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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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    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 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.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    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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