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A party finds its voice

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, November 23rd, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, labour - Tags: ,

I joined the Labour Party in 1999, when it became clear that Helen Clark meant to honour Labour’s election promises (a shocking new development in politics at the time). I went to my first Conference in 2000 and observed the policy making process. I vowed never to get involved. With all respect for those who put heaps of thought and energy into remits, the process looked to me like a shambles that the Parliamentary wing of the Party didn’t take seriously. Actual Labour policy seemed to come out of nowhere, and while most of it was good, there was often little or no connection to remits. Nothing since that time has changed my view, or made me want to get involved.

Until now.

After last weekend’s Conference a lot of media attention has focused on the constitutional changes relating to leadership (part of the shallow and lazy fascination with personalities and the political circus). But other constitutional changes were even more important. From now on Party members will have more say on policy, and that policy will be binding on MPs – it is the policy that will be taken to the electorate.

The central focus for this new system will be the “policy platform” – a definitive statement of Labour’s values and policies (in accessible language and format – not too long!). The process for developing the platform will be inclusive and evidence based. This will be a living, evolving document, but “policy proposals” (which replace remits) should be modifications of the existing platform rather than appearing out of nowhere. (There’s more too it than that, but the policy platform will be the main focus.) There’s a paragraph about it on Labour’s web site here:

Policy Platform (permanent statement of policy) to be established by the end of Conference 2013; policy and the Election Manifesto to be based on and consistent with that Platform. The Policy Platform is binding on all Labour Party members elected as such to public office, MPs, NZCouncil and Policy Council.

Annual conferences will focus on different parts of the platform in successive years, with a limited number of proposals considered, to allow time at Conference for proper debate and informed decisions. Once again – the platform so developed will be binding on the Parliamentary wing. The plan is to have policy finalised earlier in the electoral cycle, in an accessible format, to allow time to take the message to the electorate.

There it is folks – a chance for members to be involved in a meaningful policy development process. A Party finds its voice. Like the new rules for selecting the leader, it is both an opportunity and a risk. It will be up to us to make sure that it’s a success. Irish Bill’s post yesterday was dead right – there has never been a better time to join the Labour Party. You can sign up here

Thanks to Jordan Carter for an interesting talk in Dunedin last night, and to the Policy Council and others who worked so hard to get the internal review and constitutional changes done. Great work people.

76 comments on “A party finds its voice”

  1. Caleb 1

    Sounds good.  Maybe I’ll stay a member longer than February.  How will the policy platform be enforced, ie what ways will the membership have to make sure the caucus support that policy?

    • I imagine caucus would want to avoid the kind of media attention that would come with any policy the membership lodged a complaint against on the grounds of it being unconstitutional

    • mac1 1.2

      Caleb, I wonder whether you have thought through your statement (unless of course it is tongue in cheek, but it is not the first time I’ve seen it from commentators here on the Standard) that maybe you’ll stay a member longer than February?

      In other words, you want to change our leader and would fly in to do that and then exit, mission accomplished.

      I can now really understand the feelings of local peoples who have the US military come in to do the same thing- resentful, patronised, colonised, being treated as incapable of handling our own affairs.

      • crashcart 1.2.1

        Maybe he’s saying hes a long term member who was dissolusioned with what happened last weekend and unless he see’s change in FEB he was going to move on. This news may have given other hope to counter balance that.

        Every one seems to be real touchy at the moment and looking for the worst in each other. As much as DS supporters are saying he did the right thing to bring the party together by being firm and bring MP’s in line in real life it seems to have devided membership even more. Another example of the media and MP’s painting actions completely differently from reality. I’m not on either side as I am not leagally able to join a party so can’t fairly comment but from the outside looking in soe thing really needs to be done to bring cohesiveness and present a real party to the public. Is DS the man for that? Well it seems like we are going to find out in 2014 now.

        Bringing this as a mojor point of focus though may help that. If the party starts working together to present unified idea’s then perhaps the front man becomes less important?

        • mac1 1.2.1.1

          I agree with your comment about people’s touchiness and the ascribing of the worst motives to another’s actions, This is certainly helping fuel this whole debate. I stayed out eventually of the discussion because people were saying far too much, repetitively and often without much engagement of reason and became tired of reading it. I also don’t have a passionate position on either Shearer or Cunliffe, being a provincial member and not in the main maelstrom of party politics. Though I’ve been a member for nearly forty years and seen similar struggles before, I’ve stayed in the party and worked for the change I had the energy and the passion for, which is why I challenged Caleb’s apparent thinking.

          I certainly am very happy at the changes made at Conference. The main focus as you say is the working together on the implementation of our Labour values and policies.

      • weka 1.2.2

        I take any political party membership seriously, so tend to agree mac. I think many people are reserving the right to terminate membership if in Feb process is bad and/or the ABCs carry on with their shit and are allowed to get away with it.

        I’m not sure what the point of joining, voting and terminating membership in Feb would be otherwise.

      • Caleb 1.2.3

        It’s partly tongue in cheek.  I’ve considered joining for a (possible) chance to help pick the (hopefully) next prime minister.  You make a good point about the US military, and it could make for an interesting analogy whereby the membership are the local people, the caucus/ABC group/old guard are the local corrupt/dictatorial regime and outsiders are outsiders considering humanitarian intervention or assistance (or ‘assistance’) to the locals, with all the moral ambiguity involved in that.  But where the analogy is limited is that the next prime minister doesn’t just affect the Labour party, it affects all NZers… ie the local dictators are a threat to the whole region not just the country, and getting rid of them and establishing (proper) democracy could benefit the whole region. I wouldn’t be doing it ‘for your own good’, but for the country’s own good as I see it.

        Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ll actually do it or not.

        I’ve never considered joining Labour before, but if the party really turns its back on neo-liberalism and becomes more democratic, I might consider being a member.  If it doesn’t, I can’t imagine I’d want to be one post-Feb.  

        • Caleb 1.2.3.1

          That’s the interesting thing about our parliamentary system actually – yeah it’s proportional representation, but there are still two “major parties”, so there are only two realistic contenders for prime minister in the forseeable future.  So, like it or not, everyone on “the left” is effectively part of the Labour party to some extent, as they’re still under a Labour prime minister or Labour leader of the opposition.  So I think non-Labour members have a right to care about the Labour leader.

          • weka 1.2.3.1.1

            True, which is why I express my opinion here. But I don’t think I should join the Labour party unless I support the Labour party and want to be a member.

        • rosy 1.2.3.2

          if the party really turns its back on neo-liberalism and becomes more democratic, I might consider being a member.

          That’s what is important about these reforms. As a member you have the chance of making that happen. This hasn’t been the case before. You’ve gotta be in to do it.

    • Tom Gould 1.3

      What has been outlined by Anthony is a recipe for perpetual instability, which might be the real agenda here. It allows for an individual person to pay their $16 and then publicly undermine the government with claims of policy infidelity based on their personal interpretation of policy implementation. Crazy stuff. A government has to govern in the best interests of the whole country in the current circumstances. Some ‘higher law’ policy platform will be irrelevant. Unless the government of the day has to negotiate with the Party to gain permission to govern? This simply has not been thought through.

      • geoff 1.3.1

        I’ve just worked it out….. Tom Gould IS Duncan Garner!
        The moronic statements with no justification. The constant needling of people in the hope for a sensationalist response. The beady eyes!

        Ah wait no, I’ve jumped the gun. He could also be Patrick Gower…

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        You’re one of the people terrified of democracy aren’t you? One of the people who think we need an authoritarian hierarchy to tell us what’s best for us.

  2. Indeed, many thanks to those responsible for making this happen.
    Its a vital change, one that will help invigorate the party by making conference relevant again, and one that will help guard against ideological hijacking.
    No doubt the current rulers hate it.

  3. Tracey 3

    A thousand years ago when I was in my mid teens an uncle decided to put himself forward as a National Party contender for Remuera (against Doug Graham I think, but no t sure). I heard the stories of that attempt. I also sat in a room with my mum and aunt as my aunt cried about the treatment she and my uncle were getting. The comments, the false rumors being started and so on. I am not saying this is only in the Nat party, I am saying it’s my only experience of it, and assumed it went on in all parties. Even then I had few right wing tendencies but watching my uncle and aunt age because of how adults were behaving and treating and back stabbing was an eye opener. He was later offered a “safe seat” in Albany ( I think) but after the electorate experience my aunt said she would not live in Wellington, she would not be a “MP’s wife” and have to smile amongst such wretched people.

    Can Nats join the labour party to get in on the feb vote?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      +1

    • weka 3.2

      Anyone can join the Labour party as long as they don’t belong to another political party. However there will be rules around membership (hence the ability to deny Tamihere), so I doubt that anyone openly not Labour would be allowed to join.

      [lprent: Want to be part of PG's rather amusing kremlinology exercises? Or whales version of "funny"? Quite why they obsess about this site is beyond me. I blame myself for being nasty to them by telling them what I think. Oh dear. So cruel. (yeah right)

      I added a crucial missing word. Tell me if it was wrong. ]

      • weka 3.2.1

        Ditto that for the Greens btw. And the Greens have long had the kinds of democratic, participatory processes that Labour are now adopting, in case anyone feeling inspired to join a political party doesn’t feel Labour is their thing. I’d guess Mana are similar.

      • weka 3.2.2

        Thanks Lynn. I think I meant to type National instead of Labour (It was a reply to Tracey’s question about Nats joining). Oops.

        [lprent: I rather thought it was a typo.

        And I see in comments that PG did link to it *sigh*. It'd be amusing if it wasn't quite so obsessionally predictable. ]

  4. Viva La difference,now labour has one.
    More inclusive,more democratic.
    Media should be focusing on all the good work that was done at the conference instead
    of the cloak and dagger stuff aimed at Cunliffe.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    The Policy Platform approach is still in its formative stages, but it is an excellent Labour initiative. For too long have member initiated policy remits, and even Policy Council policy stances simply ‘evaporated’ when the papers headed into caucus. The Policy Platform approach is key to delivering on the Party’s promises of more transparency in policy making.

    Very cool.

    • crashcart 5.1

      I think the best thing as well is any one will be able to look and see what Labour is about. The NAT’s have a well deserved rep of saying one thing then doing another once the vote is in. To often though they get to hammer on Labour for not being clear on what they would do or provide as an alternative. This counters that nicely. People will be able to decide based on what they can see. It may perhaps even start pulling back some of that left non vote which if any one is honest is where Labours real gains are. Not the small amount of swing voters every one seems to squable over.

  6. ad 6

    Do we seriously think the same people prepared to throw something as basic as a secret ballot out the window will really seriously allow plebs anywhere near anything improtant, let alone be held to it once in power?

    • weka 6.1

      Probably not, but if that’s the case then you have two options: Labour splits, or members stand and fight. Unless you are saying that constitutionally caucus has all the power in Labour and that can never change. That’s not the impression I’m getting.

      • ad 6.1.1

        I’m saying it’s yet to be proven particularly after the events of this week that the Labour caucus will do what the Constitution says it should on some pretty basic items, so jury’s out on anything else.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          The changes will force then hand though won’t they? ANd then the members will know where they stand and will have to decide what to do about it.

  7. Tracey 7

    I wonder if some folks misunderstand what political parties are? They reflect the views of a section of a society, a view/s on how to progress aspects of society or all of it. People join that party to assist in supporting or progressing that view. If enough of the broader population like it they vote for them. If they become government they represent all NZers on the world stage etc BUT they are still that party with those views.

    People who say Labour has to move in this direction or that direction to capture more votes of middle ground or whatever, are they not slightly missing the point (or am I missing it?) of being a party? A party says

    “This is who we are, what we stand for, elect us and this is the direction the country goes”, not work out what the people want who can get us into power and become that and disregard what we stand for?

    I mean National did part of this. They said they were what most people wanted, campaigned on it, and once elected reverted to what they had always wanted to do. Its worked, for them but not for the progress of our nation.

    • crashcart 7.1

      Well said. That is probably the greatest achievement of the weekend. The fact that party members will have direct input into the platform means that Labour might actually move back to the left and become the true left major party option. Yes some votes will be lost from the middle ground but I can only imagine bigger gains will be made by giving those on the left who didn’t vote at all the option they were looking for. After all wasn’t it Key himself who said kiwi’s tend to have a socialist streak in them?

      As has been said this is a great time to join and I wish the best to all those who become involved in and try to promote real domocracy rather than the current choice between Vanila and French Vanila (I’m a french man myself)

      • Fortran 7.1.1

        crashcart

        Yes – you are right but the Greens have taken the left wing positions, whilst we “Roman’s burned” so we have to overcome them to get to our position clearly out there.

      • Slartibartfast 7.1.2

        the current choice between Vanilla and French Vanilla

        I’ve always thought of them as the Vegemite and Marmite parties; some people actually dislike both.

    • Hi Tracey,

      Yes, I’ve always thought of it in terms of the ‘artist’ versus the ‘marketer’ approach to life.

      An artist expresses who they are and what they feel and understand about the world and then takes the consequences, which is why many ‘starve in a garret’.

      A marketer has nothing in particular to express so their intent is to find out what others want and do their best to give the appearance of providing it. That way – they presumably calculate – they will never ‘starve in a garret’. 

      Political strategists (and politicians) have veered increasingly towards the ‘marketer’ approach to life, especially as new research tools come ‘on line’ which make them think they can have more control over electoral success. (The last episode of the BBC series ‘Century of the Self’ shows how this led to the Clinton and Blair approach to getting elected.)

      Meanwhile, ordinary people – including many party members of all parties – are ‘true believers’ (i.e., artists) who take the view (that you do) that a political party is a way of advancing the values, understandings of the world and commitments that they hold dear. Membership is an (artistic/moral) expression of what they value.

      The above is also sometimes called a conflict between means and ends.

      It’s a recipe for conflict. 

      • Caleb 7.2.1

        Puddleglum and Tracey, you make interesting points and quite challenging to my somewhat flippant considerations of strategically joining the party.

        I’m not sure if I fully agree with your description of what you call the ‘marketer’ approach to life… I don’t know if it’s quite fair to more strategic or pragmatic people … I don’t think all such people have “nothing in particular to express”.  I think caring about the cause, or as you put it “tak[ing] the view …. that a political party is a way of advancing the values, understandings of the world and commitments that they hold dear” can perhaps be consistent with strategic courses of action which may sacrifice some values (ie loyalty to a particular party, playing by the normal rules instead of looking for loopholes, approaching party membership in the traditional way), in the interests of a higher value (ie hopefully a better leader of the opposition and future PM).

        Still, I don’t really think that ends can justify means, so thanks for your points.  You’ve got me thinking about whether this is a means I want to use. It seems that a lot of people are using it however.

  8. IrishBill 8

    As I understand it there’s been a big wave of people joining in the last few days. So please be patient with the party workers – there’s not many of them and they’re not that well resourced.

    • just saying 8.1

      Two things,

      Firstly, if a notable number of people have joined since the conference, I sincerely hope that any reportage of the fact, either in the media or in the party, is not presented as representative of personality politics. I’m not in team Cunliffe. I prefer him to Shearer, but the bar has been set so low with Shearer and his clique at the helm, that’s not really saying much. I think the numbers of people for whom this issue had been primarily about Cunliffe are small, especially so amongst those who weren’t previously members of any party. Cunliffe gave some expression to a pre-existing vein of dissatisfaction and excalating anxiety as Shearer was giving voice to the concerns of National’s natural constituency. It isn’t easy to explain how offensive and frightening Shearer, Mallard, the Pagani’s et al have been to those of us in the large tribe that has been unofficially deemed surplus and expendable, especially with the promise of worse to come.

      Secondly, I’m not helicoptering in to vote and take off again. Far from it. I’ve been stuck for a long time about what to do, what action to take. I’m in to participate. The democratisation of the party has happened at a critical time, and I’m trying to learn the most effective ways to respond to the crises. I can’t sit back and watch the canaries die. If Labour continues to be the the party of the comfortably middle-class, by the comforatbly middle class, for the comforatbly middle class it, will meet opposition from within.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Good on ya mate. Strident, organised opposition mate.

      • seeker 8.1.2

        Just saying with you all the way just saying, particularly

        “It isn’t easy to explain how offensive and frightening Shearer, Mallard, the Pagani’s et al have been to those of us in the large tribe that has been unofficially deemed surplus and expendable, especially with the promise of worse to come.”

        I also feel betrayed by the unfairness of a party I once thought stood for fairness.All my voting life I have only ever voted Labour as it seemed the only party that considered social justice and fairness. By it’s actions over the last week the majority of the NZ Labour Party caucus has dropped so far in my estimation that it appears to be no more principled than National. It is no wonder many right wingers are liking Shearer, with his moral back story and his weak principles he is probably looking like just the right person to change to when tired of Key. He will make them lokk ‘moral’ and upright for once, rather than selfish and greedy. He also mumbles and tells porkies like Key ( he said Cunliffe refused to endorse him so he demoted him!)
        Amazing the Kiwi mindsets that want to look up to and be led by this type of person.

        It is a hard road back from being betrayed by someone. It is worse than the death of someone, especially when they died loving you. Betrayal is a whole worse ball game. Don’t know if I can do what Anthony or Irish Bill asks. And to those who say Key, whose mindset I loath,will get away with things, I am to numb to care. Even Key didn’t turn on and lie about his colleagues to their discredit.

        Almost feel at peace now I don’t have to justify Shearer as a credible leader anymore and I like Meteria Turei’s metal for fighting against poverty and for standing up for our children and youth.

        And yes, the calibre of a leader is still important to some human beings.

        • Anne 8.1.2.1

          seeker, I know how you feel because I’ve been through the betrayal thing (political and personal) and you’re right… in many ways it’s worse than the death of a loved one.

          But I am coming round to the view that David Shearer has been manipulated. He spent many years out of NZ, and he has scant personal experience of much of the historical background to our current political scene. He has to rely on others to properly counsel him on how he should respond to political developments as they occur. I believe some of that counsel – and I won’t ponder who may be responsible or the reasons why – is inappropriate and plain wrong.

          My sincere hope is that this latest debacle has been a steep learning curve for him. Time will tell.

          • seeker 8.1.2.1.1

            Cheers Anne. I too think Shearer was probably manipulated. In this link you can see he looked surprised when Patrick Gower towered over him and said that Cunliffe was ‘bringing it to him’.(towards the end)

            http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-denies-Labour-leadership-shakeup/tabid/370/articleID/277072/Default.aspx

            And later I too looked very surprised and shocked when Chris Hipkins appeared on screen spewing all sorts of accusations against David Cunliffe. He gave no evidence, just wild assertions. He gave a good minute of these on Te Karere on Monday and they were awful to hear. He was introduced as a senior labour MP and then I remembered that it was earlier this year when the rumours first started and the slow smearing of Cunliffe began by good ol’ Duncan. It was said tha Garner had had a drink with two senior labour mps…………

            This seems like a game plan. I think possibly Shearer was as surprised as Cunliffe, judging by his reaction to Gower on this link. However, he had to go along with the play they had set up, probably because they told him what Hipkins told us, he believed it and, not reasoning for himself, acted upon it. I suppose if poison is dripped in your ear enough, you succumb

            However I am still very cross that Shearer appears to have listened to hearsay and not looked for evidence or reasoned wisely for himself. He just seemed to copy the words and phrases of Hipkins and some journalists in his ‘read out’ indictment of guilt on David C.as he publically condemned Cunliffe and ‘executed’ him. Not a good leader- even if he is learning.

            I also want to thank you for the link to Bryan Gould below. Always a favourite MP of mine in Britain. He had an very high profile there, which is quite something in such a large country. MP for Southampton, I remember him well. Always saying or doing something worthwhile.

            This reminds me that the Labour Party is more, and should be more than some self gratifying, senior MPs who appear to have hijacked the party for their own egos, using distasteful means. Therefore if there is a way to get the party back to what it should/could be, I will try to have another go at thinking about what IrishBill, Anthony and Ama Kiwi (who has worked so hard, thanks AK) have said.

            As Anthony says it is a risk and I’m not sure I am in a strong enough headspace to be let down or betrayed again. I had invested my trust and belief in Labour for many, many years to do good as far as possible for people – not manipulate and oppress people, so I might have to have a lot of support to fight. I’ll see. But thanks Anne, for your really helpful comment. I will watch Shearer’s learning curve too- but from a great distance.

            • Anne 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Just seen your reply seeker. Thanks. Agree with everything you have said.

              I have blogged here but, as yet, I haven’t communicated with anyone in the Labour Caucus or the Council. It’s better to wait until one is reasonably calm and composed before leaping into the fray. Had I sent any emails last week, I suspect the police would have been knocking on my door pronto. :)

              I think the time has come for members and supporters – who haven’t been taken in by the gaggle of grumps in the caucus and their MSM shills – to start demanding the evidence that Cunliffe has been undermining Shearer all year. I find it amazing that all us dedicated students of politics (and some of us have had many years to build up the knowledge and experience) never picked up on a thing. Remarkable.

              • seeker

                Too true Anne – me too regarding police visits and emails!
                Definitely with you on “demanding” (love this word as opposed to “asking”) to see the evidence that David C.has been undermining Shearer all year.
                Might wipe the silly grin off ‘”Stephen Joyce” wannabe Grant ‘gets on with the media, yeah right, look how he uses it’ Robinson, as he stands, just behind Shearer while he ‘indicts’. Sorry must not be sarky, but it seems to help..

                Anyway Imperator Fish does it better than me. Have just posted this on the Unsworth thread, but in case you haven’t seen it:

                http://www.imperatorfish.com/2012/11/transcript-of-labour-party-caucus.html

                Thanks for replying and positing a REALLY good idea. How do think we could we set about “demanding” effectively?

  9. Adrian 9

    I should know this, but how do the American primaries work? I take it that only registered Democrats can vote for the Democrat nominees and vice-versa but how is it policed and why is there not the same level of angst about legalities that happens when the President is elected? Do the parties run their own counting or is it done by the same organisation that runs the presidential and senate elections?

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Primaries are run by the different parties and each is run on a state-by-state basis by the party organisation in that state. Different states have different rules as to who may vote: whether they have to be registered, or if it’s an open primary that anyone can vote in. Some of them have caucuses while others just have straight up votes.

      “why is there not the same level of angst about legalities that happens when the President is elected?”
      Not sure what you mean by this question.

      “Do the parties run their own counting or is it done by the same organisation that runs the presidential and senate elections?”
      It’s entirely run by the parties themselves, just as the Green’s manage their own leadership voting system.

      • Adrian 9.1.1

        Thanks Lan. I meant the ” hanging chad” debacle and the type of interference that they got in Florida this year with the Gov changing voting hours etc. But if the parties do it themselves I can see that opportunities for that sort of very public gerrymandering is limited.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          The examples you mentioned there eg hanging chads were related to Presidential Elections, not party state primaries.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.2

          well, they do get just as messy (or worse if you hear half the stories from through the years – Tammany Hall, for example), but normally there’s enough of a clearway that going to the nth appeal is more cost than likely gain.
               
          The voter ID / access to polling booths and similar issues are a longer term strategy to pervert the vote. But the only reason we know the term “hanging chad” is because the presidency was being literally determined by ~30k votes out of millions that would determine 17 electoral college votes out of almost 600. Pretty rare occurrence. Then of course the Supreme Court just decided to abandon the concept of a democratic (lol) decision and declare a victor.
              

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1

            Pretty rare occurrence.

            yes, but its not the rarity which counts, its how massively even one occurrence changes the world forever ;)

            • McFlock 9.1.1.2.1.1

              ain’t that the truth.
              Although I did hear that some media did the pubic information thing for the ballots after the Supreme Court weighted in, but didn’t release their results because by that time the towers had fallen and they didn’t want to create disunity in a time of war…

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    Good work Anthony

    Your glass half full attitude is what this party needs at the moment. Your positive outlook on the future of the party is very refreshing.

    Most of us (including myeslf) have in recent weeks been focussing on the negative and the things which are currently wrong with the labour movement. But you have away of ignoring that and accentuating the positive.

    Cheers.

    • r0b 10.1

      Thanks Enough is Enough. Dunedin isn’t exactly the political center of NZ, and personalities and the internal politics of events like this can seem pretty far away to tell the truth. So I try to muddle along on the issues instead.

      • weka 10.1.1

        r0b, even though I disagree with you about Shearer, Cunliffe and whatever happened on the weekend, I think your posts on ts in the past week or two have been very valuable. The place would be intolerable if at a time of intensity like this everyone had the same view. You probably don’t want to hear this, but your evenhandedness about Shearer makes dissent a much easier and more constructive process.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    I don’t think this will work well.

    If this site is any evidence, the grassroots will try to move the party even lefter, making it even more unelectable than it presently is. MP’s will be left to advocate for policies that they know will have no electoral appeal. I predict they will find this discouraging.

    But maybe I am wrong.

    • crashcart 11.1

      Your working under the false assumption that Labour has lost the last 2 elections because it didn’t appeal enough to the middle ground swing voter. As was shown in a post last week they have actually lost more to Left voters not bothering to vote. A shift to the left is exactly what the party needs as shown by the Greens very high polling. At the moment we have a right and middle party fighting over the same votes. What a democracy and left leaning voters need is a left leaning major party and this may provide that.

  12. BlueSilver 12

    Duncan Garner’s piece on the new Labour rules makes an interesting read.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinion-Labour-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/tabid/1135/articleID/277732/Default.aspx

    • gobsmacked 12.1

      It doesn’t make an interesting read, it makes an infantile, ignorant read, and it’s been thoroughly demolished elsewehere.

      Shorter Garner: “I don’t know what happens in other parties, in other countries, and I don’t want to know, because that would show I’m talking out of my arse.”

      It’s actually quite depressing that he should have the title “Political Editor”, when he apparently has no knowledge of politics – or even the ability to Google.

    • weka 12.2

      Have to agree with gobsmacked, it’s a crap, vacuous, article and it’s hard to tell if he is ignorant or pushing an agenda.

    • David H 12.3

      More Garner Crap. I thought he had left TV3. Pity he didn’t take that snotty schoolboy Gower with him. Where’s he going again ? Nowhere with any serious journalism involved I take it.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Thanks for this post, Anthony. I expect many of us missed all this (not surprisingly!). Sounds good.

    • r0b 13.1

      This is not your Dad’s Labour Party any more – the reforms have been substantial. All overshadowed by the circus of course, but hopefully the word will slowly get out.

  14. Anne 14

    Bryan Gould: A win for Labour and democracy.

    An excellent article with some pertinent advice for both caucus and members.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10849287

  15. BlueSilver 15

    You cannot have an effective Parliamentary leader who is disliked by the majority of his party and who has been forced on them by the wider party, and worse yet, the unions. Garner is right. I am neither Team Cunliffe nor Team Shearer (Team Key is of course only rational team to support) and am only reading this blog in an attempt to figure out why on earth these rules got passed. I have only found some wishful thinking. So I’ll sign off with thanks and bring on 2014.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      Simply saying “Garner is right” is not making it so.

      As I said (and you completely ignored) there is plenty of information about leadership election systems in democracies around the world.

      If you really want to read and learn (as you claim), please do …

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Party_%28UK%29_leadership_election,_2005

      According to you and Duncan G, Mr David Davis should have become Tory leader. They got Cameron instead. I hold no brief for a Tory leader, of course, but just repeating “can’t work … can’t work …” is contradicted by the fact that it does.

      Again – try Google. Or just be honest and say that you don’t want to know.

  16. It was reported that Shearer wanted a ‘cast iron guarantee’ from the ministers that they
    would vote for him the day of the confidence vote,but also wanted the same guarantee
    for the feb vote, when it is a ‘secret’ vote, so here’s hoping that those same ministers
    can recognise what is so wrong with the pressure Shearer is putting on them and the
    fact that it goes against the conference’s rules.
    Members will find their voices, but not under Shearer he is authoritarian,obviously has
    no mangagerial experiance, or there would have been a totally different outcome from
    that quick-fire meeting,it would have been concilitory,engaging,pulling together different
    factions,instead it blew the lid off and caused a huge explosion, which will continue until Feb.
    The members have been quiet for long enough,this is the heart of the labour party, the reason
    it was formed was for the people,it’s just not good enough for the caucus to thumb their
    noses at the fact that the members have won that right.
    I suggest, those ministers who cannot live with the ‘new’ labour rules, jump ship and let
    Labour rebuild,reform, those who are unhappy in caucus need to consider their futures
    within labour,because the members have chosen a new path and they are determined.

  17. michael 17

    I hope you’re right, Anthony. My experience with NZLP policy-making started a few years before yours but overlapped it. While Labour was in opposition, it made all the right noises about giving its membership a say in policy making (not a veto) but, as soon as it took office, it treated that membership with disdain and either ignored, or repudiated, previous policy positions (excuse the alliteration). As a result, most activists promptly left the Party or became inactive members (as I did). The current state of affairs brings on deja vu to one went through it all before. If Labour wants to reconnect with its base, including the huge numbers of people who do not vote at all, I think it needs to start with some basic honesty and decency towards its membership. Sadly, this week’s caucus meeting, after the conference agreed to provide the membership with greater influence on leadership selection, did not inspire confidence that the parliamentary wing of the party fully absorbs those values.

    • r0b 17.1

      Hi michael. I think there is a real difference between promises and constitutional changes. The later, which we have now, can be enforced. Hope you find your way back some time…

  18. MQ 18

    What voice?
    Look at the message sent to the people that should elect us.
    Internal squabble, power struggles, egos at full play.

    It doesn’t matter how good our ideas ever are when this shit goes on in full view of the cameras and journos. until we clean up our act and start acting like a party with a goal, ie winning elections, we can reform, democratize, delegate and do anything we still wont get a single message across to the wider audience.
    Sad to see the state and the egos at play. 3 more years of National because we cant rally behind our leader and push our vote-winning messages.

    • gobsmacked 18.1

      MQ

      Presumably you’re talking about the past week. But how about the past year?

      You want Labour to “get a message across”. Who is responsible for that? What has been the message?

      I’m sure you don’t think Labour’s problems began a week ago. What has there been to “rally behind”?

  19. michael 19

    The weirdest thing of all, to me, is that Labour has principles, traditions, and achievements of which it can be truly proud but it seems ashamed of them these days. Maybe voters are motivated solely by fear and greed, which may explain National’s success over the years, but I have seen people motivated by positive thoughts and emotions, too. I am quite sure the Right doesn’t have much purchase over these factors, while Labour seems to have employed them successfully in the past. Even if voters are deaf to positive messages these days, and I think many of them probably are, surely there’s enough evidence out there to persuade them that they have more to fear from Right-wing governments than left-wing ones, even vanilla-left like the NZLP?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Labour is run by Beltway Bubble types who don’t know how to apply socialist traditions, principles and philosophy in the modern age.

      In fact, under the guise of being “progressive” most of these have been got rid of and been replaced by a kind of softer kinder socially liberal economic neoliberalism.

      • Adele 19.1.1

        Kiaora Viper

        Are Beltway Bubble types analogous to Middle Class and Cocooned?

        I suppose both avatars describe the same beast. A surface dweller unable to articulate a vision for the poor, marginalised, disaffected, and beat-up – simply because they have no lived insight into such things.

        Hardship is vicariously experienced through the hardship of others. They may have an interesting back-story – helping the real needy and poor. But they only get to share in the story – the lived experience ends at the first meal.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    I expect the next lame excuse we will have from Camp Shearer about why we should not have an open leader selection in Feb. 2013 is because “it will divide the party.”

    A reminder. The 2008 primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was one of the closest contests in recent memory. But only 4 months later the winner of the primaries tossed the Tories out of the White House in a landslide victory.

    Also remember that a year before those primaries Barack Obama was a political unknown.

    An open selection process can bring forth a truly brilliant campaigner. Labour needs a brilliant campaigner.

    We could be surprised. The winner of a Feb 2013 contest might be neither Shearer not Cunliffe. A year before those primaries Barack Obama was hardly mentioned as a contender. Ideologically, there was virtually no difference between Obama and Clinton. We need a winner!

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  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Minister must come clean on amalgamation
    The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.   National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Labour sends condolences to families of MH17
    ...
    Labour | 17-07
  • IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies
    A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant...
    Labour | 16-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never get their justice, said the Green Party today.The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its findings on whether the Police were negligent...
    Greens | 16-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui's dolphin sanctuary, the Green Party has revealed today.This follows revelations that permits have also been issued for oil exploration in the sanctuary.There have been 254 Maui's...
    Greens | 16-07
  • No cosmetics tested on animals under Labour
    A Labour Government will help protect animals from harm by prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Trevor Mallard today launched the initiative at an event organised by Labour’s Ōhariu candidate Ginny...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up
    Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Parata ploughs ahead with anti-democracy plan
      Hekia Parata is ignoring overwhelming opposition by ploughing ahead with plans to gut the political independence of the teaching profession and stifle democracy on tertiary institution councils, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is no surprise a massive...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Greens announce $1 billion additional investment in R&D, including busi...
    The Green Party has announced today that its economic priority for the election is building a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.In the Party's headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Families under more pressure as power, food prices rise
    Higher power prices, housing costs and food prices are behind today's inflation rise, putting already stressed families under renewed pressure, the Green Party said today."Families are facing rising costs from food, power, and mortgages, or rents; and most are getting...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Goverment drops recreational river reporting
    The Government pulled the plug on cleaning up our dirty rivers so they are safe for swimming, and now it has given up on annual reports about the problem, the Green Party said today. Two weeks ago the Government released...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Ae Marika! 15 July 2014
    It ain’t over by a long shot, but I can’t help feel good about Northlanders response to the week from hell. This last week has seen the worst weather over a larger region of the north, for a longer period...
    Mana | 15-07
  • Latest power price data shows National has failed families
    Latest data showing New Zealanders' power bills have risen 2.3 percent in the last year show National has failed families and households, the Green Party said today.Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data issued today shows average residential electricity prices...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • TDB New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 picks
    NZIFF is here, our picks this season are… The Dark Horse Boyhood Leviathan Is the man who is tall happy?  Hot Air Maps to the Stars Snowpiercer Toons for Tots InRealLife Print The Legend E-Team The Internet’s Own Boy: The...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A tale of two men: Cunliffe’s apology for rape culture vs Key’s dismiss...
    The manner in which Cunliffe has sought to address rape culture vs Key’s dismissal of it yesterday is a remarkable contrast as stark as the bias over Cunliffe’s holiday vs Key’s holiday. Key takes weeks off to pose for selfies...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in James Papali’i’Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press ReleasesAddress notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: New President for MANA Movement  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in Lisa McNab, NewsLisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Flood relief for National voters first Posted on July 18, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – National Party thugs destroying Internet MANA b...
    Last Saturday morning the volunteer brigade of Internet Mana  went out in the freezing cold to deploy Internet Mana billboards. They braved the cold weather of that icy cold morning only to have National party thugs destroy the billboards and...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Amnesty International: War crimes against innocent civilians – Why is his...
    27 December 2008, 11:30. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) commence military airstrikes on a list of 603 targets believed to house suspected Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip. In just three weeks, the devastating Operation ‘Cast Lead’ claimed approximately nine Israeli...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Rape Culture is not blah blah blah
    To some of our politicians and commentators, ‘rape culture’ has already become blah blah blah. A meaningless and overstated slogan to roll their eyes at and derisively joke about and deny. It’s something the ‘left’ takes seriously, and something the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Hot Air: Alister Barry presents the cold, hard facts about New Zealand’s ...
    IF YOU SEE only one film in the 2014 NZ International Film Festival see Alister Barry’s feature-length documentary, Hot Air. This chilling exposé of the strategy and tactics adopted by New Zealand’s largest industries to ensure that no effective action to combat...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • CTU resolution on Palestine
    Further to Unite’s position on Palestine, this is the Council of Trade Union position on Palestine… Preamble: Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
    The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Cafe chef awarded $50,000 for unfair dismissal
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Cafe chef awarded $50,000 for unfair dismissal A former chef at an Auckland cafe has been awarded more than $50,000 in unpaid wages and compensation for unjustified dismissal. The Employment Relations Authority...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza Monday, 21 Jul 2014 | Press Release The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation’s efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Road fix needed now, not later Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Internet MANA Auckland road show at Kelston – what the media are missing
    The Town Hall in Kelston yesterday was packed well before the start time of 2pm. What many welded to Wellington in the Press Gallery don’t understand about Internet MANA is that its energy and flaxroot mobilisation is far larger than...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds Monday, 21 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is an investment in families and our kids’ education and in reducing poverty. The...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Apocalypse Now
    For a brief moment, the nations of the world seemed united in a peaceful pursuit. The  World Cup finale in Brazil captured the imagination of a global TV audience. Within days, catastrophe exploded into the headlines, sending shards of outrage,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Palestinians suffer from media’s use of derogatory labels
    Why, in our news media, is an Israeli with a gun a “soldier”, but a Palestinian with a gun a “militant”, or even a “terrorist”? The terminology is clearly prejudicial to the Palestinian cause, because New Zealanders are more likely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Another example of media bias – Key’s holiday vs Cunliffe’s holiday a...
    Another, sad, tired example of media bias in terms of holidays this time. I pointed out in the weekend the extreme bias being exhibited by the media… The current level of negative bias being exhibited by the conservative corporate media...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • MANA answers the call to have Apartheid Israeli Embassy kicked out of NZ
    Last week I asked “which NZ political Party will have the courage to call for the Apartheid Israel embassy to close?“, MANA have answered that challenge and have stepped forward as being the political party with that courage… The Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald to speak at September 15t...
      So Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald will speak at Kim Dotcom’s Auckland Townhall event . Dear oh dear, how will the mainstream media journalists handle this news? All week they’ve been screaming how unfair it is that they will have...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 | Press Release “How can someone go to Court on the issue when a person doesn’t even know if...
    The Daily Blog | 19-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui’s dolphin sanctuary, the...
    The Daily Blog | 19-07
  • Casino workers fight outsourcing – picket 1-3pm Friday
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Casino workers fight outsourcing – picket 1-3pm Friday 17Jul On Friday the 18th of July, Unite will be picketing SkyCity Casino urging them not to outsource the Cleaning Services department. This proposal...
    The Daily Blog | 19-07
  • Public Money? Public Entitled to Know
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are unable to find out the extent of disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti’s spending, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Parenting in an Age of Terror
    What impact does news of war and terrorism have on children? Does seeing the wreckage of downed airliners, missiles flying and gunfire in the streets affect them? What do we tell them? It is unlikely children are actually going to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • NZ Jews, Christians, and Muslims United in Call for Peace
    Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders in Wellington issued a joint statement today regarding the current conflict in Gaza and Israel:...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    " Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #27: Nats back in ascendency
    Inflation and interest rate expectations fall ahead of OCR announcement tomorrow · Forecast fiscal surplus again falls sharply, and growth marginally down · Greens fall and Internet-Mana strengthens, as Sykes gets closer in Waiariki · No feasible...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • TOUGHLOVE urges more funding for Parent Support
    TOUGHLOVE has issued a challenge to all of New Zealand's political parties to state where they stand on helping parents of youth at risk. The challenge comes just ahead of the organisation's thirtieth anniversary celebrations in Auckland on Friday 25th...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Reports: Aotearoa stands in solidarity with Palestine
    Fightback supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a tactic to show solidarity with Palestinian resistance. The following reports are from demonstrations over the weekend from Fightback activists and supporters....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mental Health & Addiction Services Funding Crisis
    The funding crisis threatening the effective provision of NGO mental health and addiction services will be the main topic for debate by health spokespeople from all the main political parties at a public meeting in Penrose....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Job losses show the dangers of relying on dairy exports
    Today’s announcement from Fonterra that up to 110 jobs will be cut at its Canpac facility in the Waikato shows the dangers of relying on dairy exports to China to sustain our economy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Cambodian Workshop successful, says Labour MP/PGA President
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson is pleased with the successful outcome of the Asia Pacific Regional Parliamentary Workshop held last week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Mangere College students take stance on family violence
    The students of south Auckland high school, Mangere College, became the first in the country today to implement the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign throughout the school in an effort to help prevent family violence occurring in its local community....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Fairer Deal For Parents on Benefits – Christine Rankin
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig is backing a campaign seeking to reform the way Work And Income treats shared care parents. Mr Craig confirmed his party's stance in an email to Fifty Fifty campaigner Duncan Eddy last night, stating: "I...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Kmart stamps out bullies with partnership
    23 July 2014 – Kmart has helped stamp out bullying quite literally, with active team members from stores across the country pounding the pavement on a ‘Big Walk’ for charity organisation Foundation for Youth Development (FYD), as part of Kmart...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • More momentum needed to achieve Smokefree 2025 goal
    New research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal by ASPIRE 2025 researchers suggests the Government’s goal to achieve a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 may be failing to gather the political momentum needed to ensure it is achieved. Analysis...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Fight for 26 weeks paid parental leave to go on
    The coalition to support 26 weeks paid parental leave says that public demand for six months leave with a new baby is not going away, and the group will continue to push for government to do more to support better...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Don’t Apologise for Putting Family First, Mr Cunliffe
    Family First NZ says Labour leader David Cunliffe should not be apologising for putting his family first and having some holiday time with them. “All parents need some rest and recharging time, they need family time, and most importantly they...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Referral to the Police – Wayne Walford
    On 21 July 2014, the Electoral Commission referred Wayne Walford, National Party candidate for Napier, to Police for displaying election advertising on a signwritten vehicle promoting his candidacy and the National Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • RSA condemns downing of flight MH17
    The Royal New Zealand RSA has today denounced the downing of flight MH17, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, as an act of terror....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • EDS joins Trans-Tasman Resources High Court appeal
    “EDS has today filed a notice to join (in opposition) Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) appeal against the decision to reject its marine consent application to mine ironsands in the South Taranaki Bight,” says EDS Executive Director Gary Taylor....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Over 1100 dead Kiwis
    Research presented to the NZ Defence Force today shows that an average of 16 service personnel have died away from the front line every year since 1945. Add those from the front line and the figure is 18....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Petition to repeal carer legislation presented at parliament
    Today Rachel Noble, Chief Executive of the Disabled Persons Assembly presented a petition, with thousands signatures, to parliament demanding the repeal of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act (No 2) 2013....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Claudette Hauiti to step aside at election
    National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • LGNZ welcomes Prime Minister to local government conference
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) was pleased to host the Prime Rt Hon John Key at the 2014 LGNZ Conference today in Nelson. The Prime Minister addressed the audience of 550 delegates including mayors, chairs, chief executives, councillors and senior...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Students Challenge Parliament to Protect Student Voice
    Student representatives on Victoria University of Wellington Council. LEFT: Elected-at-large student representative David Alsop. RIGHT: VUWSA President Sonya Clark....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Flockton basin residents deserve fairness
    It is blindingly obvious that the land in the Flockton basin has dropped because of the earthquake causing increased flooding and flood vulnerability says Labour’s Christchurch Central Candidate Tony Milne....
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • LGNZ welcomes Labour’s announcement on regional development
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has welcomed today’s announcements from Leader of the Opposition David Cunliffe on regional development. The Hon Cunliffe launched Labour’s regional development policy to more than 550 delegates at the annual 2014...
    Scoop politics | 22-07
  • Standing Orders Committee: Review of Standing Orders
    The Standing Orders Committee has presented its report on the Review of Standing Orders. The committee reviews the Standing Orders, procedures, and practices of the House and usually reports towards the end of each parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally on 26th July, Aotea Square
    The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Human Rights Commission welcomes The Way Forward report
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue has welcomed The Way Forward report on an integrated system for Intimate Partner Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect. “The Way Forward report is truly a way forward. We’re not starting from scratch, all the jigsaw...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Young people to face MPs in UNICEF NZ Election Debate
    The UNICEF New Zealand Youth vs MPs Election Debate takes place today (22 July) at the Beehive Theatrette providing a unique platform for young people to debate issues of importance ahead of the 2014 general election. UNICEF NZ will also...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Taskforce Welcomed to Curb Excess Local Government Control
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s announcement at the LGNZ conference in Nelson to establish a 'Rules Reduction Taskforce'.Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • LGNZ releases election manifesto
    LGNZ releases election manifesto focusing on the need for strengthening New Zealand’s communities and economies...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Local government celebrates outstanding performance at LGNZ
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards, designed to recognise and celebrate the leadership role local government plays within communities. The Awards were presented at a prestigious dinner...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Cocktails for Industry Officials, Squalor for Pigs
    When members of the pork industry meet at their annual conference at Auckland’s Novotel Hotel today, animal advocates are expecting urgent action to address cruelty issues on factory farms. Animal advocacy group SAFE says pork industry officials...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Forest & Bird to mark On the Block campaign at Parliament
    Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird will hold a photo opportunity at Parliament at noon today to highlight the, unprecedented rights sell-off to frack, log, drill and mine New Zealand’s public conservation land....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • NZCCSS calls for government to raise care workers’ wages
    The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) is joining the call for the government to increase funding to the aged care sector to enable fair wages to be paid to workers caring for New Zealand’s older people. “The...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • CTU Urges Reserve Bank Not to Raise Interest Rates
    The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another rise in interest rates will raise the dollar further, striking another blow at high value manufacturing industries who are exporting or...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • ACT announces Jamie Whyte as Pakuranga candidate
    Dr Whyte was elected ACT Leader in February. Since then he has been travelling around the country meeting New Zealanders and talking about ACT’s key messages of low, flat tax, cutting green tape, getting tough on crime, and “one country,...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Whyte calls on Craig to name his flat tax rate
    ACT Leader Jamie Whyte has hit out at Colin Craig for failing to name his party's suggested flat tax rate. "Page 9 of The Press today is an advertisement for Colin Craig’s Conservative Party and their policy of having two...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • The Letter 21 July 2014
    All tax and spend ; Do not add up ; Bad economics ; We have moved to the left ; Being in government was a mistake...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Aggressive phone scam targets Inland Revenue customers
    Inland Revenue is warning its customers to beware of aggressive telephone scammers who are targeting people for money and threatening actions such as deportation and prison if not paid....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • A talk on wealth, a rant on inequality, & NZ’s latest stats
    I'm giving a talk in Wellington tomorrow night on wealth in New Zealand: how much of it there is, how it's distributed, and why we should be talking more about it. It's at 5.30 at Connolly Hall in Thorndon, and...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Growing Up in New Zealand Report exploring vulnerability
    The Chief Executive of the Families Commission says the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) report released today is the first step towards developing a greater understanding of vulnerability in the New Zealand context....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Christopher Giddens Struck off
    The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that Christopher Giddens be struck from the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Downing of MH17 shows the Ukraine crisis is a global issue
    The downing of Malaysian airlines’ flight MH17 clearly shows the Ukraine crisis is not a local or regional affair, it is a global issue and the world community needs to help the Ukraine, University of Canterbury Ukrainian expert Associate Professor...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • NZEI supports Green party’s commitment to quality ECE
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming the Green Party’s plans to boost the quality of early childhood education by restoring funding for centres with 100 percent qualified staff....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • NZ First Tax Policy Breaches the China FTA Peters Signed
    Reacting to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters’ policy announcement to introduce a capital gains tax on foreign owned homes and assets, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • Interview with Metiria Turei
    We believe that the Green Party and Labour can work together. After the election, we will look at our shared goals and where we can work together to achieve positive goals for New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • NZ First GST Policy Not Thought Through
    Reacting to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters’ policy announcement to remove GST on food, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-07
  • KASM to fight seabed mining decision appeal
    Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) today notified the High Court of its intention to join the EPA in opposing an appeal by Trans Tasman Resources against the EPA’s decision to refuse consent for the country’s first seabed mining proposal....
    Scoop politics | 21-07
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