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A fighting liberal

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, June 1st, 2013 - 122 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags:

New Zealand voters like strong politicians. And today Russel Norman showed he’s a strong politician – a fighting liberal. For perhaps the first time since John Key took power, someone has had the guts to stand up and blame him for the corrupt government he’s been running.

From TV3:

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the National Party-led government is arrogant and divisive and is undermining democracy with its “crony capitalism”.

In a speech to the Greens’ annual conference in Christchurch today, he gave examples of special deals for friends, citing dairy development in Canterbury, a deal to build a national convention centre and laws to limit protests against mining companies.

“John Key’s National government is arrogant and divisive, and only looking out for their mates,” said Dr Norman.

“Under National, New Zealand is a country of crony capitalism where public money and benefits are showered on those who have the ear of the relevant minister,” he said.

Thanks in part to the godawful backfiring H-fee attack on Key in 2008, the opposition has had a real fear of calling him to account like this. The consequence of this has been two-fold – Key’s popularity has been protected among those that don’t follow politics that closely, and, among those that do and see him getting away with blue murder, there’s been a sense that the opposition is simply a bit weak.

That’s a shame because, as Norman’s speech shows, progressives don’t have to be weak, rather it is vital that we fight for, and are seen to be fighting for, what’s fair and what’s just.

Indeed, there are a lot of voters that didn’t turn out in 2011, not because they weren’t offered the right policies, or because they were pissed of with progressive values, but because they didn’t see anyone fighting for them or what they believe in. We Kiwis are like that – we’ll back the underdog to the hilt. But only if that underdog shows the spirit to fight.

That’s what Russel Norman has done today, and I imagine that the Greens will gather some votes from some surprising corners because of it.

122 comments on “A fighting liberal”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    I suspect that having a “gutsy fighting spirit” is an attribute in of itself which attracts the classic Labour voter. Battlers love to see a battler in action.

    • Nordy 1.1

      Of course it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last time a left wing politician asserts the culpability of Key for the corruption and ‘for the 1%’ apprach of his government. What is new is the that the tide has turned, and therefore the message has some resonance outside the beltway.

      Couple that with some of the MSM finally getting off the NACT ‘cheerleading bandwagon’, and the time is right for this type of direct and head-on and sustained assualt on the carefully constructed myth of ‘that nice guy’ John Key.

      What I am looking forward to seeing is a planned and sustained political ‘attack’ on Key and his ministers for their deception, outright lies and continuing fiscal and managerial incompetence.

      • Can we please stop calling the political class the “beltway”? We don’t have a circle motorway around Wellington, and pundits wouldn’t live there even if we did.

        The MSM is still on the National bandwagon, they just realise they have to favour them with selective or horse-race coverage now rather than outright cheerleading

        Got to agree about a sustained attack for their various ethical violations. Painting the government as corrupt is not exactly a stretch and it’ll resonate far more than “labour and the greens are loony lefties”.

        • Rich 1.1.1.1

          +1 This is not America.

          (The other reason for not mentioning a beltway is that it might give the NACT/Fletchers axis the idea that they could pour an awful lot of money and concrete into a tunnel from Seatoun to Eastbourne).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2

          I use the term Beltway Labour to describe the particular kind of Labour in central Wellington who have never welded a seam, never shovelled a tonne of gravel, never been 100m underground, never required hearing protection at work, never tried to raise a family on $400/week. A Labour who is more comfortable in boardrooms and glass storied office blocks than speaking to people in a rural pub or a meeting in a provincial town.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      I suspect that having a “gutsy fighting spirit” is an attribute in of itself which attracts the classic Labour voter. Battlers love to see a battler in action.

      That’s my thought too. The worst mistake that Labour could make would be to think that they’ll win back the battlers with a culturally rightward tack.

      • Red Rosa 1.2.1

        +1

      • rosy 1.2.2

        +2

        Key stands in parliament calling Labour the devil-beast and accuses them of building a ‘far-left’ coalition while Nact is so sensibly centrist…. hah!

        It’s great to see someone call Key out on his crony, corrupt capitalism that is marginalising the democratic rights of ordinary people. Labour needs to get onboard – at least show their policies are mainstream in other democratic countries rather than simply taking the blows from Key.

        • Anne 1.2.2.1

          Labour appears to still think that ignoring the smears and ‘taking the blows’ is good politics. Did it work for them between 2005 and 2008? NO. Did it work for them between 2008 and 2011? NO. Will it work for them between 2011 and 2014? NO.

          End of story.

    • paul andersen 1.3

      yes , norman has the fighting spirit that whatshisname ,the labour leader seems to lack.

      • Rhinocrates 1.3.1

        The facepalm would cause a concussion. Shearer/Robertson are terrified of losing the “soft” NACT vote by saying anything indistinguishable from what they think they want to hear, but is even more terrified of attracting eight hundred thousand roof painters. My flabber is ghasted – or would be, because ennui has taken over.

      • xtasy 1.3.2

        Exactly, and the media now tend to speak to Norman first, when there are issues to be addressed, for which they want the opposition’s opinion and position.

        Shearer is rather bland and dull in front of the cameras, which does not help his struggle with speaking coherently and decisively.

  2. I am ABSOLUTELY opposed to corrupt CRONY CAPITALISM!

    A very good speech Russel Norman. Well done.

    ‘Shonky’ John Key, ex-Wall St banker (STILL a shareholder in the Bank Of America), is clearly working in the interests of overseas investors – his bank$ter and corporate mates.

    WAKE UP Kiwis!

    Protecting our democracy from crony capitalism – speech by Dr Russel Norman at AGM Green Party 2013

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/protecting-our-democracy-crony-capitalism-speech-dr-russel-norman-agm-green-party-2013?fb_action_ids=615659575113405&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • TheContrarian 2.1

      GOOD FOR YOU PENNY! WHY DON’T YOU TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK?!

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Ridiculous her if you see fit, but Penny can claim be thing that I doubt few enough NZers can do at present.
        She cares enough of the plight of many vulnerable and impoverished peels to do and say something.
        You remind me of a school bully, who tries to shut down opinion by mocking the person brave enough to say anything.
        Before you continue to behave in such a manner, please tell us all what you do to make a better world for such people.

        • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1

          I’m not mocking Penny for her beliefs, I am making light of her proclivity towards SHOUTING CAPS!

          • Paul 2.1.1.1.1

            So you would agree that NZ needs more folk like Penny?

            • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really, she’s rather hysterical in my opinion.

              • She certainly has her style, but she’s got the right idea on most things.

              • prism

                Te Contrarian
                You remind me of a saying I’ve got on on my frig. The time for sensible discussion has passed, now is the time for senseless bickering.

                Penny knows that it’s important to step out of our comfortable she’ll-be-right persona and get into active discussion followed by intelligent, strategic action. WARNING- some people may find that her capitals and dedication offend. She doesn’t but puts me to shame.

                • weka

                  “The time for sensible discussion has passed, now is the time for senseless bickering.”

                  Priceless. THANKS prism.

              • paul andersen

                if you dont like the use of caps, STAND FURTHER BACK FROM THE SCREEN.

          • paul andersen 2.1.1.1.2

            if you dont like the use of caps, STAND FURTHER BACK FROM THE SCREEN.

        • Jimmie 2.1.1.2

          Can you rephrase your post in simple english? Was hard understand very to…..

  3. DS 3

    The Greens aren’t liberal (at least not economically). ACT, back in the days before they were taken over by social conservatives, were liberal. Liberal means pro-free market, pro-autonomous individual; as such, it’s a right-wing position.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Yawn. Liberal just means pro-liberty. A ‘free’ market doesn’t necessarily make for a more free population.

      • DS 3.1.1

        I’m hardly a supporter of the free market. I’m just pointing out that Liberalism, as an ideology, is right-wing free-market and socially tolerant. It should not be used as a synonym for Left, even though Left-wingers are often socially Liberal.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          Yep, and I’m disagreeing with that.

          Everyone is a variety of liberal these days, they differ in means. People who don’t think free markets increase freedom and oppose then for that reason, are still Liberals.

          There is a reason Classical Liberals are called that. Modern liberalism draws from Rawls and others, and says that in order to increase net liberty you need things like, for example, wealth redistribution, access to education and heathcare and all those other things.

        • Actually the greens do support markets that are freer than they are currently, if being free means being fair to the individuals as well. The problem with so-called “free market agreements” is that they are either between countries that are already wealthy if they are relatively fair, or they exempt many key markets or are selectively used to pressure wages downwards. That’s not getting into several key assumptions of “free market theory” that are violated by countries or political movements claiming to believe in free trade- such as completely open borders for immigration.

          There’s often the assumption that because we on the left oppose perverse incentives in the market that we actually believe in command economies or other rubbish strawperson theories. Speaking for myself at least, I feel that when there is no socioeconomic cost to free economic behaviour, it’s fine for the government to butt out until such a cost emerges. The problem is that we’ve let such behaviour run entirely rampant and there’s so much of it to stamp out that the government isn’t seen as a fair broker if it digs too deeply into any one area.

          And as Pascal’s Bookie points out, classical liberalism doesn’t own the word liberal any more, and theories of social equity have begun to dominate the thought space in that area now that we have some very highly developed countries that don’t just have to worry about economic issues.

    • Dan1 3.2

      Liberal has two almost opposite meanings:
      As from my computer dictionary!
      1. open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values: they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people. (ie as applied to Norman above)
      2. favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms: liberal citizenship laws.
      3. (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform: a liberal democratic state. (ie less government interference: Liberterians, Tea Party, Act Party, some of the national Party).

      I have always felt reasonably liberal on most issues but to be compared to the Liberal Party in Australia or Lindsay Perigo in NZ, I am at the other end of the spectrum!

    • IrishBill 3.3

      Don’t be pedantic. Anyway “Fighting Social Democrat” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

      • Dan1 3.3.1

        Irish, I am in agreement! I was responding to DS. Good speech by Norman. Whenever I talk to Labour MPs, my comment is to front foot things; get some policy out there; don’t keep the powder dry until later.
        Turei and Norman are very positive front people. There are none of the shifty eyes of Key and English.

        • IrishBill 3.3.1.1

          Sorry I was replying to DS.

          • North 3.3.1.1.1

            It’s in the area of “contranym” as I just found out via Google. One word with two virtually opposite meanings. It’s been that way at latest since the sociopathic crooks Douglas and Prebble.

            Worries me that while ShonKey Python to his advanatge talks a “broad church” we find ourselves having to argue about a dual usage for Christ’s Sake.

            Surely we know where we’re at, don’t we ?

        • muzza 3.3.1.2

          There are none of the shifty eyes of Key and English.

          That would be due to, the lack of track record, as only being MP’s, and co-leaders.

          Very easy to make big noises, when you’re not in a position to do anything other than, make big noises!

          Unless you’re David Shearer, who can’t even manage to make any noise at all, that doesn’t leave him sounding/appearing like an oxygen thief, playing politician!

          • Paul 3.3.1.2.1

            Yup, can’t imagine Shearer making a speech anything like that.
            In either content or with the same integrity and passion.

            • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.2.1.1

              And furthermore, I think that Norman would not have simply read that pre-prepared speech out, he would have written significant chunks of it himself.

    • weka 3.4

      The Greens aren’t liberal (at least not economically). ACT, back in the days before they were taken over by social conservatives, were liberal. Liberal means pro-free market, pro-autonomous individual; as such, it’s a right-wing position.

      In NZ, traditionally, the word liberal has belonged to the left eg I grew up in a (white, middle class,) liberal family ie one that was progressive in a way associated with left wing (not conservative) politics eg homosexual law reform, reproductive rights etc.

      ‘Liberal’ in the US means what you think it means.

      As far as I can tell this is why in NZ the likes of Perigo use the term ‘libertarian’ rather than liberal.

      When I read Irish Bill’s title, it didn’t even occur to me that he meant libertarian.

      • DS 3.4.1

        The US uses Liberal as a synonym for Left. We don’t, except possibly in matters of social policy.

      • tamati 3.4.2

        Homosexual law reform and reproductive rights aren’t really a domain of the “left”.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.4.2.1

          Apart from the fact that on both issues in every modern democratic country you care to name, the left and right will line up along similar lines. It must be one hell of a coincidence.

          • tamati 3.4.2.1.1

            David Cameron supports gay marriage and Julia Gillard opposes it, which one is from the left and which one is from the right?

            It’s probably easiest to define those who support gay marriage as “the future” and those who oppose it as “the pre-dead”. The old left-right paradigm is pretty antique these days!

            • Pascal's bookie 3.4.2.1.1.1

              left and right are notoriously hard to define, but extraordinarily well understood and widely used. It’s a bit of a paradox for sure, but people know what is meant, and are pretty consistent about them. They are useful terms.

              I find that people who claim they are old hat and whinge about it are outliers who don’t quite fit in with how the left and right break down in their own polity. That’s fine. But it’s mostly bad luck for them.

              On Cameron and Gillard, true, but also irrelevant.

              Both leaders are in trouble for a start. More telling is looking back through history, ( as recent or as far back as you like), and see how the left and right voted on bills, or where the activists come from on each side of the issue, and what happens in comment sections on left and right wing blogs on those issues.

              No bother even checking really eh?

              • pollywog

                Haven’t quite figured the whole left right out thing yet.

                I think i swing around a bit but not even sure of that…

                • Colonial Viper

                  The whole left/right scale is a bit of a one dimensional description approaching the point of over simplified uselessness.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Thing is though, it’s used a lot. That’s the definition of useful.

                    People know what it means even if it’s really hard to articulate what’s going on.

                    There’s no point in doing it (and I suspect you’ll agree) but I’d wager that if you went out with a long list of policies and asked a large number of people to say whether each policy was left or right wing, you’d get a pretty high consistency around the way each policy was scored.

        • Clockie 3.4.2.2

          I think you’ll find that certainly in NZ and I suspect other western countries also it has been certain pockets of the left that have championed those causes until they became politically acceptable across a broader reach of the spectrum.

        • When the right wing starts believing in social liberty again they can start arguing that women’s and queer rights aren’t a left wing issue. Until then the onus is on those right-wingers who do believe in personal rights do have to bear the burden of overcoming that stereotype and of convincing their friends that rights for everyone are the way to go.

    • TheContrarian 3.5

      That’s classical-liberalism

    • paul andersen 3.6

      rubbish, liberals get very anal and uptight and abandon the free market when property values are threatened.

  4. Phaedrus 4

    I suspect the Greens will attract significant proportion of the non-voters in 2011, the ones who stayed home because they didn’t see Labour as a viable alternative to National. I’d also suggest that the country has been waiting for this speech, although it was probably Labour that they were waiting for. This may be the pivotal point leading to the eventual eclipse of Labour as the main opposition party, replaced by the Greens, who know what they stand for and are not afraid to articulate this.

    As a long term Labour member I must say that my vision is developing an increasingly green tinge and I suspect that this will intensify. The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position, e.g. Labour believes in….. and these are our policies to bring this about.

    However, as was the case under Phil Goff, I really don’t know what Labour believes. It’s time they took a leaf from Norman’s book and spoke from the heart with passion, not just peddling stuff that policy analysts believe will negate National.

    The Greens are defining the battleground with speeches like this, and with the NZ Power policy (surely Labour will have seen the positive outcomes from taking this definite stand), and the effect of this is clear – National has been forced to pull out the 2013 version of the dancing cossacks and devil beasts, as they have no other answer, once ideological catch phrases are negated.

    • Anne 4.1

      As a long term Labour member I must say that my vision is developing an increasingly green tinge and I suspect that this will intensify. The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position…

      Never a truer word hath been spoke.

      When you try to get this message across to your local LEC and find yourself (effectively) told to shut up and stop complaining then it becomes hard to raise any enthusiasm.

    • xtasy 4.2

      “The pity is that there are some very talented Labour MPs, but the Labour string pullers seem to have little idea of how to use their talents, and how to stake out a solid and definite position, e.g. Labour believes in….. and these are our policies to bring this about.”

      Yes, right, but I think it is not so much that the string pullers do not have any idea of how to use the talents of those Labour MPs you refer to, rather it seems they want to keep them on a leash, so they do not get too much profile and traction by being outspoken.

      The old guard have the problem of still seeing themselves too much as ex ministers, as office holders who worked with the business and other sectors, and they are too mindful of upsetting those, as they perceive them as important and powerful.

      Also I have the impression that Jacinda Ardern for instance is not allowed to speak as freely about social policy issues as she may like to.

      Under the last Labour led government certain policies were introduced to put more pressures on sole parents, sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries, to make more efforts to return to work. That was of course not as strong a push as the Nats are now applying, but it was dressed up in nice words like wanting to “support” and “assist”.

      Also they abolished the Special Benefit, and replaced it with the capped Temporary Additional Support, which leaves many in situations they cannot survive on.

      Labour’s old guard have their hands dirty in some affairs, and if younger ones like Ardern speak up and criticise the present government too firmly, this could back-fire on Labour, that is what they fear.

      The present Principal Health Advisor for MSD, Dr David Bratt, a rather right-wing kind of person, who compares benefit dependence to drug dependence, he was also appointed under a Labour government minister by the way!

      So it is refreshing to hear Norman hold a very good speech and call a spade a spade. Do not expect Shearer or even Robertson to come up any time soon with such strong words as Russell Norman used today.

  5. Paul 5

    That’s why National are so scared of the Greens..hence the devil beast language

    • xtasy 5.1

      At the end of the TV3 news at 06 pm today (just before 07 pm) the newsreader announced, that John Key had phoned in during their broadcast, to tell them what his position was.

      Yes, indeed, the Prime Minister calling into leading media news, in reaction to them broadcasting bits about Norman’s speech at the Christchurch conference of the Green Party, that is a clear sign that he is damned worried and furious!

  6. Paul 6

    “Well we’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby; your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us because we work for the people of New Zealand and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”
    Wonderful.

    • Treetop 6.1

      More to come tomorrow from Turei. Both Green Party Co – leaders are intelligent.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Hmmm any chance Norman’s speech was filmed and will make it to Youtube?

  8. North 8

    Norman’s speech excites in me boyhood memories of winter nights around the kitchen table in a freezing timber village in the South Waikato. In the morning the remaining contents of the teapot frozen. Warm as toast from the wood range, regaled late into the night with maternal grandmother’s and mother’s personal accounts of ’51, protests in the Domain, my uncle beaten up by two detectives outside the Station Hotel and kicked all the way to Customs Street, Basham the bastard horse-mounted cop from Onehunga batoning skulls in Myer’s Park, the Upper Queen Street Chinese greengrocer taking the bloodied in the front door administering a tot and hustling them out the back door, the Depression.

    The philosophical instruction was never direct but it was there alright. The dignity and pride and power of the working class.

    To hell with the smiling scabs and the careerist traitors and back to the future ! As I type this I look to the panel on the right of my monitor which recommends me to NZ On Screen – In a Land of Plenty – Someone Else’s Country – Patu ! – Bastion Point the Untold Story.

    WTF’s gone wrong ? We’ve been heisted and it looks like we don’t even care.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Oh, there are those of us who care, a great deal.

    • Clockie 8.2

      “WTF’s gone wrong ? We’ve been heisted and it looks like we don’t even care.”

      ++1. Couldn’t agree more. (Nearly) all of us (there are always class traitors) who were brought up in working class families can relate stories similar to the ones you’ve just told. They informed our political consciousness as we grew up and learned a thing or two ourselves. I’ve tried to pass on some of that heritage to my kids but I fear too many people have failed to do so as they have become “aspirational” or succeeded and left behind those who didn’t succeed. It’s a pity the same battles have to be fought repeatedly by successive generations. Weak people fail to remember that the “price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

      • prism 8.2.1

        Weak people – I feel that’s a bit harsh. What many of us haven’t understood is that social gains are not secure and stable, but can be withdrawn. I thought we were in upward progress, and never imagined the old slave-trading mentality could take over again. Basically the idea that profit is everything and to ensure that ordinary people are treated fairly is dangerous and anti-trade and will undermine the economy.

        What we need to understand is that understanding politics and taking part in the discussion daily and not leaving it to others except once each three years is essential. It should be talked about over the dinner table or the knees in front of tv instead of sport. Our children need to learn how to manage their democracy so it remains viable and fair, and that certainty of future progress towards reasonable living standards is not guaranteed.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          There is a new wrinkle to the tales to be told as well – resource and energy depletion is acting as an increasing drag on the world economy. The 20th century was a story of ever cheaper and ever more plentiful physical resources. That time is over. Practical skills, ability to get along and work together with people, to stay fit and healthy: these are the best ways to stay ahead of this curve.

          • prism 8.2.1.1.1

            CV +1

            • Jenny 8.2.1.1.1.1

              CV +2

              • AmaKiwi

                CV: “Practical skills, ability to get along and work together with people, to stay fit and healthy: these are the best ways to stay ahead of this curve.”

                No, CV. We’ll join the Yanks in their holy crusade to scavenge the last remnants.

                In six days God created the heavens and the earth. On the seventh day we bulldozed it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  We should be careful lest we are the ones who end up scavenged and carrion…

        • uke 8.2.1.2

          I also think “weak people” is a bit harsh. But one of the lessons of the last 25 years is surely that we must learn to remember better.

          Where has the collective memory of NZ Depression experiences gone? As far as I know there are a grand total of two NZ non-fiction history books on the Depression (both by Tony Simpson). Compare this with the endless stream of NZ war books.

          Cultivating NZ’s working-class and trade union history will make people stronger in the task of resisting neoliberalism and right-wing authoritarianism.

          • karol 8.2.1.2.1

            John A Lee wrote about the 20s and 30s in NZ.

            • uke 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Lee’s “Simple on a soapbox” and “The Scrim-Lee papers”, if that’s what you are referring to, are both good. But strictly speaking they’re more about Lee’s political career than the Depression.

              His novels – “Children of the poor”, “Delinquent Days” and “The Hunted” – are vivid pictures of pre-welfare state NZ. But who reads them these days? How many people under 30 even know who John A. Lee was? To really function as collective memory, such material needs to be adapted and updated for new generations, talked about, kept alive.

              Chris Trotter does this occasionally with his column – but who else?

              • karol

                Um…. The Standard posts of the original Standard pages from 1938?

                • uke

                  Yes, indeed. That is good to see and I thank The Standard for this. Also the Labour history Project and Auckland Labour History Group (thanks aspasia).

                  But I would still contend that the Left is suffering a major collective memory loss. Political and social ommentary on presentday NZ society usually refers to the past only in the most general ways.

              • aspasia

                Who else? The Trade Union History Project and the Auckland Labour History Group.
                Support & enquiries for the Auckland group can go to pgsimpkin@slingshot.co.nz.

                Next event in Auckland:
                Friday 14 June, 2013 12:00-3:00pm WG808, L8, Sir Paul Reeves building
                AUT University, Mayoral Drive, Auckland City.

                Speakers include:
                Gay Simpkin, B&LHG Associate and Auckland Labour History Group secretary
                The ALHG Oral History Project

                Dr Joce Jesson
                Auckland Labour History Group,The Strike, 1912: Recording and Remembering, Creating Popular Culture?

                RSVP to work.research@aut.ac.nz .There is no charge for this event. Attendees must rsvp by 9am, 12 June for catering purposes

          • AmaKiwi 8.2.1.2.2

            “Where has the collective memory of NZ Depression experiences gone?”

            or the memory of the 2007-2009 crash? Banks and governments didn’t change anything, which is why the global economy is again on the edge of the cliff.

      • North 8.2.2

        Fucking eloquent there Clockie !

        • Clockie 8.2.2.1

          I try. :) Seriously, I know I don’t have all the answers, but I was born in the late 50’s and spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a kid. They were all born before 1910 (the oldest in 1901) and went through the hard years that John A Lee wrote about. *

          They were not very talkative people but when they spoke it was to good effect. In a very few, rare phrases I would get a picture of the kind of privation, oppression, humiliation and anger they and their class of people experienced right through until things started to improve with the early programmes of the first Labour Government. It was quite something to see these normally quiet people getting briefly passionate and animated with blazing eyes as they told personal anecdotes to illustrate a political point.

          They would occasionally remind me and anyone else who was listening to always remember that battles which had been fought and won could always be lost and that the boss class would always try to remove the rights and conditions that the Labour movement had wrested from them.

          It’s been interesting watching their descendants and how they’ve turned out over the decades. Some are strong and determined and know how the world turns and remember what the oldies said and pass it on to their kids, others a bit venal, out for themselves and satisfied that “anyone can succeed like them if they try” and others who think that it’s all easy peasy and nothing to worry about as long as the All Blacks are winning, until suddenly something goes wrong and someone’s sick or loses a job or has a disabled kid who can’t foot it in the world…

          *Wikipedia: Lee..wrote his first novel, Children of the Poor — the book was largely autobiographical, and was a considerable success. The book argued that poverty generated crime and vice, and that only a socialist program could solve society’s problems.

          Norm Kirk spoke and wrote along exactly the same lines about the people and the conditions they lived with in his home turf of Woolston in Chch.

          One of the functions of the Labour Party, through people like Lee and Kirk and Lange, was to act as an institutional memory for the working class but sadly, they have really ceased to do that for at least a generation now in my humble opinion.

          I guess I’ll get attacked for saying that but frankly, fuck it..

          • Rhinocrates 8.2.2.1.1

            No, I’m glad that you said it. A child of the 60s myself, I remember Norman Kirk and David Lange, and remember that Bill Rowling was a good man. They were Labour. ABC is not.

  9. Lefty 9

    Capitalism is always about governments looking after their cronies (otherwise known as the ruling class).
    The difference between this capitalist government and some of the previous ones is they are more overt about it.
    There is an almost refreshing honesty about how this government openly administers the system for benefit of their friends and takes an ax to any group, law, tradition or process that impedes this.
    Politics in this country are largely about what group of capitalists will have their people in government.
    Helen had her favourite little capitalists.
    And Russel is constantly reminding us the Greens have their own favoured group of green growth capitalists whom they would favour if they had the power to do so.

    • Matt 9.1

      As Bill Maher said about Democrats vs. Republicans, they’re all in bed with special interests, but the Republicans are in bed with somewhat scarier ones.

    • weka 9.2

      “And Russel is constantly reminding us the Greens have their own favoured group of green growth capitalists whom they would favour if they had the power to do so.”

      Citation needed. And make sure it shows that Norman would give preference to his mates and colleagues over other people with the same green qualifications.

      Sure, any party in parliament in NZ at this time has to support capitalism. But there is a difference between crony capitalism and capitalism that at least allows conventional democracy. It’s scarey that some on the left can’t see that.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        The “Green Growth” meme needs to be shown for what it is – false hope for the middle classes and unsustainable on a finite planet.

        Year on year % growth simply cannot be maintained on a limited resource base, even if you greenwash it. The growth we need now needs to be in terms of qualitative improvement of peoples lives, not quantitative increase in production and consumption.

  10. karol 10

    Excellent speech. I’ve never been that keen on Norman. He’s a bit too centrist for my liking. But good on him for calling National out for it’s anti-democratic, crony capitalist ways. Norman is my idea of a liberal – basically for individual rights and a fair go for all, not very radical left.

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      If Key “retires”, can you imagine Shearer or Robertson taking on Judith Collins?

      Squashed like ants.

      Go Russel, spokesperson for those of us in opposition.

    • Jenny 10.2

      Hi Karol, will there any debate at the AGM on the wisdom or not of whether the Green Party should go into coalition with Labour.

      Which way will the Green Party go?

      I see that Russel Norman, as reported by Andrea Vance says that he has no bottom lines for post-election negotiations. Does this mean that the Green Party could give up their opposition to mining the Denniston Plateau, and Deep Sea Oil drilling, possibly even fracking to get cabinet positions?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8743975/Norman-Greens-can-govern-with-Labour

      • Jenny 10.2.1

        Climate Change the elephant in the room. I wonder if Meteria Turei will let the dreaded two words escape her lips today.

    • Clockie 10.3

      Is it fair to expect either Norman or the Greens to be “very radical left”? I don’t think the party has ever claimed an orientation of being more than mildly centre left, although obviously they have sometimes attracted individuals (eg Sue Bradford) who would be well to the left of the official party ideology and most of the rank and file membership. The fact that she failed to win a leadership position spoke volumes in my opinion. They are a progressive party which believes in practical solutions to issues of social justice. In the meantime that’s good enough for me given the limited options available. The Wikipedia article gives a good breakdown on what the Greens are about and as someone who currently supports them I found nothing in that definition that surprised me or raised any concerns.

  11. prism 11

    I thought that Russel sounded strong, firm and on the mark with no feeling that he was just nit picking or fault finding. Refreshing.

  12. Jimmie 12

    The main point from Norman’s speech today is the perception that we now have a ‘leader of the opposition’ and a ‘ghost leader of the opposition’ – and I would say that Norman is looking a lot more alive and kicking compared to Shearer struggling to stay relevant and secure in his position.

    I would say the outcome from this weekend’s conference will be that the Nat’s will retain their current support in the polls but Labour will lose support to the Greens.

    This speech today was as much about robbing Labour of its relevance as it was about attacking John Key.

    Back in April at the joint release of the NZ Power policy a message was sent to the voting public that at long last they could look at L&G as equal partners in Parliament. (John Armstrong’s Siamese twins?)

    However Norman is trying to get a leg in front from this conference – position the Greens as the strong attacking party while Shearer’s Labour waffles around in the background. (And hopefully an extra boost in the polls)

    How will Labour respond?

    • Rhinocrates 12.1

      The problem is, perhaps, that a lot of people still only perceive the Greens as viable as secondary coalition partners with Labour, so while Labour is so hopeless, they don’t look worth the gamble either.

      Russel and Metiria are doing a damned good job nonetheless, not terrified of focus groups.

  13. Saarbo 13

    More from Norman’s speech today:

    “We’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby.

    “Your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us … and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”

    Norman is in a league of his own, Key started his 2014 campaign with “The Devil Beast” bull shit and Norman has just cleverly rubbed Keys imbecilic crap right back in his face.

    I’m picking that the Greens will lift significantly on the 247k votes that they got in 2011…Go Greens.

  14. Yes 14

    Oh come on guys this is a snippet of the speech. He said John keys was like Muldoon. FFS Russel didn’t come to new Zealand until 1997. What would he know!

    Russell will continue to attack labours voting base. When are you going to wake up to what he is doing!

    All i am trying to do Is seriously wane you. Why do you give the greens so much space on here when you are the voice of labour!

  15. gnomic 15

    Good on yer Ruzza! Anyone who calls out the smirking or latterly scowling weasel for the undesirable he is deserves approbation. Needs to be more of it, as without the Teflon weasel factor what have the Nats got? English, a proven electoral loser. Brownlee, seems he needs a minder just to pop out for lunch in Newmarket. Why would that be? The Crusher. Please, spare us. Paula the puppet? Pass the sick bag. And what’s the message? Roads and more roads, all on borrowed money. Sprawl, more suburban sprawl. Ratepayers subsidise developers to throw up more shoddy housing over good agricultural land. And let’s gut the conservation estate with mining, rather contrary to the tourism brief. Unless tourism is to consist of shipments of ‘high value’ consumers of casino and brothel services. As it might well do in a third world county.

    It is rather sad that the working class have lost any awareness of the struggles of the past. Martin Eden, where are you now?

    The crux of the issue: there is not going to be a reversion to the years of eternal growth, for any number of reasons. Therefore the Labour Party needs to get a new plot, or become irrelevant, at best just another flavour of the neo-liberal conspiracy. I’m afraid that when I hear David Parker say that the last fiscally irresponsible government in New Zealand was under Muldoon, I despair of Labour. As well as being ideologically destitute, it’s factually incorrect The Clark government was irresponsible in its electoral bribes, and as for this current shower, is there still capital punishment for treason, betrayal of the people of the nation?

  16. RedLogix 16

    My 2 cents worth:

    In truth I’ve long believed that while Labour is the proud heritage of the left; the Greens are it’s future. Within a generation, maybe even sooner, it could be Labour who is the minor party… unless it is willing to completely reform it’s internal processes.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/2c-on-the-leadership/#comment-415887

  17. xtasy 17

    Does anybody remember John Key and what the slogan for the last election was? Have you ever heard of the “Brighter Future”?

    Does anybody care to get a grip of what that may all have been about, and who was behind this, as the “Bringer of Light”, kind of the one who wanted to bring us a “brighter future”?

    Perhaps add one and one together, by looking at the interpretations below!

    There is one called “Lucifer”, who has a name and a meaning. Few may suspect it, as the government and its leader are good experts at shrouding much and using smoke and mirror tactics.

    While all are up in arms about Key using the term “Devil Beast”, who really is he himself? Is he not really that “Lucifer” known so well to people with some religious understanding?

    Indeed, the Devil may be the “shining one”, the “bringer of a brighter future” himself. Read up on the “fallen angel” and other stuff below. Have a read and join the dots together.

    You are about so have a true revelation:

    From Wikipedia:

    “Lucifer (/ˈluːsɪfər/ or /ˈljuːsɪfər/) is the King James Version rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל in Isaiah 14:12. This word, transliterated hêlēl or heylel, occurs only once in the Hebrew Bible and according to the KJV-influenced Strong’s Concordance means “shining one, morning star, Lucifer”.[1] The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate,[2] which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer,[3][4] meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus” (or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”).”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

    Also the Latin dictionary (online:

    Lucifer – meaning:

    “morning star| day star| planet Venus; bringer of light”

    http://www.latin-dictionary.org/lucifer

  18. UpandComer 18

    Corrupt government? I love how the left considers anything that involves ‘money’ and ‘getting things done’ and ‘someone not in the Labour party’ as a formula entailing automatic corruption.

    John Key has been great because successful business people respect him, will work with him, and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ. Note the benefits for NZ. Not like Labour which cuts through red tape only when it is of benefit to itself, a la the electoral finance act, Mike Williams board appointments, and Taito Phillip Field, etcetera ad infinitum.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ.

      selling out our legal protections, increasing poverty and gambling amongst struggling Aucklanders, and giving a sweet heart deal to SkyCity international shareholders.

      • rosy 18.1.1

        and he isn’t afraid to cut through red tape to get benefits for NZ.

        Shipments of produce held up at borders.

  19. Wayne (a different one) 19

    “He’s a strong gutsy politician” – Yeah Right!

    “Please give me back my flag” – wimp!

  20. tracey 20

    Maarten Wevers, the former head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet wrote the report that just absolved Perata, Foss and English. Should I be reading anything into that?

    In 2012 he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) the first CE of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to have been recognised in this way.

    Inote he was appointed in 2004 when Clark was PM. On that basis can much be read into that position impacting the report?

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  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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