web analytics

A little exploration?

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, January 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, Environment, greens, labour, Mining - Tags: , , ,

All parliamentarians prance to the tuneful pipes of corporate and financial overlords. Some, it has to be said, jig much too enthusiastically. Others have the decency, at least on the rare occasion, to be dragged to the floor somewhat reluctantly. Then sometimes, despite all the enthusiastic or apologetic jigging and swirling and twirling,  parliamentarians manage – I assume quite by accident – to serve the interests of democracy rather well.

That’s happening at the moment with Labour’s stance on deep sea exploration.

Had both Labour and the Greens backed the idea of a moratorium on deep sea exploration, then all the people currently organising and learning and protesting around the issue would have donned their hobbit hats and retired to their respective Shires to await a left leaning government.

That would have all been well and good in so far as there would be no deep sea exploration…until the next time parliament was controlled by those who jig too enthusiastically.

The fact is that when gains are casually granted by parliament, they are ‘soft’ and can be taken away just as casually as they were given.

But when we, ordinary people, invest our time and our energy to secure a gain, then it ‘belongs’ to us. It’s ours. It’s locked in.

So, well done Labour for rendering this small service to democracy.

23 comments on “A little exploration?”

  1. karol 1

    Agree, Bill.

    At least with the service to democracy of opening up the oil drilling topic to politcal discussion. But that is also one of the possibilities provided by MMP.

  2. Ad 2

    Mental and moral test:

    Much of Dunedin opposed the Aramoana aluminium smelter in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a substantial oppositional movement. New Zealand’s greatest series of protest art were produced from it – the Black Window series. The question could be asked about deep sea drilling: what would Hotere do?

  3. Not a PS Staffer 3

    Cunliffe has done the correct thing by backing more exploration under a stricter safety regime.

    A Moratorium is a cop-out: it is leaving it to the next generation to take the decisions and to shoulder the cost of the moratorium.

    • Bill 3.1

      Maybe and maybe not. But this post is about the impact, or potential impact of the Labour/Green positioning on any nascent grass/flax roots expressions of democracy on the matter by us, the citizenry.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Looks like logic and argument is a weak point of yours.

      1) How is leaving these natural resources available for the next generation a cop out?
      2) How is giving the next generation full control and decision making, a cop out?
      3) How is using up the resources before the next generation get a share at all fair?

      Get a grip dude.

      • Not a PS Staffer 3.2.1

        We are using oil every day that is imported from the four corners of the globe. That is benefiting taxpayer and/or gangsters everywhere else but in NZ.

        Why not explore for oil here and get the jobs and royalty income (and the balance of payments) tilted in our favour? It does not change the amount of fossil consumed, it just changes its origin.

        Why a moratorium? All the arguments I’ve heard are based on the BP deep sea experience in the Gulf; and most of the arguments are comparing apples with oranges and ignoring the science.
        I believe the Green Party is pushing for a moratorium because they want no exploration: period! That makes the call for a moratorium a lie. That is why I call it a cop-out.

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          “Why not explore for oil here and get the jobs and royalty income (and the balance of payments) tilted in our favour? It does not change the amount of fossil consumed, it just changes its origin.”

          Environment. One, spills and the impact on NZ. Two, AGW. If we commit infrastructure and legislation to local drilling for local profit, then we are committing to not mitigating AGW. Some of us still hope to lessen fossil fuel use, believe it or not.

          There is a whole nimby argument of course, which I’m surprised hasn’t been made yet. The irony of the NZ oil-free movement. At some point, hopefully soon, we will have to also talk about how to use less oil in NZ. Maybe that is part of Bill’s citizen’s democracy.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.2

          So are you in favour of leaving NZ’s energy resources in place, ready and available for the next generation?

          And why did you call giving the next generation control over their own destiny, a “cop out”?

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    Labour has to stand and deliver challenging and progressive policies. Or Stand aside, as they are in the way! There has to be hope and action for people to bother voting.

    • Bill 4.1

      Hmm. Again. The post is not about the policy position of Labour or the Greens per se. It’s about the potential for those positions to impact on the level of political engagement by and between people.

  5. fambo 5

    Philosophically speaking, this is in line with what Barack Obama said in an interview on The New Republic just after he was re-elected, to the effect that to get a change in law achieved through the Congress and Senate meant it was less likely to be discarded by a change of administration than in the case of a solely presidential decision where that option is also available. In other words, a broader consensus had been achieved and that gave it a greater chance of surviving long term.

  6. Not a PS Staffer 7

    “This post is about the impact, or potential impact of the Labour/Green positioning on any nascent grass/flax roots expressions of democracy on the matter by us, the citizen”

    Bill, gnarly policy, like deep sea drilling, is best made by those who have the most concerns/fears about the operation of such technology. A Cunliffe led government would develop better legislation than a Key (or Collins) led government.

    Breakthrough policy, like working for families and KiwiSaver needs a strong government that has both the selling skills and the implementation skills. Clark and Cullen (and Maharey) were at the top of their game when these policies were implemented.

    • adam 7.1

      Working for families is at best, broken. It is corporate welfare, dressed up as left wing policy. Or to borrow from the Americans – food stamps for the working poor. Again with kiwi saver, who gets to play with this money again?

      My goodness Not a PS Staffer, your an odd social democrat, you come across as an apologist. Your one of those labour people who ask working people to vote labour because they will only cut you off at the knees, rather than the hip, like national. What a sad position, what a sad, cynical view of politics, Hooton and co are laughing in your face because of your fears.

      Say what you like about anarchism.. But, at least it not spineless, wimpy, and lacking vision. At least we don’t live in the past and want to see people being sold down the river over and over. Labour supporters you seem happy to wallow in a tub half full, how about you have some courage and ask for the tub to be filled, so you kids/grandkids can have a chance at a life of freedom.

  7. Te Reo Putake 8

    I’m wondering whether this announcement is actually Cunliffe’s cleverly disguised offer of an Epsom style cup of tea to the Greens. He’s effectively ensured that Green voters who are motivated by energy/climate issues are actually going to vote. That shores up one leg of the coalition.

    Monday to similarly motivate Labour voters?

    • weka 8.1

      Not for the first time I’ve wondered that about Cunliffe too. Cunning plan or wool over our eyes, hard to tell.

      I think the cup of tea is also along the lines of Labour voters who would be turned off if Labour banned drilling, will still vote Labour, and it leaves the way open for the GP to speak strongly against drilling, both during the election campaign, and then in coalition agreements.

    • Anne 8.2

      My reaction was that Cunliffe et al decided to get the biggest bone of contention between Labour and the Greens – deep sea oil drilling – out into the open at the start of the year. I guess he’s hoping a political compromise to ‘agree to disagree’ (or whatever) can be forged well in advance of the official campaign period. Given the propensity of the MSM to misinform – or turn issues relating to the left of centre parties on their heads – it would seem to be a sensible move.

  8. Corokia 9

    I was really pissed off with Cunliffe when I heard this yesterday. Right I thought, voters who actually give a shit about about climate change must vote Green and I’m even more motivated to get out there and campaign for that. Yep Bill, I think I get it.

  9. Murray Olsen 10

    Wow, Bill, your post makes me look at Rogernomics in a whole new light as well. Sir Roger obviously knew that if Labour moved to the far right, a people’s movement would form to take control of the economy for the common good. In fact, Labour probably shouldn’t bother legislating for anything, or even standing for parliament, because any gains will be overturned by NAct. It should all be left to this wider people’s movement to make real democratic gains.

    Or maybe, just maybe, Cunliffe is just a neoliberal who’s learned how to say “Kia ora bro” while he stands on top of a bus. I had hoped for better, but I’m not seeing it.

    • Bill 10.1

      A few years ago I heard an interview with a retiring unionist on radio NZ. (Maybe the Seafarers?) Anyway, he made the valid point in my opinion, that the extension of holiday leave, although welcome, was a flawed or hollow piece of legislation. And it was flawed or hollow because the benefactors (us) had been reduced to passive objects by unions and government operating a series of deals behind closed doors. And he argued that when the inevitable roll back came it would be easier done because we had not invested any of our own time and energy to get the change. Meaning, we’d have little in the way of personal investment to tap into and gather strength from when it came around to protecting those gains.

      By the stroke of a pen and nary a murmer…as (sadly) tends to happen in NZ.

      • Murray Olsen 10.1.1

        Bill, you are taking two extremes in your argument. One is the social democratic dream, where an elected government does everything for us, while we happily wait for socialism to be legislated in. The other is where everything worthwhile happens outside parliament, through organised struggle. In the society we have, both of these are important and need to be combined. While we cannot rely on Labour, Greens, or even Mana unless the pressure is constant, I would ask what has happened to the Seamen’s Union? How much of a fight did they put up against Rogernomics?

        We need both. “Left” politicians need to be forced, grudgingly, to legislate in the interests of the mass of the people. They need to be held to account, but while they are there on the green leather, they should at least earn their pay. Hone Harawira seems to have no problem legislating as well as standing with the Glen Innes tenants. Why didn’t he say “It’s no use me helping you by proposing more state houses. You have to build them yourselves.” Why are Labour members like that nothing but a distant memory?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Crime on the rise…again!
    The Police Minister’s contention that Police have enough resources to meet the expectations of New Zealand communities is not reflected in the Police’s own statistics, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Yet again, reported burglaries have increased in every region ...
    43 mins ago
  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    17 hours ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    2 days ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    3 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    4 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    5 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    5 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    5 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    6 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    6 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    7 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    7 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    7 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    7 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    7 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    1 week ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    1 week ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    1 week ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    1 week ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere