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A decent policy

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, September 9th, 2012 - 278 comments
Categories: Economy, political alternatives - Tags:

David Shearer’s policy of free meals for low decile schools is a bloody good one – there are too many kids that are going to school hungry and suffering setbacks because of it.

But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home and that will require some much larger, much more transformational policies as institutional poverty is practically a requirement of our current economic settings (as an aside I highly recommend Danyl’s post on this).

In the meantime though, kai pai David Shearer, now make sure you address the economic policies that have been making kids hungry since 1984.

278 comments on “A decent policy”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Jeez, it is getting rough when the ‘poor’ pākehā have to be led by their Te Mana brothers and sisters. Look and learn some more Labour.

    • McFlock 1.1

      lol
           
      At least they’ve announced some decent policy, though. Although it is a symptomatic treatment that doesn’t address the causes of inequality. But at least it’s a start.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Fair enough McFlock, it’s just I am a pākehā Te Mana member and like to skite!

        I know a number of teachers in the Far North that feed kids with cereal and toasted sandwich makers and so forth already at their own cost unfortunately.

        One looks forward to Labours review so that the members at large run the joint rather than the parliamentary wing and caucus and then we may get the final turn around. Even if Mr Pagani going is not much really, it is a good chance to make big changes.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.1

          I know teachers in South Auckand who have been doing breakfast for their classes for years, from their own pockets also. These stories about the dedication of teachers don’t get airplay though.

          • Fortran 1.1.1.1.1

            Tracey

            Our local New World Supermarket has been providing food for breakfasts for three low deciles in the region for years.
            Our neighbour supervises one every day, including school holidays.

            So what’s new ?

        • prism 1.1.1.2

          I noted that this morning on Radionz John Key quoted that in many schools, trusts are already providing meals. Conclusion – government can wash its hands of concern and input. No leave it to the teachers or overworked community people who usually haven’t much money to spare. The wealthy just sit in their houses, work in their gardens, and sneer at the poor and their efforts.

          Then Jokey Hen quotes that fruit is already being provided. I’d like to see him do a day’s work on an orange and a biscuit or small sandwich perhaps.

          And then says that reading recovery is already being provided. Apparently in only 40% approx of low decile schools (or in new terminology working class neighbourhoods?).
          Then a Prof comes on and says that reading recovery is outdated. Do nothing till I call you is the slogan here I think.

          Yet we know we have a tail of school failure, and want to be able to tabulate that to the nth degree with National Standards which apparently are very uneven in the Standards. So tell us what we already know and spend $mills on it that should be going to real assistance programs. Very wise thinking and spending!! I don’t think.

      • Bored 1.1.2

        But at least it’s a start. Indeed, it is easy to knock this policy but when the kids who are hungry eat there will be smiles all round.

      • Dr Terry 1.1.3

        McFlock. Yes, it is at least a start, but one to which National will immediately put a stop, I should imagine!

        • Polish Pride 1.1.3.1

          Not necessarily. This policy can be expanded to include families on a benefit over time if it isn set up correctly. Then it can be assured that entire families in need will have a home. All the healthy food they need (potentially far more than they get now) and benefits can be reduced accordingly. This is something that even National would be keen on.
          It could also provide opportunities to set up infrastructure and supply chain to enable a move to a resource based economy.
          It is a fantastic policy on all fronts IMHO

  2. Carol 2

    I see nothing wrong with making free school meals an integral part of free education for all, as is done in Finland – free school meals available to all who want it:

    http://www.oph.fi/download/47657_school_meals_in_finland.pdf

    Pre-primary and basic education are provided free
    of charge for all, and this includes school meals,
    teaching materials, school transport, and pupil
    welfare services.

    • Jenny 2.1

      Fantastic, makes perfect sense in a country overflowing with food. Only the true haters and greedy could oppose such a policy.

      • Mary 2.1.1

        “Only the true haters and greedy could oppose such a policy.”

        It’s not as simple as that. Whether it’s acceptable or not depends on what Labour means by it and how it sees it working in the future. If, for example, it’s as Carol above suggests then such a programme could work, i.e. as “an integral part of free education for all”, then it’s possible the policy could be sound and have integrity. But Labour doesn’t seem to be saying this. Shearer’s already said it’s for the lower decile schools. The fact the announcement’s come after the child poverty report also suggests the programme’s not about what Carol’s talking about. What’s also not clear is whether Labour considers it a permanent fixture, which it seems to be saying it is and if so then we’re diving back into poor law days without addressing the root causes of poverty and which dangerously plays right into the hands of Nact’s less government / less welfare / private charity model. Even if Labour does say it’s a temporary measure until “alternatives” are found, when do we know when we’ve found them? Policies like these would be very difficult to end once they’re put in place. Just look at how many saw food banks back in the early 1990s as “a temporary fix”? They’re now such an entrenched institution they’re even seen by Work and Income as a legitimate form of welfare. Food banks have helped plug gaps in ways that let the government off the hook fixing the systemic problems. Food in schools has the danger of doing the same. On top of this how would such funding be guaranteed to be used in the way it was intended and not used, as time goes by, to justify cuts to spending on education overall? The way education is funded and education budgets overall can over time are easily skewed or absorbed or characterised as something different and have the effect of lowering school funding overall.

        Of course we need to make sure kids have a full belly every day so they can learn with smiles on their faces. But if Labour’s new policy targets only lower decile schools and becomes a permanent part of how we deliver education then not only will we know it’s failed, we’ll be giving the many “true haters and greedy” within Nact, many of whom would not oppose such a policy, a helping hand to make things even worse.

        • fatty 2.1.1.1

          “But if Labour’s new policy targets only lower decile schools and becomes a permanent part of how we deliver education then not only will we know it’s failed, we’ll be giving the many “true haters and greedy” within Nact, many of whom would not oppose such a policy, a helping hand to make things even worse.”

          True, targeted welfare of this sort can perpetuate the issue of deserving/undeserving. Should be in all schools…as DTB says below.
          Also instead of based on charities, this is an opportunity to create jobs. Just like the housing shortage in Chch/Auck: lack of builders, unemployed, and youth who would benefit from a decent apprenticeship scheme.
          The dots are all there, can we get some people to join them up please.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    David Shearer’s policy of free meals for low decile schools is a bloody good one…

    It’d be a heel of a lot better if it was part of getting free meals into every school.

    The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…

    And this detracts from having free meals supplied at school how?
    Yes, we should be eliminating poverty but I think that shouldn’t impinge upon having good healthy meals at school.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I guess my point is that I’m wary of this kind of policy as it needs to be grounded in a plan for broader economic change. Otherwise it’s basically a third-way policy in that it uses the government profits (taxes) from a market economy to ameliorate (in a small way) that same market economy’s social costs.

      That works in a boom but we’re not in a boom now.

      You may recall Key’s plan for free muesli bars for poor kids (whatever happened to that wee gem?) I’m not saying that this is akin to it but I do want to see Shearer et al start talking about doing the big things differently as well as getting the small things right.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        I agree it needs to be grounded in a programme for broader economic change. And the use of PPPs and charities is all a bit neoliberal 3rd way. I rather go for the whole way the state-funded way, as in Finland.

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        Agreed IB.

        This is way better than the Pagani fed wedge stuff.  At least this time the wedge is in the right place.

        It is a progressive proposal but in the big picture quite cheap.  It allows business as usual but makes sure that more kids are getting fed.

        So I am happy with it but also a bit pensive.

        What is really interesting is that the blowtorch that the Standard has recently applied to Shearer has obviously had an effect. 

        • Bored 3.1.2.1

          IBs point is valid, but I am reminded of Keynes comment on us all being dead in the long run…..
          it is a case of priorities, keep the patient alive until a real cure can be administered.

        • Anne 3.1.2.2

          What is really interesting is that the blowtorch that the Standard has recently applied to Shearer has obviously had an effect.

          Yes, ms and it is such a relief – hopefully not short-lived. I’ve never understood what happened, because I remember David Shearer coming to speak to Labour members in my electorate about 18 months ago (well before he was leader) and he was saying exactly the same sort of thing only he applied it to a wider sphere of activity than just education. One has to wonder who was stopping him from coming out with his beliefs sooner.

  4. Bruno 32 4

    Why don’t we cut to the chase and lets have free meals for every one. I’m rich but I hate cooking as much as any one.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      You’re too fat already.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      Heh, Dom Perignon in every refrigerator! thats my idea of socialism rather than swapping undies with the neighbours or one lawn mower per street.

      But, cash dripping Mr Bruno, if you think it through it will happen when the one percenters chrome hard grip is finally prised off.

    • mike e 4.3

      bruno Need not greed you grotesque man.
      you already have a brand food named after you.
      Greed is never being satisfied always wanting MORE obsesive compulsive disoerder.

    • Colonial Viper 4.4

      Why don’t we cut to the chase and lets have free meals for every one. I’m rich but I hate cooking as much as any one.

      Not free meals for everyone who wants one…full time jobs for everyone who wants one. That’ll actually solve the problem you see.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Good work, Labour. Keep rolling out policy initiatives that focus on the contempt this government has for our people.

    I loved the NZ Herald expose of National MP slumlords who are too greedy to insulate their rental properties.

    Jobs next. Why are there unemployed while in Christchurch people are living on the streets!

    After that “exporting profits.” Why do we sell more abroad than we buy from overseas but for 30 years have NEVER had positive balance of payments? Because our company profits go to overseas owners. We can never milk enough cows or sell enough wood chips to overcome the mountain of money we pay to foreign owners of our banks and factories.

  6. But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…

    It’s depressing the above needs mentioning, but witness the above comments effectively declaring it the govt’s job to feed kids via the education system (presumably from people who don’t have any kids, because parents for the most part recognise instinctively whose job it actually is to see that their kids get enough to eat).

    A policy of schools feeding kids because the alternative is hungry kids is a declaration of emergency and has to be regarded as a stopgap until measures to see that kids are able to be fed by their parents are in place, not as a worthy general principle. So the big unanswered question here is: what’s their proposal for eradicating the need for schools to be feeding kids?

    • fatty 6.1

      “but witness the above comments effectively declaring it the govt’s job to feed kids via the education system”

      Why do you think schools should not be providing food at school?
      I see it as a preventative measure for all kinds of health and social issues.
      Do you hold this view for ideological reasons, or moral reasons, or what? I’m yet to hear a decent argument against it.

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.1

        Why do you think schools should not be providing food at school?

        For the same reason I think hospitals shouldn’t be fixing people’s cars or doing their dry cleaning – it’s not what they’re there for. That’s not either an ideological or a moral reason, more of a practical one. You could potentially make a case for school meals on the basis of parental convenience, but that’s not what’s under discussion here.

        • fatty 6.1.1.1

          So what are the limits of schools? Are you against this sort of thing too?
          How about social workers in schools?

          “That’s not either an ideological or a moral reason, more of a practical one”

          Why is food in schools not practical?…It works out cheap and prevents many negative effects. How is it not economically and socially practical?

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.1.1

            The thing is, food in schools isn’t cheap and prevents no negative health effects in my and a great many other people’s kids’ cases, because:

            1. We have no shortage of cash to buy our own food; and

            2. We aren’t wasters.

            So, the problem we’re looking at here isn’t one of schools failing to act in their appropriate role as canteens for the educational proletariat, it’s one of significant numbers of parents lacking either the cash, or the strength of character, or both, to be able to feed their kids properly. Which means, as pointed out multiple times already, programmes involving schools feeding kids are, or fucking ought to be in any case, an emergency stopgap measure while the actual problem is sorted out.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Time for analysis is over. School meals have a long proud tradition. Let’s get back to it.

              programmes involving schools feeding kids are, or fucking ought to be in any case, an emergency stopgap measure while the actual problem is sorted out.

              This will sort out the problem.

        • Sanctuary 6.1.1.2

          “…For the same reason I think hospitals shouldn’t be fixing people’s cars or doing their dry cleaning – it’s not what they’re there for…”

          This has to be the stupidest argument against a school lunch program I have ever seen. Of your argument, Samuel Johnson would simply take you any school in the land and say “I refute it thus!” Schools are state institutions; they are there to provide precisely what the government says they should provide. According to you, schools are not there to provide sports facilities, but they all have sports fields and swimming pools and much more besides. They have dental clinics, despite you clearly thinking they don’t have any mandate to fix childrens teeth whatsoever. Why can’t the government direct schools to also be community hubs with public health clinics, school lunches, adult education, sports, and even local community justice? They are state institutions, whose role may expand as the state sees fit. Finland – we all remember Finland – has a extensive schhol lunch program, as does Sweden. They would fall about laughing at the nonsense that schools don’t exist to provide meals.

          New Zealand never had school lunches because once upon a time people Jack was able to set the price of his labour with his master, and his price was enough to provide for his children’s needs from an ordinary wage. The neo-liberal “triumph” has been to deliver our country’s workers back to the mean state of the European poor from which Jack had thought he had delivered his decendents. The same conditions that led to creation of school lunch programs exist here. In addition, one could observe that common sense tells us that the provision of free, nutritious meals could be one of the clues to the success of Finland’s education system.

          Therefore it seems to me the conditions are fully met for Labours policy to be hailed as a simple common sense targetted measure that’ll actually improve educational outcomes. To me the aspect of this debate I find most incredible is that we are having it all. The cost at the upper end is put at nineteen million dollars per annum. That is absolute chicken feed. To put it in context, this National government has spent 200 million dollars just on consultants for its road building for National party cronies program. That is a decade of school lunches right there.

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.2.1

            New Zealand never had school lunches because once upon a time people Jack was able to set the price of his labour with his master, and his price was enough to provide for his children’s needs from an ordinary wage.

            And the left’s answer to the loss of Jack’s ability to provide for his kids from an ordinary wage is, apparently, for the schools to provide for them instead. Despite your lengthy rebuttal, I’m still not seeing the awesome genius of this approach.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1.1

              I’d happily cut school lunches if we had a policy of full employment.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.2.1.2

              True, it’s a bit of a band-aid.
                 
              But in lieu of a system where everyone can have a job and a single wage is enough to provide for a family, at least the kids get fed. 

            • fatty 6.1.1.2.1.3

              “And the left’s answer to the loss of Jack’s ability to provide for his kids from an ordinary wage is, apparently, for the schools to provide for them instead.”

              Yeah…most here think feeding kids at school as the best, cheapest, most efficient, and least stigmatising way to ensure kids are not hungry.
              But you seem quite sure that it is not the best way…so what do you the the answer is? Or are you happy the way things are?

            • Sanctuary 6.1.1.2.1.4

              Right, so because Shearer hasn’t come up with a policy that reverses all the neo-liberal disasters of the last quarter century, it follows that everything less is just existenial posturing? Sorry PM, but that is just patheticly defeatist posturing on your part. Worse, it is a defeatist posturing that won’t at least have the practical outcome of filling hungry tummys soon. A policy that feeds hungry kids is still a policy that feeds hungry kids, even if it doesn’t fit your purist desire for panacea solutions or nothing.

              • so because Shearer hasn’t come up with a policy that reverses all the neo-liberal disasters of the last quarter century, it follows that everything less is just existenial posturing?

                No. More like “But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…”, which is from the post and the bit I commented in support of. The dispute you’ve wandered into is with those who feel that the govt feeding people’s kids for them isn’t just a stopgap measure to ensure all kids get fed while the govt works on the actual problem.

                • fatty

                  So what’s your solution?…you say all kids should be fed at home. How do you think this can be done?

                • fatty

                  Psycho Milt:

                  You didn’t answer my question here…so I’m not surprised you didn’t answer this one too.
                  Lame…but unsurprising.

            • Bored 6.1.1.2.1.5

              Years back I was stunned when a worker in an aged care facility told me she had no had a pay rise for 15 years for doing the same work, which with inflation meant she had less than half of her prior wages. At the same time the management had significantly increased profits and wages. Obviously something had happened to break “Jills” ability to set the price of her labour.

              I see a certain (antisocial) genius in the simple formula of cutting real wages to move the profit upwards. Lets face it the price of work is not set by any other criteria than how close to, and what control of the margin you can get. Consequently we citizens have to feed the children whilst those close to the transaction / deals / books wander off in big brand new 4WDs paid for as tax write offs. Don’t tell me it ain’t so, I run the transaction / deals / books and it has been very nice from this end.

    • Carol 6.2

      Actually, some of us instinctively feel we all should take some responsibility for ensuring that all kids are fed well and educated.

      Once the whole community, including the broader whanau, looked out for their own. Since the rise of industrial capitalism, there’s a been a shift to the nuclear family, relatively separated from the rest of the community.

      • Psycho Milt 6.2.1

        Yeah, and once the whole community painted themselves with woad, lived in mud huts and looked forward to a life expectancy in the 30s, but that’s not how we live now. People who don’t delude themselves with hippy fantasies about villages raising a child are awake to the physical reality that nobody is going to care about their children the way they do – and if they don’t care, those kids have got some serious shit coming regardless of “community,” “whanau,” bullshit it how you will.

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.1

          I take it you do not have kids PM …

        • Carol 6.2.1.2

          And now kids are someone’s property. That’s capitalism for you – everything’s and most folk are owned.

          • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.2.1

            Well, those are pretty bizarre inferences to draw from that comment. Mickysavage: anything I write about the responsibilities of parents to their children is based on over a decade of intense and at times emotional personal experience of it. Carol: this may come as a shock, but ownership of another human being has been illegal for a long time in NZ. Maybe you were confused by the fact that it was accepted back in those halcyon, community-driven, pre-industrial capitalism days.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.3

          People who don’t delude themselves with hippy fantasies about villages raising a child are awake to the physical reality that nobody is going to care about their children the way they do

          For proper socialisation a child needs a lot of people about them so that they can learn. Stick them in a a small, insular family environment and they fail to learn that socialisation. And I’m pretty sure than most people will look after any child as well as they possibly can because most people aren’t sociopaths.

    • To be frank Psycho I do not give a flying feck who feeds the children as long as they are fed.

      And if the cost is $40 mil a year then this is really cheap. 

      • Herodotus 6.3.1

        So instead of addressing the real issue yet again we see a politician/Party playing on the peripheral. Either govt support is inadequate of those receiving it, or it is adequate and those receiving it are unable to allocate it out to allow that their children are adequately fed. But why address the cause ???

        • mickysavage 6.3.1.1

          So instead of addressing the real issue yet again we see a politician/Party playing on the peripheral. 

          Yep H  Let’s feed the kids and then have the debate. 

          • Herodotus 6.3.1.1.1

            You should be in politics. So you think kids are starving because ….?
            If it is lack of benefits or lack of income well sorry your party is a major part of the problem. If it is lack of parental skills them up skill. As I have read here and in open mike e.g. If you don’t know the reason then go out and find out but don’t try to tell us a solution when you don’t even know the cause. Pity that Labour had 9 great potential years to solve this under boom economic times and achieved a great big “F”. From questioning at RedAlert Labour appears not to even know what a livable wage is. So if you have no idea of that how can you work out what assistance is needed to lift these families up to be a participant in society and to benefit instead of survive.

            Mary 13.2
            9 September 2012 at 6:08 pm
            If it wasn’t driven by poverty and was simply seen as part and parcel of a free and inclusive education system then perhaps. But this is Labour’s response to the fact families can’t afford to feed their kids. If this is all that Labour can come up with, a policy that feeds into the Nact agenda of moving the responsibility for social welfare from government to the community and eventually private charity then all I can say is that Labour are just a bunch of unthinking and shortsighted twits.

          • muzza 6.3.1.1.2

            Only when real people accept the only way to work towards a future that might include them and their families, is to form a political party in a cogent fashion with, some focussed core policies, about a half dozen to start with. Then go about putting a challenge forward at the elections, by appealing to the majority of this country who are being screwed, will there be any genuine hope!

            Politics has become so bad, that anything which is not sh8T news, actually becomes seen as positive action…

            Do we see whats going on ….

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.2

        To be frank Psycho I do not give a flying feck who feeds the children as long as they are fed

        Well, you should. This is something that shouldn’t be needed, and although $40 mil isn’t much in the greater scheme of things, the fact it needs to be spent on this means we have a serious problem that really needs sorting out, not having a school meals band-aid put on it so we can kid ourselves it’s all sorted. By all means put the band-aid on it, but let’s not lose sight of the underlying problem.

        • mickysavage 6.3.2.1

          the fact it needs to be spent on this means we have a serious problem that really needs sorting out

          Yep we do.  The working poor cannot feed their kids properly and those without jobs do not have a chance.  This really does need to be sorted out.  I propose that the wealthy that already have way more than they need should share it around and expect less and give up the last tax cut.

          What do you propose PM? 

          • Psycho Milt 6.3.2.1.1

            Give up the last tax cut? Well, sure. That would reduce the amount the govt’s borrowing every month, but in the meantime there’s all these kids to feed.

            What I’d propose counts for shit seeing as I’m not standing for election, but as a matter of idle speculation:

            1. Wages need to go up. Best way to do that is to implement a friendlier legislative environment for unions.

            2. Unemployment needs to go down. Govts tend to be in a pretty good position for kicking off large-scale projects involving a lot of labour, and seeing to it that locals get the jobs.

            3. People with neither the ability nor the willingness to look after children need to be encouraged to avoid creating them. There’s a wide range of options, none of which find favour with hand-wringers.

            All the above are long-term, so yes we need school meals in the short term. Skip the above and you’ll be needing the school meals in perpetuity.

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.2.1.1.1

              You should stop making sense PM, it upsets my universe.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.1.1.2

              All the above are long-term, so yes we need school meals in the short term.

              Once they’re set up why take them away? Doing so would just be a waste of time and effort. Keeping them keeps the benefit that they bring (which, IMO, will be more than just kids being fed).

              • Once they’re set up why take them away?

                Because it’s not actually the govt’s job to feed your kids, any more than it’s the govt’s job to buy their clothes, see to it they get a shower occasionally or read them a story at night. Once we’re confident parents have enough money to feed their kids, the govt should back off and leave them to it, as a matter of principle. As I wrote above, you can make a case for school meals as a convenience thing and some countries do provide them, but I find it a crap idea in principle, first because parental convenience is a luxury taxpayers needn’t fund, and second… well, it’s hard to decide which is a worse prospect – bureaucrats establishing just how cheaply they can feed a schoolful of kids, or professional busybodies imposing their “healthy food” neuroses on schoolfuls of kids. Under National it’d be the first, and under Labour the second. Neither appeals.

                • starlight

                  Government need not fund tax cuts for the top 20%,but they do,government need not fund
                  the vast array of ‘consultants’ but they do,government need not cost the tax payers billions of dollars in the sale of assets,but they do, government need not take tax payer perks,but they do,government need not take acommodation allowances,but they do,government’s actions are the cause of the problems,yes they are.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Because it’s not actually the govt’s job to feed your kids,

                  Actually, feeding everybody is part of the responsibilities that comes with being a society rather than a bunch of individuals.

                  Once we’re confident parents have enough money to feed their kids, the govt should back off and leave them to it, as a matter of principle.

                  And feeding the kids at school can easily be part of that “money”.

                  As I wrote above, you can make a case for school meals as a convenience thing

                  Actually, I think of it more along the lines of socialisation.

                  first because parental convenience is a luxury taxpayers needn’t fund,

                  The parents are taxpayers and so they’ll be the ones funding it.

                  …bureaucrats establishing just how cheaply they can feed a schoolful of kids, or professional busybodies imposing their “healthy food” neuroses on schoolfuls of kids.

                  Schools are run by school boards which hopefully listen to the professionals and I’ve NFI why you think having healthy food is a negative.

              • Mary

                A permanent food programme only for lower decile schools is an admission by Labour that they don’t care about fairness or equality. It plays into right-wing thinking around who’s responsible for the delivery of welfare in the same way as the Whanau Ora programme does. It’s easy to support these ideas because nobody wants to be seen as opposing kids getting fed or Maori taking control over their future, but hearing Shearer talking about government funding community groups to go into schools to provide meals for disadvantaged kids was sickening. Why are these kids disadvantaged in the first place, Mr Shearer? This is just more evidence that Labour’s policies on welfare are identical to what ACT/National want. The sickness beneficiary on the roof, support for no benefit for those with warrants – now it’s shifting responsibility for welfare delivery over to the community. All this on top of what Labour did to social welfare through its nine-year reign of terror on social welfare including introducing legislation that allows work-testing of people on the invalid’s benefit! FFS! With all of this and now funding charity to feed kids in low decile schools is a short step to the work houses and other laws for the poor that failed way back then and for the same reasons will fail today. Labour’s welfare policy is anathema to fairness and equality and is divisive. There is no hope for Labour. They are unfixable. I say cut them loose now.

    • mike e 6.4

      Psyho so we bring up healthy well educated kids that don’t require more state help as seen in our own longtitudinal study in dunedin with good food housing and education we inoculate these children for life.

  7. Bruno 32 7

    So theres no such thing as a free lunch but free breakfasts are the rage. I am getting confused guys.

    • McFlock 7.1

      no kidding? 

    • mike e 7.2

      Bruno it would be easy with your lack of intellect.

    • OneTrack 7.3

      But there will be free lunch. Kids who don’t get breakfast from their parents probably dont get lunch either. And the kids won’t learn if they are hungry in the afternoon. So the logical next step is that the state should provide lunch for them as well. The teachers don’t have that much to do so they will be happy to supervise the meal. Well they will have already got used to it after supervising breakfast, so it’s all good. And to be “fair”, the state should provide breakfast and lunch for all children, irrespective of decile rating (which we arent allowed to know anyway). This regime must apply to pre-school children as well because, as we all know, the early years are the most important period for learning.

      • McFlock 7.3.1

        oh noes! There will be an outbreak of well-fed children in the country! It’s communism by health! 
             
        Maybe you should shift to a country where they’re happy to have kids go hungry. Then we’d all be better off. Especially NZ kids. 

        • OneTrack 7.3.1.1

          Good that you admit it is communism by SThealth.

          And how much will it all cost? Who cares – other peoples money.

          • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1

            Damn, I keep forgetting that about you toryboys – for you to register sarcastic agreement, it has to be an outright godwin.
               
            It’s not “communism” to feed hungry kids. It’s called “being human”. Fuckwit.

            • Steve Wrathall 7.3.1.1.1.1

              “It’s not “communism” to feed hungry kids. It’s called “being human”. Fuckwit.”

              So by your definition, parents who don’t feed their kids are not human?

              • McFlock

                So by your definition, parents who don’t feed their kids are not human?

                I’d say that the very few parents who choose to not feed their kids have perhaps lost touch with their humanity. But that is very different from the many who are part of the structural 6-8% unemployment and/or fucked by winz or ACC who are simply too poor to feed their kids adequately.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  We’re not talking about parents who don’t feed their kids adequately. We’re talking about parents who don’t feed their kids at all in the morning.

                  • McFlock

                    For which they are only culpable only if they have the ability and money to feed their kids, but do not. 
                                 
                    You have to have food in order to be able to withhold it. 

                    • Steve Wrathall

                      What is the cost of some slices of bread and and some peanut butter?

                    • McFlock

                      too much if your benefit doesn’t pay your bills.
                           
                      Seriously, go to your local charity or food bank and have a chat with their budget advisor. Ask them about the ratio of dropkicks who put all their money on HPs for the soundsystem vs parents whose meager income doesn’t meet essential bills.
                             
                      The fact that you even asked that question shows how out of touch you are with how some of your fellow citizens live. 

                • Bored

                  What is the cost of some slices of bread and and some peanut butter? It is one hell of a lot if you don’t have it because you just spent all the cash paying some inflated rental plus increased power bills etc.

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.2

            And how much will it all cost? Who cares – other peoples money.

            The money doesn’t belong to you mate, until you pay the taxes you are required to on it.

          • mike e 7.3.1.1.3

            OT So National is already contributing so that makes them a communist party according to your short sighted redneck theory.
            So this money disappears forever OT stops going round the economy according to your dimwitted ideas.
            The money put into this area goes to the shops employees growers distributors who all work not simply speculate and they all pay taxes gst company and personal etc.
            Grow up.and stop being a shortsighted selfish prick!

          • Tracey 7.3.1.1.4

            not as much as is spent in the justice system, the health system etc as a result of hungry under performing children. You tories and your fake economies

  8. Bored 8

    Actually on reflection this announcement by Labour might be far more significant than we realise at face value. To suggest that food must be given to children indicates to me that :
    * Labour finally understand that the market has failed to deliver to those in need.
    * Labour has decided that those on the non voting disenfranchised take priority over winning the floating centrist vote.

    I hope this signals the beginning of a fundamental move back to Labours roots.

    • burt 8.1

      * Labour has decided that those on the non voting disenfranchised take priority over winning the floating centrist vote.

      Yes it’s probably the best way to increase their voter support outside of the center bloc.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Yes Burt, I think the centre is best left to the “right”, its going to shrink dramatically as the recession increases. The new “unemployed” classes will be mighty pissed off at their fall from the centre.

  9. Bruno 32 9

    So how will voting back the gaggle improve parenting ? You guys must be on drugs.

  10. captain hook 10

    I think most hungry kids would think this is a fair policy.

  11. Paw prick 11

    Remind me what WFF is/supposed to achieve? Is it a failed policy?
    If it is not achieving what it was intended for then maybe it needs to be riviewed and the money can come from that pool to provide breakfast for the kids?

  12. captain hook 12

    only labour will be able to fix it.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    These steps are required because NZ lost the policy of full employment it had through the 1950’s and the 1970’s.

    • indiana 13.1

      The parents of today and future parents, wouldn’t care less about the policies of the 1950’s and 1970’s.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Maybe true.
        But they care about getting jobs that enable them to feed their kids. 

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        The parents of today and future parents, wouldn’t care less about the policies of the 1950′s and 1970′s.

        Of course they would, they can learn political economics from them.

    • burt 13.2

      CV

      NZ didn’t lose the full employment policy, it failed…. As a policy goal it was abandoned because it’s not something that can be successfully engineered in a sustainable way. Of course in dreamy ‘fighting the man’ memories it was a roaring success to mandate full employment… nope, not social engineering – really it wasn’t….. it’s progressive…

      Spare us the romantic revisions of past Labour greatness CV.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Full employment is easy to achieve. Just extract an additional $5B pa of taxes from the most wealthy. In comparison the failure of neoliberalism over the last 30 years is clear for all to see.

        Spare us the romantic revisions of past Labour greatness CV

        You ain;t seen nothin yet.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1

          Need more than $5b. Try $25b. Of course, if the figures are right, around $14b of that is what they’re not paying now that they should be.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            $5B is fine just for wages mate. 170,000 jobs paying $30K pa. Plus you get a lot of that back in tax too, to recycle a second time around :)

            Of course maybe another $5B raised for equipment and materials would also be of use.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, that $5b along with the ~$14b that they’re presently not paying should probably do it.

              Of course, if the government was the one that created and destroyed money in the first place then it wouldn’t have to raise in an income as such – merely adjust taxes to maintain monetary value.

            • indiana 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Lets say your fantasy came to revelation…are you also content to pay someone $30k even if they are incompetent just for the sake of keeping unemployment to zero?

              • Draco T Bastard

                If they’re in employment then they’ll probably increase they’re competence. If they’re on the unemployment benefit then they probably won’t. So, $12k/annum to achieve nothing or $30k/annum to give somebody a chance – I think I’ll go with the latter thanks.

      • mike e 13.2.2

        Burt so we should accept unemployment is here to stay and stop denigrating the unemployed.

        • prism 13.2.2.1

          mike e
          I think Burt will find the page to quote you from his economics textbook soon.

        • Steve Wrathall 13.2.2.2

          There will always be some people between jobs, just like there will always be some people bewteen relationships. Promising full employment is as credible as promising there will be no single people.

          • McFlock 13.2.2.2.1

            “between jobs” implies a job to go to, if they wish.
            This is  different from the structural unemployment we have now, where 200 people desperate for work line up for one or two positions.

            • Steve Wrathall 13.2.2.2.1.1

              The scarcity of such positions is a function of the minimum wage. An employer who could offer two such positions at $15/hr could offer three positions at $10/hr.

              • blue leopard

                …or could offer 10 at $1/hr for that matter.

                Are you saying that there is unemployment is because the government won’t allow employers to pay employees less?!

                Brilliant! Hope there are enough bridges for the $1/h wage earners to live under.

              • McFlock

                sounds like a fixed lump of labour remuneration fallacy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The scarcity of such positions is a function of the minimum wage.

                No it isn’t as has been proved. Go read Debunking Economics and get an education.

              • Bored

                Steve, thats deliberately disingenuous. If an employer has 2 roles why would he hire 3?
                As an employer I can tell you that the reason for unemployment is that the revenue incoming has lost volume and / or margin…..so you decrease the costs. Nobody tries to diminish revenue (sales), but if there is less money being spent in the market revenue falls. Employing more people for less wont put more money into the market.

              • Murray Olsen

                Thank you for informing us of ACT policy, Steve. Now run along for a pat on the head from Banks. Just don’t expect a relationship, because he is after all a married man.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Blow harder Wrathall. According to Treasury (lefties the lot of them) there is no evidence that increasing the minimum wage has any effect on employment levels. Put up or shut up!

              • mike e

                it would save even more if we just allowed slavery ie national fishing and farming policy less bureaucracy no labour laws etc pike river Korean fishing boats.

          • Tracey 13.2.2.2.2

            which means, by extrapolation you accept the need for welfare and don’t deride those who are on it or begrudge it to them.

            so if the minimum wage were $5 an hour, and employer would employ 4 people for the office admin job instead of 1??? And how would they be able to make sure their kids had breakfast lunch and dinner on that wage?

            The imaginary trickle down theory of the extra wealth generated by the business, will lead the employer to offer wage increases all the time… of that’s right, he/she would rather employ 4 at $5 per hour for one job…. wouldnt want to pay 4 people $10 in good times to do the same one job…

          • North 13.2.2.2.3

            You are nothing less than a fanatic Wrathall with a very obvious hatred of all of those so churlish as to be poor. Extraordinary !

  14. Sanctuary 14

    Just one more comment on Shearer’s speech. While the school lunch program is for some bizarre reason of great interest to the ideological and moral panic merchants of the right, the proposal that career planning for students should begin ”at the very start of secondary school” potentially is far, far more important.

    If we look at two of the three European countries with the lowest youth unemployment – Switzerland and Germany (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/may/16/youth-unemployment-europe-oecd) – we discover that the secret to their low unemployment is robust vocational programs to take kids from school into jobs. Germany has its paid apprenticeship system (often while still at school) and Switzerland has its vocational education system, which combines school education with a paid apprenticeship in a company (the so-called dual system).

    If Labour is serious about this then it shows someone has finally woken up to the actual mechanism that translates an excellent education system into a highly productive, employed one. It also signals that someone somewhere in a major political party is finally looking at empirical evidence instead of just declaring the market will provide the mechanism for job training. Up until now, New Zealanders have adopted an underpants gnomes approach to the link between education, employment, and productivity that has gone:

    Throw money at education.
    ?
    High productivity and wages.

    Effectively, we’ve indulged in a vastly inefficient and wasteful middle class educational arms race for degrees that simply means we churn out vast numbers of lawyers, accountants, business graduates, performing and liberal arts students and the like who discover that a $50,000 student loan gets them a 35k entry level job with the IRD – providing the IRD with a worker that a vocational training scheme combined with a three year diploma could have done without the vast cost incurred in student loans.

    Of course, the implication is that the business sector will actually have to help and contribute to an proper jobs and training program, so I expect our captains of industry to oppose anything as enlightened as that tooth and nail.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Yeah most kids today are wasted at uni; and an awful lot of uni quals are useless to society. If anything more people should study history and literature; fewer marketing and law.

      • Sanctuary 14.1.1

        I think that middle class capture meant our quest for the myth of an egalitarian education system has been interpreted since the 1970s as “everyone has the right to go to university and get a degree”, when what Clarence Beeby actually said was “every person regardless of background or ability had a right to an education OF A TYPE FOR WHICH THEY WERE BEST SUITED”.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Yep. And its important to remember that we should never let schooling get in the way of an education!!! (apologies to Mark Twain)

      • prism 14.1.2

        CV 14.1
        I think that all uni qualifications should be cross department, some social policy, some business, strategic planning and decision making, some study of broad history looking for the common recurring factors, full study of economic philosophy and broad study of philosophers, some literature involving non-fiction Marx and Hitler and included, and studies of different political and ruling systems, and then importantly Critical Thinking that helps to sort out the bullshit from others and identify the merely wishful thinking from oneself and the practical methods to humanely achieve near to those wishes.

        That’s all I want. Probably missed some things out. But Douglas Myer and some other high flyer took history, the study has to be targeted beyond just the wonder of the past but what can
        be learned and applied better for a beneficial outcome to society as well as oneself.

    • blue leopard 14.2

      @ Sanctury

      “While the school lunch program is for some bizarre reason of great interest to the ideological and moral panic merchants of the right, the proposal that career planning for students should begin ”at the very start of secondary school” potentially is far, far more important.”

      +1 Interesting comments thanks

    • Polish Pride 14.3

      You are forgetting a key policy that enables their high levels of employment and the primary reason. Very tight immigration control.

  15. Tracey 15

    beginning to train children in jobs at age 13 is more important than ensuring 5-11 year olds get a decent meal a day???? It’s a shame we don’t have wood burning open fires as much anymore, we could make them all chimney sweeps during primary school to teach them the value of money. How do you get around the probability that we have so many law, commerce and business graduates because the might dollar rules the minds of those choosing these subjects. To get lots of money to feed their already insatiable habit to have everything they want, now??

    I also like Louise Wall’s proposal to get 4 year olds into school grounbds for free pre school. This, together with one decent meal a day (minimum) will be a great foundation for learning and their futures.

    • Carol 15.1

      Yes, I think vocational training should not start at school. School should provide a broader education and leave options open to students. how many of us knew what job we wanted to do when at school?

      Some pre-vocational courses could be provided at school though, along side more academic subjects: courses that give students an idea of what various jobs are like, and then required for them.

      But I do think there should be less focus on all students getting degrees, and more value attached to training for skilled jobs.

      As well as that, the general focus on both school and tertiary education should not be purely vocational – I attach high value to arts and social science courses, but they all don’t provide an easy route into work – they are of value to our culture, and for preparing people for taking an active and critical role in a democratic society.

      I’m pleased to see Shearer mention inclusion of ‘civics” into the school curriculum.

    • blue leopard 15.2

      @ Tracey,

      “beginning to train children in jobs at age 13 is more important than ensuring 5-11 year olds get a decent meal a day???? ”

      If the problem of unemployment and our young ones leaving school into unemployment and no training is not addressed there will only be increasingly more children and adults going without the basics of life.

      The feeding of children is only the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff of poor political approaches over the last 30+ years and it is imperative that the poor political approaches are addressed.

      I would like to be see more interest in addressing the long-term issues on these disgraceful conditions.

      • Tracey 15.2.1

        feeding five year olds is NOT the ambulance at the bottom, it’s the fence at the top of the cliff… from a health and education point of view. Able, well fed and focused children will find their way far more than sick hungry children under a car at 13 doing an apprenticeship.

  16. Georgy 16

    I dont think schools are the place for the provision of meals. This policy will balloon out to mega millions. More schools outside the original group will want to be included, then there will be the cost of food prep areas, then there will be a need for full commercial services meeting commercial hygiene standards, then there will be a need for dining halls, then there will be the need for trained staff………..etc etc

    Instead

    If the state is going to pay for a meal, then provide each qualifying family with a card that can be swiped at the local shop for a boxed lunch for each child, picked up on the way to school.

    Schools should be left to focus on teaching children.

    • Rusty Shackleford 16.1

      It’s pretty much an ingrained genetic trait of the average statist that they either fail to recognise or purposely ignore the hidden consequences of their actions. This is a well intentioned policy, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      I’d like to know what kind of food they propose feeding the kids. Likely a low fat one chocker block with hearthealthywholegrains. In other words, sugar and gut irritants.

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        “This is a well intentioned policy, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ”

        Like, asset sales, tax cuts for the top earners, breaching privacy Act when it suits, and so on?

        • Rusty Shackleford 16.1.1.1

          I’m pretty sure all of the acts you just outlined were performed in blatant bad faith.

    • prism 16.2

      On targeting children for meals I have found an anecdote from a book on the memories of a poor girl in London. She was bright and had been sent to a school said to be superior, and the girls certainly were. You don’t just go to school to learn from the teacher, the other pupils can teach some crushing lessons.

      These ones laughed at her long uniform, frugally chosen as big enough to grow into for years.
      They were from better-off homes, mostly Jewish, and called her Polly Long Frock. Then
      there was a school request for children needing a dinner ticket because of poverty. She was humiliated when she was the only one to go forward. Then she felt ashamed about being poor and singled out and didn’t go to the meals, so had no food. A friend heard her tale and asked the Headmaster to hand the tickets out in private. Eventually her begging to return to her old school was successful – and she did very well there, and got good marks.

      So there is more to school than teachers providing education for children. Youngsters need to be cared for and about. It doesn’t pay to act from feelings of ‘should’ in making decisions for others, but to see the situation in full.

    • Tracey 16.3

      they sleep over a third of the day, they are at school from 8-ish to 3-ish and you think schools arent well-placed to feed them???

      The need for trained staff? Oh, you mean new jobs???

      You honestly buy that a swiped card for a lunch box is going to be cheaper?

      • Colonial Viper 16.3.1

        PRIVATE boarding schools feed their well off students THREE MEALS per day and those kids do JUST FINE. (Well we can talk about that heh).

        The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.

        • Carol 16.3.1.1

          The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.

          My thoughts exactly. So they raise the welfare dependencies bogie as a way to discredit anything that will level the playing field a bit – in spite of the fact that lessening inequalities are generally better for the whole society.

          This won’t totally end inequalities. The better off families will still be more advantaged. However, it’ll make it harder for them to rip of society to become more wealthy than anyone needs to be.

    • Dave 16.4

      Not a bad idea Georgy, but I can equally see this idea of yours ballooning out to cost millions, I think the Labour policy could work, and at least it shows they at least appear to give a fuck. And as a chef myself, I think that it would depend on the meals being offered, if they are American style school dinners, then yes, full kitchens would be needed, but if it is cold foods, sandwiches, fruit and ready made food, which is far more nutritious than chicken nuggets and pizza , not very many facilities are needed, all I would need is a few s/less steel benches, a fridge and the food obviously, everything else I would need is in my knife roll. I would get right behind this policy, would solve a few job needs too I would think.

  17. Rusty Shackleford 17

    What kind of food are they going to be feeding the kids?

    • McFlock 17.1

      The crumbs from your kitchen floor, rusty.

      What are you after, a full menu or just a promise that the meals won’t include arsenic?

      • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1

        A promise that the meals won’t follow the formula endemic to all the other places that provide school lunches.
        http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          Some of those are terrible and some are excellent. See: http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch?offset=0&sort=best_imgs

          If you’re trying to say that all school lunches are terrible – which you are – then your own link proves you totally wrong.

          • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1.1

            Just google American school lunch
            http://goo.gl/xfiHd

            You never know, this could turn out awesome. I’d be for it on a school by school basis, let them choose. But forcing it down a certain segment’s throat will never work. It never does. The logistics are way more complicated and expensive than you seem to think.

            The govt isn’t in charge of the procurement, distribution, handling, preparation, serving and clean up of our food for a reason. We would all starve, as is happening to kids in American and British schools. They are being feed nutrient poor foods (all signed off on by their national food authorities) that are full of starch and sugar.

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Hark at Nanny McRusty, caring about the kiddies’ diets.
                     
              Some school lunches are good, some school lunches are bad. The existence of good school lunches demonstrates that it is an achievable goal, yea even for a government. The costs are surmountable, the logistics solvable, and the benefits incalculable.
                        
              Especially compared to letting children go hungry.
                     
               

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Especially compared to letting children go hungry.”
                You presume I’m in favour of this?

                “The costs are surmountable, the logistics solvable, and the benefits incalculable.”
                Fine good, you are right. Let’s see how it all pans out. If they go through with it, I hopes it is a rousing success. If it isn’t successful will you show any form of contrition that you might have been wrong? That you supported a plan that wasted money and contributed to suffering, or will you blithely go on suggesting crack pot schemes as the statists continue to do?

                • McFlock

                  Dude, you’re going to great lengths to pick holes in an alternative to children going hungry, while offering none yourself. But far be it for me to cast aspersions on your character – you do well enough yourself.
                         
                   And you know what, if school lunches turn out to be more harmful for the kids than going hungry, it would probably be because National got a hold of them. And no, in that case I wouldn’t be making an act of contrition – I’ll be working through democratic means to improve the lunches.
                         
                  Love your idea that some food “contributes to suffering” more than no food

        • joe90 17.1.1.2

          What kind of food are they going to be feeding the kids?

          From a nation that rates tomato sauce as a vegetable you’d expect shit food but elsewhere…. not so bad.

          • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.2.1

            Korean school lunches can be a bit up and down. It is just a giant lump of starchy empty calories that will spike your blood sugar and some watery soup. A small serving of salty preserved veg, maybe a little meat if you are lucky and a sugary treat to top it off. It’s more of a recipe for a post lunch nap than some magic potion that will lead us all to prosperity.

            100% better than what the average kiwi kid eats for lunch, though.

            • cardassian 17.1.1.2.1.1

              You were in a different Korean school than me then.
              In the state school I was at we got soup, rice, Meat/Tofu/Fish, at least 2 fresh vegetables, Kimchi and a piece of fruit.
              Was great as it became my main meal and meant I only needed a light meal later on.

      • North 17.1.2

        Wrathall……..as explained in words to this effect by (I think) American historian William Blum;

        The Trickle Down Theory benefits the poor because it facilitates the falling of crumbs from the tables of the rich into the mouths of the poor – it is therefore in the best interests of the poor that society upsize the meals of the rich.

        The ungrateful poor just don’t know how lucky they are, do they Wrathall ? If they’d just stop their pathetic whinging in no time at all a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour would have them all creaming it. Masters of the universe like you possessed of your aggressively vaunted fantastical constructs would see to it, wouldn’t you ?

  18. Steve Wrathall 18

    The projected cost of this is a joke. What makes you think that most parents won’t cease to supply food for their kids once they get the idea that it’s the gummint’s job?

    • Carol 18.1

      What makes you think that most parents won’t cease to supply food for their kids once they get the idea that it’s the gummint’s job?

      Would that be so bad? Think about it.

      It’s quicker and more cost effective to produce a lot of meals at once. At the moment, each individual family produces their children’s lunches. Many of the parents in these families are both working and pressured for time.

      Having the lunches done for them (including buying the food etc) would take some pressure off parents, and take some stress off many workers, who would then perform better at work.

      And as long as there’s a progressive tax regime that raises enough money to do it, seems all good to me. The country, including it’s children and workers would be better off.

      • Steve Wrathall 18.1.1

        And that really what’s at the heart of this policy isn’t it. Beyond all the hand wringing about the fact that hundreds of thousands of your people are so steeped in welfarism that they don’t really see why they should have to feed their kids, there is the agenda of taking as much responsibility as possible from families and handing it over to a state bureucracy. Why not provide everyone with their 3 daily rations? Think of the efficiencies….

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 18.1.1.1

          “…hundreds of thousands of your people are so steeped in welfarism that they don’t really see why they should have to feed their kids…”

          Really? Says who? Surely you don’t expect anyone to take your weasel word for it, do you?

    • fatty 18.2

      “The projected cost of this is a joke”

      Wrong…the projected cost of NOT doing this is a joke.

    • Colonial Viper 18.3

      Steve, you really need to look beyond just the cost of things to the actual value of things. Just saying.

    • Tracey 18.4

      it’s fairer than say, a tax cut to the top 5% during a recession which won’t give any momentum to growth or job creation at all… Please don;’t assume that those who can afford to feed their children do it, or do it well.

      Well fed, well educated, awake and alert children are more likely to become strong and confidant. This measure will also impact on children’s ability to fight back, off or speak up about abuse etc…just as self defence courses for teenage high school girls has shown (of course the govt put a stop to that nonsense)

    • mike 18.5

      South Korea has a tax rate of 4-7%, yet every weekday every public school kid in the country gets a full, hot, healthy, free lunch. Chew on that NZ.

      So every kid gets at least one decent meal a day regardless of their family’s economic status.

      Is there a problem with parents ‘ceasing to supply food for their kids’? No Steve, there isn’t. That’s because just like every where else parents want to help their kids as much as they can, not starve them. And yes Steve, that even applies to the poor ones.

  19. captain hook 19

    the last two weren’t much help.
    full of doom and naysaying.
    typical tories.

  20. redfred 20

    “Gummints job”, I love that non-thinking right wing drone saying; it shows how much they have swallowed the neo-liberal crap that has led to 25% of children in poverty in this country.

    Food to ensure these kids get the best start to their day is an excellent policy. I am sure a well designed healthy meal plan can be put together easily. The logistics of supply should be straight forward; no need for Dickens like pots of gruel that some seem to be imagining.

  21. aerobubble 21

    Free trade means that our citizens, and the citizens of China, Russia, or America, are the same
    economically. Welcome to parity of poverty, since the inception of free trade has sen us become
    more and more in debt, our ecology more destroyed, our water, soils, atmosphere more polluted and run down. Free trade without even stronger protections of consumers, taxpayers and the environment, without simpler and easier to impose laws on wrongdoers, is effectively global slavery.
    Free trade isn’t delivery outcomes that any of us should rejoice in.

    • Steve Wrathall 21.1

      This I presume is the same free trade that allows us all, including the non-child-feeders, to buy food, clothes, appliances, et al, at a fraction of the cost of previeous decades

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.1

        …the same, under-regulated free trade that allowed a multi-billion dollar fraud to be perpetrated against pretty much everybody, so that even though the whiteware is cheaper wages are too.

        • Steve Wrathall 21.1.1.1

          Please provide evidence of this fraud to the appropriate authorities. They’re not hard to contact. Especially as free trade and capitalism has brought computers and smart phones within the purchasing range of the poor non-child-feeders.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            Ahhhhh…the “authorities” i.e. our political and business leaders…are the PERPETRATORS of the FRAUD

            they’re the ones who legalised the theft mate. Or are you just unimaginative?

            Especially as free trade and capitalism has brought computers and smart phones within the purchasing range of the poor non-child-feeders.

            You are aware that cheap imported shit is not a substitute for real jobs with real wages? That a $200 cell phone doesn’t really make up for a $200 fortnightly shortfall in wages because the minimum wage is so low?

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.1.1.2

            Have you been living in a cave? Does the acronym LIBOR mean anything to you? How about CDO?

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.2

        Yes, the same “free trade” which lets about $9B get sucked out of NZ annually by foreign owned companies that we either used to own ourselves, or could do the job of ourselves.

        Gawd our political leadership sucks.

        • Steve Wrathall 21.1.2.1

          It’s simple, if you spend more than you earn, eventually somone will come and take your stuff to make up the shortfall. If you want to hang onto your stuff, increase your earnings (more mining, dairying, more flexible labor laws, etc) or decrease your spending (WFF, 0% student loans and other welfare). Otherwise stop grizzling when the bills come due for the policies you support.

          • Bored 21.1.2.1.1

            It’s simple, if you take more than you give, eventually somone will come and take your head….its the Marie Antoinette rule.

            • Rusty Shackleford 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Doesn’t (something like) the bottom 30% of NZers take more from the system than what they put in? (not making any moral judgments just asking you to think about what you say).

            • Steve Wrathall 21.1.2.1.1.2

              Do you seriously think the top tax payers go out and use at least that amount of state health, education, etc. Anyway thank you for your admission that behind all the moralising veneer of socialist apologetics is ultimately, the threat of violence.

              • Colonial Viper

                Violence is the ultimate and historical equaliser of highly unequal and unjust societies Steve. After a certain tipping point, its what happens, and it can be seen throughout history.

                “Socialist apologetics” as you call it, also has very practical uses for the elite you realise – they get to keep their heads if society remains fair to all.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  Agree with me and you get to keep your head…Why bother trying to give an argument if it really comes down to that?

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    If that were CV’s argument you’d have a point. Is this a genuine incapacity of understanding or simply a rhetorical trick?

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Steve Wrathall are you handicapped or just pretending?

                Government is a perfectly rational response to the threat of violence from war, Randist serial killers, etc. And, yes, it is better to incarcerate Randist superheroes before they kill again, and to use violence against them if necessary, whether their disgusting crimes are the apotheosis of magnificent free will or not.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  “…it is better to incarcerate Randist superheroes…”
                  Please find more suitable website for your fetish fantacies.

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    Nothing fantastical about pointing out that criminal behaviour is the embodiment of Objectivism.

                    • OneTrack

                      Especially when, like all good communist regimes, you define criminal behaviour as disagreeing with the party line. “Education” camps on the volcanic plateau perhaps.

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      Nope – just regular criminal behaviour. Although, as any good Objectivist can tell you, fewer regulations make so many more behaviours legal after all.

                      The superhero has no regard for others nor acknowledgement of the debt owed to society. It’s a recipe for criminality right there – greed is good, remember.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.2.1.2

            So why does the incompetent numb-nuts government on the treasury benches spend more than it raises in tax then? As opposed to the previous government which maintained a surplus.

            Don’t bother – the answer is that you have no fucking clue what’s going on while you insist on looking at everything through Rand tinted lenses.

      • mike 21.1.3

        Food is a fraction of the cost of previous decades? It’s weird because I’ve heard most people saying that food prices keep going up. Which supermarket do you go to bud?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Consumer_Price_Index_Graph.svg

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/FoodPriceIndex_HOTPJan11/Commentary.aspx

        • prism 21.1.3.1

          mike
          If you are poor then housing is going to use up around half your very small income. Then food does seem expensive when it has to be bought when electricity use is up in winter for example. Things are relative all right but the disposable income of the individual past and present also has to be looked at.

  22. captain hook 22

    I hear some non attributed national party stooges on RNZ saying they know how to do “ALL THAT” but they haven’t done it.
    why?

    • Tracey 22.1

      children don’t vote…

      now, a privatised, govt feeding profit to commercial enterprise scheme for feeding children… subsidies by stealth… THAT they can probably understand

  23. tsmithfield 23

    The problem I have with state interventions into child welfare is that I believe it can lead to a type of diffusion of responsibility.

    Under this psychological construct, because the “large group” (i.e. the taxpayers) are taking up responsibility for the children, the parents of those children feel progressively less responsible individually because others are taking up those responsibilities. This seems to lead to a downward spiral that ends up with the state taking complete care for the children.

    If “diffusion of responsibility” applies in this way, then interventions that enable parents to provide better care are likely to be more effective than ones that target children directly.

    • Tom Gould 23.1

      Is that the same kind of ‘diffusion of responsibility’ that happens when the Tories sell assets to buy another bunch of Tories a free irrigation scheme, and sack the Regional Council to make sure it happens fast? That sort? Or where you thinking of another sort?

    • Pascal's bookie 23.2

      That’s not what diffusion of responsibilty means TS.

      DoR is about the scenario when no one helps someone because they all wait for someone else to do it. Because there is a large group of people there, no individual feels responsible, so no one takes the first step.

    • Colonial Viper 23.3

      tsmithfield – society must take responsibility for its own. First for providing decent jobs to people who want them. And failing that, to ensure none go hungry and cold.

    • mike e 23.4

      The silly monetarist or the sort that leads John Key and Paula Bene basher from poverty to be PM and Cabinet minister but deny others the same path!

  24. Tracey 24

    Why do you think the majority of parents who cannot put three square meals on the table for their children do that??

    ” This seems to lead to a downward spiral that ends up with the state taking complete care for the children.” It could lead to well fed, healthy children, awake and alert in school and learning stuff… they may also learn about good and healthy food, and they might learn to be better people and parents (eventually) for it. Wouldn’t that be awful? Much better to punish the children for their parents’ inadequacies or poverty and ensure the next generation follow the last.

  25. Rusty Shackleford 25

    “It could lead to well fed, healthy children, awake and alert in school and learning stuff…”
    What makes you think this is a given? This is why I’m so interested in what the school menus will be. Chances are they won’t be filled with foods that are conducive to the outcomes you seem to presume.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 25.1

      Chances are? Oh yeah? Says who?

      • felix 25.1.1

        If National were in charge of such a scheme they’d probably contract it to McDonalds.

        Maybe that’s the sort of assumption he’s working from.

        Certainly the link above that Rusty himself provided shows that many schools around the world can and do provide healthy, nutritious food to children.
        http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch?offset=0&sort=best_imgs

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          Private boarding schools provide 3 meals to their students every day of the week, whether there is school on or not! So do a lot of university hostels!

          • TheContrarian 25.1.1.1.1

            Yes, they do. But the parents pay for it in their fee’s.

            I don’t see you suggesting public schools bill the parents for the meals so you are not com,paring like with like. 

            • felix 25.1.1.1.1.1

              So what? Kids still need feeding and someone has to pay for it.

              • Indeed, that’s quite right. I don’t have a problem with Shearers suggestion at all. 

                But being outraged at the rich private boarding school kids being feed is a bit silly when their parents pay through the nose for it so it is not comparable to feeding low decial schools for free.  

                • felix

                  Who’s outraged?

                  • C.Viper has made a couple of shouty posts about it.

                    • McFlock

                      That doesn’t seem to be “outrage”.
                         

                      It seems to be a perfectly valid response to idiots who argue that providing healthy food at a school is either impossible or impractical – i.e. pointing out that it already happens perfectly well.
                         
                      I reckon the “shouty” bit comes from trying to bang reality into the thick heads of tories.

                    • felix

                      TC your comprehension problem is letting you down. Again.

                    • “PRIVATE boarding schools feed their well off students THREE MEALS per day and those kids do JUST FINE. (Well we can talk about that heh).
                      The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.”

                      yeah, not shouty in the slightest. Git. 

                    • McFlock

                      Um – neither Felix nor myself suggested that the use of capitalisation wasn’t, in ‘net parlance, “shouty”.
                           
                      The closest I got was to imply that simple statements and short words with the important ones in capital letters were part of an attempt to make it as easy as possible for tories to understand that objections to school meals on the basis of practicality are farcical given that they already happen every day
                             
                      Nobody has said that private school kids should go hungry. Just that poor kids should be fed. Comments on that?

                    • “Nobody has said that private school kids should go hungry. Just that poor kids should be fed. Comments on that?”

                      Agreement.

                    • felix

                      Where’s the outrage? It’s pretty obvious that CV is pointing out that schools can provide good food as evidenced by the private system.

                      You just posted a quote that demonstrates exactly what McFlock said and the precise opposite of what you claimed.

                    • Send in the trolls!

                      I am going back my K Bar.

                      Lemon flavour.

                    • McFlock

                      Agreement? Cool. End of distraction.

                    • How about fuck you McFlock?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The funniest thing about Contrarian is that he actually has no problem with schools feeding kids – as long as the parents palm off their responsibility by paying for it themselves.

                • mike

                  “How about fuck you McFlock?”

                  Will you be putting that one on your blog TC?

            • Draco T Bastard 25.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t see you suggesting public schools bill the parents for the meals so you are not com,paring like with like.

              There’s this new invention called taxes where everybody pays a small, proportional amount of their income to the community for the things that they collectively want.

    • joe90 25.2

      Chances are we could end up with something like the French school lunch menus.

      • Draco T Bastard 25.2.1

        The French have decided the teaching healthy eating routines to children is a priority, and they teach children about healthy food in the classroom AND the lunchroom.

        Another great benefit from school provided lunches.

    • Tracey 25.3

      what part of “could” do I need to explain to you (Rusty)? Perhaps you didn’t get full meals each day and nodded off during english comprehension? It’s unlikely to have a worse outcome than having unfed children in class. Have you read any studies on this issue? I have.

      • OneTrack 25.3.1

        But we “should” have lunches like that. It’s only “fair”.

        Ok, now whats the menu for dinner? Will the children have them in the state provided dormitory, or will the Ministry of Food Supply and Delivery look after it?

        Did someone say 19 million?

        • Colonial Viper 25.3.1.1

          Best thing to do is for the Government to provide 100,000 new decent jobs for parents who want them.

          Your sidetracks are of no use of course. For hungry children one healthy meal a day is a good start.

        • Tracey 25.3.1.2

          let’s see, they could eat outside, or int heir classrooms when it rains like they do now.

  26. captain hook 26

    I know, I know, teacher teacher pick me.
    Teach the kidzzz to becum chefs and they could cook all the meals.
    two birds wif one stone.
    hows that for innovative, creative thinking?

  27. Dave 27

    I think anyone who has the absurd notion that this is a method of communism by stealth or any other weasel words of the type needs to know what it is like to be hungry, if they still hold those views, they do need a p in the t.

    • Uturn 27.1

      It’s an old trick, but it still works. Making everything about the kids, when it’s really about the fortunes of the people who talk about the kids. If anyone disagrees, they hate kids. But if they agree, they support a worldview that hates the poor, including their kids. Adult consciences eased on release of this speech: thousands. Children’s stomachs filled: no change. Rapid increase in NZ poverty over the past 25 years: ignored.

      “Communism by stealth” is an oxymoron. Not only is it not Communism, this “policy” goes in the opposite direction, starting from a point that those in need have no control over. As desperately well intentioned as it might seem, it isn’t even of the Left. If I were being generous, it’d call it Bourgeois Socialism, that special kind of hot air that warms people as you screw them. But given Shearer’s speeches, full of an alarming mix of Left and Right, with calls to the aspiring working classes, hatred of those who “cannot be understood” and no overall direction, there is also an equal set of parallels to Fascism.

      An interesting mix, theoretically speaking, and one I wouldn’t be voting for in a million years. What were Labour thinking when they thought a good hook was: Vote for me or the kids (might) die. The spirit of Pagani, lives on.

      • felix 27.1.1

        “If I were being generous, it’d call it Bourgeois Socialism, that special kind of hot air that warms people as you screw them.”

        I’d call it a subsidy to employers so they can continue to pay low, unlivable wages. Not as poetic as yours, sorry.

  28. Herodotus 28

    As we are discussing school funding, good to see that the govt currently funds education adequately. Or is this just another insidious indirect tax without being a tax ???
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832946
    Especially if our education funding is inadequate why is this happening???
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/107482/private-school-funding-'at-expense-of-state-schools

  29. The private school system is funded by the taxpayer and the students receive free
    meals,those students live in affluent homes and should be able to feed their
    kids without free meals and without tax payers assistance,however when it comes to
    the less well off students and kids there isn’t allowed to be any assistance at all in the
    eyes of key and the right wingnuts,hence key’s statement that “they already get an
    orange and bannana” ffs key, you created more unemployment,you created the top
    20% of favoured nz’ers singled out for preferential treatment,your policies are
    systematicly destroying nz,from the little country towns to the city of auckland,
    resign, you have failed.

  30. Carol 30

    And a piece from Hone on the Mana site this arvo, saying congrats to Labour for picking up on Mana policy:

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/09/congrats-to-labour-harawira/

    “Congrats to Labour” says MANA Leader Hone Harawira. “It’s great to hear David Shearer support calls for our kids to receive healthy food in schools in order to raise educational outcomes”.

    “Feed our Kids is a core MANA policy and I encourage all politicians to take a look at the private members bill that I lodged last week. The bill allows for all children in all decile 1 and 2 schools throughout the country to receive breakfast and lunch. Everybody knows that a kid with a full puku learns better and that the time has come for children in poverty to who without food to end”.

    More at the above link.

  31. I knew that asoon as heard this policy announcement that the Nats and their mates would do their best to rubbish it.The amount of negative comments above are just what In expected, All this tells me is that it is a first class policy and the Right is scared. The facts are that we have thousands of hungery kids ,and until that is completly solved we need to feed these poor kids. Its going gto take a while to undom what this ghastly lot of of

    • OneTrack 31.1

      Nah thats not it. We just don’t trust Labour’s stated cost. Whats the bet they missed something out or they are just keeping the stated cost low to “avoid scaring he horses”.

      • McFlock 31.1.1

        lol
        You mean like the government when their budgets showed both the proceeds from asset sales and the dividends from the shares in the assets they were planning to sell?
         

        • Pascal's bookie 31.1.1.1

          Or after the election when English said that the numbers they campaigned on ‘weren’t even a best guess, just a guess’.

          Or all those bike track jobs key promised.
          Or the revenue neatral tax switch that would step change the economy.

          They’ve got brass I’ll give ‘em that. No class, but some brass.

  32. Treetop 32

    Fruit in schools was introduced mainly to decrease school sores. I heard this from a school health nurse on the radio a couple of years back. The government is underestimating what the benefit of providing a breakfast and a lunch would do for children who have hunger pangs.

    Were National to trim back on some of the consultants they contract, the money would be available for school meals.

  33. Tracey 33

    Don’t we give free, or subsidised meals to politicians? Perhaps we could remove all their free food subsidies and drug test them randonmly, as we do others who depend heavily on tax payer income to move from day to day?

  34. felix 34

    So what? Kids need feeding and someone has to pay for it.

    My preference, btw, is better wages. Then we wouldn’t need Working for Families or state-provided meals at all.

  35. Tracey 35

    Interesting story about the difference between the haves and the havenots.

    A very well known politician/cabinet minister decides to take his family on a long haul flight overseas for their holiday.

    He moves through the shoot with all the other passengers and upon stepping into the plane turns left.

    The head of cabin crew stops him and says “May I see your tickets Mr (insert short control freak name in here). The HOCC says ” I’m sorry you are ticketed for economy Mr “. Mr ….. replies, but you must have free seats in business?” To which the HOCC says ” you have decided not to use your airpoints for an upgrade for this flight Mr…. so please take your seat (points to right of MP) and we will be along with your complimentary water in a few minutes.

    Oh yes, it’s only the last government that’s out of touch with the real world…

  36. DropDead 36

    Interesting article:
    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7999876

    Conclusions:
    The intervention did not reduce breakfast skipping; rather, pupils
    substituted breakfast at home for breakfast at school. However, there were
    improvements in children’s nutritional intake at breakfast time, if not the rest of the
    day, and more positive attitudes to breakfast, which may have implications for lifecourse
    dietary behaviours. There was no impact on episodic memory or classroom
    behaviour, which may require targeting breakfast skippers.

    • blue leopard 36.1

      “Research shows that healthy eating can improve children’s concentration and help them do better in school, says pediatric behavioral nutritionist Janice Baranowski from Baylor University in Houston. Baranowski adds that getting the proper nutrients is especially important for young brains that are still growing and developing. Nutritionist Beth Reardon from Duke University’s integrative medicine center in Durham, North Carolina, adds that research also suggests that certain foods may affect kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, either in a positive or a negative way”.

      Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/192724-how-does-healthy-eating-affect-childrens-concentration/#ixzz263O2Vgsp

  37. Its rather ironic that there are those on the right that dismiss this policy and yet it is
    their key led govt that promised 170000 jobs,how did that go?
    acshully it was all spin,a scrurilous sound bite,meaning didly squat,now we have
    people loosing jobs left right and centre and having to exsist on $12.000 a year
    base rate, any other allowances need paper work and proof of need.,now enter ms
    benefit she is going to bring you down another notch,down where you should be in her
    eyes,she says go and find a job! or you will loose half your benefit and if you can’t
    you could be in danger of loosing it, is this mind games or what ? if you are sick
    or injured or disabled,think of some employment you can do,if there were employers
    out there and the jobs were there what employers would want to take on someone
    who has health and disability issues as opposed to a healthy individual,so all of the
    unemployed,the disabled,the injured,the sick all arrive on the trainwreck policy
    back at the winz office,to repeat the cycle,brainless.
    We have just got to get this country back to some commonsense
    and some form of caring for our fellow nz’ers and kids who are being treated in such a
    demeaning way.

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    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The costs and trade-offs of free public transport in Auckland
    One perennial discussion in transport circles is whether we shouldn’t just do away with public transport fares completely and make the whole network free of charge. Why not fully subsidise the network as a public service using public monies as...
    Transport Blog | 15-09
  • OnPoint: “Project SPEARGUN underway”
    Let's get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey - they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • Spies, education, finances, a star and a forecast
    John Key pulled the election date forward. He said it was to avoid clashes with likely global leaders’ visits after the G20 meeting in Australia in November. But clouds were looming too. One was John Banks’ conviction, widely expected. By...
    Colin James | 15-09
  • This government should (but probably won’t) be over
    The revelations last night (and leaked during the day) SHOULD end this government. In brief: 1) Even if Key is telling the truth (which is pretty far-fetched and increasingly unlikely given Snowden’s evidence), they still got a plan underway for illegal...
    Cut your hair | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth #2 – Humpty Dumpty words
    Words matter, never so much in New Zealand politics as they do right now. Remember Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass?'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth #1
    Sitting in the Auckland Town Hall tonight – both in the hall meeting and the press conference after – two old sayings kept passing through my mind: "it's all about the timing" and "the devil's in the details". Both truisms...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • The meaning of John Key (reprise)
    I wrote the following essay on John Key and the politics of amnesia three years ago, in the lead-up to the last election. In preparation for writing it, I attempted to read, watch or listen to every one of Key’s...
    Bat bean beam | 15-09
  • But what is truth – if you follow me?
    There were some major revelations in the Internet Party’s ‘Moment of Truth’ event tonight, mostly from Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden. But what there wasn’t was any reference to Kim Dotcom’s bombshell ‘proving’ that the Prime Minister had lied about...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • But what is truth – if you follow me?
    There were some major revelations in the Internet Party’s ‘Moment of Truth’ event tonight, mostly from Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden. But what there wasn’t was any reference to Kim Dotcom’s bombshell ‘proving’ that the Prime Minister had lied about...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The Māori seats
    One of the pecularities of MMP is that because of the proportional representation provided by the party vote, there is virtually no electoral benefit to winning electorate seats (there are other political benefits, which I’ve touched on previously). So even...
    Progress report | 15-09
  • The 97% v the 3% – just how much global warming are humans causing?
    A pair of climate scientists recently had a dispute regarding how much global warming humans are responsible for. Gavin Schmidt from Nasa represented the consensus of 96–97% of climate experts in arguing that humans have been the dominant cause of...
    Skeptical Science | 15-09
  • The other option for the left
    While everyone was rightly paying attention to the Key / Dotcom / GCSB revelations today, Winston Peters made a modest proposal: another Labour-NZ First coalition:New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today that voters should consider a Labour-New Zealand First...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • F for fake?
    An old rule of forgery – which I just invented – is that a fake is a collection of cliches bundled together to produce a work and an original is a collection of idiosyncrasies bundled together to produce same. Take the Judith...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • F for fake?
    An old rule of forgery – which I just invented – is that a fake is a collection of cliches bundled together to produce a work and an original is a collection of idiosyncrasies bundled together to produce same. Take the Judith...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The GCSB is tapping all our traffic
    This morning, John Key categorically denied that the GCSB had tapped the Southern Cross Cable. But according to an article by Gleen Greenwald just published in The Intercept, he lied about that too:Top secret documents provided by the whistleblower demonstrate...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Photo of the Day: Wellington Waterfront
    A fantastic Harbour in a vigourous climate and out of reach for people for many years, but now a really great series of different toned places. Urban and wild; industrial and recreational; gastronomic and cultural; contemporary and faithful to its past. A very...
    Transport Blog | 15-09
  • Complicit, Compliant and Corrupt
    The big issue with what is being revealed by Kim Dotcom and Glenn Greenwald is not so much that metadata is being accessed from ordinary New Zealanders (although this is bad enough) but the lack of reassurance that the very person who...
    Local Bodies | 15-09
  • Dirty dairying inspires a common-sense approach from the politicians
    I have said in the past that for the Green Party to broaden their appeal, they would need to engage with the real economy, including a better appreciation of the importance dairy farming to the New Zealand economy. With their...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • John Key On Trial
    The latest instalment in the saga of John Key’s struggle to maintain his image as someone above suspicion has produced the amazing spectacle of a Prime Minister in free fall. Faced with the threatened revelation that he has been –...
    Bryan Gould | 15-09
  • Muddying the nation’s waterways
    Following the success of the Dirty Dairying campaign, and the electioneering around the Dirty Politics book, it could be time for a Murky Water investigation – to shed some light, achieve some clarity and generally uncover some facts....
    Pundit | 15-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Curwen Rolinson – They’re tryna build a prison system ...
    Well, at least we now know how National intends to deliver that extra hundred and fifty thousand jobs they’ve promised us. Although on sixty cents an hour, it’s not *quite* the reasonable pay packet – or, hell, living wage that...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ General Election is in full swing September 11 2014
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss the fallout from the dirty politics revelations and also how the political leaders are fairing. The NZ General Election is in full swing. Since we last talked, the fallout from the dirty...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Meet the Real Colin Craig
    Watching Conservative Party leader Colin Craig struggling to explain his tax policy on The Nation this morning finally revealed that he is making dishonest promises....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora
    Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore And Seabed
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New Zealand’s participation in Five Eyes
    “Our policy is we're committing to a full review of all of New Zealand's security services. We will be repealing the GCSB legislation and we will replace it with something that is guaranteed to be more protective of New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Once in a Lifetime travels north!
    After Once in a Lifetime ’s packed launch and sold-out panel discussion at the Christchurch Word Writers and Readers Festival, members of the editorial team are presenting the book to Auckland and Wellington audiences, in an attempt to increase...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Q+A: The role of the GCSB and our participation
    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told TV One’s Q+A programme that they would close Waihopai and review the role of the GCSB and our participation in Five Eyes....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • NZ First poll shows Labour coalition more likely than ever
    New Zealand First’s East Coast candidate, Mere Takoko, has revealed that her party’s internal polling shows Labour’s Moana Mackey is just 2 percent away from winning the East Coast electorate seat from incumbent Anne Tolley....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    Initial allegations made by journalist Glenn Greenwald yesterday appear to have dented National’s chances of leading the next Government, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict,...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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