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600,000 Comments

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, August 7th, 2013 - 77 comments
Categories: admin, blogs, The Standard - Tags:

On friday I noted to myself that in our long tradition of marking comment milestones that I should write a post about a milestone in comments by the end of the weekend. So belatedly, here it is…

Eddie predicted back in December 2012 with that we’d hit 600k comments on the 6th of August 2013. He was slightly out as it was a comment by Rosetinted on the 3rd commenting about another commenter. But so far Eddie’s other prediction looks like a safe bet

The trend will see us hit 1 million August 3 2015….

Comments are the lifeblood of this site because that is what the site is designed to foster. We’re not particularly interested in being the voice of a single egotist and their sycophants like some other popular sites.

We’re interested being part of the arguments because in our opinion that fosters the crucial and required participation in the political debate. Those active discussion is often largely lacking in the political parties (and especially in their caucuses) as they tend to get over focused on the mechanics of winning elections and the short-term feedback of internal polling. They seem to fail to realise that what they want to use the treasury benches to do and communicating that, is often the key to winning the votes of the cynical citizens who usually rate politicians as less trustworthy than used car salesmen.

Critical and robust debate is also  (with some notable exceptions) largely lacking in our media, who often sound very similar to a sounding board of popular myths, unthinking bigotry, and simple reflections of the PR specialists who provide it.  You really only have to look at the really stupid pontificating that goes on about political polls  to understand exactly how simple many of our political media are.

So most of our ever shifting body of active authors are drawn from our active and most wide ranging of our commenters. Their job is to argue their opinions. Commenters are welcome to argue for or against it or even to drift into other areas. Because that keeps the debate keeps growing and widening and teasing out the political and social options of society for our ever increasing numbers of lurkers to read.

Sure you get commenters vehemently and disagreeing with the post authors arguments and rudely refuting each other in a robust debate. It usually isn’t polite and nor is it academic. It isn’t intended to be. There are sites around that already do that in a gentile fashion. You’ll find many of them in our side feed along with the satirists and quieter opinions.

Politics is inherently about conflict and disagreement over the use everything from the way resources get used to the moral compass that society should follow. So we intend to provide a forum where people can get involved in that kind of debate. It is usually quite a lot of fun for both the participants and the ever increasing numbers of lurkers who read but don’t often participate.

This is all done within a loose policy framework that is designed to both foster robust debate and to ensure that stupid behaviour at the bounds is severely discouraged.  It is largely modelled on the way that our legal system tends to operate in actual practice – clear rules but with a rather arbitrary and often unfair justice. For the much the same reasons that our citizens don’t want a overbearing law enforcement system leaning over their shoulder  and watching their every move, the moderators don’t try for a sparrow’s fall style of policy enforcement. Neither we, nor the GCSB or police should try to attain that kind of community coercion.

It inhibits the open discussion that a free society needs for social change for the type of political behaviour that has ranged from abolishing the property rights of slavery to attacking brands for unethical behaviour. A better approach is to allow people to knowingly take the risks within a known framework of our local law and to take action once a actual offense is actually observed.

But I’m more of a numbers person than a philosopher, so here are some graphs explaining what it happening in comments that lead on from the graphs in my December post

Comments per Post to August 2013

 

As you can see, we have been doing averaging 200 odd posts (with comments) per month for a number of years. It jumps around a bit based on christmas break, elections, and when a news series gets active. This winds up as being a nice quantity of posts for the readers as it means that the posts don’t scroll out of view too fast.

But as you can see the comments per post have been rising. Compared to three years ago for instance  the average post is receiving more than double the number of comments. The effect of this on the number of comments per month is striking as can be seen in the following chart.

Comments per month to August 2013

We get some obvious spikes leading into the elections in November 2008 and 2011. But we keep rising and start routinely doing the similar numbers to election months a few years later. Like right now.

In July we got more than 15 thousand comments which we have only previously hit during the 2011 election. We averaged more than 75 comments per post on average – helped in particular by a post that had more than 700 comments.  There were  5,667,036 characters types and about 922 thousand words (the algorithm used to calculate this is a bit flakey).

Of course (in another long tradition) our very success also revealed more technical issues. The volume of comments coupled with a new database caused a problem with the database not coping with simultaneous comment posting, and last months total includes 98 duplicates that I have to figure out how to clean out (without disturbing comment threading)

A pretty good effort commenting… And later this month on the 20th, The Standard turns 6 years old

77 comments on “600,000 Comments”

  1. karol 1

    Yes and critical and public debate is crucial to democracy – which is indicated in Lynn’s post but not said very directly.

    And the milestone was reached with a wry comment from Rosetinted.

    • lprent 1.1

      Hey I was leaving room for the commenters…

      … and at 0500 I was more interested in the numbers…

      • karol 1.1.1

        I didn’t mean that as a criticism. I was saying a big “yes” to your strong focus on the importance of open and critical debate to politics and society.

    • UglyTruth 1.2

      I agree that public debate is essential for informed opinions as part of the democratic process. What is often left out of the picture is the role of the rule of law within a democracy. The rule of law is what sets democracy apart from majority rule. In NZ civil society a perverted version of the rule of law is applied so it’s a good idea to apply due diligence as to what the rule of law actually is if you’re planning on this blog being a model of real democratic process.

  2. just saying 2

    Congratulations LPrent and everyone else involved in making this the preeminent online discussion forum of the left. I barely have time to read it all nowadys, let alone make comments of my own. And the writing is often so good, praising authors for excellence has become too time-consuming in itself.

    Another heartening development has been the increasing numbers of other quality, online political sites of the broad left.

    I enjoy the breadth of viewpoints expressed here, and find it breath-taking that anyone reading TS could come away believing it to be an homogenous Labour Party site. I can only assume that those still saying it is, don’t actually read it.

    Btw LPrent, being somewhat lazy I’m glad to find I no longer have to fill-in the name and mail fields when I do visit and comment, but somewhat surprising given I’ve never actualy been able to log-in.

    • lprent 2.1

      The power of cookies.

      • just saying 2.1.1

        ??

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          js, I think Lynn is responding to this:

          Btw LPrent, being somewhat lazy I’m glad to find I no longer have to fill-in the name and mail fields when I do visit and comment, but somewhat surprising given I’ve never actualy been able to log-in.

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          Your computer’s browsers remember who you last were when you used the site and send it in automatically as a HTTP cookie. Which means the fields are automatically filled in for you.

          The cookies I set here have quite a long lifetime and reset each time you make a comment. So provided you leave an occasional comment, your browser will keep saying who you are.

          There are also browser tolls that will do much the same thing for you – for instance google chrome does a pretty good job of transferring that kind of information between my many many systems for me, along with my bookmarks.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1

            for instance google chrome does a pretty good job of transferring that kind of information between my many many systems for me, along with my bookmarks.

            Mmmmmmmmmm…yummmmm…me NSA LIKE…

            • lprent 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Yeah. But when I really want to keep things quiet then I either use tor or I vpn out somewhere else in the world where they have effective privacy laws. And I use a much dumber browser that only runs on that interface. And just to make the hypothetical observers work harder, I always have a number of processes that always use those interfaces for no particular reason other than the fulfillment of the 5 eyes.

              But for my day to day stuff the boon of having my bookmarks transferring to whatever system I happen to be using at the time is pretty efficient. These days that includes my linux server and desktop at home, my linux desktop at work, my nexus 7 and soon to be retired iPad1, my android phone, my linux laptop and it’s vista dual boot, the (urrggh) windows work laptop, the mac work laptop, and my parents laptop in rotorua. It is a *lot* of devices that I use at one place or another. I used to hellishly lose links all over the place.

              Fortunately Lyn doesn’t let me touch her gear, and I don’t use a browser for anything except debugging on the multiple virtual boxes running variations of windows, the mac mini, or the debian linux devices I use at work. And the res on HD is too low to be bothered putting browser pages up on the TV (and it knows about youtube anyway).

              I’m a geek – what can one say…

          • just saying 2.1.1.2.2

            Ahhhh………
            Thankyou. Nice cookie.

  3. muzza 3

    Speaking of comments..

    Having been keeping an eye on a few of the American MSM so called , news blog comments, there seems to be a notable ramping up in awareness of the banking scams, and who are aware of the so called war of terror, and that government, or more accurately the power behind government are the true terrorists!

    While many of them are still stuck in the sham GOP v DEM argument, thee is a theme of understanding, that either way, the results are the same, common denominator = government, hence those behind it!

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    I was just going to ask what stripe lurkers might likely be, they can’t all be clutching metal briefcases with a pie and magazine in. The Standard probably has a direct feed into Waihopai by now anyhow.

    Just Saying is probably like many–time stretched. Daily Blog and The Standard are my two regulars and check out half a dozen others once a week. Kiwi Politico and several small left groups etc.

    Congratulations to LPrent and the team of contributors you make a major contribution to political discussion, and hopefully participation in this country.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    I get my news mostly from this site. If Stuff start charging there is no way I’m going to be paying to support that – they restrict commenting on stories which I take as an insult to democracy (particularly when it is political stories this tends to happen on) Long live The Standard!

    • Rosetinted 5.1

      lprent good stats thanks. I am going to set up a payment, haven’t done this enough. This is a place where I can find people who are really using those little grey cells. With Poirots guidance we may find the truth and the best political path and method. Wait for the end of the story when all is revealed to the characters in the story! What an occasion of celebration that would be.

      I found stuff won’t let you comment unless you agree to receiving stuff from them. I was having difficulty with them or one of the commercial news purveyors, so I withdrew. I need to limit the amount of sales bumf that comes at me, have all I can cope with now.

  6. King Kong 6

    600,000…That’s a whole lot of crazy.

    I think you should thank CV for clocking up 400,000 of those.

    [lprent: He is the largest commenter, but only in the order of 27k odd. I’m at number 4 with 11.5k, and you.. well.. oh dear 153 with 0.8k comments. So much for monkeys – obviously no endurance. :twisted: ]

    • tc 6.1

      Wonder how much if the 600k was discounted for trolls attempting to derail threads.

    • Chooky 6.2

      @ King Kong

      CV is a very astute and intelligent and knowledgeable commentator King Kong….and YOU are just an amusing diversion!

    • Bunji 6.3

      CV makes up less than 5% of comments… Still well ahead of Draco and felix (2nd & 3rd) in the most total comments numbers though…

      Over 2600 named commenters have made >= 5 comments. That’s a lot of people getting involved.

      • King Kong 6.3.1

        Let’s play Jeopardy.

        “I’m in the top 3 commenters of all time on the Standard”…”Things middle aged losers who still live with their mum say.”

        • Rosetinted 6.3.1.1

          KK
          Are you one? The answer must be yes. We are all losers in this present world environment.

          Saying it is sad and scary, but then going to the dentist, or having a limb off if your diabetes has gone bad is too. Doesn’t matter whether someone is a ‘loser’ (based on what scale of winning?) and lives with his mum. He/she can have a valid viewpoint and throw light on a better way. Mum might know some good ideas too.

          • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1.1

            36% of 18-31 year olds in the US now live with Mum and Dad

            Slow grinding economic collapse in progress…

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-02/all-time-high-21-million-young-adults-now-live-their-parents

            • fender 6.3.1.1.1.1

              And in “godzone” we have people living in garages, families sharing homes due to huge rents, and no doubt monkeys (KK) needing to share trees as well.

              • King Kong

                I have an enormous and beautifully renovated Thorndon Villa, though there are some nice native trees in the garden.

                • fender

                  Explains why you think you are a king I guess.

                  You could be an “early Roman king”….”They’re peddlers and they’re meddlers, they buy and they sell.
                  They destroyed your city, they’ll destroy you as well.
                  They’re leacherous and treacherous, hell-bent for leather.
                  Each of them bigger than all men put together.
                  Sluggers and muggers wearing fancy gold rings.
                  All the women going crazy for the early Roman kings.”

                  • muzza

                    And that’s the key right there, Fender.

                    The KK’s of this world, are too scared to understand the obviousness, that they are also losing, perhaps not as blatantly as those they spit on, right now, or next week, but the mathematical certainty means it’s landing on him, and his family, it already has!

                    KK, you’re a winner!

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1.1.2

              That would indicate that the extended family social format that we evolved in is making a comeback.

              • fender

                That’s fine if it suits and is by choice, rather than out of necessity due to exorbitant cost of living.

        • Chooky 6.3.1.2

          @ King Kong re “middle aged losers”

          …..Actually this is false, as most of what you say is false !….

          A TRUE BED TIME STORY FOR YOU…(.it is not to late for you to move back with Mum and mend your ways)

          I know a very intelligent person who lived very frugally without alcohol with his Mum and Dad for years( while everyone else was out partying and having children and getting mortgages) ….despite his Mum’s cacti encroaching up to his waterbed from the outside conservatory(…. was this a hint from Mumsy or what?)
          …..And he saved enough for a freehold many acre native bush block in the heart of a major city ….. And then while still living with his Mum …he built his own freehold castle on his freehold realm .
          ……And then, when he was mature and sensible ….he invited a beautiful mature maiden to live with him …happily ever after ….a happy multi millionaire and a “middle aged winner”…and a socialist in political sympathies ….

          • King Kong 6.3.1.2.1

            “……And then, when he was mature and sensible ….he invited a beautiful mature maiden to live with him …happily ever after ….a happy multi millionaire and a “middle aged winner”…and a socialist in political sympathies ….”

            – Who will never be able to look back and smile about skinny dipping in his 20’s with smoking hotties in the Med whilst off his chops on Bolivian marching powder.

            • Chooky 6.3.1.2.1.1

              @ King Kong ….He had fun alright! ….just not at home with his Mummy in a waterbed surrounded by cacti….( I am pretty sure he would have gone skinny dipping and did some other stuff which I doubt you did!…..but didnt go “off his chops”…. if you can call that fun!…dont think it sounds much fun to me ….especially if it was Bolivian)

              ….Also I reckon he is probably much RICHER than you with your big villa in Thorndon…. and ain’t that a cruel cut ….a socialist being richer than you!?)…not that being rich should be measured in money of course…it is measured by what is in one’s psyche or soul

              ALSO….this is the BIG LESSON!…He never ever owed the greedy capitalist banks anything in interest!!!!!….Hear yeh!?….(that is how he got rich living at home with his Mummy….saving his money and not paying interest)

              ..It is the banks that stop us getting rich and warp the economy!,….I think in the recent international domino banking collapses ….it was the Muslim banks, who dont charge interest and dont play funny money games , who came out unscathed. I bet some of those greedy Capitalist Western banks wouldn’t mind taking them over now….

    • Rosetinted 6.4

      KK
      Yes CV +++1…… :grin:

    • King Kong 6.5

      “So much for monkeys – obviously no endurance”

      To be fair, if you didn’t keep banning me, I might have been able to make a better fist of it.

  7. David H 7

    A million comments in August. Wow, we are a gabby bunch aren’t we? Personally I like the easy way that we can ‘get it off our chests’ and have others with the same /similar / completely differing view points, that can be debated rigorously, with a minimum of disruption from Trolls. Congrsts on 6 years long may we comment.

    [lprent: August 2015. We have an election to take first. ]

  8. Santi 8

    I miss Santi’s awesome wit.

    [lprent: always nice to see a boy with ambitions. :twisted: none else ever seemed to detect this ‘talent’ ]

  9. Rosie 9

    Huge thanks to you Lprent and authors for all the time and energy that you put into this site. It’s been essential reading in these hideous years of the Key regime, you’ve helped keep me sane. The authors do a great job of untangling the lines of spin fed to the Nation and laying bare the truth. Its not just all about shonkey and his merry band of fools though, they are a side show (albeit a disastrous one) at this point in our history, and with hope, their regime will self destruct (unfortunately leaving a trial of destruction in their wake). It’s also great to see articles about climate, environment and work rights. Helen Kelly’s articles in particular have been appreciated. May your voices continue to be heard loud and clear long after the last stinky whiff of the Key era has vanished.

    • just saying 9.1

      Not to mention “identity” issues…..

      God how I hate that word. Can’t someone coin a better term?
      The word “identity” has individualist connotations that members of the groups encompassed by the word, don’t deserve at all.

      Hell, most people have ‘identity’ issues :-D

  10. Winston Smith 10

    “We’re not particularly interested in being the voice of a single egotist and their sycophants like some other popular sites.”

    – Don’t you mean he who must not be named?

    • lprent 10.1

      I left it deliberately ambiguous. Read into it whomever you wish. :twisted:

      • Winston Smith 10.1.1

        I’ve always thought that most of the posters on here look like either Dumbledore, Harry Potter or Ron Weasley

        • fender 10.1.1.1

          Yeah and all you righties must look like Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle and those other Slytherin bad guys!

          • Winston Smith 10.1.1.1.1

            I look (or more like built) more like Kramm but hey its ok if you’re a ginger, well its more than ok if you’re a ginger girl in fact its quite fetching

        • jamiep 10.1.1.2

          No, I played Rugby league and smashed the shit out you Kings boys when we played Rugby or cricket. You can’t pigeon hole the left whereas its easy to do it to the right.

  11. Rosetinted 11

    The Jokeyhen whine as reported on 20 Aug 2007. It’s all negatives based on, akshually I expect, Helen Clark actually governing the country and setting parameters for sensible behaviour trying for a well-ordered and civilised, healthy, economically sound happy society.

    And here’s how Key opened his speech:

    “I want to ask you a question. Why have we given up our weekend to gather here in Auckland? I’ll give you one reason. We’re sick of Labour telling us what to do. We’re sick of being told how to bring up our kids, what to put in school lunchboxes, and that we have to microchip our dogs. We’re sick of being told off for buying houses and for eating pies”

    If National put this stuff to music, it could be their campaign song.

  12. Royton De'Ath 12

    ‘ It usually isn’t polite and nor is it academic. It isn’t intended to be. There are sites around that already do that in a gentile fashion. You’ll find many of them in our side feed along with the satirists and quieter opinions.’

    I’ve always thought the Standard to be far more cosmopolitan and inclusive than those other sites …

  13. fender 13

    I love this site, and while I don’t comment every day, I visit every day and read nearly everything. It’s the high quality of all the authors and the comments from the likes of Puddleglum, CV, McFlock, OAK, Felix, Anne, KJT, Blue Leopard, Draco T Bastard, Weka, Prism (Rosetinted), Rhinocrates, Blip, Fatty, Rosie and so many more (my brain is hurting trying to remember all the names of the excellent, intelligent ones) that keep me interested and returning every day.

    Well done Lprent and co. long live thestandard!

    • fender 13.1

      I’m going to regret starting a list (I’m no Blip!) but I can’t forget to include Pascal’s bookie.

      • just saying 13.1.1

        Ditto to all the above.
        And many more. But I’m not going to be so crazy as to try and list them all…..

      • Rosetinted 13.1.2

        fender +1 and karol who is gold too.

        • fender 13.1.2.1

          I agree, was including her in the “high quality of all the authors.”

        • Anne 13.1.2.2

          and Olwyn.

          and ALL the authors – even of you don’t always agree with them. That’s what makes the Standard such a stimulating place…

          • Olwyn 13.1.2.2.1

            Thanks Anne :-) I agree. Even if we you don’t agree with everyone, it is a joy and a relief that such a discussion can take place. So thanks to everyone who contributes to the TS conversation as well :-)

    • beatie 13.2

      I find The Standard’s articles and comments an invaluable and inspiring source of information. Also it’s comforting to find NZer’s who are not greedy, selfish, ‘aspirational’ dullards.

  14. gorj 14

    Hi all, trying to donate to the standard, when I hit the paypal donate button I just get sent to the paypal home page. What is the email address for donating to? Thanks

    • Rosetinted 14.1

      gorj
      What about doing it using the on-line banking number on the Donate site? Goes only for NZ expenses, but that’s no problem is it?

    • lprent 14.2

      The easiest place these days is to simply send to direct to the bank account.

      Account: 38-9010-0427551-00

      This goes directly to The Standard’s bank account that gets used to pay for the servers and any plugins required.

      No-one was using paypal and I think that they deactivated it. I have now killed it off the donations page.

      You can either email thestandnz at gmail.com or me directly lprent at primary.geek.nz

  15. I love The Standard – thanks to everybody for the hard work in maintaining and continually improving the site. Kia kaha.

  16. BLiP 16

    Nice work “The Standard” and thanks lprent for all you do, plus the authors.

    Testing 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . .

    EDIT: Drat, still only the 1% are allowed to illustrate their comments ; )

    • lprent 16.1

      Less than 1%. Currently has to be a admin with basic HTML. I could look for a plugin. But then I’d have to find a scanner for the nasty header tricks.

      • BLiP 16.1.1

        All good. As it happens, our resident chew toys take up more than enough space (usually at the top of the comments threads, have you noticed?) so I would hate to give them any further tools of mass distraction. I’m just happy that there’s a captcha device which allows multi-links through. An elegant solution for OCD list-makers such as myself. Cheers.

  17. lurgee 17

    What percentage of comments are basically “David Shearer must go” and “+1″?

    Deduct them and you’d be averaging about three comments per post, I reckon.

    • BLiP 17.1

      ooops

      Note to self: only have open ONE tab for The Standard when commenting.

    • lprent 17.2

      I did some analysis of rough average word counts and characters per comment over the years as well. From memory (it is at home), it doesn’t vary much. Between 60 and 72 words per comment on average on a monthly basis and something around 300 chars average per comment. I have some rough numbers for the frequency of 1-4 “word” comments (ie including the +1 style comments), 1 “line” and 1 “paragraph”, and the number of quoted (ie “, italics, or blockquote) comments for quoted/content ratios. The frequency of those hasn’t changed that much over time either.

      If I ever get time to cleanup the rough-as word counter (mysql doesn’t have one damnit) with a c or c++ external for the db then I’ll publish them.

      Early to mid 2008 was the nadir of the short silly comments. Now (according to my stats), the home for that in political blogs is at whaleoil and trademe (I also watch some of the other blogs using a mixture of RSS and curl).

      BTW: My MBA is in operations. I statistically watch anything that could indicate problems on the site because it a hell of a lot easier doing and nipping things in the bud, than relying on gut reactions and having to do some horrible cleanups afterward (which is what happened in 2008).

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        An MBA of some actual real world use. Nice.

        • lprent 17.2.1.1

          It was purely by accident. Family has tended to run factories in recent generations (and my sister still does). That was what I started doing after my first degree (earth sciences). But I got irritated arguing with accountants and did a MBA to get the language. Instead I got reinfected with computers after stumbling over PC’s in the Otago’s MBA computer lab in 1985.

          I don’t have a degree that I actually used professionally for any length of time (just a lot of post-grad papers that I lean on heavily). However they are always useful, even the arts courses.

  18. Sable 18

    Good to see sites that offer free public debate and reasonably objective reporting gaining in popularity as opposed to the manufactured news we have all come to know and hate.

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    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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