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Alcohol distraction

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 30th, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: alcohol - Tags: , ,

Today MPs will have a conscience vote on the drinking age.

That’s all well and good, but it is mainly a distraction from the fact that National will not be reforming where it matters.

National say they’re acting on the vast majority of the Law Commission’s recommendations, but they’re missing the ones that the Law Commission – and relevant academics – say matter.

Number one is price.  A minimum price for alcohol ($1/unit?) would be best, but if not, then at least some increase in the excise.  If it works for tobacco, it will work for alcohol (as it has in the past).

Number 2 is advertising – and there will be no added restrictions.  The alcohol industry will continue to make drinking look cool and sexy and then throw up their hands “blame-free” as to why young impressionable people over-consume their product.

Number 3 is availability.  There is some tinkering here, but nothing to scare the alcohol industry too much.  National’s policy is to not hurt the alcohol industry by reducing the amount that’s drunk, but to somehow magically reduce the harm that’s done by that drinking.  Alcohol doesn’t work that way.

The government even decided that the alcohol industry could “self-regulate” over RTDs.  Their idea of not having more than 2 standard drinks per beverage (even if all companies comply) will only result in super strong shots, encouraging even faster drinking…  A maximum strength needs imposing: all around the world the alcohol industry has cried “self-regulation” to get their way.

So yeah, I don’t think 2 years of “training wheels” in bars is a bad idea.  But the focus on 18- and 19-year-olds’ drinking is a sideshow to avoid the main event, when our society has the drinking problem.

[stuff for a good chunk of yesterday had only Labour MPs would have a conscious vote on the whole bill... it seems a bit harsh to suggest that all the other parties aren't conscious...]

Update: And remain at 18 it is. Graeme Edgeler’s Alcohol Game Theory turned out to be a good prediction: the compromise got eliminated and MPs chose between 18 & 20, despite neither having majority support.

68 comments on “Alcohol distraction”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes I heard someone on RNZ a week or 2 ago, speaking on behalf of the alcohol industry, arguing that it was the responsibility of drinkers not to drink in a way that was harmful to themselves.

    Yeah, right!

    Especially young teenage drinkers – I can remember not always being “responsible” at that age.

  2. tc 2

    I’m expecting a few more controversial mumbles from Shonkey as a further distraction from their flogging off of public assets to enrich their mates.

    Doesn’t he have shares in alcohol interests, this is just another sham about caring when they don’t give a F about anything but their wallets.

    The RTD issue is alot more serious than folk realise, the alcohol content aside they are among some of the most nasty substances one can drink with the alcohol often not even coming from the alleged ‘spirit’.

    Fosters got done a few years back for using the brewing process to manufacture the alcohol they then ‘flavoured’ in RTD ‘spirit mixes’.

  3. Julian 3

    They, they, they……. all their fault eh!
    Take ownership adults of NZ, you set the example for your young, not the alcohol companies and our government!
    Geez, lets raise the price of food to get those fat obese kiwis to slim down. Alcohol is not the issue. The issue is whether you can teach and lead by example the youth of our country. Enjoy a beverage with food, enjoy the company with you, enjoy the beverage, enjoy!
    When the adults of our society continue to get plastered i.e. Zac Guilford, yet we still receive them with open arms and praise them, turning the blind eye to their disgraceful excess consumption.
    Grow up and enjoy a ‘good’ wine.

    • Carol 3.1

      Mate, I don’t drink, but I don’t see many young people following my example. Not that I want others to give up drinking alcohol altogether.

      They are more influenced by the advertising, marketing, and their peers.

      Get a clue about how consumer behaviour is influence!. The (alcohol and other) corporates know this, which is why they spend so much on marketing and advertising, drawing on research that shows how behaviour can be manipulated….. hypocritical of them to then say that the subsequent behaviour is all the responsibility of the consumer.

      The culture that is most damaging, resulting in problem drinking, is consumer culture.

    • Tracey 3.2

      alcohol doesn’t get drunk, people do… And who pays for all the back up services that are required? The alcohol companies with their offshore companies in tax havens or those of us who don’t drink or only drink responsibly, as adults?

      At 18 the young person’s brain is still developing, including the consequences part… still let’s put them and their long suffering parents up against

      cheap prices
      billions spent on advertising to surrepticiously move them to buy
      have it on every street corner

      I suppose you also think that advertising doesn’t “work”?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I’m in favour of the minimum price change, since I don’t buy the cheap stuff anyway…

    • Augustus 4.1

      Yeah, me too. I like the $1 bit per unit. That would bring us in line with Scotland, where it’s 50p. In Labour they have been talking about $ 2 per unit, twice as much as the Scots. “We”‘re not twice as bad as them, are we?

    • felix 4.2

      Lanth, that makes sense as a reason to not be opposed, but in no way is it an argument in favour.

      It’s a bit like saying ‘I’m in favour of increasing speed limits on motorways to 200kph because I don’t drive on motorways.’

      • Lanthanide 4.2.1

        If they’re going to make changes to the pricing of alcohol, then:
        1. I’m in favour of the minimum pricing change, since I don’t buy the cheap stuff.
        2. I’m against changing the excise tax, because it will affect what I do buy.

        So that’s an argument in favour, however venal and self-serving.

        • felix 4.2.1.1

          Ah, so if it were a choice between those two options, you’d be expressing a preference for option one, which is not really the same thing as saying you support option one as opposed to the status quo.

          Why are we talking about it as if those are the only two possible options?

          • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1.1

            I refer you to the original article:

            “Number one is price. A minimum price for alcohol ($1/unit?) would be best, but if not, then at least some increase in the excise.”

  5. King Kong 5

    Anglo Saxons have been getting on the stitch for ever and in NZ the natives have shown quite an aptitude for it as well.

    The reality is that forever people have liked getting out of their box and there has always been those that tut tut and point to the social cost and there have always been those who say get fucked.

    Throughout the ages attempts have been made to put a lid on overt alcohol consumption and it has always failed. I do admire those who so stridently believe that their ideas will be succesful though.

    • mike e 5.1

      Primitive urges explained by primitive primate.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      And yet other countries don’t have the same sort of drinking culture as we do.

      The question is, how do we move our culture to be more like theirs. Minimum pricing is a great way to moderate the fringe behaviour, and curtailing advertisement goes a long way in fighting the glamorisation of drinking.

    • Tracey 5.3

      Of course in the olden days it was because the water would kill you…

    • fnjckg 5.4

      learning. adaptation. teachable.

  6. belladonna 6

    Those who dont buy the cheap wine are more fortunate than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version. Most people drink responsibly so why would you yet again hit the poor who enjoy a glass of wine at night. There are other ways to curb excess drinking, especially in the young. Raising the price of alcohol and a minimum price is just yet another tax.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version”

      You can choose not to buy alcohol.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Is there some other form of self-medication you’d recommend? Because essentially you’re advocating for plugging up the stress-relief valve of a whole sector of our community.

        • higherstandard 6.1.1.1

          Kava.

          • felix 6.1.1.1.1

            What about khat leaves?

            • higherstandard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Although it is fairly benign toxicologically there are still too many possible deleterious health effects for my liking in comparison to Kava.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          belladonna’s comment implies people are forced to buy alcohol. They’re not.

          • felix 6.1.1.2.1

            Of course not, but people drink for a number of reasons. Let’s not ignore those reasons.

            Otherwise this entire effort is a massive waste of time at best.

      • vto 6.1.2

        “You can choose not to buy alcohol.”

        Oh so you do endorse free grown up adult decision-making rather than do-gooder interference from on high. Could have fooled me ..

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Those who dont buy the cheap wine are more fortunate than those who have no choice but to buy the cheap version.

      They still have a choice – buy or don’t buy.

      Most people drink responsibly so why would you yet again hit the poor who enjoy a glass of wine at night.

      I really doubt if it will hit responsible drinkers that hard – even the poor ones.

      There are other ways to curb excess drinking, especially in the young.

      No, there isn’t. The young are looking for most alcohol content at the cheapest price so that they can drink lots.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    A minimum price will punish the poor and have no affect on the binge drinking rich.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      A minimum price means that the $6 wine that no one would buy if it actually cost $16, will stop being produced because they won’t be able to sell it at the minimum price. Similarly all of the other low-end grog will stop being produced as there’ll be no (legal) market for it.

      I don’t see this as ‘punishing’ the poor: I suspect ‘poor’ people wouldn’t really ‘enjoy’ drinking this sort of alcohol because by and large it isn’t actually nice. They drink it because it’s all they can afford.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        No, that $6 bottle of wine will still sell – it’s just that it won’t be bought by the case load for binge drinking.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Not entirely understanding your point here. Have you actually tried $6 wine? It’s not really wine. No one would voluntarily pay $16 for it (hence why it’s priced at $6).

          • mike e 7.1.1.1.1

            Lanthe wine snob blind tastes have proved expensive wines can not be detinguished from cheap wines.Besides wine isn’t the problem its cheap RTD’s and beer thats the problem and the price hike your trying to put foreward is ridiculus.
            maybe you should try the dog whistle brand of whine and start moaning .
            Alcohol is $6billion a year problem user pays is the only way.
            So i don’t like subsidising alcoholism and our binge drinking to the tune of $6 billion a year You are obviously happy to have 75% of police time wasted on alcohol related crime!
            Have our under funded A&E depts ambulances mental health etc using up valuable resouces on Drunks!
            Work place loss of productivity and Accidents caused by alcohol.
            NZed has a major problem with alcohol and is in major denial as with any addictive substance time to do something about it as we are borrowing billions while subsidizing alcohol .
            Yes I drink ocasionally now I was a binge drinker and not proud of it.

            • Augustus 7.1.1.1.1.1

              You do have a real thing about these $6b. Have you read this?

              • Carol

                I don’t have much faith in the way conventional economists measure (or don’t) social costs of anything – especially not after having attended some talks by Marilyn Waring.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes, I know that expensive wines can’t be distinguished from cheap wines by wine experts.

              I repeat what I said: “It’s not really wine”. As in, it is not fermented grapes. It might be scum off the top of fermented grapes, made up with grape juice and some pure ethanol mixed in for the alcohol content.

      • Rich 7.1.2

        Did you know that a lot of the wine that we pay $6 for gets foisted on ignorant foreigners (Brits, mostly) at maybe $16. There’s an “understanding” in the NZ wine industry that sets a floor on our export product.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Binge drinking will be effected the most as the people who engage in it won’t be able to afford to do it any more.

  8. captain hook 8

    hey we are a nation of sophisticates now.
    we can self regulate the amount of booze we drink.
    the tories have created a really civil society.
    haven’t they?

  9. Roy 9

    A couple of things that seemed to work quite well when I lived in the US were (1) making public drunkenness illegal and (2) requiring recidivist DUIs to have orange number plates that marked them as recidivist DUIs.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      #2 sounds really good. A hell of a lot cheaper than the alcohol breath locks they’re talking about putting into cars. There was a ridiculous figure that they would charge people $100/month to have them fitted in their cars, and then talking about the government having to step in because most of the drink-drivers wouldn’t be able to afford that.

      • Roy 9.1.1

        Problem here is that the number plate goes with the car rather than with the registration to a given driver. Still, maybe orange number-plate surrounds, clear orange number-plate covers, or something like that? There is something quite comforting about putting a large distance between your own car and a car with orange plates, and hopefully there is a shaming effect for recidivists who see people avoiding their vehicle. If they are capable of feeling shame, that is.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          Good point.

          We’d have to make sure OCR numberplate readers, more frequently being used for traffic and toll management, were compatible as well.

  10. vto 10

    The whole minimum pricing thing can fu@k off.

    Bloody school teacher / nosybody / do-gooder approach.

    Why punish those who have nothing to do with the issue? Wankers

    • felix 10.1

      Totally agree v.

      If they were really concerned about people getting fucked up all the time then they’d be trying to create a society where people didn’t feel like getting fucked up all the time.

      Instead it’s just more of the same, blaming the victim, attacking the symptom, and amputating the foot because they can’t figure out how to trim a toenail.

      • fatty 10.1.1

        “If they were really concerned about people getting fucked up all the time then they’d be trying to create a society where people didn’t feel like getting fucked up all the time.”

        True…the binge drinkers I know are the people (of all ages) who are on minimum wage, and who have about $10-20 left per week after all bills are paid. So saving money, other entertainment, or investing in other interests are out stupid options. Come the weekend they make the most of their meagre spare change by getting munted, and trying to forget that they have to go back to their underpaid, dead-end, temporary job

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          Yep, stress relief. Or maybe stress avoidance, but either way getting munted is a big safety valve for a lot of people in our increasingly stress-inducing society.

          Now I’m not saying it’s the best way of dealing with stress, or even that it’s not creating more stress in the long run, but nonetheless it’s how people are dealing with their shit right now and it seems to me it would be really dumb to remove that option without some sort of plan to address the underlying problem. Cos it won’t just go away.

  11. vto 11

    The pricing thing is a complete jip. It is well known in Chch that the “rich” schools and housegholds are the ones with the out of control drug and alcohol problems.

    So how will minimum pricing solve that, mr big brains?

    • Enough is Enough 11.1

      Not just a Christchurch problem.

      Look at the issues that repugnant breeding ground of elitism Kings College has had over the past 10 years with the booze. Or the recent Sacred Heart College Saint Kents rugby semi final.

      It is about leadership. Punishing the poor is not the answer.

    • mike e 11.2

      A combination of measures such as raising the drinking age acessability reducing outlets what the alcohol advisory group recommendedafter years of research.
      We have a $6 billion dollar ayear problem here I’m not a wowser but Alcohol is a very Dangerous Drug.
      Doing nothing is not a solution.

      • vto 11.2.1

        “A combination of measures such as raising the drinking age acessability reducing outlets what the alcohol advisory group recommendedafter years of research.”

        Well its a bit of research that has clearly not examined the issue of the acceptability of such stupid blunt instruments that discriminate so indiscriminately. And surely research into the effect of pricing shouldn’t have taken years to work out. Any goose knows that. The research sounds like it was looking in some wrong directions and a bit lacking.

        “Doing nothing is not a solution.”

        Neither is the minimum pricing component.

        And notwithstanding all of that, in most parts of NZ the youth drinking culture is concentrated around the upper income levels. How does this component become a solution to that?

  12. Julian 12

    “it was the responsibility of drinkers not to drink in a way that was harmful to themselves”.

    So true. We must take responsibility for our actions in life. Stop the culture of blame and look in the mirror. What we need is strong leaders!

    “Especially young teenage drinkers – I can remember not always being ‘responsible’ at that age”.
    That is because teenagers brains are in the developmental stage of decision/risk taking assessment. It is us, society and families to reaffirm values and provide boundaries to keep safe.

    Raising taxes/prices does not solve the ‘real’ issue.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “Raising taxes/prices does not solve the ‘real’ issue.”

      Alcohol is cheaper now (and in the last couple of decades) than it has been at any other point in human history.

  13. captain hook 13

    every addiction has as its primary goal to prevent the addict feeling their true thoughts and feelings.
    Ann Wilson Shaeff
    Alcholism is a defense against paranoia which is itself a defense against passsive unconscious homosexuality.
    Dictionary Of Psychoanalysis.
    chew on that.

  14. BM 14

    I’m enjoying all the cheap wine you get these days.
    Long may it continue.

  15. captain hook 15

    another cheap drunk.

  16. Wychbych 16

    As long as piss is the sacred cow of NZ, nothing will change. It’s the elephant in the room, shitting everywhere, yet nobody wants to talk about the elephant, just play in the crap… Three things need to happen, imo:

    Raising the drinking age to 20 right across the board, and educating people that drinking is an ‘adult’ flavour (as I do with my son, he can’t stand the taste of the sips I’ve let him have!) and a bit of a privilege. Not a rite of passage at 16, 17, 18.

    Education about alcohol, in that it’s not normal to ‘relax’ every night with a glass/bottle in front of you. It simply isn’t! Yet in NZ, that’s what happens. Thousands of kiwis ‘relax’ every night with it. And remember, kids don’t do what you SAY, they watch you very carefully, and do what you DO. The normalisation of piss as a daily occurrence is one of our biggest problems, and can tip regular drinkers over into booze hounds.

    Take it out of supermarkets, local stores, and place it back into bottle stores. Make it difficult to get a hold of, coupled with a slam on advertising it.

    Like any of THAT’s going to happen with Shonkey Johnkey in charge. The piss lobby has deep pockets, and vehement lobbyists.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Education about alcohol, in that it’s not normal to ‘relax’ every night with a glass/bottle in front of you.

      Actually, the societies that do have this as a norm don’t have the same binge drinking culture that we have. In other words, the children grow up with responsible drinking as the example rather than the going out and getting drunk once or twice a week example that we have in NZ.

      • SHG 16.1.1

        “Actually, the societies that do have this as a norm don’t have the same binge drinking culture that we have.”

        Bingo.

        • wychbych 16.1.1.1

          Yes, yes, French, Italian society has the normalisation of piss as a way of life. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a drinking problem.

          It’s simply a different type of alcoholism to our binge culture! ;)

  17. RedLogix 17

    Sure we know that binge and abusive drinking results in an absurd amount of harm. And we also know that wowser-ism and prohibitions are not very useful responses either. We all know this, so lets quit rehashing the obvious. We won’t have an intelligent conversation about this until we openly face the question of WHY people use these drugs.

    The ONLY useful way to address this is for us to clearly understand the root causes, because once you have a rational grasp of why you have the emotional need to get smashed, it then becomes possible to direct the conscious self-discipline to avoid the harm.

    It is also true that most adolescents have yet to develop this ability to self-regulate their behaviour and need protecting from booze baron predators who profit from this.

    • weka 17.1

      What are the reasons exactly?

      I think getting out of it is a fairly normal human activity, whatever the substance used. It is fun after all.  It’s the degree to which we do it in NZ, and how we do it, that is the problem.

      I agree with your last sentence, and lowering the age from 20 to 18 was adults who should have known better abandoning young people instead of protecting them.

      • SHG 17.1.1

        The only human society not known to have a cultural history of “getting out of it” from time to time is that of the Inuit (Eskimo) people. It’s hard to grow hops and grapes to ferment when you live above the Arctic Circle.

  18. xtasy 18

    Well the best friend is at the top, aye? I wish more responsibility, but until this country grows up and gets some really needed checking up to do with cultural, social and other improvements, and instead all being run like a PC right-wing, controlling dictatorship, I see NO hope to improve things.

    You may “control” alcohol, but other substances and drugs will replace it, as they already are. NZ is not a cultivated, educated society, that only applies to an “elite” few, many fall down and through the net, so this is the problem. You are NOT adressing the bloody problems, only trying to address the bloody “symptoms”. That makes for a bloody poor doctor, aye.

    No hope no trust and f off is my answer to this discussion!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QP-ihu9xis

  19. xtasy 19

    LET us NOT forget, according to Bennett’s top Principal Health Advisor, many of us are also BENEFIT ADDICTS, as benefit dependency is the same as “drug dependency”. So while alcohol is a legal drug, we must be aware of the whole, complex picture of “addiction”. Many that may feel they have no issue with, nor ever “met” addiction, they will now learn, that they themselves are highly “addicted”, simply due to depend on “a benefit”. Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor to MSD and Bennett proves this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf or

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    See page 3, 16 and 33 for enlightenment about “addiction” and “drug addiction” that benes have!

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    So you may try to be so bloody smart to judge about alcohol and related issues, maybe you yourself are a bloody addict (in hiding)?

    But who cares? I am still waiting on feedback from Labour and the Greens on this kind of propaganda. Maybe the public words we get from them are just to get votes, but in secret, they go along with this crap? Let us know, please, I am thus far not convinced.

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    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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