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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 | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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