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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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    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
    No charges laid over piggeries investigations 28 November 2014 The Ministry for Primary Industries did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges following two animal welfare investigations into incidents at piggeries earlier this year. The investigations...
    Scoop politics
  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
    Scoop politics
  • Slower population growth in the long term
    New Zealand's population will likely grow by 1.4–1.8 percent a year during 2014–16, but growth will be lower in the long term, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics
  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
    November 28, 2014 The inclusion of robust screening as a tool to prevent child abuse, highlighted in the Glenn Inquiry’s People’s Blueprint, is welcomed by Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston. “It’s heartening to see this high-calibre report come out...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
    The recently Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is pleased to support the fundamental changes in the way our legal system deals with family violence that the report calls for. We need to do more to support victims, and ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
    The Patron of the Glenn Inquiry, Dame Catherine Tizard, says there is some good news in The People’s Blueprint, after the shocking picture painted six months ago in The People’s Report....
    Scoop politics
  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
    The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012. “I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to...
    Scoop politics
  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
    Scoop politics
  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
    Scoop politics
  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
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