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A problem of “masculine” values

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, July 7th, 2013 - 120 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, democratic participation, feminism, john key, labour, Left, news, poverty, sexism, spin - Tags:

This is largely a re-post.  I agree totally with QOT, on the way the MSM have followed the whale’s lead on the issue of the Labour Party remit: a remit that was attempting to counter the gender imbalance in politics.  In their usual way these days, the MSM coverage lacks critical depth, is over-simplified, stirs up dramatic conflict, and fails to put the issue in context.

The post below is on a speech at the 2012 NZ Labour Party Conference on gender and politics.  To me it looks like the latest Labour Party remit on gender was following up on some recommendations in that speech.

I argue that the main gender problem is the way politics (and the dominant political commentariate) currently tends to maintain the legacy of a very long “masculine” tradition.  In doing this, traditional areas of women’s activity and modes of interaction are undermined.  And it is such values that run all through John Key’s (16 15 women Nat MPs out of 59) government, it’s “war on the poor”, and the primacy it gives to the ruthless and competitive world of corporations in partnership with political power.

poverty-and-women

The public debate on the (one among others) suggestion of excluding men from some candidate lists, has been frustratingly over-burdened with such values: it can be seen in the rush to denounce anything that looks like feminism, and to separate issues damaging to women, from other, highly pressing, political issues.

David Shearer seems to have slipped back into fiddler-beneficiary-on-the-roof mode in his rush to placate the MSM and right wingers, by denouncing the (alleged) “man ban”), and thereby reinforcing their biases.  Shearer fails to provide an adequate alternative narrative, and, in his silence, condones Shane Jones’ misogynistic labeling of women politicians as “geldings”. This is not the way for a left wing party of the 21st century, to court the men and women who make up the low income electorate.

Below is a copy of the post that I published on November 22nd, 2012

The Labour Party conference at the weekend gave serious attention to crucial issues of gender and politics.  In a speech, Judy McGregor provided some good suggestions for a new approach.  Her focus was on two  main areas: proportion of women MPs in the party and equal pay.  However, her speech fell short in scope and depth.  It also demonstrated the same shortcomings that I see throughout the conference: a strong focus on employment and change within the existing framework.  There was a lower priority given to unpaid wirk in the home and community; work done by a large proportion of women.

McGregor focused on two aspects of gender and politics that are in need of urgent attention, and which are covered in remits considered at the conference.  The representation of women in the House, and equal pay have gone backwards since NAct have been in government.  McGregor presented statistics to show that the proportion on women MPs has declined, while the gender pay gap is now the biggest it has been for 10 years.

McGregor argued that there is everything for the Labour Party to gain from working towards gender equality.  She pointed out that, while NZ doesn’t have a clear gender voting pattern, we can learn from the recent US election. There was an 18% positive swing of female voters for Obama. McGregor’s proposed new approach to MP equality includes:

  • a formal commitment to 50% MPs
  • equal gender quotas on committees selecting candiates for the party list and electorates
  • mentoring by current women MPs – to mentor at least 6 possible women MP candidates

This is great as far as it goes, but it fails to deal with the underlying framework that restricts women. Parliamentary politics is still carried out within a masculine framework.  Women in positions of power have to represent themselves as being tough, but not so masculine as to upset conventional gender expectations.

This was exposed when McGregor described the mentoring proposal as a “stiletto camp” in contrast to a boot camp.  My immediate response to that was – nah; yeah; nah.  This draws on an acceptable femme fatale image of a powerful, but sexualised, woman operating in a restrictive masculine space.  It doesn’t challenge the masculine rules of play, but accommodates to it.

Unfortunately those masculine rules of combative play are everywhere to be seen in Question Time and MSM political coverage.  The current Labour Party leadership is strongly operating within these terms of engagement: it can be seen in the way they have “dealt to” the LP members pushing for democratic change, and to Cunliffe’s leadership ambitions.  It can be seen in Shearer’s tough guy plays, in his attempt to stamp his authority on the caucus and membership, over the last week.

For women to again be among the leading players in the Labour Party, this style of politics needs to change, not just the gender quotas. Generally speaking, a significant proportion of women prefer negotiation, networking and 2-way communication over the stamping of authority from above.

In focusing on the pay gap, McGregor focused on the paid workforce.  While this is in crucial need of attention, she also neglected the underlying framework, in which women are still preferred in caring roles, paid and unpaid, and which are given low status by society.  McGregor drew on her undercover experience, working in age care facilities. This low paid work is largely done by women for less than $14-15 per hour.  Nurses create a positive caring culture, but earn less than employees with similar qualifications, doing similar work in other hospitals.  McGregor described it as a “form of modern day slavery”.

McGregor said a report on age care work got a positive reception by a lot of potential voters, including 40,00 carers.  Pay parity for carers is a fundamental human right and is affordable, costing about 1% of the total health budget over 3 yrs. McGregor implicitly compared Labour’s worker-friendly approach with that of the Key government, when she said:

  Surely we don’t need to ask Warner Brothers for permission on this one.

McGregor encouraged the Labour Party to promote itself as THE party to bring possible change for women and their families.  A worthy ambition.  However, at the moment the Green Party are well ahead of them on this.  50% of their women are MPs, and they, along with Mana have led the campaigns against poverty. They have not just focused on the paid workforce, but have actively campaigned for all low income households – beneficiaries and the employed.  They haven’t set this merely as a goal, but MPs like Hone Harawira and Metiria Turei have been out on the streets campaigning along side those with least power.

Unfortunately, in spite of the gender equality in numbers, The Greens have also been sucked into the masculine framework strengthened by NAct and the MSM: Russel Norman is now being portrayed as the de facto leader of the Party, while much of the important leg work is being done by women MPs.

It is the underlying macho, game-playing culture of political engagement that needs changing, along with the more obvious need for gender equality.  The changes required include the need for more democratic processes of political engagement, genuine communication and negotiations.  This should be linked with the need for wider cultural change, in which paid and unpaid caring work is given far more status.

120 comments on “A problem of “masculine” values”

  1. And it is such values that run all through John Key’s (16 women Nat MPs out of 59) government …

    I’ve seen this figure of 16 cited a fair bit. I think it is wrong. Parliament’s website lists 15 female MPs from the National Party: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs/Default.htm?pf=Gender&sf=Female&lgc=0

  2. “I argue that the main gender problem is the way politics (and the dominant political commentariate) currently tends to maintain the legacy of a very long “masculine” tradition. In doing this, traditional areas of women’s activity and modes of interaction are undermined.”

    The counter argument is that protection is traditionally a masculine role and that government is supposed to protect the rights of its citizens.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      Yes, because no mother ever protected anything.

      Duh.

      • UglyTruth 2.1.1

        The masculine role of protection is from the common law. This role has been marginalized as part of the civil system’s misrepresentation of the the nature of the common law.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1

          Not this shit again.

          • UglyTruth 2.1.1.1.1

            Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree. Your ignorance seems wilful to the point of dishonesty to me.

              • UglyTruth

                What do you think that I am ignorant of, knuckle dragger?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  The law.

                  Shall I link to the schooling you recently received from an actual lawyer?

                  • UglyTruth

                    If you understand the issues then you should be able to argue for yourself.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Why have a dog and bark yourself?

                    • UglyTruth

                      So what’s your point, knuckle dragger?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      That protection is not, as you were claiming, the sole province of men, and further, that your “understanding” of the law is an intellectual handicap.

                    • UglyTruth

                      Comprehension fail, knuckle dragger.

                      I didn’t claim that protection was the sole province of men. What I said was that “the masculine role of protection is from the common law”. My statement does not imply that women do not protect their children.

                      Speaking of intellectual handicaps, why haven’t you been able to substantiate your assertion that I was ignorant (of something relevant)?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “…you are relying on a single dictionary definition, rather than understanding how the term is used by those who are expert in the field…”

                      Andrew Geddis. My bold.

                      Substantiated. As though the link wasn’t enough.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          The masculine role of protection is from the common law.

          We’re not in the 15th century any more. We’ve moved on from that bit of ideological dogma due to the fact that we’ve learned a bit since then.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2.1

            And of course, it was the common law position that drove the dogma, not any kind of religious teaching, no sirree!

          • karol 2.1.1.2.2

            Indeed, DTB.

            UT seems to believe in a mythical and (to him) golden age when men were autonomous benevolent father protectors, and women loved being subservient to them.

            In fact the reality was probably more as is portrayed in the (mythical) Game of Thrones: where fathers ship off any sons that don’t measure up, to The Wall and the Wildings; and most women are just pawns in the brutal power games (except for the few who learn to participate in the violent power games with any level of success).

  3. Alanz 3

    Cheers, ‘karol’.

    May I say I appreciate reading your piece first thing this morning. It makes me feel good this Sunday morning (no need to read anything else for now) and I can start my day on a positive note.

    The “masculine” values, framework and culture – as well as attitudes, perspectives and style – that dominate in the House, and are particularly evident during Question Time, must change. And it is through structural changes by way of policy measures such as, but not limited to, Labour’s proposal that would be needed and necessary.

    Keep the Light shining!

  4. JK 4

    ” For women to again be among the leading players in the Labour Party, this style of politics needs to change, not just the gender quotas. Generally speaking, a significant proportion of women prefer negotiation, networking and 2-way communication over the stamping of authority from above.”

    Yes – Karol – I’d agree, and this is just what the Party organisation has been doing – working through the rules to reach a point where it might be possible for women to be 50% of the Labour caucus – as endorsed strongly by the 2012 Conference.

    The MSM were at that conference – but they obviously couldn’t see beyond their own noses picking at their version of their perceived Shearer-Cunliffe contest, and so this report and recommendation from the Labour Party council as come as a BIG surprise to the MSM !

    And of course the blokey blokes in the Labour caucus led by Shearer are running scared. Hence all the macho claptrap coming out of their unreconstructed mouths.

    Word has it that the blokes are going to overturn all progressive policy remits at the next conference ….. which will really send Labour down the slippery slopes of no return !! Like the MSM, they can’t see beyond their own noses either !

    By the way – if you want the full version of what Labour has decided to put forward to its next conference (November, in Christchurch) – its on Scoop NZ News, as an attachment.

    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      Good Lord!

    • Saarbo 4.2

      “Word has it that the blokes are going to overturn all progressive policy remits at the next conference ….. which will really send Labour down the slippery slopes of no return !! Like the MSM, they can’t see beyond their own noses either !”

      How can anyone justify less than 50% women in Parliament, it is simply unjustifiable…if the so called Labour “Blokes” are going to overturn the progressive policy’s then we will see Labour get even less than 25% of the vote in 2014. Labour once again wasted an opportunity here, they should have gone onto attack over this, made a lot of noise about National Party’s unbelievable male bias in their caucus. The big problem is that this Labour Party simply have no talent in being able to sell its policies and sell itself. It may be true that when people hear “Man Ban” that they react negatively, but if Labour had gone on the attack they could have changed the narrative on this, turned it around.

      The question is why are so many men scared of this policy? What sort of fucked up upbringing have males had that makes them afraid of women in positions of authority. Recently I put my name forward for my kids school Board of Trustees. I was then approached by a local man in his mid 50’s who has grand-kids at the school, he said “I’m glad you have put your name forward, we need good strong MEN on the board”, I asked him why he felt the board needed men as opposed to women, he obviously had no rational response.

      I can come up with several other instances of witnessing this sort of behavior over the years, the one common denominator is that the males are all Baby Boomers…so guess the problem will eventually wash out.

      Discrimination against women is still very much alive in New Zealand…which is why this policy in labour is critical, any male that suggests otherwise is bull shitting.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    How come the previous week , Key proposed suspending the ‘one man or woman, one vote’ rule when ever National falls short of a majority.

    Apparently it would be an outrage if they dont have the reins of power in spite of not having a majority coalition.

    Not a squeak from the media commentators ? Not a word about this breathtaking attempt to defeat the will of the majority

    The reason why, is the message is controlled by the National party. This manban’ thing was run by Nationals dirty tricks unit, who are heavily infiltrated into the Labour party hierachy, and they feed this stuff to Whaleoil blog.

    Farrar is also behind all this, as he has since his first paid job/internship with National ( when he got arrested for one of his anti labour tricks).

    But of course now , he claims hes respectable, so doesnt break these stories on his Farragoblog

  6. Jimmie 6

    So whats the solution?

    All MP’s have to sit around in a circle drinking latte’s and knitting a scarf while they have a quiet chat about proposed new laws? isn’t that pushing a stereotype?

    I would have thought that from a feminist’s point of view they would be insulted to think that they need to be treated differently from men?

    Surely (if you hold the view that men and women are the same and equal) that you must allow women to fight to the top on their own merit and ability as this proves the feminist POV that both sexes are the same.

    As long as there is no law or party policy excluding female participation then women should be left to their own devices (men as well) in order to pursue a career in politics.

    If after allowing such a policy for several years you end up with some inbalance in gender numbers o just accept that more women in general do not wish to pursue a political career than men.

    In some respects this policy smacks of hypocrisy as the proponents for many years have cried that they are equal to men in all respects and should be treated as such however when it comes to political representation women are to be considered ‘weaker’ and so need the rules to be twisted to favour them.

    It is this inherent unfairness that has made this a real vote loser for Labour.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      Are those feeble strawmen the best you’ve got? I appreciate it’s hard to argue against your opponents’ actual position when you’re as thick as pigshit, but you could try a bit harder.

      Don’t worry though, the National Party makes allowances for male gimps, so you’ll be ok.

      We need better wingnuts.

      • Jimmie 6.1.1

        Well yeah I guess time will tell if this policy change is a vote winner Knucklenuts – doesn’t look so good so far.

        You obviously couldn’t argue the points I made so made a feeble attempt at personal abuse – you are obviously emotionally still tied to your kindergarten years.

        Grow up and learn how to debate and argue points – shows that you have emotionally matured beyond the point of puberty.

        What a dimwit.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.1.1

          You didn’t make any “points”, Jimmie: you just made up some lies about what other people think.

    • QoT 6.2

      (if you hold the view that men and women are the same and equal)

      Ah, that old chestnut. The argument isn’t that men and women are exactly the same and equal. The argument is that men and women should be judged on equal terms and provided equal opportunities and advantages. They’re currently not.

      Which is why it’s oh so handy for Neanderthals like Alasdair Thompson to have a go at women who take time off to have babies. Women are made unequal by a society which doesn’t consider raising babies to be a job either parent can do. I could go on, but my head’s already sore from banging against brick walls.

      • Jimmie 6.2.1

        Honestly QOT I cannot accept that.

        Are you saying that if a woman and man with similar levels of talent and life experience walked in off the street and joined Labour, spent several years doing party stuff and donations.

        They both then work their way up to the point where they are both suitable to stand for an electorate seat.

        Suddenly in the selection process there is a mysterious but real bias in the selection process that says that more often than not in these circumstances the woman will get the short shift and the man will get in purely based on his gender.

        I’m sorry but Labour 2013? I just don’t see that being a reality.

        And this is why there has been such a bad reaction to this proposed policy. That is why this is seen more as a factional push rather than fixing a real injustice.

        Again Labour as a whole is suffering while one faction is trying to get the power ascendancy.

        Last year it was the Unions and now the feminists – infighting doesn’t win elections and never will.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1

          Yes, Labour should never discuss anything for fear of what its opponents will say. That’s a decent summation of your “argument”, eh Jimmie.

          You can probably go from there to filling in what I think of your argument for yourself.

        • QoT 6.2.1.2

          Suddenly in the selection process there is a mysterious but real bias in the selection process that says that more often than not in these circumstances the woman will get the short shift and the man will get in purely based on his gender.

          Yes. It’s called “gosh, they’re both great, but we don’t think this electorate will vote for a woman”. Sometimes it’s “wow, they’re both terrific candidates, but she might want to go have babies in a few years, do we really want to invest in her political career?” or “she has missed a few meetings to take care of her sick kids, she’s not as committed”.

          Or any other of a dozen misogynist attitudes which are played out every single day in organisations around the western world.

          • Jimmie 6.2.1.2.1

            Then surely the answer is not to disadvantage men as it were, the answer is to boot out the selectors who are holding these outdated views?

            Have a ‘cleansing’ of the Labour party hierarchy who would dare to have a bias against women and ensure that only Labourites with a pure liberal outlook in life select candidates based on merit only.

            When the committee is discussing each candidate you could have a women’s rights officer on the committee who would ensure strict judging based on merit only (and with the power to veto and biased decisions)

            Simple done

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Equality doesn’t “disadvantage” men – quite the opposite – it removes the suspicion that they are only there because of their gender.

            • QoT 6.2.1.2.1.2

              The fact that you yourself mock the idea of being able to ensure the selectors don’t hold sexist (or racist, or ableist, or even classist) views kind of proves my point.

          • Saarbo 6.2.1.2.2

            “Yes. It’s called “gosh, they’re both great, but we don’t think this electorate will vote for a woman”. Sometimes it’s “wow, they’re both terrific candidates, but she might want to go have babies in a few years, do we really want to invest in her political career?” or “she has missed a few meetings to take care of her sick kids, she’s not as committed”.”

            Yes you are right QoT, out side of Politics I have been on Boards and Management groups made up of men only and I have heard men make these comments heaps of times, and I reckon any male who has been in similar positions is bull shitting if they havent witnessed the same.

        • weka 6.2.1.3

          Suddenly in the selection process there is a mysterious but real bias in the selection process that says that more often than not in these circumstances the woman will get the short shift and the man will get in purely based on his gender.

          Jimmie, seriously dude, go and educate yourself on this. You are wrong. Start here

          http://thestandard.org.nz/a-problem-of-masculine-values/#comment-659340

      • Populuxe1 6.2.2

        “The argument is that men and women should be judged on equal terms and provided equal opportunities and advantages. They’re currently not.”
        So it does seem slightly disingenious to “provide equal opportunities and advantages” by providing *special* “opportunities and advantages”. I don’t particularly have a problem with the concept provided the levelling of the playing field is a genuine levelling with a demonstrable benefit beyond making people feel better, but the double-speak is likely to put off the more sensitive souls.

        • QoT 6.2.2.1

          Except that, as has been shown any number of times, just saying “oh we don’t care about gender!” is simultaneously bullshit and involves deliberately ignoring the fact that many groups of people do not start out on an equal basis.

          • Populuxe1 6.2.2.1.1

            Then why privilege gender over other intersectionality?

            • QoT 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Who’s doing that?

              • Populuxe1

                To put it another way, the remit didn’t seem to address anything beyond gender balance and therefore is surely going to set up further disparities. Would the remit benefit Maori, Pacific Island, Asian, Queer and Transgender women particularly, or would a whole bunch of other unspoken biases kick in and mean that there is simply going to be more white-or-off-white, heterosexual, cis-gendered female MPs in Labour?

                • QoT

                  You know what’s really cute about this comment? If you actually look at all the rule changes being proposed, of which women-only lists is one, and the current Labour Party rules, they cover a whole raft of marginalized groups! The NZ Council is actually mandated to take into consideration the representation of women, and youth, and queer folk, and people with disabilities.

                  There’s also a Maaori-only list which gets considered together with regional lists when the party list is drawn up.

                  Your complaint is such a classic: if we do something which targets ONE form of oppression, we’re really the villains because we’re not targeting EVERY SINGLE form of oppression.

                  It totally works if you only look at a single example from a whole raft of policy proposals. But that doesn’t stop the raft being there.

                  • Populuxe1

                    No, I’m just asking why it’s so piecemeal rather than, say, Labour making it an official part of their mandate to be more representative across the board. I just want my slice of the cake because today I’m wearing my Opressed LGBT Low Income hat and not my Evil White Male Opressor hat.

                    • QoT

                      As I just explained to you, there are ALREADY provisions in place, some of which are being modified by this set of rule changes, to do exactly what you’re complaining they’re not doing.

                      And this is why everyone thinks you’re an insincere little troll.

                    • JK

                      Its not piecemeal, Populux. Do as QoT suggests and go read the whole piece – its easy to find on Scoop NZ – and you’ll see how it all fits together.

                    • handle

                      For most of those other under-represented groups, balance can be achieved through List selection processes (which is not to say that it is done).

                      For a group that is 51% of the population, the Electorate selection process also counts.

        • felix 6.2.2.2

          “a demonstrable benefit beyond making people feel better”

          “The government is not here to make your life better.” -David Bennett MP

  7. just saying 7

    I’ve been reading this debate on this and other sites with interest.
    One thing that really infuriates me is the idea that those who have been falling over themselves to argue against or even deride this proposal and feminism in general, are doing so because they are so concerned about the plight of the working class.

    Give me a break

    Even before this conversation I’ve said that Pagani, Shearer, Jones, and (Mike) Williams, should have the honesty to join the National Party, because of their centre-right politics.
    Imo these “working class heroes” are in fact the natural enemy of the working class, they advocate ‘austerity’ – squeezing those worst off to continue to keep the comfortably middle class from experiencing the slightest twinge from the recession that is blighting lives of the poor. They advocate moving Labour even further to the right.

    And what do political types like these offer the working class to solicit our votes? Their lies about caring about us and their divide and rule scare tactics which pitch one section of the disadvantaged against others.

    I can’t even find words to describe the disgust I feel towards them, and the whole light blue bullshitter’s brigade who masquerade as left-wing to keep themselves in their champagne lifestyles. They spit in our faces, and expect us to be grateful for the free fluid. When they read comments like these they beat their chests and bleat about their oppression, and being picked-on without the slightest glimmer of irony.

    Bryce Edwards, as an academic I think it’s time you stopped skimming the various media (including the Standard) to seek confirmation of your pet theories and started actually listening.

    • Pasupial 7.1

      @ JS

      “They spit in our faces, and expect us to be grateful for the free fluid.”

      I think that’s what is called the trickle down theory. It only looks like champagne though; the bubbles coming from spittle foam, and the aroma of urea pointing to the original source.

    • QoT 7.2

      + everything.

      It’s just my own view, but I cannot stomach people who claim to care about the working class and then shit on beneficiaries. As though unemployment isn’t a capitalist tool of oppression. As though pitting the “deserving poor” against “bludgers” isn’t a rightwing distraction tactic. As though modern capitalism doesn’t keep workers in line with the threat of casting them onto the scrapheap.

    • weka 7.3

      +1 Very well said js.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.4

      Yep. and if it’s good enough for Colin James, it’s fine by me too. (although, noted some realities on the Queen’s thread).

    • Saarbo 7.5

      +1 Spot on.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    Does the Labour party not realise how many women voted for it? Shane Jone’s comments were way out of line and will have cost a heap of votes right across the board . Likewise the old cloth cap union “us and them” brigade – think Chris Trotter aren’t doing labour any favours. They are holding back the prospect of modern unions who would be better treating their workplace as a defacto co-op going for ethical workplaces and shared gains

    The Green party are at least walking the talk in that they have large numbers of women and they are spread over all portfolio’s not just welfare ones. Meretai has to be the strongest female voice in politics at the moment.

    And yes I agree with Karol. The emphasis has all been on women and work and the complete lack of understanding about the effects both social and economic of caring on their lives and this is from both sexes.
    There has been a couple of small items in the papers lately, one on a carer who looked after a Downs syndrome adult and the grossly insensitive government emails about her “dragging him around like a teddy bear”. What did they expect, that she should leave him home alone- not possible, hire supervision – no money. Also she was 70, she won’t be doing this much longer and deserved to be treated with far more respect than she was.
    The other a woman who had paid the correct rent and who was caring for a number of other people whilst working.

  9. handle 9

    “This is not the way for a left wing party of the 21st century, to court the men and women who make up the low income electorate”

    Is that what Labour are trying to do?

  10. Santi 10

    If Labour could draw more capable women then they would be on the list and winning electorate selections. Promoting women over men for the sake of equality is simply dumb let alone dumb politics. But hey, knock yourselves out Labour.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    How would Helen have handled this, if she were leader, vis a vis what Shearer did?

    • felix 11.1

      Helen Kelly?

    • QoT 11.2

      I think it’s too complex to say – for a start, I don’t recall Clark having the same issues of division between her “faction” in the party and the wider membership, which for me is a huge part of the problem with Shearer’s response.

  12. felix 12

    What did Jones say? I missed that.

    Actually I don’t care, he’s just a corporate tool with a big mouth that’s usually full of shit

    The sooner he fucks off the better.

    • weka 12.1

      Something about how he doesn’t want to be in a party run by geldings (it’s unclear if the geldings are the men or the women).

      Edit: correction, he says that the public doesn’t want the country run by geldings.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10895113

      • felix 12.1.1

        What a vile little person he is.

      • Roy 12.1.2

        Not sure why he considers ‘gelding’ an insult. Phar Lap was a gelding. So was Cardigan Bay. Geldings are more reliable than stallions, and run faster too. Besides that I was informed on another thread of The Standard that women in politics are ‘frigid’ so it surely can’t hurt if the male politicians are eunuchs.

  13. enixide 13

    Law of unintended consequences will be HUGE with this.
    In the military we have one very set standard for males and females, that way when your boss gives you an order you say AYE AYE Sir/Ma’am and don’t think for a second about their gender – you know in every bone in your body they got their because they are the best person to be there.
    Females in life have enough stuff undermining them without the whole “did you get here just because your female or because you actually deserve to be here” factor added in.
    Do I think it would be nice/ideal to have a 50/50 split male female? Absolutely.
    Do I think we should MANDATE to have this split, bringing in people who are not as good as other people just because they are male or female? Absolutely not.
    There are much better ways to help achieve a closer 50/50 split – encouraging more woman into politics and better programs to help with childcare etc… would be a good start

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1

      Reality check: right now men owe their positions to their gender, but somehow you don’t have a problem with this actual situation.

      Raise the double standard.

      • Macro 13.2.1

        It’s getting better QoT, When I joined the Navy in 74, The WRNZN was a completely separate service. I was secretary to the Officers Policy and Planning Committee which incorporated women into the RNZN, The role of women has expanded hugely since those early days, with women now serving in all branches of the seagoing Navy, watchkeepers, supply and secretariat, engineering, warfare. etc. It takes time, It’s 8 years of training to produce a watchkeeping officer, and that’s really just the beginning of a naval career. Women have served in the RNZN up to the rank of Commodore. There is normally only one Admiral at any one time, and exclusively a Seaman. (The deliberations we had over that terminology “seaman” went on for hours. In the end the women decided that they would take the traditional terminology rather than adopt “sailor” which is more gender neutral.)
        Of course there are those “fuckwits” in any part of life who see it as their primary role in life to abuse women. It will take time, it was never going to be easy, and we still need to work positively at it. But I don’t think the time is far off when we will see a much more major role played by women in the Armed forces than we do today. And as I say, it is now streets ahead of what it was 30 years ago.

        • QoT 13.2.1.1

          Hey, I have no disagreement there. We’re in an age where the Australian Chief of Army can make incredibly powerful statements about the value of women in the military.

          But to act as enixide does (in a comment they have copied-pasted into multiple threads) and pretend that everything’s a gender-neutral paradise in our military or any other? Is just silly.

          • Macro 13.2.1.1.1

            Yes totally agree QoT And obviously the reason for Lieutenant General David Morrison to make that no holds barred statement. Make no mistake what he expressed is also the attitude within the NZ Armed Forces as well (or was when I was serving). But as I also noted, there are those fuckwits whose Neanderthal behaviour lets everybody down.
            ps I wasn’t aware that that was a ‘spam’ comment by enixide.

            • QoT 13.2.1.1.1.1

              I recognised it from Morgan Godfery’s post on TDB and also my own.

            • grumpy 13.2.1.1.1.2

              General Morrison’s speech was written by his speechwriter. A trans sexual Colonel. I suppose that says heaps about the tolerance of the Aussie army.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.3

      ‘got those hup, two, three, four, Occupation G.I Blues

  14. Don't worry be happy 14

    Good Lord, if there’s anyone in need of a good gelding it’s that idiot Jones!

    In the horse world he wouldn’t have made it past his 2nd birthday entire (Talent? No. Performance ? No. Potential? Are you kidding me?!)

    In fact, if we stick with his metaphor, most of the Labour caucus, far from being stallions ( the idea would make your eyes bleed frankly) would be in a can of Jellymeat by now…and good bloody riddance to them.

    Look:

    800,000 eligible voters didn’t bother voting last election. These people are not ‘in the centre’..they’ve wandered off in disgust and despair.

    The National/ACT/Maori party government is a shell company for national and international corporate raiders.

    They are about to unleash a weapon of mass surveillence on their own people.

    200,000 children live in poverty in this land of plenty.

    Our second largest city is still in ruins.

    Only Ireland, in the OECD, exports more of its people than we do…a city the size of Rotorua leaves every year to find work and decent pay.

    Corruption doesn’t even bother to try to hide anymore.

    And still Labour saves all of its ammunition for its own feet.

    Well it’s been hijacked by the far right before (Roger Douglas et al, many of whom are still there…) these ‘centrist’ MPs, these ‘non geldings’ (sweet Jesus) they’re like liquifaction or a borer infestation and the Labour Party is sinking/rotten/uninhabitable as a result.

    Why would women want to be part of this dysfunctional, shameful, deviant sham of a political party?

    We have too much sense.

    Go Mana. Go Green. Get that 800,000 off their arses. Take back our country for our children and their children after them.

    • weka 14.1

      :-D

      The Labour dude on Q and A today, when talking about the ‘manban’ and who were the real people (yes he used the word real) that Labour should be attracting… the first people he named were business people.

      • JK 14.1.1

        Really ? Weka ? Whoever it was speaking for Labour on Q & A today – did he really say Labour should be attracting business people. OMG ! This is Roger Douglas all over again !

    • Rogue Trooper 14.2

      :-D

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      Tautoko, dwbh.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    I will repost too. Agree with QOT, but, but… tactically the Labour strategists, if you gifted them a brain it would be lonely. And that is the thing, who is the main parliamentary political enemy at the moment? Identity politics and curly light bulbs do not entrance dickhead kiwis who are the ones that actually vote. The Torys have to be kicked out and then we move on from there. “Man Ban” does not help in the short term despite the legitimacy of the argument.

    Incremental reforms do happen like “marriage equality” And 4 weeks ann leave. These reforms often erode under a change of government.

    The ShonKey/ACT/MP/Dunnie govt. while weakened remains in office and a myriad of reasons shows it should not be. So the priority is to discard them and the current LP tacticians if you can call them that are not helping.

    • QoT 15.1

      dickhead kiwis who are the ones that actually vote

      Well, if you ignore the steadily rising vote share the Greens get, sure.

      • Tiger Mountain 15.1.1

        Heh, fair enough, QoT it is not totally about LP but they are a sizeable part of things in the MMP environment. And Green has long had a Blue/Green turquoise element.

    • Te Reo Putake 15.2

      Yep, the communication strategy used by the LP leadership is truly amateur, TM. I had a slightly heated discussion with an MP recently on the topic of why the media team need replacing ASAP and got told that social media was of interest only to the beltway. It had no effect on the voting public apparently. I have a feeling the next few weeks polling may give the lie to that view.

      Labour need to democratise their media output, put some trust in what their members tell them and go on the front foot, digitally speaking. They need to innoculate against the obvious responses to policy or party matters, such as ‘man ban’, by framing the issues, setting the agenda and anticipating the the other side’s comebacks. They don’t have to be Malcolm Tucker to get this stuff right, but they do need to at least show they understand how the game is played this century.

      • JK 15.2.1

        “I had a slightly heated discussion with an MP recently on the topic of why the media team need replacing ASAP and got told that social media was of interest only to the beltway. It had no effect on the voting public apparently.”………..

        That’s really interesting TRP – its totally the opposite to what Labour candidates were told during the last campaign, and also during more recent conference workshops ie they were told that social media was the way to get to the voters !

        Sounds like Labour MPs don’t know much about nuthin’ these days let alone how to deal with the media.

    • Sosoo 15.3

      Yep. The time for this is when in government and high in the polls. Right now it’s poison.

  16. weka 16

    Sean Plunket “What do you think of Labour’s Girl Club policy?”

    https://twitter.com/SeanPlunket/status/352890084762193920

  17. Tiresias 17

    An interesting and informative article on exactly this point in today’s Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/07/women-politics-gender-vote-parliament

    I’m male but the hee-hawing, chest-thumping, urine-spraying displays that pass for debate in Parliament pursuade me that I wouldn’t want to be within a mile of the place for any reason..

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      a good friend conveyed the same sentiment to me this morning, pre-coital alignment.

  18. red blooded 18

    As one of the 51%, and still proud of the word feminist (which seems too often to be used as code for man-hater, but not by those of us who identify with it) I think it’s great to see Labour confronting the issue of chronic under-representation of women in parliament. Yes, I know they are not as bad as others, in particular those who are throwing bricks at present, but even in the Labour Party 49% of the population make up 58% of the caucus.

    Having said that, I don’t think the proposal that’s on the table at present is particularly practical. Put simply, it seems very unlikely to me that any electorate committee that is infused with the kind of patriarchal attitudes and assumptions about the capabilities of women vs men that were raised in a previous posting (sorry, don’t remember your name, but I’m talking about the “What if she wants to have children?”, “Has missed a few meetings”, “Not quite as forceful” doubts that were discussed further up the line) would be self-aware enough and/or committed enough to the cause of gender equity to actually self-nominate and specify that they were only interested in female candidates.

    It could be that I don’t appreciate the subtleties of the policy, but from this distance anyway it seems to have a bit of a logical black hole in the middle of it.

    • karol 18.1

      I think the idea suggested by Judy McGregor, of mentoring potential women candidates is a good one. However, I think they should be looking outside the beltway (too many MPs generally are ex-LP staffers. And maybe the mentors shouldn’t just be sitting MPs – ex MPs, people who have had other roles in the party, etc.

  19. amirite 19

    The voting public doesn’t give a shit whether Labour has 41 per cent women MPs or 50 per cent. They just want good candidates and good policies.

    • Macro 19.1

      You of course have surveyed the voting public, and speak with authority on the matter.
      You aren’t just speaking for yourself…..

      • amirite 19.1.1

        Continue on this path and the Nats will have the 2014 election in the bag. Is that what the voting public want, according to your own research?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1.1.1

          Translation: “I don’t like this discussion proposal, waah waah waah.”

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1

            14 women in the current Labour caucus. Will there even be 14 in the next one, whether or not this proposal becomes constitutional?

        • weka 19.1.1.2

          “Continue on this path and the Nats will have the 2014 election in the bag”

          Labour is quite capable of losing the election without blaming it on gender equity policies.

          • Winston Smith 19.1.1.2.1

            One of the sayings I wish had come up with…

            • fender 19.1.1.2.1.1

              You would need original thought for that, and evidence shows you are just a regurgitator of Tory garbage.

        • karol 19.1.1.3

          Which is it, amirite?

          Do Kiwis want “good” MPs? (Though it depends what you mean by “good”.)

          Or do we go for a change of government, no matter how incompetent the MPs/candidates/party, or how much the new government’s principles and policies are lacking?

          Or how misogynist, male dominated and/or sexist?

          • amirite 19.1.1.3.1

            How is 41 percent of women in the Party sexist? especially in comparing to the Nats. Sure, it could always be better but is it really a priority issue right now? Why haven’t they come up with policies that help women in everyday life? Like more support for solo mothers on benefits/in part time work, equal pay for the same job, longer paid parental leave, etc etc etc…Not this, not at this time.
            In politics, everything is about perception and timing. Labour failed on both counts here.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1.1.3.1.1

              Agree with your last two sentences completely.

              That said, has little to do with the merits of a quota system, nor of the merits of this particular approach to reinforce a quota system, nor of the need for the Labour Party to debate such issues.

            • karol 19.1.1.3.1.2

              amirite, did you read my post?

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    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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