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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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    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
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  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
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