggested that he meant by it just ‘things that you don’t like’, there is a certain irony there.

                No, in both cases a reasonable response would be that the term is meaningless. I’m guessing that when snoozer uses the term rightwing he just means “things I don’t like”. Other than that I don’t see what meaning it, or leftwing, really has.

            • Paul Walker 2.1.2.1.1.2

              “But he doesn’t make that distinction Paul. It is not at all clear that he intends to. Which leaves the impression that the unemployment rate will be affected.”

              Whether or not he means to make the distinction doesn’t mean he isn’t right. He may well be right by accident.

              “What’s more you have previously told me that we don’t have the data in NZ to be sure about this effect in our conditons. Perhaps we would be one of those groups where the effect is insignificant. So I don’t think the data supports ‘he is right’. At best, he is possibly right, if you squint, and read him in the most charitable way possible.”

              It isn’t clear why New Zealand would be any different from the rest of the world with regard to labour markets.

              “And from our previous discussions, doesn’t the research show that there will be a loss of ‘employment opportunities’ in the affected groups? That seems to me to be a different thing from a loss of existing jobs. If they meant to say that there would be increased unemployment, why change the terminology?”‘

              As I said be fore you will get both. People may well lose jobs and employers will be less willing to offer new jobs at the higher minimum wage.

              • Pascal's bookie

                “It isn’t clear why New Zealand would be any different from the rest of the world with regard to labour markets.”

                But the study review you have been so diligently quoting noted that in many cases the effect was insignificant, if it existed at all. “the rest of the world” is not uniform.

                But in any case, the argument is not strong. The effects are small, localised, and can be mitigated.

                That’s not to say that there aren’t other, better arguments of course, but just that this one, that gets used most often, in sloppy ways that overstate it’s strength; is not particularly convincing to me given the evidence you have presented.

              • “But the study review you have been so diligently quoting noted that in many cases the effect was insignificant, if it existed at all. “the rest of the world’ is not uniform.”

                To quote again from a paper Marty G quotes from:

                “We review the burgeoning literature on the employment effects of minimum wages in the United States and in other countries that was spurred by the new minimum wage research beginning in the early 1990s. Our review indicates that there is a wide range of existing estimates and, accordingly, a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment of an increase in the minimum wage. However, the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect. A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions emerge from our review. First, we see very few if any studies that provide convincing evidence of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.’

                The bits in bold being the point.

      • SHG 2.1.3

        Cool, can we raise the minimum wage to, say, $100K per annum? That would be totally sweet.

        • snoozer 2.1.3.1

          that stupid reductio ad absurdum has been knocked down every time you idiots have put it up. Come up with something new.

          • Paul Walker 2.1.3.1.1

            No it makes a point. The little or no effect you see on the overall unemployment rate is, in part, because the increases in the minimum wage aren’t that big. If you were to make huge increases in the minimum wage you would get effects on the overall level of unemployment. So there are limits to the increases in minimum wage which don’t show up much in the overall unemployment figures.

            • felix 2.1.3.1.1.1

              The “stupid reductio ad absurdum” snoozer refers to is the idea – frequently voiced here – that if huge increases (way huger than anyone sensibly suggests) in the minimum wage are impossible due to impacts on employment then small increases (the kind we actually talk about most of the time) are also impossible for the same reason.

              I realise you’re not making that argument but many here do.

            • snoozer 2.1.3.1.1.2

              of course there are limits to how much you could increase it before it became damaging to employment. Water’s good you for but if you drink too much you’ll die.

              No-one is talking about a $50 minimum wage. Except you stupid buggers who have no evidence that increasing the minimum wage to $15 would damage employment. that’s why, in your intellectual laziness and incapability, you fall back on reductio ad absurdum.

              • BLiP

                No evidence!

                Machin and Manning (ILRR 47/2 1994) “the minimum wage has either no effect or a positive effect on employment’.

                Stewart (JEEA 2/1 2004) “No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three data sets used’

                Metcalf (JIR 50/3 2008) Why has the British National Minimum Wage had Little or No Impact on Employment?

              • BLiP

                Ooops – misread you comment. That’s actually evidence that the $15 would have little if any effect.

        • pollywog 2.1.3.2

          Cool, can we raise the minimum wage to, say, $100K per annum? That would be totally sweet.

          sure, but then you’d have to raise everyone elses wages proportionately and adjust the prices of everything…endgame being, the working poor would still be poor, the non working rich would still be rich and a whole bunch of lawyers, accountants and private consultants could join them

          captcha : advance

          how does the puter randomly generate relevent anti-bot words…ghost in the machine ?

    • Clarke 2.2

      Yeah, that 25 cents an hour made all the difference. Idiot.

  3. todd 3

    I just had to let some one go as my turnover /cost ratio is below my banking covenat so it was either increase turnover or reduce costs,so unfortunatly a cleaner on $14.50 lost her job.

    • Clarke 3.1

      That’s a pity, both for your company and the cleaner involved, but the 25 cent/hour change in the minimum wage would only have been a minor factor, I presume

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        considering
        a) the minimum wage increase hasn’t come into effect yet and
        b) the cleaner was getting above the minimum wage

        I don’t see how it can have had any effect.

        • Bed Rater 3.1.1.1

          I don’t think Todd said his decision to reduce staff was affected by the recent MW increase. You just saw a businessman discussing the realities of business and let your emotions get the better of you.

          for shame.

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say anything emotional.

            Todd was the one who bought up the minimum wage.

    • snoozer 3.2

      so, what you’re saying is that increasing the minimum wage to $13.75 or even $14.50 wouldn’t have changed that. In fact, the minimum wage had nothing to do with it – the job disappeared with the minimum wage at $12.50.

      There are always crappy businesses that can’t make a fist of things. There are always jobs disappearing as a result. There are always new jobs being created in other businesses.

      But there is no evidence that increasing the minimum wage in the ranges that we’re talking increases the unemployment rate.

  4. todd 4

    The problem is its mr joe average who comes in here to buy my product knows everybody is strugling to sell, so joe average wont pay me what i ask.He tells me what they will pay and doesnt give a toss about my costs.Thats the real world we live in at the moment

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That applies to everyone. Wages have gone down over the last year or so and now there are many people not being paid enough to cover their costs. Unfortunately, nobody, especially economists it seems, think that there is a minimum cost to living and that any amount will do.

  5. todd 5

    Let me ask this question to all you on here.How many of you willingly pay what price business wants for its goods?.
    Human nature tells me that if you think the business is struggling to sell their product to customer tries to negotiate,thats fine but it doent make workers jobe any more secure.

    • Bored 5.1

      Todd, you are quite correct if you carry on with the current paradigm of free markets being the only viable model. There are alternatives that might be more appropriate, but not so “desirable”.

      You might want to read the Archdruidreport of a few weeks ago (Google it) on how medieval guilds controlled supply, demand, price, and quality. It pretty much explodes the popular perception that the single model of market dynamics we live under is the only workable of validated model.

  6. Bright Red 6

    I see the number of jobless is now just 11,000 below its all-time peak – in 1991, the last time National was in power.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    A lot of our problem is the value of our dollar caused by the carry-trade in the US. This has having a substantial impact on both exports and tourism through no fault of our own. Thankfully, the Euro is decreasing at the moment, causing the US dollar to strengthen in sympathy, thanks largely to the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) or if you prefer it, the STUPID (Spain, Turkey, UK, Portugal, Italy and Dubai).

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Yeah. About that consensus on monetary policy….

    • Bored 7.2

      TS, it might help if you used the term “carry-trade” in a language that the readers can understand. Your analysis is valid and looks quite correct to me BUT for the benefit of the rest of us it translates as “the price we can get for our money is down to speculation about, and actual trades of liquid capital loaned at point A , and on-loaned for at point B (at a higher rate)”.

      This speculative activity trumps actual export trade linked to production world wide many times. It is a silly system, although John Key might disagree justifiably by showing us how well his bank account did out of doing it.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      So ban the carry trade – it’s not as if it actually produces any wealth.

  8. Joshua 8

    Also interesting BrightRed is that both of those figures were reached only one year after National took over from a Labour Government – working with a lag time of 18 months before fiscal and monetary policy start to have an effect on the economy you might want to re-think your comment.

    The figures are bad, yes, but why criticise the guy for taking a holiday over Christmas with his family? Should we just imprison him in the beehive and tell him he cannot leave until unemployment is zero and we live in a socialist utopia?

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Once again, the problem is not that he took a holiday, the problem is the frequency at which he does it.

      Also Helen tended to holiday in NZ because she genuinely loved the country, whereas John Key, Minister for Tourism, would rather tour others.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        She did a few trips offshore usually so she could talk to someone or climb a bloody large hill. But most of her holidays were in NZ – out of cell coverage.

    • Bright Red 8.2

      Josh. Source on 18 month lag?

      no. no source. Just pulled out of your arse because it suits you.

      In fact, monetary policy ahs a very quick effect and even a stimulus package (fiscal policy) like Rudd’s only take a few months.

  9. Boris Clarkov 9

    Such a shame that all those good people are now forced to reap what ten years of Labour sowed.

    [lprent: The return of the idiot trolling with factless and inaccurate canned lines. For instance Labour was in power for nine years not ten. That statement alone makes you look like total Jerkov rather than a Clarkov.

    May I suggest that you'd be better off at whatever the name of Whales ego site is these days. I'm a IrishBill level grumpy today and I suspect you might have a short survival with mindless comments like this. ]

  10. torydog 10

    Apparently the unemployment rate has gone up by 22 thousand people because we had 22 thou immigrants……nothing to do with lack of jobs…….!!! Pathetic!

    • Bright Red 10.1

      employment dropped 2,000. It needs to increase by about 5-10,000 a quarter to keep the unemployment rate steady… and then there was higher net immigration.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1.1

        They knew that migration was increasing, but did nothing to plan for it. The next crisis we will be facing will be a housing crisis and they have been passive about that too.
        BTW When is John W. Key heading back to Crawford next? Bill and Paula you’re doing a heck of a job.

  11. BTW When is John W. Key heading back to Crawford next? Bill and Paula you’re doing a heck of a job.

    Don’t you mean “hiueck of a juaarrb, Brownlee”?

    • Mr Magoo 11.1

      haha.

      That was actually quite good. He does have more in common than bush so far. Certainly moreso than Obama

      One has to remember he is missing a war and terrorist attack here. Otherwise he is very similar with the style and delivery of policy!

      Had he his war and attack, I have no doubt the parallels would gag worthy.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.1

        I was thinking of the economic magic pudding through tax cuts they both offer. No we have our own ‘No child Left Behind’ policy.

        What the hcek, they’re both good blokes, lets just vote for them.

  12. bobo 12

    Its nice to see the nz dollar drop but not at the expense of more people losing their jobs… The forecast was way out which is concerning that they haven’t got a clue really what the peak unemployment rate will be and blaming it on immigration increase is a pathetic cop out even by nationals standards.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Bored “TS, it might help if you used the term “carry-trade’ in a language that the readers can understand. Your analysis is valid and looks quite correct to me BUT for the benefit of the rest of us it translates as “the price we can get for our money is down to speculation about, and actual trades of liquid capital loaned at point A , and on-loaned for at point B (at a higher rate)’.

    Thanks for that, Bored.

    I think the carry-trade may not be a problem for too much longer. The 50 day moving average for the Euro/USD is about to cross the 200 day moving average for only the second time in the last five years. The last time that happened, the NZD went down to under 50c US during the crash. At that time the Euro plummeted from 1.55 to 1.20 USD.

    If anyone wants a tip, its a great time to short the Euro at the moment. For a few hundy you can do it through bull put option spreads on the FXE.

  14. Bored 14

    Now off to do a Key!!!!!! Thanks.

    • tsmithfield 14.1

      No problems. I do expect a commission when you make your fortune tho!!

      • bobo 14.1.1

        I don’t know much about currencies but wont the Greek crisis drag the euro down or is that long term?

        • tsmithfield 14.1.1.1

          Yes. That is what I was getting at. The Greek crisis has been damped down at the moment. Now all the attention is switching to Portugal. The big worry is when countries like Spain, which is a major Euro player, starts looking shaky. There doesn’t seem to be any quick solution to these problems which is why the Euro looks like such a good short.

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    frogblog | 20-10
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    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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