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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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  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 is 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
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
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  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
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  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
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  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
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  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
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  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
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  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
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  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
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  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
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  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
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  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
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  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
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  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
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