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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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    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Vega Auriga should be detained in NZ until problems fixed
    Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says that the ship Vega Auriga should be detained in a New Zealand port until it is deemed seaworthy and crew issues have been fixed....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Minor Parties Added to Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’
    The Taxpayers’ Union have added the Green, ACT, United Future and Conservative Parties to the ‘ Bribe-O-Meter ’ hosted at taxpayers.org.nz . Excluding ACT and New Zealand First, the total election ‘bribes’ - that is new spending not already...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Fiery Broadcasting Debate in Auckland
    Over 250 people turned out for the Auckland Broadcasting and Media Debate in Auckland City last night to hear politicians give their solutions to NZ’s media and broadcasting woes....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidate: Adam Holland
    Today I am very proud to have been nominated to run as an independent candidate by the people of Epsom in order to work hard for the people of Epsom, Mount Eden, Newmarket and Remuera....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Voters favour parties with factory farming policies
    A Horizon Research poll shows that 64.7% of adults are more likely to vote for a political party with a policy against factory farming....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Collins And Dirty Politics Drive The #nzpol Wordcloud
    After Judith Collins' resignation as Minister from Cabinet on Saturday, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol and for approximately the 24 hours since the announcement to produced this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Bill English: allegations against Judith Collins are serious
    Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told TV1’s Q+A programme that the allegations against Judith Collins are serious and that’s why an inquiry is needed....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Culture Change Required
    "There are serious issues raised in an Employment Relations Authority judgement released this week. The culture within the Whangarei District Council (WDC) organisation must change. The culture of any organisation is defined by its leadership starting...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Reducing Reoffending Statistic Challenged
    In Rethinking’s latest blog, http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/08/th-bps-reducing-crime-and-reoffending.html it closely examines the current claim that reoffending in New Zealand has reduced by 12.5% since June 2011, and reveals how that figure has been achieved. It argues...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • University economics team studying workers’ comparing wages
    A University of Canterbury economics research team is looking at fairness of the job assignments and whether workers are sensitive to the wages of their co-workers....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Statement by State Services Commissioner
    30 August 2014 "The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister's Office over the last 24 hours on this issue." “Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Christchurch Council Circus … Continued
    In 2010 the UK Daily Mail investigated the antics of a major bureaucratically bloated London Local Authority and reported with THE GREAT INERTIA SECTOR ....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • The Nation Housing Debate
    Patrick It's the great Kiwi dream, but is owning the roof over your head now just a pipe dream for many Kiwis? Homeownership is at the lowest level in half a century. National's answer is to double subsidies to first-home...
    Scoop politics | 30-08
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