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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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    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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