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Advice to Labour: Fair, inclusive, positive

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, August 18th, 2012 - 69 comments
Categories: activism, Deep stuff, labour, vision - Tags:

From my view in the cheap seats it seems that there’s been plenty of tension in the last couple of weeks between two different “visions” for Labour and its policy direction.

Option one, coming up from the grassroots, is moving to the left. More actively reaching out to and standing up for the disadvantaged. In political terms this has the advantages of a strong narrative and of mobilising the activists, and the disadvantage of possibly not capturing enough of the mythical “centre”.

Option two, coming from current policy advisors, is moving to the right. Representing the opinions of the “swinging voter” that swaps allegiance at whim (and en masse wins or loses elections). This has the advantage of making the party more accessible this crucial population, and the disadvantage of losing ground on the left.

One of the big unknowns in the equation is the non-voter. Do they lean left, as many have assumed? Or are they more evenly distributed on the political spectrum, as some have lately argued? Either way they are the elephant in the room. Turn out the non-voter and you win. They are much more numerous and more powerful than the swinging voter. But only if they change their habits and vote.

So much for background. Labour is looking for direction, a narrative to take in to the next election. What should Labour do?

In my opinion Labour should take neither the first nor the second of the options described above. Instead it should recognise them for what they are. A false dichotomy. A limiting trap for limited thinking. Either path is certain to alienate some group of voters. So choose a new path, and never never never buy in to the right-wing framing of any debate.

Labour should stay where it is, a party of the center-left, pragmatic, but true to its history and its activists. The direction for policy (the “vision” if you like) should not be defined by left or right, but by three words. Fair. Inclusive. Positive. Every policy, every speech, every cunning plan, should be benchmarked against these three words, and presented to the public in these terms. Tell us how your position is fair. Tell us how your position is inclusive. Tell us how your position is positive. Everything else will take care of itself.

Let’s try a couple of case studies.

The first is the problematic roof painting beneficiary Mr X. In Shearer’s recent speech he went with option two, a telling off for Mr X to appeal to the swing voter. It was buying into the right-wing narrative. It wasn’t fair, because we didn’t know anything about the circumstances of Mr X. It wasn’t inclusive, because it tries to turn some of us against others. It wasn’t positive in any way at all. If confronted with Mr X again I’d like Shearer to say something like this:

“We can’t make a fair decision about Mr X without knowing the facts of his case. Labour believes that everyone who can work should work, we won’t stand for rorting the system. But those with genuine illness or need are entitled to our full support and understanding. Any one of us might need the support of a benefit one day, and our country as whole is much better off when we take care of our most vulnerable people.”

Here’s another case study – proposing increased taxes (on personal income, capital gains or whatever). That’s always a difficult sell, and the right will try and paint it as unfair, the politics of envy, and so on. Don’t accept that narrative by being defensive or timid, look for fair, inclusive, and positive. I’d like Labour to say something like this:

“Labour’s tax increases will be fair. Top income earners can afford to contribute more because they get more, and polls show that most of them are happy to do so if it results in better services. We’re all in this together. We all suffer when the country doesn’t have the resources for decent health, education, transport and the like. But we all benefit when the country can afford these services, and lift the standard of living for everyone.”

One last one, on parents and teachers’ unions. The right-wing is playing nasty wedge politics, trying to pit one against the other. Don’t let them get away with it. I’d like Labour to say something like this:

Labour is a union party. Unions are not some anonymous machine. Unions are people. Your neighbour. My neighbour. Families trying to feed their kids. Union expectations must be realistic and reasonable. When they aren’t Labour will say so, and when they are Labour will listen. Parents and teachers are working together on the most important job of all, raising and educating the next generation of New Zealanders. They all deserve our support and respect.

Yeah I know, sorry if I’m not leftie enough for you. And these case studies will be pulled apart, be gentle with me, I don’t write speeches for a living! What I can tell you though is that this approach has many advantages. It lets Labour be true to itself, without impossible arguments about moving left or right. It provides a simple strategy and litmus test for presenting policy. And I think that it is the best way of reaching out to a sizable chunk of the non-voting public. Fair, inclusive, positive. You’ll win the next election, and the two after that.

69 comments on “Advice to Labour: Fair, inclusive, positive”

  1. IrishBill 1

    That seems left enough to me, Anthony, but then again I’m a social democrat who doesn’t understand why political concepts that are international and historically considered centrist are branded “left” and “hard-left”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s the old Red under the bed scare mongering and framing of the 1950s brought into the present.

  2. weka 2

    When you running for parliament r0b?
     
    As a Green voter, with my eye on the next election giving us a coalition left govt, your vision makes alot of sense for Labour. It’s simple and elegant, and neatly side steps many of the things that non-voters hate about politics.
     
    Has anyone done research on the non-voters? Why do we know so little about them?

    • lprent 2.1

      I suspect that r0b is probably a bit like me.

      The objective of supporting politicians is so that we don’t have to give up our interesting work and lives to do something as inherently uninteresting like being a politician. I’m always grateful that there are enough fools public spirited individuals who are willing to take on the role and leave the more interesting parts of human existence behind so I don’t feel obligated to do it myself.

      On the other hand the traits that lead people to consider such roles to be worth doing are also the same ones that tend to lead them to hubris and a gradual but inexorable withdrawal into their own wee worlds. As well as support, I tend to do my bit to combate that tendency.

      I feel exactly the same way about judges, police, and indeed most public servants.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    Interestingly, both of the options above (either appealing to the non-vote, or swing vote) require “turning around and tuning in” those with little interest/active disdain for politics and politicians.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with those statements above, only perhaps ordering the first paragragh slightly differently, remembering that you need to make your point early on, and succintly as possible.

    I think stressing the word ‘fair’ could go a long way. ‘Fair’ is far less woolly and easier to relate to personally than for example, ‘sustainability’.

  4. ak 4

    I don’t write speeches for a living!

    Well you frickin should r0b! Best contribution to this sorry saga yet. Fair, inclusive and positive even.

    I’d just add one more word: facts.

    Eg for your examples; “I’m not a doctor. Every Sickness and Invalids beneficiary needs sign-off by a medical professional. The amount of fraud is very low.”

    “The most well-off have been given extra hundreds, even thousands of dollars a week in tax-cuts over recent years: it hasn’t helped our economy and it’s time they gave a wee bit back.”

    “We’ve got one of the best education systems in the world. Slamming teachers and selling bits off to private concerns can only do harm.”

    (and of course having the research and references at one’s fingertips to prove them if queried)

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      I don’t write speeches for a living!

      But clearly you do know what they should sound like. Good!

      For the past four years I’ve been begging for Labour leaders to study Speechwriting for Beginners. Or hire somebody who does. I’ve even bloody written stuff for them on here! Free, no obligation. Anything except … frustration upon frustration.

      That roof painter speech is a case in point. It’s not just the infamous anecdote. The whole speech is disjointed, lacking any basic rhetorical devices (chorus repetition, snappy rhythm, alliteratioin, popular culture references, crescendo etc, etc). It’s a cut and paste job. It doesn’t appeal to head, heart, anything.

      So predictably, it achieved nothing. If nobody had cared about the roof story, nobody would have cared at all. Hours of effort and resources, wasted.

      I will repeat the suggestion I’ve made on here before. Set up a simple online “clearing house”. Get people to send in their ideas (but not in a public forum). Use the best ones.

      Of course, it’s absurd that Labour’s (paid) leadership team should need help from people who have, you know, read some history books or heard a few speeches. But, apparently they do. All too obviously, they do.

      So get rid of the paid failures, replace them with the unpaid who can write, and maybe things will improve. (At least in communication – the substance of the policy being communicated is another story for another day).

  5. Olwyn 5

    “We’re all in this together.” is key. I think that your three terms are good but perhaps a little too vague. I read David Parker’s speech to the EPMU with mixed emotions. On the one hand we do need manufacturing or some equivalent if we are to reverse the hollowing out of NZ. On the other he could have shorted his speech by about a minute simply by deleting the word “middle” wherever it occurred. This last made me think that the team may have decided to take on the Robert Reich view, outlined by Giovanni Tiso on Chris Trotter’s blog, “The implicit argument – that we should go back to tending to the needs of the middle class – is another version of trickle down, just starting a bit lower.” http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/labour-could-just-as-easily-be-national.html

    There may be a little more to it than Giovanni thinks, since as well as being “trickle down, starting a bit lower,” it may also reduce the downward pressure that impacts most on the poor. However, the achievement of the ‘shift of consciousness’ that makes NZ interested in manufacturing again does require challenging some middle class presuppositions. The feeling of economic instability leads people favour property accumulation and managerial positions, both of which indirectly impact on the poor, in that they allow the middle class to accumulate wealth without generating work. To challenge this mind set, and deal with the fact that wealth is systematically being sucked out of the country at the same time, requires serious engagement, not just marketing strategies.

    Further: When I see that 90% of respondents on a TV1 poll favoured the drug testing of beneficiaries, as well as the numerous people who have said that anyone living off the tax payer has no right to privacy, I shudder, because what I see is legitimised persecution in response to the mythological bludger maintained in the media. No politician who is remotely decent, let alone remotely left, should be buying into this. They should be challenging it, for everyone’s sake. This again requires real engagement over marketing ploys.

  6. burt 6

    Interesting post rOb. I think the one thing you have not made a strong enough point about though is honesty: The left need to stop pretending they can tax society more to make it fair… it just never works, never has and never will – but it’s popular with the hard working low paid population so I understand why the left like to lie about the fantasy upside of doing so when it never works.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The left need to stop pretending they can tax society more to make it fair… it just never works, never has and never will

      Worked fine until a) Muldoon got in went overboard borrowing to try to keep capitalism from falling over and then b) Douglass fucked us over with huge tax cuts on the rich and implementing the free-market BS.

      • burt 6.1.1

        Muldoon was more socialist than the current lefties we have now so you prove my point… It doesn’t work !

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          He probably was but he was still a conservative that implemented conservative policies – policies designed to protect the capitalists.

          • burt 6.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, real conservative policies… nationalise everything, control wages, prices and high taxation… wake up Draco… he was flying a blue flag but he was socialist through and through and you you pointed out – his socialist policies were a fricken disaster – just like they are when implemented by a leader under a red flag.

            • millsy 6.1.1.1.1.1

              So how many hospitals are you going to close Burt.

              I currently have an OIA request pending about hospital closures in the past 25 years, should make interesting reading, especially 1990-99 compared with 1999-08.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.2

              His policies were designed to prop up capitalism which was failing or, to put it in words that you might be able to understand, socialism for the capitalists. Huge amounts of borrowing at interest when, as the 1st Labour government showed, borrowing isn’t needed at all. Subsidies to the farmers and other interest groups favoured by National. Pure Keynesianism and I can assure you I’m not a follower of Keynes, not even a neo-Keynesian.

              I’m starting to think that he panicked near the end of the 70s when it became obvious that his policies weren’t working and that’s why we got the wage and price freezes. Like most economists he’d forgotten what the economy actually is and thought it was just money moving in nice sedate circles that the rich could dip their fingers into to become even richer.

              • burt

                I think it’s more a case of he realised that intervention created a requirement for more intervention…. the unspoken archilles heel of socialism.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Nope, the unspoken Achilles heel of dictatorship acting in ignorance to prop up a failing system.

                  Intervention is normal for a society. In fact, not intervening is what leads to societal collapse.

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.2

          A history lesson Burt.  

          Soviet Communists wanted the state to retain control of everything and power to be concentrated in the hands of the elite. Their arrogance meant they tended to stuff things up.

          Socialists wanted to share the wealth around.

          Muldoon was definitely a communist.

          • burt 6.1.1.2.1

            <history_rewrite>Muldoon was definitely a communist.</history_rewrite>

            Right so he’s being slated above for being a conservative and you call him a communist once it’s pointed out he was a socialist…. desperate much ?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.2

            Muldoon was a capitalist – so were the rulers in the USSR. It’s the need to control/own everything that really shows the capitalists for what they are – dictators.

          • burt 6.1.1.2.3

            This is the problem with the Labour party mentality.

            They can’t decide if it’s policies or flag colour that classify their actions as capitalist, communist, socialist, union, lefty or righty – right or wrong.

            Sort it out guys…. If you want “your team” in the glorious them against us battle, fighting the man, again any time soon you might want to stop shopping in the op shop for fiscal and social policy.

            Stop the ideological bullshit of the great struggle for your rights fighting the greedy capitalist and get on with improving all the progress you think you own by your natural party of government sense of entitlement.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.3.1

              burt, you’re showing your ignorance again. It’s National that considers itself the natural party of government. Always has done and similar parties (Republicans in US, Tories in UK, etc) around the world echo that belief.

    • millsy 6.2

      Burt, take a look at countries without welfare system, such as India, Brazil and the like — teeming slums everywhere. Do you want that in our country?

  7. Pete Sime 7

    I’ve been rewatching The West Wing lately, and the episode I watched last night really resonated with me:

    Leo: I’m tired of it. Year after year after year after year having to choose between the lesser of who cares. Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low, I can hardly bear to look at it.

  8. Hamnida 8

    Very good article.

    I don’t think the election will be won by moving to the Centre. National are still too popular.

    The election will be won if Labour is united and has sound policies that provide a real alternative to National.

    It is good to see Cunliffe and Parker undertaking some overseas research to see what policy may look like in 2013/2014.

    • OneTrack 8.1

      Did you just say that labour dont have any policy so they have to go overseas to find some? Ok, makes perfect sense.

      • Hamnida 8.1.1

        No, but understanding what has worked overseas and what hasn’t is important. I am glad Cunliffe speant some time in Scandinavia.

      • xtasy 8.1.2

        Now let me guess, where did National perhaps get their ideology from? Was it made in NZ at all? I doubt it, my “OneTrack” friend. It sounds more like Milton Friedman and Chicago Boys, who also – with their CIA mates – helped to murder a freely elected Chilean president in 1973.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Good return to old fashioned Labour basics, R0b.

    • burt 9.1

      Old fashion Labour basics… A union card in every pocket and legislation limiting how big we are allowed to build houses. Yeah… that was powerful stuff in the 40’s & 50’s – pity it’s complete BS today.

      • Actually that sounds pretty good. I’m tired of seeing McMansions everywhere.

      • KJT 9.1.2

        When one income could feed and house a familiy.

        When 20% of our children were not living in poverty.

        When 14 billion plus a year did not go offshore in profit.

        When you could get decent wages for a skilled job without going to Australia.

        When we got out of the great depression before the rest of the world with socialist policy.

        • burt 9.1.2.1

          When we got out of the great depression before the rest of the world with socialist policy.

          That socialist policy made us a low wage nation – a blight that we are still trying to rid the country from.

          • KJT 9.1.2.1.1

            Burt’s alternative universe again.

            The socialist policy that made us one of the highest wage nations on earth. One that Europeans wanted to emigrate to.

            The one which we abandoned from Muldoon onwards.

            Have a look at the graph of GDP vs other OECD countries since we became just another RWNJ paradise.

  10. QoT 10

    I like it, r0b, but you know I’m picky …

    everyone who can work should work

    Labour already says this, but what they seem to mean is paid work (and I think it’s safe to assume that’s what most people interpret it as). Any left – even centre-left – party which is happy to sit there and basically say that the work of stay-at-home parents or volunteers isn’t “real” work needs to figure out wtf its values are.

    • saniac 10.1

      There’s got to be some thinking about what happens to this sentiment when there isn’t enough work to go around. One way and another, whether by improved productivity or economic recession, it’s unlikely that we can provide 8 hours of work a day for every able person or even that we need every able person to work for 8 hours a day.

      Perhaps everyone who can work should work, but maybe we need to ask what being able to work means in the absence of demand for their labour.

      • weka 10.1.1

        One structural thing that could be changed is the abatement policy for beneficiaries. There’s a big disincentive to take part time work, especially if you have pay childcare costs and travel. I’ve not seen a decent analysis of how to solve this problem, and I gather everyone thinks it is in the too hard basket, but it would be a good conversation to have.
         
        WINZ could also have a voluntary work permit scheme. They’ve done it a bit with the artist’s wage (is that scheme still running?). Basically it would enable beneficiaries to be allowed to do voluntary work without being penalised (eg medical benefits) and without being harrassed to look for paid jobs that aren’t there so they can stay focussed on the work they are doing. For some people this would be about expanding their skill base as a way of working towards paid employment. For permanent or long term beneficiaries it would be a way of being able to contribute within their specific limitations that an employer couldn’t accommodate.
         
        Should we ever have worker shortages again, the scheme could be reviewed, but I doubt it would be necessary. Most people want more income than the benefit gives them.
         
        A universal basic income would change the dynamics of work too.

        • Policy Parrot 10.1.1.1

          There are several criticisms of a UBI from a leftist perspective.

          1. If implemented it could remove a source of upward pressure on wages, as financial needs are already being met by the state, allowing a further decay, making the state ever more reliant on employers who are indeed meeting the social obligation of paying fair wages.

          2. It imposes a relatively high tax burden immediately on entry to the workforce, making paid employment relatively less attractive. For every dollar earned under the Big Kahuna for example, 30c goes back to the government. Currently only gross income exceeding $48,000 is taxed at that rate.

          3. There is a moral hazard implicit in paying people without any obligation in return (whatever that may be determined to be). It is similar to the Marxist criticism of passive income. Targeting costs less and ideally delivers better results in terms of spending.

          4. A UBI, as proposed by Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna would complete the Douglas transformation of moving to a flat income tax. It is also non-targeted, i.e. millionaires, billionares, and legal, but immoral tax dodgers would receive it.

          Of course, all of these things can be ameliorated. But it is more the unintended consequences, ones that would not be uncovered until such a policy was implemented – beware the unintended consequences of good intentions.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            It imposes a relatively high tax burden immediately on entry to the workforce, making paid employment relatively less attractive.

            Wrong, while still on a fairly low income the tax is negative and it’s far less than what we have now which is something like 70%. At no point are you worse off which can happen under current systems (get a 20 hour job, get dumped from the unemployment, gross income is about where you were but you now have the added expenses of going to work).

            Spreadsheet

            There is a moral hazard implicit in paying people without any obligation in return (whatever that may be determined to be).

            I don’t believe so for two reasons:
            1.) There’s a bi-directional responsibility. Society has a responsibility to ensure that no one within that society lives in poverty and it’s reciprocal that everyone in that society has a responsibility to ensure that society can meet that responsibility.
            2.) Doing nothing is really fucken boring and most people actually do want to work as we found out under the last Labour government. That means that we need to ensure that people can do so which is the complete opposite of what we have now which, quite literally, prevents people from working so as to maintain profits.

            A UBI, as proposed by Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna would complete the Douglas transformation of moving to a flat income tax.

            True but is that actually bad? I may disagree with neo-liberalism and capitalism in general but while we’ve got it putting all people and legal entities on the same tax footing seems like a good idea to me.

            It is also non-targeted, i.e. millionaires, billionares, and legal, but immoral tax dodgers would receive it.

            Believe it or not but it’s very well targeted. Everybody receives it but the high income earners more than pay for it. The tax dodgers are why the Big Kahuna recommends (not in so many words) pretty much rewriting the entire damn tax code. Our tax system is broken due to all the amendments and changes made over the decades.

            But it is more the unintended consequences, ones that would not be uncovered until such a policy was implemented – beware the unintended consequences of good intentions.

            Sometimes a risk needs to be taken. I think it’s time for this one.

            • Policy Parrot 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Re: #2. The original point was correct. Every marginal dollar you earn after you enter the workforce is taxed at 30c.

              Of course, overall, if you include the UBI income, then of course tax is negative – that’s not the point. The point is that there is less value in working for gross dollars, because the state takes more of it.

              In some respects I would like to see a UBI – it would reduce the amount of bureaucracy required to administer the welfare state, but in addition to being politically about as popular as state funding of political parties – I am just not confident it would lead to improvements – it would simply mask problems. Critically, it doesn’t address the imbalance between capital and labour that has been allowed to occur over the last 25-30 years.

              ** I agree with your point about the state being responsible making sure that noone lives in abject poverty.

              • Colonial Viper

                Every marginal dollar you earn after you enter the workforce is taxed at 30c.

                There is a potential problem here with part time low wage jobs. Where the cost of being work ready (transport, clothing, etc.) makes doing the part time job uneconomic.

                I see no issue with full time work as the net wage will be >> the UBI level.

                All you need to do to fix this, IMO is to make the first $10K earned income tax free. And bump the flat 30% rate up to a flat 32.5% rate to compensate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There is a potential problem here with part time low wage jobs. Where the cost of being work ready (transport, clothing, etc.) makes doing the part time job uneconomic.

                  Then people won’t do them. Paying to go to work, which I’ve seen happen quite a bit ATM, is one of the things that a UBI addresses.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Re: #2. The original point was correct. Every marginal dollar you earn after you enter the workforce is taxed at 30c.

                No it wasn’t. You’re going to be paying tax, can’t get past that. So what’s important is the effective tax rate and the effective tax rate using a UBI and a flat tax is progressive as the spreadsheet I linked to shows.

                BTW, it’s not the marginal dollar but every dollar of income you have.

                I am just not confident it would lead to improvements – it would simply mask problems.

                It will help to do so but other policies are also needed. A UBI isn’t a cure all.

                Critically, it doesn’t address the imbalance between capital and labour that has been allowed to occur over the last 25-30 years.

                It’s not actually supposed to. Other policies will do that. That said, I think one power imbalance will be addressed by a UBI. People will no longer fear of losing their jobs and that means that the present power imbalance between employer and employee will be equalised.

                ** I agree with your point about the state being responsible making sure that noone lives in abject poverty.

                I didn’t say abject poverty, I said poverty. Our systems now allows poverty and it disgusts me. We want people to feel that belonging to this society is worth it and yet our socio-economic system pushes people into poverty and then blames them for it.

  11. Well said r0b although I think that the disquiet amongst members has as much to do with the style of campaigning as the actual content of policy.  You can actually have a not too radical platform but when you campaign for it you can have real values, such as “fair, inclusive, positive” that you mention.

    A word of warning though.  Lange’s campaign in 1984 followed your prescription to a T but once Douglas and Prebble got their hands on power there was hell to pay …

    So the actual content of policy is important.

    I agree also with trying to reframe the “left” “right” definitions.  Positive and future looking will be fine by me. 

  12. lefty 12

    Each of the suggestions you have put forward to respond to various situations are examples of the worst kind of compromise and refusal to engage in debate.

    The battle between the ideas of the left and the right in a class society are not a false dichotomy. Trying to blur these differences with meaningless beltway speak panders to prejudice and encourages people to think even less than they do at the moment.

    I know it works for middle class people who just want everything to be nice, but the refusal of those very people to speak truth to power, or truth to stupidity, means the right eventually wins every argument, and is thus able to constantly shift debate to the right.

    For example in the case of the sickness beneficiary painting his roof Shearer could have talked about the handouts to landlords that the housing allowance provides, and the handouts to employers that WFF is.

    He could have pointed out that the beneficiaries of these handouts (landlords and businesspeople) often don’t pay as much tax on them as the rest of us.

    He could have said these people continue collect these subsidies even if they never lift a finger themselves, but are just shareholders in a businesses.

    He could have said in fact many of the people benefiting from these handouts are foreign owned companies whose investors are laughing all the way to the bank at our expense.

    He could have pointed out to the truck driver that his own boss was ripping him and the tax payer off by a lot more than a sickness beneficiary ever could, through stealing his surplus labour, subsidies on roading, Working for Families and tax dodges.

    He could have made it clear we live in a country dominated by a bunch of bandits and the sickness beneficiary, like most of us, is making do as best he can in a rotten set up.

    The list of responses Shearer could have made is endless, but bowing to the prejudices of the beneficiary bashers with a rave on how labour supports us all having a job and being exploited to make the boss class rich is nonsense – especially when there is not enough of that type of work to go around.

    Finally, the present Labour is a party of the centre right, not the centre left. It hasn’t been centre left since the Kirk government.

    • Macro 12.1

      Hear! Hear! well said!

      “the present Labour is a party of the centre right, not the centre left. It hasn’t been centre left since the Kirk government.” Totally agree.

    • xtasy 12.2

      “He could have”, aye? But he DID NOT!

      So it is the old game of getting positive scores and points by making the enemy look bad, and your own agenda great, even if you have to resort to rubbish and harm those you would really (discretely) still support and help!

      It is a bit like the NAZI, who is publicly a NAZI to be popular with the right wingers, but who hides his jewish bride in the wardrobe, or is this a bit extreme for some?

    • Murray Olsen 12.3

      Agreed lefty. The words they use actually have to mean something. If both sides fight, it’s class struggle. When only the capitalists do, it’s abject surrender. We don’t need a supposed left wing party that confines itself to negotiating surrender terms.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        We don’t need a supposed left wing party that confines itself to negotiating surrender terms.

        That’s highly quotable.

  13. blue leopard 13

    “…Instead it should recognise them for what they are. A false dichotomy. A limiting trap for limited thinking. Either path is certain to alienate some group of voters. So choose a new path, and never never never buy in to the right-wing framing of any debate.”

    Agree

    Because so far, with a LOT of debate centring around beneficiaries and the elderly one would be forgiven for thinking that our “intelligent” (?) politicians on both sides believe that those with the least resources are the ones that are going to save this country and the world from the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

    …and this while massive frauds are being committed by (apparently) upstanding members of our communities, and not only getting away scot free, getting tax-payers to fund their next expensive car, house, holiday or trip to a high class prostitute.

    This has gotten so bad that even the lame-stream media can’t avoid mentioning it.

    But no, to anyone too busy to take it all in (the majority)…it has to be those on government support that can fix the problem.

    Yeah..I like that phrase “speaking truth to power”. Will any of our politicians do so? Or can we fire them all and elect some that are prepared to …please?

  14. I like the general tone of this post and while I usually say Labour needs to veer a bit more “left”, (because they’re currently simply heading for “centre” on the current trajectory and have stopped acting on small-l labour-based principles) that can be done in a way which doesn’t engage in the stereotypes of the left-right paradigm, and I’d be quite happy for them to take on more “third rail issues” this way. Think of how people responded to the idea of a CGT- it was thought of as an untouchable policy, but Labour came up with a version that passed PR muster and sold it ruthlessly, then got praised for the bravery of doing so. If Labour could think along those lines every time a hard decision comes up, then they would have earned my respect. (hell, they could potentially earn my vote that way)

  15. xtasy 15

    My very strong advice to Labour is:

    Stay well clear of following the track of the UK in regards to welfare reform and even more punitive measures to make life of the poor, unemployed, sick, disabled and unfortunate in society unbearable, such as the ones that are actually being implemented and followed now over there.

    I came across the following during some online research today. It makes me shudder:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/benefits-and-services/employment-and-support/

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/benefits-and-services/incapacity-benefit/

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/guidance/atos-healthcare/

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?276095-Approved-Healthcare-Professional

    As I heard from others, they are there outsourcing medical assessment services to companies like Atos, who have their own trained “approved healthcare professionals”, and after reading the document to be found under the first link above (about ‘work capability assessments’), the criterias seem to have been tightened extremely to get a benefit for poor health and be exempted from work.

    If you can walk 200 m without distress and having to take a break, can get off a chair without pain and too much trouble, can focus, can concentrate, and function in a basic way, then it seems, they will get you to do some form of work, be this assembling ball point pens or whatever.

    Having had to rely on welfare for poor health, I will judge Labour firmly by what their position will be re the expected welfare reforms to come from National and ACT shortly.

  16. xtasy 16

    My strong advice to Labour is:

    Stay well clear from following, supporting or allowing the introduction and implementation of punitive welfare reforms, such as have been introduced in the UK as of recent, and which make life for many unemployed, disabled, sick and unfortunate very harsh, unpleasant, distressful and unbearable.

    I came across the following during some online research today, which made me somewhat shudder:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/benefits-and-services/employment-and-support/
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/guidance/atos-healthcare/
    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?276095-Approved-Healthcare-Professional
    http://www.maxim.org.nz/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/Invalids%20and%20Sickness%20Benefits%20.pdf

    Going by the information to be found under the first link above, which covers ‘work capability assessments’, it appears that they have tightened the criteria for ability to work and sickness substantially, so that if a person can walk about 200 m without too much difficulty and having to take a break, get up from a chair without too much pain and discomfort, focus sight and hearing, concentrate the mind and function in a basic manner, then they consider a person “fit” to do some form of work, whether that may be assembling ball-point pens or whatever.

    It is to me all a cost saving measure, but it lacks sympathy and fairness, only adds pressure and stress to already unwell persons depending on support, and I cannot see, what kind of employment they are there expecting to be created to employ sick and disabled.

    As I have for periods in my life needed support due to ill health, I will judge Labour very firmly on how they will deal with the to be expected further welfare reforms that National will soon announce.

  17. r0b 17

    Thanks for the comments all, the supportive and the critical, plenty to think about…

  18. xtasy 18

    Sorry for the kind of “double up” of a similar post above, as I tried to edit the first one, but was denied that due to “spam” warning. Now both are up, well, thanks!

    I just found this also as a document from the Department for Work and Pensions (intended for doctors):

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa-gp-leaflet.pdf

    Going by that you are apparently still “fit to work” if you are not likely to die within 6 months. Great, that is a “good” threshold for work ability testing, is it not? I am sure that MSD’s Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor, in charge also of “training” the “designated doctors” of WINZ, will be very happy to take up that idea.

    So, dear Labour MPs, sitting in your collective assembly in caucus meetings, and also in the nice House of Parliament, if you do not steer well clear of such madness, you will NEVER get my support!

    I will in the meantime look forward to see the first “wheel chair” mobile bouncers and postal delivery staff to be employed in the UK soon, all “fit” for work!

  19. xtasy 19

    Now check this link re a letter from the UK Department for Work and Pensions on “Approved Healthcare Professional” being used for assessment of sick and invalids there:

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/29713/response/78103/attach/html/2/WDTK%20reply%20FOI537.doc.html

    If the link does not work, this is a statement re the “qualifications” of staff they use:

    Dear Ms Morris

    I have been forwarded a copy of your email sent to Atos Healthcare to respond to in my role as Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s Medical Services Freedom of Information Officer. May I take this opportunity to apologise for the delay in responding to your request for information.

    In your letter you asked what medical qualifications, if any, are held by the employees of a private company responsible for assessing the employment potential of those currently receiving Incapacity Benefit (IB) or the new Employment Support Allowance (ESA)..

    All assessments for Incapacity Benefit or the Employment Support Allowance are undertaken by approved healthcare professional (HCP)’s. Their role is to carry out an assessment of the functional effects of the customer’s disabling condition, and to utilise the information gathered to provide the Decision Maker with an impartial and independent assessment.

    The assessment carried out is different to the more usual type of medical examination in which the HCPs aim is to make a diagnosis and decide on appropriate treatment. A GP or Specialist is not usually trained in disability assessment medicine and therefore will often not have specific experience in assessing the disabling effects of medical conditions and the way in which a customer’s illness or disability affects them in carrying out of a range of everyday work-related activities. As well as this difference in emphasis within the assessment process, the HCP will, when giving an opinion, be aware of the law relating to benefit entitlement. A specialist on the other hand is less likely to be familiar with Social Security Legislation.

    In order to provide independent, accurate and authoritative advice and reports it is not necessary for HCPs to hold specialist registration with the General Medical Council. The DWP Chief Medical Adviser (CMA) approves HCPs to carry out assessments. Approval is dependent on strict recruitment criteria, completion of a course of training in disability assessment medicine approved by the CMA and evidence of satisfactory performance.
    Minimum experience criteria for recruitment are laid down both employed and contracted HCPs. In individual cases, solely at the discretion of the CMA, the requirements that no conditions warnings or cautions be attached to registration and that the HCP must have a minimum of 3 years post registration experience, may be waived.

    Doctors must be fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) without current or previous restrictions, conditions or warnings and hold a licence to practice from the date the GMC issues licences. In addition they must have at least 3 years post full registration (GMC or EEA – European Economic Area
    equivalent) experience as a minimum. Alternatively for non EU graduates 3 years post full registration experience in the Doctors native country is required.

    Doctor’s primary qualifications are held in the public domain and appear on the GMC’s website. Please refer to http://www.gmc-uk.org then click on “check a doctor’s registration” and complete the appropriate fields.

    Nurses must be fully registered (level 1) Registered General Nurses without current or previous restrictions or cautions with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). In addition they must have at least 3 years post full registration experience.

    Nurse’s primary qualifications are held in the public domain and appear on the Nursing and Midwifery Councils website. Please refer to http://www.nmc-uk.org then click on “search the register” from the menu, click on “search the register” and complete the appropriate fields prior to clicking “submit”.

    The new Welfare Reform Act makes provision for medical examinations in connection with benefit entitlement assessments to be carried out by a range of HCPs specified in the legislation. This move has been taken because nurses and other HCPs are increasingly being used in roles, which were once reserved to doctors; and it is appropriate to extend this to benefit entitlement assessments. They bring an additional resource, with skills, which, while not being identical to those of doctors, very often complement them. The approach has been widely welcomed by customers and their representative groups.

    All HCPs working for Atos Healthcare have to undergo the same training, and will have to achieve satisfactory standards, before being approved by the Secretary of State for the DWP, before they are allowed to carry out work in relation to benefit claims.

    Atos Healthcare HCPs are specifically trained to provide decision making authorities with independent, accurate and authoritative advice and reports on the effects of disability.

    All healthcare professionals are monitored to ensure that their work meets the required quality standards. If a problem is identified, the healthcare professional may be required to undertake tailored training, which may involve training in mental health issues if required.

    I can advise you that HCPs are not required to hold specialist qualifications or experience in mental health conditions. As part of their induction training the HCPs all receive training in mental health issues, and as a part of their induction are required to read evidence based protocols on mental health conditions. In addition, all healthcare professionals are required to engage in a programme of continuing medical education which includes modules on mental health issues.

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

    If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HT. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

    If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF http://www.ico.gov.uk

    Realisation:

    So watch this space, once Bennett comes with her welfare reforms shortly. Will the assessors be qualified, registered and whatever, or not?!

  20. xtasy 20

    Once anyone will have “absorbed” the meaning of the “work capability assessment” now applied in the UK, I am sure, if you have any brains and intellect, plus a dose of humanity, you will realise, that is the first and clear step towards a FASCIST kind of system!

  21. Hamnida 21

    I am sure we call all agree there is not one UK social policy that belongs in New Zealand.

    • xtasy 21.1

      Indeed, they threw out morals and ethics and true Labour spirit with that precious “prick” called Blair. Excuse me, but when I hear the name, I cringe! Some call him a war criminal too, having assisted a war mongering George W Bush. Labour? Where are you?

  22. xtasy 22

    Never forget YOUR roots:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj7Z154sn_E

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhpSwSBbdxM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uCC-venMtU&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBih0c689cI&feature=related

    I may say to some that read and listen to this, it is not some light hearted and frivolous stuff here, this is real stuff, serious stuff, genuine matters affecting REAL people!

    If you from mainstream media think this is all excitement stuff to write hot line story about, get off you f-ing arses. YOU should be following what goes on in NZ society and overseas for a start. Most of you do NO homwork, know nothing and write SHIT daily. So here we go, in Chile and a few other places, people stand up and take no more of right wing, neo lib rip off bull ship economic and social betrayal.

    I hope that you will all feel very uncomfortable and that the chairs below your arses will burn to leave a permanent mark for good.

    Salute, por el pueblo unidar!

    Vival el movimento socialista en Chile y en payses solidario.

  23. DH 23

    I agree with inclusive at least. What’s concerning with all the talk about shifting to the centre is that Labour strategists clearly think it’s a leftist stance which cost them votes (and the election). Personally I find that laughable, Labour hasn’t been a leftist party since the ’70s. They’re so boringly middle-class centrist.

    It’s not hard to see what they’re thinking; that they can pass the poor vote onto the Greens and chase the middle-class vote harder. Morality aside that’s a risky move that has every chance of backfiring on them, Greens have got a taste of power now and they’re hungry.

    • starlight 23.1

      Also the greens will win even more disengaged labour voters next election
      so they are for sure a credible force,they could even become the main
      left party..

      • DH 23.1.1

        Aye, that was my thinking. I’ve never voted Green but I have to say they’ve impressed me this term. If they can settle their internal philosophical dispute and accept the need for some compromise in politics I think they’ll be a force to be reckoned with next election.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.2

      As it stands, I’m quite happy to see Labour casting off the poor vote. Means that they’re well on the way to becoming a minor party and then we’ll be able to see some change come about.

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    Labour left or Labour right . . . . . b.s.

    This is how the de facto Leader of the Opposition humiliated National during question time.

    Labour ain’t goin’ nowhere without a leader. OK all you anonymous ABC (Anybody But Cunliffe) MP’s, defend your leader. You wanted an anybody. You got one.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/norman-reveals-threats-to-privacy-and.html

  25. Michael 25

    Labour must stop trying to be all things to all people. That was its strategy between 1999-2008 (aka “Third Way Politics”, or talking left while acting right) and, while it kept Labour in office, the strategy did not allow it to exercise power (the machinery of government remained on New Right settings, making it easy for NACT to walk in again and start that machinery in a rightwards direction). After the GFC of 2008, it is evident that New Right economic policies harm more people than they assist. The task for any political leadership is to devise policies that reverse that ratio – and have the morality to actually implement those policies if elected. For a start, Labour should support the Greens’ Bill on extending IFTC to beneficiary families. Better still, it would exempt the first 10K of income from taxation, hike taxes on income above 100K, introduce CGT (extended to trusts), reduce or eliminate GST on essentials, and increase it on luxuries. That way, the people will have no doubt where Labour stands, unlike the current position.

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    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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