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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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    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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