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Amidst th’encircling gloom…

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 pm, December 23rd, 2012 - 222 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I was going to do a retrospective, but changed my mind – the message of Christmas is one of hope.

Some indicators of better times in 2013 came in the Herald, today and earlier in the week: long-time leftie Matt McCarten (disguised as editorial on the website) makes Shearer his politician of the year, long-time righties Bob Jones and Rodney Hide go hard at Judith Collins for her unconscionable treatment of Justice Binnie, and in the middle Kerre Woodham winds up on Key’s failure to deliver:

National was voted in because they promised voters they had the answers. They’d be a breath of fresh air. They were business people who knew a thing or two about making money, not academics who’d spent most of their lives in ivory towers.Well, they may know how to make money for themselves but they don’t seem to have any answers when it comes to making the country richer. If, after four years of government, the best strategy they can come up with to produce a surplus is to raise the fuel tax, they are devoid of initiative and bereft of imagination.

Woodham’s piece drew plenty of supportive comments.  Reading them and comparing them with comments on this site, I thought back to when we started the Standard. I was in the room too; our aim was to set up a labour movement blog and offer a counter to Kiwiblog’s pro-National line; not to join Farrar in making the prospect of Labour government the principal target for attack.

I would not like to see the Standard become just another  echo-chamber for political pessimists.  I’m inclined to agree with some of the recent commenters here who are drawing attention to this in various ways. Perhaps in 2013 it will be time for a bit more balance.

But then I’m biased.

 

222 comments on “Amidst th’encircling gloom…”

  1. Colonial Weka 1

    “I would not like to see the Standard become just another echo-chamber for political pessimists.”

    I agree. One of the best things to happen this year on ts has been the rallying round the Labour Party membership issues. Very proactive and positive.

    The Standard’s place in the larger political blogosphere movement has also been very good. Ad talked about the potential here –

    http://thestandard.org.nz/2012-celebrity-pm-collective-action/comment-page-1/#comment-566178

  2. Andre 2

    Policy- Policy -Policy 2013

  3. RedLogix 3

    It’s going to be difficult to have a meaningful conversation Mike because you never engage in the comment thread of your posts. That’s your right, but unless you are willing to expand on and defend your position … all you are going to get is more of the ‘lack of balance’ you are unhappy with.

    But if you want The Standard to become just an echo-chamber for Labour Party ‘messaging’ in order to be “a counter to Kiwiblog’s pro-National line” .. then I’m afraid we ‘have a problem Houston’.

    Certainly the mjority of regular authors and commenters here are to some degree to the left of the Labour caucas and expecting this to change is unrealistic. At least not without you using your role as a trustee of the site to shut it down.

    This is not meant to be confrontational Mike. But the fact is that however you want to view events; there is a considerable tension between the current Labour Parliamentary caucas and it’s activist members and base. If you want balance … both sides are going to have to do some hard work to win each other’s trust again.

    • Saarbo 3.1

      spot on RedLogix!!!!!

    • Ed 3.2

      I don’t think it matters if posts are not the start of a conversation with the author – there are enough of us to have a conversation; but all to often we attack the messenger. I suspect many of hte posts take quite a bit of time to carefully word, or in some cases research; I am grateful for them regardless of other posts or replies to comments.

      You are right that activist members and caucus need to work together – and each needs to value and respect the others. One of the things that we sometimes get on The Standard that makes it particularly valuable is discussion on possible policy. There will seldom be a single “left” view of what a policy should be, but by shooting the messenger we often by-pass the opportunity for constructive discussion; or an explanation of why we should not come to definite conclusions at this time.

      I saw the Kerre Woodham article earlier today, and what struck me is that it is largely emotion, what facts are there have been well known to many for months or years, but which now seem to be “accepted fact” – at least with one journalist! We do need to balance the reality of the governments failure with the emotions that at times prevent those facts being understood.

      I have been critical of the ‘attack’ mentality of some posters to The Standard, which while small, does at times just make me at least get annoyed and skip the rest of a thread, or even skip the Standard for a while. With Labour / Green in opposition, there is a need to look longer term; but we need to make our points without alienating the audience.

      There have been a number of things that I would like to see discussed more – and I am sure some will be covered over the next few weeks. For example the hypocrisy of the manipulation of ACC levies. Second the problems of setting MPs pay – which does just reflect an appalling increase in inequality – while reducing the inequality of pay will resolve some of the problem, is the basis correct in the first place? I’d like to see an update on how neutral the ‘fiscally neutral’ tax cuts have turned out to be for example.

      I like the gossip, the stories about National’s incredible stuff-ups, and the speculation about who will get what positions in the government after National lose the next election; but I don’t want to have my enthusiasm dampened by continual internal warfare and sniping. As an occasional poster I try to show trust in both other posters and in our elected representatives – is that such a bad thing?

      • karol 3.2.1

        I do find many of the policy issues discussed here quite informative: economic policy (of which I can always learn a lot more); housing policies; environment/climate issues; social policies/WINZ/ACC; social security, unpaid work; local government, unions, etc, etc, etc.

        • Dr Terry 3.2.1.1

          I hope Mike (and others) are not interpreting valid criticisms as “attacks”. Many of the criticisms are positive, they are not necessarily “negative”. Sure you are biased Mike, but are not we all?
          Happy Christmas.

          • blue leopard 3.2.1.1.1

            Yes, ditto Dr Terry, well said. I don’t believe they are “attacks” either and it is a wee bit sad to see them being viewed as such.

            • David Viperious H 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunately the US vs Them meme has leeched into the Labour party, and they are looking to control what is said about them.
              How can you control the message ? when you have people like those on TS just shooting off in all sorts of random directions, saying what they like, it’s just not good enough.

              sarcasm /OFF

              Sometimes I really wonder if Labour want to be elected to power in 2014, they just seem to be enjoying the masochism too much.

              • GeoffCartwright

                Do you understand the cost it take to be a left leaning LP MP, the whole power structure of society is geared up and for the Tories, it takes years for a LP minister to get control of their ministry. Staffer come and go, usually burnt out.
                No wonder the Cuacus is entrenched and feeling a tad non aligned with the more vocal of it’s members.

              • @ David Viperious H

                “Sometimes I really wonder if Labour want to be elected to power in 2014″
                Yep, I sometimes wondered that after the 2011 election too.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        I saw the Kerre Woodham article earlier today, and what struck me is that it is largely emotion, what facts are there have been well known to many for months or years, but which now seem to be “accepted fact” – at least with one journalist!

        Don’t kid yourself. Woodham still expects tax cuts and other right-wing policies to grow the economy. She’s just upset that National hasn’t implemented more of them.

        As an occasional poster I try to show trust in both other posters and in our elected representatives – is that such a bad thing?

        Far better to question and look up the facts from research. Don’t just believe what people say uncritically.

      • Morrissey 3.2.3

        I saw the Kerre Woodham article earlier today, and what struck me is that it is largely emotion, what facts are there have been well known to many for months or years, but which now seem to be “accepted fact” – at least with one journalist!

        Kerre Woodham is not a journalist in any accepted sense of the word.

        • Te Reo Putake 3.2.3.1

          You’re wrong, Moz. Like it or not, and like her politics or not, Woodham has been a professional journo for many years. And as far as I can tell, she knows the difference between fact and opinion, which is why she gets paid for what she writes and you don’t.

          • Morrissey 3.2.3.1.1

            You’re wrong, Moz. Like it or not, and like her politics or not, Woodham has been a professional journo for many years.

            Professional mouther of half-baked opinions, professional fronter of vacuous television programmes. That’s not a “professional journo”, that’s a talkback radio jockette.

            And as far as I can tell, she knows the difference between fact and opinion, which is why she gets paid for what she writes and you don’t.

            There’s the problem for you: “as far as I can tell.” You don’t know enough about her, and you have not thought about what she says.

            Look for my up-coming feature: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KERRE.

            It’ll be up in the new year.

            Meanwhile, a merry Xmas to you, my friend.

    • tazireviper 3.3

      +1

  4. gobsmacked 4

    One problem with end-of-year retrospectives (across all media) is that they invariably focus on the more recent events. For example, “Zip it sweetie” is awarded the title of quote of the year (Stuff website), but what if it had been said in February? Probably long forgotten.

    And so it is with David Shearer’s leadership. Here’s a simple question for Mike Smith or any others who praise the Labour leader for his work over the last twelve months: What did Shearer do before the criticism started?

    There is a clear timeline here (and feel free to dispute it, but with evidence please, rather than empty calls to “rally round” or silly comments equating Shearer’s critics with Kiwiblog).

    First six months or so of 2012: Nothing. Labour had an invisible, ineffectual leader. So – inevitably – frustration grew. Labour supporters – yes, Labour supporters – began to voice their concerns. Shearer was either very poor in the media, or not in the media at all. Contrast the Greens and Winston.

    Then the speech that lit the fuse – the “bludger on the roof”. Shearer was wrong. His critics were right. We know this because he has never gone there again. He has not repeated the content or the message of that speech, his efforts to defend it were half-hearted, and it has been quietly dropped.

    But the anger didn’t go away. With one exception – the education speech in August – Shearer reverted to doing and saying nothing to inspire, to lead. That was until the party conference – or more precisely, the run-up to it, when the frustration came to a head, not least on the Standard.

    I repeat – if anybody believes that David Shearer, the Labour leader, was leading his party and supporters throughout 2012, please let us know when and how … in the ten months before the conference. Any examples would be welcome.

    Otherwise you should really just say “Thank you for waking him up – because without the criticism, Shearer would have ended the year as he started”.

  5. Crimson Nile 5

    Mike Smith is on Shearer’s paid staff now, is he not?

    • IrishBill 5.1

      That’s true but the implicit assumption is ungenerous – Mike’s not exactly in need of the money or the hassle that comes with working in the leader’s office. I imagine it’s more about him wanting to make a difference.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      I agree. I’ve met Mike Smith on a few occasions and anyone on the left should respect his experience and mana. (As a moderator I’ll not tolerate anyone attacking him personally on this thread.)

      At the same time I keep getting the feeling that anyone who spends too long in the Beltway has this unfortunate tendency to be captured by it.

      Perhaps the most honourable exceptions I can think of were Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos.

      • David Viperious H 5.2.1

        It would also help if he came and defended what he said. Or is it that indefensible?? That has been the 1 criticism that stands up, Mike post’s, but never defends. It’s nothing personal.

  6. IrishBill 6

    I think you’ve forgotten that back when we started the Standard we wanted a blog that espoused the left values that had been out-shouted by three decades of right wing TINA (perhaps because you’ve only been posting for a couple of years) As far as I’m concerned we’re here to clearly and loudly promote labour values, not labour party values (there shouldn’t be a difference but right now there is).

    I think we’ve done that to a certain extent – there are solid center-left, social democratic political policies and perspectives in the mainstream now that would have been considered fringe (in NZ) just a few years ago and I think a large part of the change in the discourse has come about as a result of the Standard’s challenging of right wing “truths”.

    When one of Labour’s senior economic spokespeople describes an award system (like the one Australia has) as “political suicide” or when Labour pledges hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidising middleclass housing but keeps its mouth shut about the clear need to build state-housing, then I think it’s our duty to push them harder.

    There’s no reason New Zealand’s political center should continue to be so rightwing by international and historical standards other than the fact that we’ve got one major party that espouses the rights of capital over all others and another that is too scared of its own shadow to challenge that. It’s not hard to sell egalitarianism to New Zealanders, hell you might even get back some of the 800,000 enrolled non-vote, but the current Labour party leadership seems incapable of the vision required to do so. And this at a time where the chicago school consensus has broken down everywhere else.

    I realise, Mike, that you’re a product of the managerial approach of the fifth Labour government and that a cornerstone of that government’s thinking was the electorate’s fear of significant change. And, after fifteen years of neoliberal revolution, that was probably true at the time. But times change and political nous is about reading those changes and running with them – what we’re seeing from Shearer et al is a leadership incapable of recognising that change and taking that opportunities that come with it. Don’t think the authoritarian right of national will make the same mistake.

    And don’t try to convince me or anyone else of the left that we should sit back and let that happen.

    • IrishBill 6.1

      Actually, do try to convince me. I’d be a pleasure to see you comment here more often – you’ve never been afraid to have a good political argument in all the time I’ve known you.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      IB,

      What I wish I could have said.

      • IrishBill 6.2.1

        Cheers. It’s mostly a distillation of what I hear from a lot of people from the left. Despite the belief that we’re all hating on the Labour party most of us want it to grow and gather the strength and vision and the support that is clearly available to it. It’s frustration members feel rather than anger but I don’t think that’s always clear.

        • lprent 6.2.1.1

          Definitely frustration as far as I’m concerned. But I finally figured that Labour wasn’t going to improve unless I (and others) expressed that frustration.

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.2

          I agree IB that we (collective term for lefties) are definitely not hating on the Labour Party and those in caucus who believe this really need to get their compasses reset.

          What we we (collective term for lefties) is for Labour to set out to achieve its historical purpose. It has achieved a great deal of good for many people over an extended period of time and we want that to continue.

          One thing that I will note about Mike’s post is his plea for “balance” that implies that commentators to the Standard are wrong because most of them have a particular view. The fact that this site resembles more a meeting of members than a Shearer fan club is something the caucus should seek to understand and work on, not condemn.

          And if Labour were ten points ahead of National in the polls (like in the UK) then Shearer would have deserved McCarten’s praise. But to name him as pollie of the year when Labour is still so far behind is a bit weird.

          • weka 6.2.1.2.1

            “One thing that I will note about Mike’s post is his plea for “balance” that implies that commentators to the Standard are wrong because most of them have a particular view. ”

            Maybe, but it’s not the only way to understand that comment. Bear in mind that the ts authors who support Shearer are obviously outnumbered. The numbers are better for the commenters, but still they’re outnumbered too. It’s not realistic for Shearer supporters to expect balance of numbers, but is there really a problem with them expressing how they feel about situation? Isn’t this also useful dissent? What would ts be like if Mike and r0b weren’t posting?

          • Puddleglum 6.2.1.2.2

            My guess is that McCarten is being a booster for Shearer because he imagines that will open space for a left wing party to soak up LP activists, members and supporters.

            That would ensure that any future ‘Labour=led’ left wing coalition has a very weak LP at its titular head, that acts as a kind of vague-Liberal electoral battering ram for a more progressive left government. That would help explain McCarten’s warning to Labour about the strength of the Greens around the Cabinet table and also his claim that Mana will annihilate the Maori Party. Notice that McCarten is, at the same time, talking up both a decidedly right-leaning Labour leader(ship) and the future potency of decidedly left-wing parliamentary parties.

            I can’t imagine that McCarten has lost all his political nous in awarding Shearer ‘politician of the year’. Let’s be honest, that award could not be based on Shearer’s political acumen, presentational skills or surety of left-wing ideological vision, so McCarten’s support for Shearer must be motivated by something along the lines I suggest.

            The supposed reason McCarten gives for his assessment – that he dispensed with his main rival and so looked ‘decisive’ – is very thin grounds for rating Shearer highly as a politician, unless by ‘politician of the year’ is simply meant someone who comes out on top in the little pool he swims in. It’s surely worth remembering that politicians are mere vehicles for more important matters, and should be rated in terms of how useful they are for those matters not how useful they are for their own political careers.

            In that context, it is not very wise for a loyal Labour Party supporter to enlist McCarten’s analysis in support of his Leader. McCarten’s aim, I think, is to have a strong left along with a weak LP whose main utility is to act as an electorally familiar bait.

            If I’m right, and that is McCarten’s strategic analysis, I actually think it’s mistaken.

            What the left needs is a staunchly left-wing Labour Party led by politicians who know how to present that kind of party effectively to the electorate as a sensible, humane option. What it does not need is a soft-Liberal, centrist party. Liberal Parties have always been recognised as obstacles to left goals, not means to achieving them.That option would be (is) very damaging for the left’s cause.

            That ‘left cause’ I take to be instituting structural change that prevents the kinds of inequalities and disempowerment of ordinary people that have been increasingly happening over the last 30-40 years. It is not simply to dispense ‘aid’ to the sufferers of the neo-liberal restructuring – that is soup kitchen stuff, not political strategy; fine but not what a Labour Party should have as its fundamental aim.

            After all, the main motive of ‘aid’ is to alleviate consciences while avoiding making the structural changes that would prevent the same thing happening again, to another cohort of powerless, ordinary people. The labour movement went beyond that well over a century ago. The Labour Party should not be reverting to the role of a 19th century Liberal Party – unless it votes to change its name, of course.

            I could be wrong. I’m not involved directly in party politics so I just read the tea leaves.

            • Olwyn 6.2.1.2.2.1

              Chris Trotter wrote something similar about Matt’s championing of a “centrist” LP and I have tried but failed to find the relevant piece on his blog. However, the thrust of it was that while Matt wants Labour to shift rightwards to make room for Mana on the left, a right-leaning Labour Party in fact robs the entire left of conceptual space. I think Chris was right. It is hard for the smaller left wing parties to gain traction if the major left wing party refuses to seriously challenge the status quo.

            • felixviper 6.2.1.2.2.2

              “It’s surely worth remembering that politicians are mere vehicles for more important matters, and should be rated in terms of how useful they are for those matters not how useful they are for their own political careers.”

              Yep, and from what I’ve heard of the regular discussions between McCarten, Hooton, Tamihere and Jackson the focus is almost entirely on the “career” aspect.

              Take for example – from the same segment last week – Jackson’s praise of Tariana Turia as one vof the best politicians of the year. His reason for her inclusion in his list? That she is beloved by maori wherever she goes.

              Having said that, McCarten is a smart guy and I think your interpretation of his praise for Shearer is probably accurate.

              • felixviper

                ps the other factor influencing McCarten’s endorsement of Shearer is that Matt and his little beltway clique of pundit mates have all bought into the inevitability meme, the idea that sooner or later the public will get sick of National, and Shearer will become PM by default, regardless of what he says or does, as long as he can remain leader of the Labour party.

                And once something is seen as inevitable it can be quite hard for political pundits – who like their predictions to be seen to be accurate – to resist getting behind it.

            • Jenny 6.2.1.2.2.3

              The main reason that Matt McCarten supports Shearer is because of the union movement’s distaste at any mention of climate change.

              The biggest private sector union and the leading political opinion shaper inside the CTU is the EPMU. The EPMU derives a considerable amount of its income and support from their members in the heavily unionised fossil fuel extractive industries.

              Any serious discussion of climate change will mean accepting that these industries will have to be seriously curtailed and in the case of coal the most dangerous source of emissions completely banned.

              That is if we as human beings are to have any chance of being spared from completely wrecking the global bio-sphere.

              Cunliffe a high profile politician who has taken the challenge presented by climate change seriously, is someone both feared and despised by the trade unions. His demotion and silencing is a cause for celebration by union leaders like McCarten.

              • Jenny

                P.S. To understand McCarten’s motives for supporting Shearer over Cunliffe, there is no need for speculation that it is all some hidden and overly complicated Machiavellian scheme to build up Shearer as the head of the Labour Party, so a more left party can replace them.

                For all those speculating about Matt McCarten’s motives, never forget Occam’s Razor.

                • Jenny

                  On the topic of McCarten’s list of best performing MPs. He has promised that next week he will publish his list of worst performers. I can’t wait. This will be an extremely interesting exercise.

                  Dare I make a prediction and guess that David Cunliffe’s name will not be mentioned by Matt McCarten at all, in any context, good or bad.

                  Like he never existed.

              • GeoffCartwright

                Well stated there Jenny…poor labour conundrum.
                Can’t be labour without being labour.
                A paradymial shift is needed for labour too.
                Any retro shift rearwards will kill labour and any hope for NZ
                And here we are bagging the middle and modern men and woman of labour.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      But times change and political nous is about reading those changes and running with them – what we’re seeing from Shearer et al is a leadership incapable of recognising that change and taking that opportunities that come with it.

      Actually, what we have from Shearer et al is a complete denial of the need for change.

      • David Viperious H 6.3.1

        “Actually, what we have from Shearer et al is a complete denial of the need for change.”
        And the treating the rest of us like fools, and think that we are just going to tamely step into line. We have had 4 years of failure politics, to be followed by at least 2 more. The thing that I don’t hear from Labour is ANY policy to reverse the damage that has been done. Or to grow an Economy. And from what I am hearing and seeing there is very little difference between National and Labour at this time. So, why should I vote for a system that wants to impoverish me even more than I am at the moment, whils’t taking away any rights that I have for recompense or Reimbursement. I have a government that will do anything to achieve it’s goals, and a Labour party that seems complicit in these aims. Am I going to vote YES am I going to vote Labour NO for the first time in my life NO!

        • Oscar 6.3.1.1

          Its not about growing the economic pie. It’s about distributing the pie. People have forgotten this.

          • Jenny 6.3.1.1.1

            Indeed Oscar. While Shearer is prattling on about growing the pie. The party of the rich, National are well aware that due to several intractable global factors the pie is shrinking and they are doing everything to make sure that as much as possible it is redivided in their interests.

            • GeoffCartwright 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Now that is the truth…real net productive growth is flatlined rst from investment capitalism. Wealthy keyites use nothing to make money from nothing but borrowed money, borrowed from the rest of us poor savers or indebted loaners.

              Whole jack of cards is coming down or should but damned if we didn’t prop it up again and again.
              Long live PAX America

    • GeoffCartwright 6.4

      Yes IB bu if we put out. Afresh bold policy platform and we lose even when it’s our turn in the cycle, what then?
      New Zealand is in desperate need, it’s a cross point global event that is happening.
      We are broke can pay the bills borrowed heaps and indebt to the bankers.
      The LP needs to set up a continuum construct that captures the ecltrodate for more then three turns by energising at grassroots, branch and cross non party organisations…this is underway now.

      We have to look beyond organised labour and achedemia to other societal players that are trying to influences or educate the public.
      TS has a role to play in this as well, a forum for the dissemination of left and social idea’ s. we have a voice, it’s loud, and it has a ripple effect and outside influencers such as msm and indeed caucus.

      We need momentum, focus and a unified broad left front to succeed and sem the Tory tide.

  7. karol 7

    I would not like to see the Standard become just another echo-chamber for political pessimists. I’m inclined to agree with some of the recent commenters here who are drawing attention to this in various ways. Perhaps in 2013 it will be time for a bit more balance.

    It just might be that we are optimistic about different things. I thought my post today about collective action was pretty positive about some examples of collective action over the last year.

    I do currently lean more towards the Greens and Mana than the Shearer led NZLP. So I tend to be more positive about some of the initiatives by some of the Green MPs, and Mana people. However, I did include in my positive examples of collective actions the joint opposition party parliamentary inquiry into the manufacturing crisis, in which I perceive Shearer to have a significant role. I also am positive about the asset sales referendum, which all opposition parties have worked together on -plus some extra-parliamentary groups..

    McCarten’s top ten MPs just seems strange to me. Shane Jones, Judith Collins and Paula Bennett? Hone Harawira has matured and performed well. Peters continues to be a very good opposition MP. And not one Labour of Green Party woman in McCarten’s list, even though both parties have some very able women. Yet he has those macho-type National Party women? And I see people like Cunliffe and Sue Moroney as some of Labour’s most able people. Grant Robertson performs very well in the House – he’s a very good speaker. However, like Shearer, he is too far to the right for me.

    And, while I think the MSM like Russel Norman, I am more positive about other Green MPs. Daren Hughes has been very energetic this year. Julie Anne Genter has made a great parliamentary debut. And I’m pleased with the way Metiria Turei has stayed on the case of poverty issues. Her turn-around use of “Planet Key” started a whole new concept rolling this year.

    And I continue to see the way forward for the left as being to engage with the grass roots activist base. There’s some very committed, smart and energised people out there.

    I can only tell it as I see it.

    • Yeah, Its almost as though Mr McCarten’s top ten is an attempt at sarcasm. ?? Alot of questions. Is it really intended to be read seriously?
      I agree with your comments Karol +1

    • LynWiper 7.2

      +1 Very similar thoughts

    • Dr Terry 7.3

      Excellent comment Karol, as usual, thoughtful and thoroughly sensible.

    • Macro 7.4

      I see it pretty much as you see it Karol. For me; Collins would be at the bottom of any list – that is she would be tied equal with Key, Parata, Groser, and Joyce for last. Just what has gotten into Matt over the past few years??

  8. I keep trying to write up a comment here, but … nah.

  9. Mike Smith 9

    Thanks to all who have commented. When I wrote the above post, I certainly had it in mind to break my usual pattern and join the discussion. I’ll now follow another of my usual patterns, sleep on what I would like to say, and respond to all in full in the morning.

  10. jtuckey 10

    Piffle, pap and pointlessness pontifications.

    • quartz 10.1

      Oh you’re so jejune. I bet you were the cool kid at school. No, scratch that. I bet you wanted to be the cool kid at school but convinced yourself you were too cool to be the cool kid at school.

  11. Andre 11

    NewZealand deserves a party that has a modern outlook that tackles modern issues . Labour is the one that needs to give us a party that we can vote for ,new ideas for our new problems.But paradoxically with a figurehead with cut-through ,not another grey face. Get this right and you will be looking after our nation next election … Just a comment from a person with a vote in his back pocket,

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Labour is the one that needs to give us a party that we can vote for ,new ideas for our new problems.

      Why when we have other left wing parties that are actually being visionary?

      • Andre 11.1.1

        Left wind right wing this is old …. Policy is what people want, the voter will choose on this. Its a new world out there. Good honest policy.

        • Crimson Nile 11.1.1.1

          The right wing don’t think that shifting the wealth of the entire nation to the elite few is old. They’re still doing it. Same old Tories.

          • Andre 11.1.1.1.1

            Exactly…. all those voters who stayed at home or made a bad choice need a reason to vote for equity, Good honest policy. Sounds naive but?

            • Crimson Nile 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure, once you understand that policy is 75% irrelevant to winning elections.

              • Andre

                Media that is self serving is a dent in my idea. But a leader /spokesperson could get around that maybe

                • Rogue Trooper

                  visited Dr. Feelbetter this morning; kicking ethanol for His birthday. Maybe i may help.(no milk, no alcohol; just cheese; circumcised i am; have to slice it off :) )
                  recovering Humility Moderation and Compassion. (that is where the power lays)

                  -Mellor (ing out) get the rhythm? ;)

    • bad12 11.2

      The problems are not ‘new’ and the answers to the current problems can be found in the way that New Zealand dragged itself from the ruins of the Great Depression in the 1930′s,

      Although what was great about it i can never figure…

  12. Ianmac from saltzburg. 12

    “I would not like to see the Standard become just another echo-chamber for political pessimists. I’m inclined to agree with some of the recent commenters here who are drawing attention to this in various ways. Perhaps in 2013 it will be time for a bit more balance.”

    Totally agree Mike. Under the guise of betterment some just sound like complainers and pessimists. Support the strengths and the fiddle with the means to improvements. Cannot do much from the Opposition benches!

    • karol 12.1

      This complaint about TS becoming pessimistic, is mainly being expressed by supporters of Team Shearer. To me there are a lot of positives here. The most depressing thing are the attempts, one way or another, to stifle dissent. It has me looking for an exit and pondering moving to a different forum.

      And it (the pessimistic complaint of TS pessimism) just reads to me as another attempt to suppress any criticism of Team Shearer or open democratic debate about the NZLP.

      This just seems like a rather soft and manipulative way to censor comments on the blog.

      However, I have strongly held concerns about the current Labour Caucus leadership, and fear the kind of government it would lead. A change to a NAct-lite government, and one that tries to suppress democracy, would not be the kind of government I could support.

      Sometimes democratic process and the route to negotiating differing views is difficult. I’m not here for some fairy-tale, cheer-leading for the NZLP no matter what it does.

      • mickysavage 12.1.1

        Agreed Karol. The premise seems to be that if we just stop complaining and celebrate the magnificence that is the current caucus then everything will be fine.

        Well damn it. We (activists) do not work on campaigns to preserve MPs their privilege. We get then elected so they can improve the plight of ordinary New Zealanders and so something about the serious problems that this world faces.

        The sooner they understand this the better.

        And they ought to realise that November’s constitutional changes were all about increasing the say of members and reducing the power of caucus.

        • the sprout 12.1.1.1

          well put ms.

          i personally think it’s not only a duty to not support the current labour caucus leadership, given their anti-democratic disdain for the membership, but also a duty to actively oppose them.

          suggesting that it’s somehow disloyal or at best counter-productive to left interests, to do anything other than cheerlead the current caucus of self-interested unreconstructed rogernomes is really quite offensive.

      • Bill 12.1.2

        It has me looking for an exit and pondering moving to a different forum.

        From where I sit, that’s really quite depressing Karol.

        I know there certainly has been some “fairy-tale, cheer-leading for the NZLP” on ts. Actually, to be more precise, I think I’m correct in saying that some really quite ludicrous and noble vocal defences have been mounted more on behalf of specific actors who strut their stuff in the parliamentary pantomime than on the behalf of the NZLP.

        Anyway. When I was asked to write here a couple of years back, it was well known that I was no fan of representative parliamentary systems of governance – never mind the NZLP. The left is broad. And the more ts can reflect the breadth of the left (including more conservative elements) the better imo.

        Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I sincerely hope you don’t exit and that you have done with the pondering. That would be a good xmas pressie. :-)

          • karol 12.1.2.1.1

            Thanks Bill and micky. I will keep posting here as long as they are welcome by the other posters and commenters.

            I am just copying some of some my drafts of posts-in-the-making to a blog of my own. If they start to be seen as too “negative” here, I will then publish them on my own blog.

            I’m uncertain where Mike is heading with this post of his. I think a few of us don’t have a lot of trust in the current Labour Caucus leadership.

            • weka 12.1.2.1.1.1

              Karol I value your posts here alot. You are a big part of making ts what it is, and it would be a loss for ts and the left if you stopped writing here.

              I’m not really following your concern. Apart from Mike’s post, and a few comments about there being too much anti-Shearer, where is the negativity? Have you had some directed at you?

              • karol

                weka. Yes I have some such comments under a fairly recent post of mine. And it seems to be indicated at the end of Mike’s post above:

                I would not like to see the Standard become just another echo-chamber for political pessimists. I’m inclined to agree with some of the recent commenters here who are drawing attention to this in various ways. Perhaps in 2013 it will be time for a bit more balance.

                See the comments here under my post from a week or so ago:

                http://thestandard.org.nz/whats-new-shearer-retrospective/comment-page-1/#comment-563903

                Also, given the history of attempts to silence LP members from making critical comments on TS, and the fact that Mike Smith is a founder of this blog. Mike’s post, especially the quoted comment above, seemed to be more than just providing his view on the current Labour Caucus.

                However, I agree, there hasn’t been a lot of negativity expressed on TS.

                • Napkins

                  Average surface temps are likely going to increase by 3 to 4 degrees centigrade in the next 40 years, right when we will be in an energy depletion crisis.
                  And our politicians are still talking TINA and neoliberalism.
                  So this isn’t about Karol or any other poster being negative or pessimistic, or even being sunny and optimistic. The key is to be REALISTIC, which frankly our representatives in Parliament are awful at.
                  John Michael Greer has recently written on this dumbing down of political rhetoric. How political players have turned political debate into word association games with either “warm fuzzy” feelings or “cold prickly feelings”, instead of debating the issues and options in detail.

                • Colonial Weka

                  Thanks for the link Karol. I tend to agree with other commenters there that it was a case of sock-puppetry. And IMO the attempt of various parts of the Labour Party to silence ts is not something we should be put off by. They don’t have much of a leg to stand on, and we should remember that.

                  • karol

                    Thanks, weka. I was also respecting the fact that Mike Smith is one of the founders/trustees for this site.

            • Saarbo 12.1.2.1.1.2

              “I think a few of us don’t have a lot of trust in the current Labour Caucus leadership.”

              I agree with you 100% on your post Karol, but particularily on the comment above. The changes that were made at the Conference would have provided a clever and perceptive leader with a cue to make changes in exactly the opposite direction than what the Labour Caucus Leaders did on the Tuesday after the Conference. As members we could finally make decisions that gave us a real stake in the Labour Party. This change could have been very powerful for the Labour Party, it could have rejuvenated the membership and led to huge increase in funding in the organisation. I for one was left buzzing after the Conference, I thought the Labour Party had finally got things back on track.

              But then on the Monday we had Labour Caucus members Cosgrove and OConnor on RNZ critisizing one of their colleagues, in my experience this is not good practice and a sign of weak leadership (Since when have we heard colleagues attack another colleague in such a way, unprecedented!). Then we got Chris Hipkins outburst, and after that I just felt that the Labour Party Caucus was just an undisciplined free for all, with no real leadership, and quite frankly a mess.

              David Shearer’s decision to demote Cunliffe on the Tuesday after the Conference actually killed the momentum that the Conference had so succesfully created. For the Media, it provided them with a justification for their story and so they embraced it. But for me, it was exactly the wrong thing to do, Shearer created a disenfranchised group within Labour, he pissed us off.

              For the sake of Labour and to carry on the momentum generated by the Conference he needed to take a very different action than to create an alienated group with in Labour. I am sure that had he taken a different action, Labour would be in a very different place than what it is in now. And that is why “I think a few of us don’t have a lot of trust in the current Labour Caucus leadership”…well when I discuss this with people I get the impression that it is more than a “few”.

              I think it is up to Shearer and the Labour Caucus leadership to win our support back. By nature, Labour people dont look kindly on people who use authoritarian power…so until the Labour Caucus leaders can win us back we can do two things. 1)Continue to voice our concerns on ts and 2) Cut off/reduce/minimise our donations to the Labour party.

              • GeoffCartwright

                Well I am all for freedom of speech as i stated to CC but…
                We, as members, have the mechanism to ensure caucus is aligned with the party but if our collective voices on TS and lack of support for the party organisation causes even one potential vote to be lost then the cost is too great.
                We need to win the battle in 2014, then we enlarge the field soas to win the war.
                Encircled ground we must fight but we need unity, focus and organisation to win.
                we are the vanguard for the people.

              • bad12

                There is a 3rd ‘thing’ that you can do, while acutely interested in the constitutional change made at the Conference, it’s relevance has now by the later actions of the leader and some of the Caucus come down to a lesson to the Party members on how that Caucus view you all,

                Rather than withdraw support from the Party i am of the view that Labour members unhappy with what ensued after the constitutional review,(the BS leadership challenge and later demotion) should in fact openly agitate for a strengthening of that constitutional change which on reflection i think failed to go far enough,

                My view is that the floor of the annual conference should hold by vote the trigger to the question of leadership, further to that it is my belief that democracy would also be better served if the conference floor by vote elected on a yearly basis the Cabinet,(shadow cabinet), and perhaps should even go as far by vote from the floor of the conference to allocate portfolios to the membership elected Cabinet,

                Under such a constitution the Labour Caucus would never dare usurp the wishes of the Party membership while in Government simply because the membership would control who was ‘in’ Cabinet and for how long they remained such…

            • the sprout 12.1.2.1.1.3

              your posts are definitely welcome here karol

        • Olwyn 12.1.2.2

          +1

          • bad12 12.1.2.2.1

            And here, +1, Karol don’t be deterred by any criticism expressed or implied, your posts are spot on as far as the concerns of a broad church ‘left’ goes,

            It is not for ‘us’ to change the values we have held over many generations, it is for the Executive to act upon those concerns,

            99% of what i read here on the Standard i can go to the Labour Party website and read as Labour Party policy, the disconnect (as criticism) does not therefor come from those who post and comment here, it appears to be a deliberate disconnect by the Executive from the membership and the Party policy,

            The glaring example of this ‘disconnect’ would be the recently announced Kiwibuild housing policy, where to avail oneself of such proposed largesse one need be able to service a 300+ grand mortgage,

            Labour housing policy has always been for the State to build such housing and rent it to those most in need for 25% of household income,

            This to me is simply a glaring example of the Executive usurping it’s role and imposing upon the Party policy inspired by the Executive whether the membership agree to such policy or not…

        • Rhinoviper 12.1.2.3

          +2

      • blue leopard 12.1.3

        Well said (again) Karol,

        If one ran a business and responded to complaints in the way that NZLP caucus appear to have, and some members of NZLP on this site have, the business would be frequented less and less. Let that be a warning to you all. Get with the programme, pull your finger out, and stop whinging about peoples’ response to your ineffectual approaches. Complaints need to be seen as opportunities for improvement.

        Fair enough to consider complaints off-putting when they get too vitriolic, however I don’t think that has happened on The Standard yet. Mostly there is a clear message of what the criticism is aimed at. I thought that the strength of democracy is the pooling of knowledge, from many walks of life and this involves criticism as well as positive reinforcement.

        If political parties want positive feedback, there is a very easy way to get it. Start representing more views. Its really not rocket science.

        Wouldn’t want to see you go either, Karol. Keep up the good work! :)

        • weka 12.1.3.1

          I think there is too much vitriol myself. And too much petty arguing. Those things are negatives for ts more than the criticisms of the Labour party IMO.

          • blue leopard 12.1.3.1.1

            Weka,
            It would be good if you would substantiate your claim, anyone can say “I think there is too much vitriol” however stating reasons why would be helpful

            Put it this way.

            We have had a year where there have been serious privacy breaches in numerous ministries, an anti-democratic move in a Canterbury area, dishonesty from at least one portfolio holder and serious international shenanigans re the spy/Kimdotcom to which our PM has responded by “doing a number” numerous times of “forgetting”, “as far as I can remember”, “I didn’t read it” signs of severe incompetence and the main opposition party’s main move of the year is to attack one of their own.

            Mr W Peters, the Greens and Mana have managed to get their points across numerous times regardless of the state of MSM and what have we heard of our main opposition party?

            I’m not an “inside” person in politics, nor are the people I know and commenting how useless the Labour Party is coming across (usually perceiving the weakness as Mr Shearer, however I do understand that it must be an issue with advisors as well as one personality) and what now? We have this message coming across on the Standard that the criticism being aimed at the Labour Party is “too vitriolic” (wee wee wee Mummy tell them to go away)

            If the Labour Party wish to become effective, they have to start listening to the feedback, not solely from their well paid (and clearly disengaged advisors), rather than crying about it and trying to shut it down in a very anti-democratic manner.

            So, yeah, please tell me, under these circumstances, how you feel that the criticisms are too caustic.

            Cheers

            • Colonial Weka 12.1.3.1.1.1

              Crossed wires, blue leopard. I was meaning too much vitriol on ts in general (rather than just aimed at the Labour party).

              But since you asked ;-) how about this from Rhinocrates.

              http://thestandard.org.nz/assessing-labours-frontbench/comment-page-1/#comment-542801

              A fine rant for sure, but IMO it crosses a line. It’s intent is to put the people down, seriously damage their mana. I’m not intending to pick on Rhinocrates here, and to be honest, the quality of the rant does make up somewhat for the tenor of the comment. It’s more that there is a level of abusiveness here that IMO precludes collaborative politics. I notice in myself that it is very easy to just be ruder and ruder (I often have to edit my posts to Jenny at the moment because it would be so easy to put her down instead of just focussing on the weaknesses in her arguments).

              I like a good argument, and if things were otherwise fine I’d be happy enough to just hang out here and argue, but things aren’t fine, they’re very bloody serious, and I sometimes feel that the combative nature of the debate here uses up alot of time and energy that might be put to better use in another way.

              • karol

                weka, I am not keen on things getting too combative as the discussions tend to be very unproductive. In that case, I usually just don’t engage and move on to something else.

                Except that some persistent right wing thread-jackers and diverters can bring combative responses on themselves.

                [RL: Thanks for the comment. Two problems; both lprent and I work full-time jobs 50 or more hours a week. One thing we do have in common is that we're both speed-readers which helps a lot, but we're not here as class-room monitors 24hrs. Besides that would kill the spirit of the place.

                Secondly I think we've traditionally allowed a fairly high level of noisy, robust debate. I realise that not everyone likes that. What we try to do is intervene on the extremes of behaviour and expect that most people will moderate themselves. Some people take more 'learning' than others. A few never do.

                Whether this approach will work indefinitely into the future is a good question. If The Standard were to double or triple to over 1000 comments a day, something would have to change.]

                • karol

                  My comment wasn’t a criticism of TS moderation. It works for TS to enable a broad range of styles of commenting. Some like the more “combative” style of discussion, I tend to use a different style.

                  I was just saying to weka, that I find it best to just move on and not engage with the kind of comments that I find I can’t respond to in a productive way.

              • @ Colonial Weka,

                You didn’t answer my question; you provided an example which you considered vitriolic, however my question was don’t you think that the vitriol directed at the Labour Party is in keeping with their failure this year? ….i forgive you on this occasion seeing as its Christmas and all :) …..maybe you’ve already been imbibing some Christhmath spirits

                I also know that there isn’t really a good answer you can give that would be in keeping with your argument.

                I find Rhinocrates comments very heartening to read, witty and often on the pulse. A bit of swearing forgiven in Rhinocrates case because of the message conveyed. I think the subjects of Rhinocrates comments have damaged their own mana, and Rhinocrates is simply pointing that out.

                As for “general” vitriol (which this post wasn’t about), yes, at times I find a certain type of vitriol off-putting; namely ad hominem attacks, usually this diverts a good argument; where debating the points is more interesting to me. However when conversations go that way I simply don’t bother reading them

                • weka

                  If you think the problem I had with Rhinoctrates’ comment was the swearing then you really have missed my point (and don’t know me at all).

                  Do I think that the Labour Party deserves to be severely criticised? Yes. Do I think it’s useful to do that by heaping personal abuse on individuals? No.

                • weka

                  btw,

                  “We have this message coming across on the Standard that the criticism being aimed at the Labour Party is “too vitriolic” (wee wee wee Mummy tell them to go away)”

                  This comment exemplifies what I am talking about. If you think it’s appropriate or useful to ridicule people by using a loaded taunt against men’s masculinity (and a tired old trope about the value of mothers to boot), then you deserve to have people like Mallard in charge. Personally, I think it’s fine for people to have feelings, and to not completely operate from the school of political hard knocks. I want some sensitive people in Parliament. And I want people who understand the value of respect in Parliament.

                  In my limited understanding of mana, it is something to be given to other people, and that the giving or not is also about the mana of the person doing the giving. It is possible to criticise the ABCs without resorting to destroying them as people. If you want to destroy them as people, then why should they not do the same to you or me or ts? In which case it’s just an unwinnable war. I don’t think we can afford that. I’m not advocating pacifism, I think it’s good to go hard against the ABCs. I just think there are some tactics that make the situation worse, on lots of levels.

                  • My comment only “exemplifies what you are talking about” because you appear to have severely misconstrued it. There is absolutely no “loaded taunt against men’s masculinity” I seriously don’t know where you get that from. (?) The comment was figuratively illustrating how puerile I find the complaining over well-founded complaints of the Labour party caucus’s behaviour.

                    Remember this?
                    http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinion-Why-does-Labour-hate-David-Cunliffe-so-much/tabid/1135/articleID/264472/Default.aspx

                    There was no apology, no addressing of “two senior members” approaching reporters to encourage publicizing the personal attacks of this member of the party. From an outside perspective this act was a poor show and displays seriously underhand tactics amongst colleagures. The silence from the leader on addressing this public “outburst” indicates a condoning of, if not involvement in the move. The backdrop being absolute oodles of fodder to attack the Government on, but hey, why do the much needed job of opposition party when you can simply publicize the disunity in your own party?

                    Hoping that it is not too disrespectful by providing a link to a very short description of a much involved concept:

                    http://www.maori.org.nz/tikanga/default.php?pid=sp98&parent=95

                    The mana a person is born with sets them off, but the way that they conduct themselves throughout life will either strengthen their own personal mana, and by that the mana of their tupuna, or weaken their own personal mana.

                    In my view these people have lowered their Mana, and that of their party and to criticise that is not “taking away” their Mana; it is giving them an opportunity to rectify it.

                    • weka

                      Please go and read my posts again. I am not saying don’t criticise. I’m saying that personal abuse is not a useful strategy.

                      “My comment only “exemplifies what you are talking about” because you appear to have severely misconstrued it. There is absolutely no “loaded taunt against men’s masculinity” I seriously don’t know where you get that from. (?) The comment was figuratively illustrating how puerile I find the complaining over well-founded complaints of the Labour party caucus’s behaviour.”

                      Really? Because I thought you were comparing someone’s behaviour to a little boy going crying to his mother. Sounds like a put down to me.

                    • Bill

                      I’d have thought that referring to some-one running off to appeal to an external authority was a reference to that persons negation of their own responsibility.

                      Couching it in terms of a wee boy running to their mum suggests immaturity alongside a failure to accept responsibilty. And, I just don’t see it as an attack on masculinity per se. The message or critisism strikes me as an appeal to “grow up” rather than “man up”. Besides, I don’t know that an appeal to “man up” in a patriarchical context would be altogether helpful or desirable.

                      And why ‘masculanise’ the comment anyway? There was no overt reference to a boy running to mummy. Since the reference is to the Labour Party and its immediate environment – and an interpretation of the nature of some perceptions/complaints about dynamics within that environment – why not an equally strong image of that perception as a little girl running off to mummy?

                    • weka

                      A girl running to her mummy doesn’t have the same put down potential as a boy ;-) I suppose I thought bl was referring to Mike Smith as one of the people saying don’t criticise the Labour party so much.

                      The wee wee mummy comment is, IMO, a personal put down, and again I don’t see how it’s helpful. Does anyone think that Shearer and Mallard or whoever are going to have some epiphany if they just get abused enough? In the macho culture that is parliament, I’m guessing that such behaviour just reinforces the things that we would like to see changed. Rhinocrates’ comment was classic. It implies that the only people that should be in parliament are the hardarses who can take such personal abuse, but the irony is that such people are unlikely to be swayed by such abuse anyway. I think that approach is wrong.

                      Likewise, if Mike Smith wants to post on ts that he thinks Labour should be supported not denigrated, then that’s fine. It sparks healthy debate. Calling him a child running to his mummy is petty and useless. By all means engage with the substance of what Mike has written and call him on that, but why bother putting him down? He’s part of this community too.

                    • I got caught up in a flurry of guests and extra work. Thanks Bill for understanding my comment and clarifying it so lucidly

      • One Tāne Viper 12.1.4

        Karol, please keep contributing.

    • Dr Terry 12.2

      Ifs. Why must you interpret these comments as so largely pessimistic? More often than not they are full of hope for “positive” renewal.

      • Crimson Nile 12.2.1

        Well, it would be the end of the familiar, certain status quo. Some people are not going to like that. No matter how positive it is for many others.

  13. Jenny 13

    The thing is Mike. That if you found a newspaper or blogsite you have to have something to say.

    Before agreeing to let The Standard be founded you should have looked to your own Party’s history.

    In the days before the internet, all attempts to maintain a newspaper by the Labour Party failed.

    #1. Because the leadership had nothing to say. (That was different to National.) So failed to attract any interest or readership.

    #2. Because it gave a forum for flaxroots members to have their say, which offended the pragmatists. So had to be closed down.

    But a blogsite is different..

    The biggest difference is that it is interactive and often takes the discussion down paths that the LP top table don’t want it to go.

    Unfortunately, other than the difficulty to control it. The other big difference, is the difficulty to shut it down once it has run out of the control of the leadership.

    This is for two reasons.

    (a) The ease with which all the posters and commenters can set up or transfer the discussion to another blogsite with hardly any fragmentation.

    (b) The inability to threaten and control the authors and moderators themselves, who find it more than easy to defy edicts from the top table. And so can often drift from the party line.

    Long live The Standard as it draws the debate further to the left.

    Good on you Mike for still being involved.

    • Jenny 13.1

      PS. I couldn’t make out the little picture at the head of your post, Mike. I have just worked it out. Is this how you see yourself and the Labour Party leadership, encircled and beset by all sides?

      If so, The way to break out of that encirclement, is by taking a strong stand one with one side, or the other.

      Just try to make sure that it is not the wrong side. That’s the trick!

    • karol 13.2

      I always understood that this was not a Labour Party blog, but one of the broader labour movement – one that was a forum for those on the left, whatever party they support, or don’t support.

      • Dr Terry 13.2.1

        Yes, precisely Karol. Should the Standard find only Labour Party comment acceptable, then, of course, some of us will be obliged to withdraw.

        • KJT 13.2.1.1

          The criticism of the, largely self selected, self serving incompetents we have in Parliament, on both sides of the house, is justified.

          The left should never be in the position of singing from the same propaganda songbook.
          leave that to the right.

          Dissent, democracy and argument are essential to finding the best policies. And the best leaders.

          I thought the standard was a blog for the broad left. Not an apologist for a Labour caucus’s ineptitude.

          And, I fully expect any competent subordinate to be after my job. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be any good.
          A competent leader should find that routine, and an incentive to meet a high standard, not threatening.

          • lprent 13.2.1.1.1

            I thought the standard was a blog for the broad left.

            It is. However the NZLP is also a big organised part of that broad left, so you find quite a few members of the NZLP both commenting and authoring here (including me).

            • KJT 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Labour is hardly, Left!

              • Te Reo Putake

                Actually, I am left, KJT. I am Labour. So is the secretary of my branch, all the members and the LEC as far as I can tell. Labour is not 3 dozen people working in Molesworth St, Wellington. Labour is left.

                • KJT

                  I will believe that when Labour apologises for the destruction of our society they started in 1984.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Whooooosh, point goes flying over KJT’s head.

                    • KJT

                      I think we have already established that those with the power in the Labour caucus, are anything but.

                      And they do not accept dissent from anyone who wants them to stick to Labour’s declared principles.
                      As we have seen with the vapours that started the viper attack

                      I accept that the majority of members may be “left”>

                    • fatty

                      over my head too Te Reo Putake

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Labour is not 3 dozen people working in Molesworth St, Wellington. Labour is left.

                  Not according to the people at Molesworth St, Wellington.

        • David Viperious H 13.2.1.2

          And then Dr Terry it will just become another Red Alert. Unused and shunned, because the ‘party’ uses it for underhanded purposes.

  14. VindowViper 14

    Mike … all credit for keeping the lines of communication open.

    The very best outcome would be this. Imagine if the Labour leadership actually engaged with people at The Standard … not on their controlled terms … but openly and honestly. Sure it would feel risky, and for certain there would things said people would prefer not said.

    But it would once and for all break the neo-liberal MSM stranglehold on the message. For once you would have a media on your side, not theirs.

  15. irascible 15

    Did anyone also notice this little treasure which demonstrates the ideological nopnsense that underpins the KeY policies of this NACTional government.
    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/not-even-treasury-believes-in-charter.html

    A further piece of news that should give Labour more ammunition to destroy Parrota and, at the same time, further undermine the merry dance of the smile, wave, scuttle and run PM.

  16. Bill 16

    The easy and instant way to end the public stoush is remarkably simple.

    David Shearer could commit to holding a party wide vote in Feb regardless of any caucus vote of confidence. At the moment, whether you or he like it or not, there’s a widespread perception that pretenders are clawing onto vestiges of power. That fuels anger. But like I say, it’s easily mollified. Not holding my breath right enough and suspect the idea is to avoid a party wide vote in Feb.

    In which case the anger and the critisism will continue through March, April, May…and some incumbents will be running a real risk of losing their permission to stand as electoral candidates further down the track. (Or are those changes around selection not in place yet and able to be blocked or deferred?)

    • @ Bill
      I agree, and just a slight correction

      “In which case the anger and the critisism will continue through March, April, May…”

      Some criticism probably will continue, yet more likely people will start focussing on political parties that give them a vestige of hope that they will act to improve conditions for more people.

    • bad12 16.2

      I agree with that 100%, media commentators remarked at the time of Shearers demotion of Cunliffe that doing so was Shearer somehow making the ‘tough’ decision and showing ‘leadership’,

      I viewed that,(Cunliffes demotion), as exactly the opposite, had Shearer at the time left Cunliffe to His position and publicly stated that it would be He,(Shearer), who would trigger the Party wide leadership vote in February my opinion of Shearer would have risen markedly…

    • David Viperious H 16.3

      But there’s all these Dinosaurs in the LP Caucus that will resist change with every vestige of their old bones. So as good an Idea as it is Bill i’m afraqid that thats aqll it will ever be, until said dino’s are gone.

      • Bill 16.3.1

        So what exactly were the changes to the selection process that empowered members? And when are they meant to come into effect (if they aren’t already)?

    • Saarbo 16.4

      I agree 100% Bill.

  17. Quasimodo 17

    “I would not like to see the Standard become just another echo-chamber for political pessimists. I’m inclined to agree with some of the recent commenters here who are drawing attention to this in various ways. Perhaps in 2013 it will be time for a bit more balance.”

    Don’t do it, Mike. You would kill the very thing which brings us here. Life would be boring without ‘The Standard’ .. as it is.

  18. bad12 18

    Perhaps as both a post author and a person working in the office of the Leader of the Opposition the message you convey to us who comment on and read the Standard should be reversed and conveyed to that Leader???

    Is not the heart of Politics the engagement with as wide a cross section of those the Party supposedly represents??? and is not the Standard, it’s authors, readers and commenters a readily available ongoing audience and discussion of those politics,and should not the Leader and other Members of the Caucus be only too happy to engage with the Standard in an open and frank discussion…

  19. Descendant Of Sssmith 19

    Back in the 80′s quite a few of us concluded that National politicians infiltrated the Labour Party so they could be in power regardless of who was elected. That’s how it felt as working conditions, unions, wage levels and benefits were all attacked and dismantled, alcohol access was opened up to supermarkets, shops were opened up to all days of the week and so on.

    The disillusionment with Labour started back then. At times I had hoped for improvement and Clarks Labour government did much good work but never had the courage to roll back much at all and totally lost my support when they didn’t increase benefit rates significantly in 9 years.

    The difference in rates now between benefits and NZS is ridiculous and even more so when you take living alone payment into account.

    I’ve expressed my concerns to several local Labour and National MP’s over the years with little interest from either.

    I came across this site while doing research around the original standard.

    This gave me an option to reflect that from my perspective a view that seemed to have no other outlet – that we have moved so far to the right that things that were normal for a long long time in this country are now seen as extreme.

    It really does irritate me that Labour has the claiming of the 8 hour working day but no Labour politician let alone the party is willing to say that it’s time it was put back.

    Without delving into any other area of irritation let’s take that simple question Mike.

    What is the Labour Party’s position on re-instating an 8 hour working day 40 hour working week?

    You have it as a tenet of the Labour Party on your website – is it a historical tenet only or is it something alive and living today?

    And let’s not forget many workers still have that in their contracts currently – it’s about supporting those who do not.

  20. One Tāne Viper 20

    The message from team Shearer is consistent: “shut up.”

    Genuine criticisms probably cut a little deeper than the dreck Farrar et al serve up.

  21. Mike Smith 21

    I found the picture at the top of this post by googling “ray of sunshine.” I much prefer optimism; I remember a dear friend, a long-term beneficiary with a wonderful sense of humour, once giving me a favourite quote: “No-one ever went blind from looking on the bright side of life.” How true.

    Looking on the bright side politically, at the end of 2012 Labour and Greens are trending up in the polls, National is trending down. Combined Labour-Greens are at least level-pegging with National. What I want for Christmas is a win for Labour-Greens in 2014, two years away.

    I think the Standard should be more in the main game. For a long time we were; more recently it’s felt more like infighting. The right-wing trolls have disappeared; it’s as though they don’t need to bother with us any more.

    To me, that means seeing where the real enemy is. And not letting perceptions get in the way. Just to calm things down, I don’t want to shut the Standard down, quite the opposite. I think it could have a valuable role to play.

    And I’m not worried by debate on the left, ’twas ever thus; I’d just prefer it was less personal and less prone to sweeping judgments. I’ve lived long enough to have spent a great deal of time out of the “beltway” – although I was in Washington D.C. for three years in the sixties and seventies, and saw the effects of the 1968 race riots, well inside the beltway.

    I understand perceptions do matter. There may well be a difference between many on this site and where they perceive the Labour caucus to be. The best answer to that is to talk to each other, not consign others to fixed positions that may well not be true. People can and do change.

    David Shearer is a good example. Gobsmacked asks a simple question “What did Shearer do before the criticism started.” I’d say quite a lot actually, if you look at his track record before entering Parliament. I supported him from the beginning, for reasons I stated here. http://thestandard.org.nz/selections-i-have-known/
    I was also critical of his rooftop example here. http://thestandard.org.nz/dog-whistling/ When the crescendo grew against him before the Labour conference, I pointed out that two other Labour leaders had turned things around with one speech. http://thestandard.org.nz/dont-panic-2/ So did Shearer.

    To me after is much more important than before; maybe it’s time to let the anger go.

    So back to the future. I think there is a real opportunity for a change of government in 2014. And I think that Labour-led government is always better than National-led; they’ve never been perfect but they’ve always been better. Unions and beneficiaries learned that the hard way after the demise of the fourth Labour government – we got the Employment Contracts Act, the Mother of all Budgets, and a recession.

    And I think the next Labour-Green government will be much better. There’s been a seismic shift at the base away from the 1980′s consensus on monetary and economic policy, so much so that the old “no difference” critique is now well out of date. Social policy is work in progress, but again signs are it will be very different from National. It’s opportunity time.

    The left’s main problem has always been disunity; it’s why solidarity is such an important labour movement value. Again, I think it is important to focus on the real enemy. This National government is bringing back many of the same laws as underpinned the Employment Contracts Act, and mounting another attack on beneficiaries – they’ve just learned not to make it so obvious.

    People are waking up however, which is why Kerre Woodham’s article is an important straw in the wind. I think the Standard should help.

    • Blue Viper 21.1

      Mike, we would all prefer a Labour-led Government over a National one. We are on the same team, and we want the same thing.

      We just totally disagree about how we’re going to get there.

      That’s why the refrain from the pro-Shearer camp that the Standard is ‘negative’ and ‘helping National’ is so maddening.

      You, and the majority of the Labour Party caucus, for some unfathomable reason, think David Shearer is going to lead Labour to victory in 2014.

      Most of the rest of us think there is no way in hell that Labour will win in 2014 with Shearer as leader, and we believe that urgent action is needed or our country will end up suffering under a third term of a National Government.

      For that very reason, because we know how much there is at stake, we will not shut up.

      • karol 21.1.1

        Thanks for responding, Mike, and for your reassurances of continued open discussion on TS.

        Blue, even if the current LP leadership did lead a new government, it has moved so far to the right it will not stop the decline and rightwards shift of NZ. This current Labour Leadership has so far looked like the most right wing, male-dominated and undemocratic caucus leadership that I have seen for an NZLP in a long time. In power, it is unlikely to do little to move the country in the direction it needs to go for the future.

        It will be less destructive than the current government, with one or two positive but incremental changes. However, once the NActs return to power, there dismantling of the NZ welfare state will continue as if they’d never been away.

        Getting the MSM on side by sweet-talking and indications of no dramatic changes, is a dangerous game. Once in power the current Labour caucus leaders couldn’t do anything to left wing without being destroyed by their MSM “friends”.

      • Craig Glen viper 21.1.2

        +1

    • Bill 21.2

      I think the Standard should be more in the main game. For a long time we were; more recently it’s felt more like infighting. The right-wing trolls have disappeared; it’s as though they don’t need to bother with us any more.

      I’m not aware of any infighting at ts. But I am aware that the Labour Party has mps using interviews with major news outlets to slice and dice fellow mps. And it’s the Labour Party that needs to be ‘more in the main game’. It’s they who are out of touch with what people are thinking, not ts. And the right-wing trolls aren’t trolling because they don’t need to bother with the Labour Party any more. (Just read Mathew Hooten’s mischeviously supportive comments on various threads).

      To me, that means seeing where the real enemy is. And not letting perceptions get in the way.

      Gawd my head’s hurting! The advice being to close my mind to what I know and think (perceptions) for why? The ambitions of others? You do know it would be far more appropriate to give that advice to caucus and convince them to act on it, yes? ‘Cause you know, they are the ones who are meant to represent and act upon the views of others. Not me.

      I’m off to find some aspirin.

      • mike 21.2.1

        “And the right-wing trolls aren’t trolling because they don’t need to bother with the Labour Party any more. (Just read Mathew Hooten’s mischeviously supportive comments on various threads). ”

        Yep, when Matthew Hooten is posting here about how impressed he is with Shearer, you know it’s because he wants him to stay leader because he doesn’t think he can win.

        • KJT 21.2.1.1

          And even if he does, the policy settings will be only slightly to the left of National.

          David Cunliff gets it. We do not want our legs cut off, again! even if Labour offers anesthetic.

      • blue leopard 21.2.2

        Gees, Bill 21.1, thanks for writing so succinctly exactly the type of thing that was running through my mind!! (I think a lot of us might have the same headache)

    • Anne 21.3

      Mike, I agree with much of what you say and I also say thank-you for having the nous to keep the line of communication open…

      I haven’t time to detail my comment further except to say:

      I am an admirer of David Shearer. I think he has a great deal to offer NZ. But I also admire David Cunliffe. I think he, too, has a great deal to offer NZ. Do you not agree he was the victim of a set of circumstances created by the MSM (and used by a small group within Caucus) and that he has been unjustly treated? Does not the Labour Party believe in justice and fairness for all people and not just a selected few?

    • David Viperious H 21.4

      “To me after is much more important than before; maybe it’s time to let the anger go. ”

      After is more important, why? Because the pain of being lied to, and ignored, will all miraculously go away, because it’s all for the common good of the party?
      So then we should just shut up be good little boys, and let the labour party turn Blue?

      And after reading your reply Mike, leaves me to believe that you, and the rest in the ‘party’ have NOT listened, and have NOT taken to heart what the membership wants. SO therefore what does it take?? A complete disaster at the next election?? NO workers at the Next Election? So the message I would like to personally send is this.

      If you want my vote back you have to start to listen.
      You are NOT too big to be voted out.
      If Shearer is still the Leader of the Labour party, and they again ignore the wishes of the membership in Feburary, then the 800,000 that didn’t vote last time, will seem like a drop in the ocean compared to the votes that will desert them in 2014.

      I have already said that Labour will be a sad and sorry 3rd if he is still the leader, because it means the Dinosaurs are still in charge, and it will be a lost vote, to vote for them.

    • gobsmacked 21.5

      Gobsmacked asks a simple question “What did Shearer do before the criticism started.” I’d say quite a lot actually, if you look at his track record before entering Parliament. I supported him from the beginning

      As did I. See the various Standard threads on the Mt Albert by-election. I was excited by his candidacy. I was told I was a “cheerleader” for Shearer. Many of us were, back then.

      But then he did nothing to impress, after winning the by-election, and nothing again after winning the leadership. So I changed my mind. Based on evidence, not wishes.

      Mike, the fact that you need to invoke “his track record before entering Parliament” speaks volumes. I asked what he had done as Labour leader, and you – a loyalist and Labour man through and through – could not give a single example. Again, if anybody would like to, please do.

      Yet again, the timeline says it all (even though you choose to ignore it). First – Shearer failed. Then – people criticised. No amount of blurring and distracting will change the laws of time. Events A happened before Events B. This is historical fact.

      David Shearer will not become Prime Minister based on his life before politics. He has taken on a new job, and he has been found wanting. So essentially the debate comes down to … Has he changed? Will he change? Can he change? And … Does his caucus faction even care?

      My view is that he is not up to the job, and he could lose Labour the unlosable election. It is up to Labour and their leader to change that view. They cannot do this by demanding that we ignore the evidence of our eyes and ears. They can only provide better evidence. That’s their job for 2013, and it’s not going to change, even if the Standard disappeared tomorrow.

    • Colonial Viper 21.6

      After gaining first hand knowledge of senior Labour MPs spending tax payer paid for time, energy and effort trying to attack and undermine me, an ordinary non-office holding Labour Party member who has poured time, money and energy into the party, I must say that your call for “solidarity” and for The Standard to play it’s useful “role” seem like so much sea salt rubbed into wounds.

      Let me ask you, did you ever question those Labour MPs if they could see “where the real enemy is”, just like you are questioning us on The Standard?

      I would like to use more colourful language to describe the individual perpetrators involved of course, but I can do that with them over a beer some time.

      As for disunity, how about getting the well paid professional caucus to lead by example before you complain about disunity in the all-volunteer membership (and non-Labour voting Left in general). Do you really think that the media comments/leaks made by the caucus ABCs during and after conference are insignificant or have been forgotten so quickly?

      And I think the next Labour-Green government will be much better. There’s been a seismic shift at the base away from the 1980′s consensus on monetary and economic policy, so much so that the old “no difference” critique is now well out of date.

      Australia has long allowed its reserve bank to do much more than target inflation. Singapore heavily controls its forex movements through a non-transparent mechanism. Japan, USA, the EU and the UK have collectively printed over US$5T in new money since 2007. Argentina told foreign bond holders to wait in line and Iceland told the banks to go screw themselves. All over the world governments are putting in place steps to increase resource nationalism, particularly around fossil fuel reserves. The EU is debating a Europe-wide financial transactions tax.

      Compared to all of this activity, what leading edge positions or even discussion (not detailed policy) is Labour signalling in public? Any? Any at all? Come on Mike, give us just two or three actual examples of this recent “seismic shift” in Labour economic thinking that you are asserting has occurred. Shifts which mean that Labour is now truly political-economically distanced from National, and not just different on some points of fine print or theory.

      I hope you don’t think that a policy of $300,000 houses built by private corporations for shareholder profit, designed only for those with solid wages and salaries, but significantly subsidised by taxpayers is an example of Labour’s “seismic shift”.

      Now, about solidarity.

      To my dearest wingmen and women (and that includes those of you on the Right Wing too, you dudes were awesome!!!). I believe that you showed the NZ political blogosphere and MSM the real meaning of the word “solidarity”. I dare say that nothing quite like the spontaneous formation of The Standard Viper Squadron, with over 60 individual magnificent Vipers, has occurred before anywhere else in the political blogosphere anywhere in the world.

      Be very proud of yourselves Standardistas, I certainly am. Please enjoy your holiday break safely with the people you love, and know that in return you too are loved, both by people that you realise and also by some that you don’t.

      “So say we all”.

      CV, ever at your service.

      • karol 21.6.1

        So say we all! Well said!

        And you have a very good break too, CV. You have been missed.

        All this has happened before, and will happen again.

        PS: we have so many vipers now, many may not have noticed you slip in the door.

      • karol thrace viper 21.6.2

        And, in honour…. so say we all!

      • gobsmacked 21.6.3

        Happy holidays, CV.

        (note – I am a Viper name change in spirit, just too lazy/selfish to do it and then forget who I’m supposed to be …)

      • Rogue Trooper 21.6.4

        Brother. :) at your service (you remain behind Him obviously)

        -servant (only Christ keeps me out of jail in this god-forsaken country)

        (Wholly Other, Life, Agape, Freedom.) it is not the tenth commandment by a roll of the dice ;)

      • GeoffCartwright 21.6.5

        Well put my friend.
        When the trade unionist I have talked to state they want a green red coalition as next govt so the greens will keep labour honest and on direction then I know change is coming but I for one think our MP need our support.

      • David Viperious H 21.6.6

        Welcome back CV, you have been missed.

      • mickysavage 21.6.7

        Kia ora CV

        Good to see that you (or they) can’t keep a good person down!

      • blue leopard 21.6.8

        Yes, very good to hear from you CV. Utterly dreadful to think that taxpayers money is being wasted on trying to shut you up. One requirement that our MPs have is to adhere to democratic principles, so what’s this all about?

        My guess is, that it probably isn’t taxpayer money being invested in this anti-democratic b/s, it feels to me that NZ has got a lot of big money influences infesting the country at present; all planning what to do when Mr Key loses his shine. It appears that the Labour party are acting like a bunch of exited whores, when the sailors arrive. Got that frothing at the mouth vibe, ignoring reason that only money-whore-brown-nosing can bring out to this extent. And no, I’m usually not partial to conspiracy-style views, however this is getting to obvious to ignore.

        Why else would the main opposition party ignore their constituency to the level they have?

        • GeoffCartwright 21.6.8.1

          Because the members are hicks and they the academia know best..

          • blue leopard 21.6.8.1.1

            @ GeoffCartwright
            Your comment gives me some insight, thanks.

            …yet I am still left questioning why a caucus would ignore their support base-even if they are hicks; “hicks” votes still gets them into office.

            Either the caucus have (1) completely lost the plot, (2) are “professionally” suicidal or the (3) they know they have other sectors of the community whom will get them a win at election-time. I am presuming option 1 & 2 unlikely and so the 3rd option “other sectors” might be the go.

            This “unknown” sector wouldn’t appear to be the 800, 000 or so people who didn’t vote; there appears to be no targeting of these people nor types like those writing into the Standard (for example) concerned about a lack of and advocating policies that would assist improvement for the least well off, workers or even small business owners. Considering a majority of people would benefit from such policies, then what sector is left that would have the clout to discourage such policies and nous on how to “get around” delivering them, yet still achieve election success?

            • GeoffCartwright 21.6.8.1.1.1

              Hi blue leopard
              To connect to and get the nonaligned non voter, the young etc on board take a huge amount of operational effort and or political capital. Much better to go for the switch swing middle voter.
              I wonder if the LP organisational review and outcome will include better election airing techniques, more modern methods…. Same old same old doesn’t work.

      • Colonial Weka 21.6.9

        “To my dearest wingmen and women (and that includes those of you on the Right Wing too, you dudes were awesome!!!). I believe that you showed the NZ political blogosphere and MSM the real meaning of the word “solidarity”. I dare say that nothing quite like the spontaneous formation of The Standard Viper Squadron, with over 60 individual magnificent Vipers, has occurred before anywhere else in the political blogosphere anywhere in the world.”

        I feel priviledged to have been part of that. What would be cool would be if we did something with that next year. Not sure what, but there is magic and potential momentum in the formation of the squadron and how it came about.

      • Coronial typer 21.6.10

        You are a real Christmas present cv.
        This is family gathering round.

      • felixviper 21.6.11

        felixviper reporting in.

        Good to hear from you CV, hope you’ll be joining us regularly soon.

      • KJT 21.6.12

        :-)

        From Viperidae

      • the sprout 21.6.13

        hear hear cv

    • Draco T Bastard 21.7

      And I think that Labour-led government is always better than National-led; they’ve never been perfect but they’ve always been better. Unions and beneficiaries learned that the hard way after the demise of the fourth Labour government – we got the Employment Contracts Act, the Mother of all Budgets, and a recession.

      And what would have been different if the 4th Labour government had continued?

      Labour knew in 1987 that the country didn’t want to continue with the reforms that they had started but they got voted back in. Is it any surprise that they got voted out in 1990 after they continued their attack on the poor and the workers? National did, after all, promise not to continue the reforms which, of course, they did and then we spent another two elections trying to get rid of them.

      There’s been a seismic shift at the base away from the 1980′s consensus on monetary and economic policy, so much so that the old “no difference” critique is now well out of date.

      At the base maybe but we’re not seeing that at the caucus level.

      The left’s main problem has always been disunity; it’s why solidarity is such an important labour movement value.

      That I can agree with but there’s a difference between solidarity and being told to tow the line which Shearer et al don’t seem to understand.

    • Ianmac in Vienna 21.8

      I wish I could express my position as well as you Mike Smith. + 100%.
      Unity is strength. Undermining the leadership is fatal.

      • karol 21.8.1

        The most recent undermining of Labour Party unity was when the leadership moved response to the membership vote for more say in the party. It was against the main direction of signaled by the majority of members. The disunity has been activated by the leadership.

        They punished Cunliffe on the basis of false claims of an attempted coup at the conference, at the same time as Tamihere was doing some actual bad-mouthing of the party. At the samer time Tamihere negatively baited sections of the party and its supporters (women and gays). Then Tamihere was welcomed back into the fold.

        The disunity comes from the top. Enforced “solidarity” by the leadership is evidence of a weak leadership, and not the kind of unity that motivates and energises a group.

    • Jenny 21.9

      I couldn’t make out the little picture at the head of your post, Mike. I have just worked it out. Is this how you see yourself and the Labour Party leadership, encircled and beset by all sides?

      Jenny

      Thanks Mike for trying to explain your choice of photo to me.

      I found the picture at the top of this post by googling “ray of sunshine.”

      Mike Smith

      Amidst th’encircling gloom…

      However the above heading you gave to accompany the photo gives lie to your claim that you chose this sombre image out of a ‘preference’ for ‘optimism’. Mike, whether consciously or not you have chosen an image that conveys your sense of dread. Depicting as it does yourself (and your supporters) as a small island of light surrounded by a sea of darkness. As well as depicting your feelings about the situation, your gloomy photo and headline infer The Standard is part of “th’ encircling gloom….”

      I personally think a better image to convey the reality of the situation you and your colleagues find yourself in, would be of a reversed photo negative of the same picture.

      An all embracing sky, bathed in light, filled with debate, surrounding a dark central core, conservative, sullen, frightened and resentful, isolated and outnumbered, in the surrounding sea of light.

  22. mac1 22

    Well said, Mike. “Lead thou, kindly Light” indeed.

  23. Descendant Of Sssmith 23

    “The best answer to that is to talk to each other, not consign others to fixed positions that may well not be true. ”

    In the absence of Labour taking a position on most things talked about here you can only assume their position is egregious.

    Talking to each other is a two-way street.

    So back to my earlier question:

    What is the Labour Party’s position on re-instating an 8 hour working day 40 hour working week?

    I could add others such as increasing benefit rates but lets try and take one step at a time.

  24. Ad 24

    Mike clearly you are a messenger, so pop over to parliament and give them this one.

    A few things Labour’s caucus could do for us here to improve our relationship.

    1. Don’t presume you own us. Or can enforce your will on us. Or can control us. State clearly and publicly that they represent us, in fact that they work for us, not the other way round.

    2. Publicly denounce Claire Curran for seeking to hunt us dow. And apologise.

    3. Write policy pieces under their own name here. And when they do, expect debate. Because its fun.

    4. Poll better than 2008. In fact apologise here for the 2008 result. We don’t get paid for campaigning.

    5. Give us our leadership vote.

    6. Unite and be an effective opposition. Any time……….

    7. Release policy that alters the polls, every quarter to 2014.

    8. Demonstrate they can be a future government by publicly cooperating with coalition partners.

    9. Actively encourage and support this site, knowing its fast-growing power and MSM competitiveness.

    10. Win an election. Any time………….

    So far none of this has occurred.
    And if they’d like our help with that election, see above.
    This may help. We will let you know Mike.

    Merry christmas.

  25. GeoffCartwright 25

    Time to reflect.
    The people in the street need a left block vistory in 2014, its a must do or die event.
    How we get it or with whom as leader or which clique doesnt matter really AS long as we get a green labour holding the treasury benches.

    Firstly as a red left we cant scare the voters centre and non aligned with any extreme policy or provide the MSM with a focal message that would cist the election. i.e red under the bed syndrone.

    Our Caucus have elected an leader who has witnessed and actively relied against extreme poverty and is more a mangerial type of leader.
    Just what labour needs – a leader capable of bringing together various factions and grouping within the centre. left and even centre right….its called faciliation.

    Sweeping structural and organisational change is and will happen before the 2014 election, be Patient.

    TS must play its part in getting the message and debate out to the wider community and as such we need robust debate on issues and policy BUT the axe grinding and abuse is counter producive.

    Lets Win the elections at all costs then slowly change society.
    Ita not a left victory but a victory for the people who are suffering and will suffer more under theis failed tory idiology wich even treasury are failing to support on some of the suggested poliy coming from english and co.

    Time to unite and organise, time to stand up and fight now together or it will be too late.
    One last chance as over next ten years society is going to face too many system shocks

    So i suggest that we reflect on exactly what we need as commentators and left blcok supporter need to do to ensure a LP GP victory.

    • karol 25.1

      Lets Win the elections at all costs then slowly change society.

      Ah, there’s the rub. To endure a Lab-Green government that will deliver real change, we need caucus leadership we can trust – one answerable to the members. Not seeing that.

      • GeoffCartwright 25.1.1

        Karol – way i read it, there are sveral ‘triggars’ now available to the party to ensure that caucus is aligned with the party and its wider members.

        Just remember for a just, equal and fair social policy broad platform we need a fully functioning economic system. No available cash = no social policy room.

        Without a gradual and accepted economci system change, a transition if you like, we cannot bring about the desired social direction and poicy changes that is so needed.

        what your solution to no cash in the system….NZ is broke now and for the foreseeable future.
        Tory last ditch solution is asset sales, beg, borrow and even now impose tax hikes.

        I for one am or will do everything to organise my local electrorate this coming year with one objective.
        A LP GP victory in 2014. lets face the coming triple crunch with sussessive ten year plans

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 25.2

      Extreme policy?

      Examples?

      I don’t consider 8 hour working days, increasing benefit rates by $20 + per week, me as an income earner in the top 20% paying more tax, increased rights to strike, increased state housing and the removal of income tested rents, the reinstatement of Non income tested support for children, etc as extreme policies. They weren’t extreme when we had em and they ain’t extreme now.

      It’s just sad people younger than me don’t have em.

      • GeoffCartwright 25.2.1

        DES extreme is any policy that the MSM etc can twist and panic the wide wide middle voter

        How about no sunday trading to your list
        How about a target of 100% employment.

        im not worries about top ten% tax payer more like tope .1% the multi millionaires who rorte the system.
        All good valid ideals but at what cost?

        last friday i worked from 8am till 11pm no breaks 5.5 day weeks i am tired and have had enough so how about victory first, binding policy from the members next over ten year period and get real meaningful change from the signalled new direction.

        I want not something old. not something borrowed and broke, definetly nothing blue, i want something NEW..but a ransition period first where we prepare the electrorate for change..

        • karol 25.2.1.1

          Trouble is, Geoff, I’ve seen such promises before. It’s in the same box as trickle-down as far as I’m concerned. The promise of good things down the road never comes. Now is the time for real change.

          Yes the MSM is a problem. But it will continue to be so when the LP tries to implement real change. What you’re advocating is the Blairite, 1990s solution. And after Blair, comes Cameron and ruthless austerity.

          • GeoffCartwright 25.2.1.1.1

            actually noooo im not.
            We have had third way direction, its been around since gideon (re ) formalised it in the mid 90′s.
            Neo lib direction is dying. we are facing a coming crunch either we transit thru this period by unfettered post investment capitalism or something else i.e a red green brown NEXT WAY.

            Third way to a transitional way to the NEXT WAY and it better not be the tory way as people by then will be very very desperate.

            • karol 25.2.1.1.1.1

              But so far Team Shearer have given no indication of following a New Way, only the old Blairite, appeasing the MSM, third way, and autocratic and untrustworthy with it.

              • GeoffCartwright

                No use having a bold direction if the electorate voter doesn’t get it.
                First we need to reconnect, reorganise and restructure the party and focus on operations within the electorate. Grass root activists .
                Then win the damn election then slowly modify society to weather the storm and also to allow successful adoption of the new economic system that is so needed by the people.
                Neo lib neo capitalim is failing, social democracy third way is meaningless and socialism well it’s time came and went…
                Pax Roma is falling, the gloomy darkness is encircling from the west and east…time for a new construct.

        • David Viperious H 25.2.1.2

          “last friday i worked from 8am till 11pm no breaks 5.5 day weeks” So was it last friday you worked these hours? or is it everyday?? No matter, you should screaming for a union, because it is ILLEGAL to make anyone work 15 hrs with out a break, and I really don’t see how this can come about in anything other than a family business. As staff would be gone in a heart beat. So maybe you should come clean re the ’8am to 11pm no breaks 5.5 day and fill us in on some of the details.

          • GeoffCartwright 25.2.1.2.1

            Retail sale hours no set or given breaks…eat on the run.
            Most people I know don’t stop for breaks these days, over worked under payed..it’s called life in new Zealand.im lucky to have a job in these tough tough times.

            • Oscar 25.2.1.2.1.1

              Illegal to not have breaks.

              Your employer is required to give you
              - 10 minute break every 3 hours
              - 30 minute (unpaid) “lunch” break every 5 hours

              If you worked 15 hours, you should be entitled to 1.5 hour lunch break and five 10 minute breaks. If your employer pays you for 13.5 hours for friday, you’re getting gipped.

              Time to enforce your rights under the law.

              http://www.dol.govt.nz

            • David H 25.2.1.2.1.2

              You are trying your bullshit on an Ex Fast Food store manager and believe me NO ONE, not even me the manager, did anywhere near those hours. So lets try that again.

              • GeoffCartwright

                I am not in the habit of lying my friend.
                I regular work thru lunch etc due to how busy stressed we are…fact of life.
                One I worked 3 month ten hour days no days off as manager due to staff issues.
                It called life well work…heaps of people work too hard for too long and for little pay or salary.

    • Socialist Paddy 25.3

      Just what labour needs – a leader capable of bringing together various factions and grouping within the centre. left and even centre right

      You mean the fellar that demoted the guy with the most talent in caucus for staging a coup that he did not actually stage?

      You mean the guy who survives only through the support of the ABC faction and refuses to promote talented MPs like Dalziel, Chauvel and Moroney because they are not in his faction?

      You mean the guy who bullied MPs into publicly revealing who they were going to vote for even though they have a constitutional right to refuse to do so?

      You mean that fellar?

      • Olwyn 25.3.1

        I do not think that Cunliffe was challenging the leadership at that stage, but even if he was, so what! A genuinely popular and authoritative leader is able to meet such challenges.

        The problem, Mike, as I see it, is that the relation between the membership and the controlling clique in caucus has the stench of bad faith bargaining. The membership may can have a say, but on condition that they say exactly what the caucus clique would have them say.

        To begin with, they involved the members in the leadership change, only to reject their choice. Then, when they were outvoted on the leadership trigger, they immediately set out to thwart an obvious candidate who did not suit their plans. Whatever agreements this clique has made with right wing commentators trump the concerns of the members, whom they appear to think must be “brought around” rather than heard. Honest dialogue and real concessions from the caucus to the members are the only possible way through this. But I am not holding my breath.

        • Anne 25.3.1.1

          I do not think that Cunliffe was challenging the leadership at that stage

          I was at the conference Fri.afternoon, all day Sat. and Sun., and I am certain Cunliffe was not attempting to challenge the leadership. That is why the actions taken immediately following that conference stunned me speechless for days on end. It still does to some extent.

          Perhaps I’m in denial, but I believe Shearer was effectively obeying instructions from his ABC backers. He fell for the line they had obviously been spinning him for the past 12 months, and thought he was taking decisive and appropriate action.

          I’m looking forward to him reversing his decision to demote Cunliffe sometime early 2013. If he doesn’t do so, then he will have betrayed me and many other Labour Party members. He – and the party – will eventually find they have paid a big price!

      • GeoffCartwright 25.3.2

        The LP needs unity, unity for a reason.
        Ever wondered what that reason is?
        Sometime unity come at a cost..

        • Socialist Paddy 25.3.2.1

          Geoff that makes as much sense as having to destroy the village to save the village.

          • GeoffCartwright 25.3.2.1.1

            Without unity, focus and direction the LP with face segmentation again or at the least a Rerun of 2011.

            Cunliffe doesn’t and will never have the numbers but he can be an important player.
            So in a way the small village must give way to enable all the people to be saved.
            Clearly it’s not cunliffes time…yet.

          • Socialist Paddy 25.3.2.1.2

            Cunliffe … can be an important player

            I agree but Shearer does not appear to believe so.

            Don’t you see the contradiction? You say Shearer is a uniter but it seems pretty clear from the evidence that he is not.

            Until he starts showing that ability Labour is going to continue to struggle.

            • GeoffCartwright 25.3.2.1.2.1

              CC tried to silence a commentator and the viper army was created, it made the msm and caused ripples, CC got a smack…
              Words have power.

              • David Viperious H

                “CC tried to silence a commentator and the viper army was created, it made the msm and caused ripples, CC got a smack…”

                And what she should have got (in all fairness) was a trip to the backbench to learn here p’s and q’s. Also someone needs to buy her a book, along the lines of Electronic Communication for Dummies.

      • The Al1en 25.3.3

        Or the fellar(s) advising him?

        One more aspirational fail bites the dust.

  26. Andre 26

    Seems to be a lot of toy throwing and no policy debate . 51% agreement, fine with me.

  27. Andre 27

    nz first has a whole hour on radio live to talk policy on now .1.38pm

  28. Fortran 28

    Coming down to earth on Christmas Eve and being being realistic there is every possibility and probability that in 2014 a Shearer led Labour/Green coalition Government will happen.
    Under MMP however amended the Nacts cannot get enough seats to form a Government.
    Only a small 2% swing will not give them the seats required.
    Therefore it would it not be positive go go to 2013 without some sort of combined policy for both Labour and the Greens to agree upon to get the Government roling immediately after the election.
    Winston will not make it this time, or be electorially impotent.
    The most important decisions to be reviewed is what the Greens will “demand” of Labour to activate the coalition.
    Most of their policies are too far out left to be really serious, and that is in itself dangerous.
    Some sort of agreement must be thrashed out – even behind closed doors.

    • karol 28.1

      I think the Greens should be free to be critical of Labour and not be subservient to them. The McCarten articles indicate a possible Team Shearer-Norman-MSM stitch-up that would not be very good for the left – and would/does possibly include Peters. The other MPs in the GP caucus have been relegated to the background, along with all their important policy and other work.

      I would rather have a democratic, transparent, more public debate of issues at this stage, with the GP free to critique Labour.

    • bad12 28.2

      You make the accusation,now please add the words to back up your view that most of the Green policy’s are too far out left to be really serious,

      Give us the list of exactly what you see these policy’s to be…

    • @ Fortran, ‘Green’s policies are too far left’ just like their policy for warming up homes
      for people who have community services cards and others, too left, for pointing out the
      waste of $14billion of taxpayers money on roads of ‘Nact’s importance’.
      On planet Key,he now claims the credit for warming up the homes project, the greens policy
      is an example of their foward and inclusive thinking.

  29. Andre 29

    Anybody ..What is the LP consensus on climate change mitigation ? Is there one?

  30. Mike Smith 30

    This post started out about optimism and pessimism, and I think that has been useful to clarify different views. It seems those like Blue and Gobsmacked are pessimistic about whether Labour can win in 2014 with David Shearer as leader, and those like Karol are pessimistic about whether even if David Shearer-led Labour won, that the ensuing government would be very different from National.

    As I said I’m an optimist. I believe Labour can win in 2014 with David Shearer as leader, and I also believe a Labour-Greens government will be very different from National.

    And I’m an optimist with history. I’ve been involved in all of Labour’s five general election wins in the past nearly thirty years, and the fight to get from the fourth Labour government to the very different fifth. For different reasons, they were all difficult wins. But I’d rather be an activist than a pessimist. One thing I do know, is that the first place you lose elections is in your head.

    I’m also not starry-eyed. I sat in Labour’s caucus as a non-voting member for eight years, and from time to time I had my say. As for policy, this year was the year of the manifesto – its here. http://www.labour.org.nz/about-us Next year will be where the detail gets done. Plenty of work for all.

    • karol 30.1

      Thanks, Mike.

      I did also say that I think we are optimistic about different things. I am more optimistic and positive about grass roots activism as leading the way forward for the future. I am also more positive about the Greens and Mana at the moment than about the Labour Caucus leadership..

    • David Viperious H 30.2

      And unlike you, Mike I have worked every election since 1970, and I have never been paid. Not even offered a beer after we won. And I have seen them come and seen them go and I’ll tell you this for nothing. Shearer will NOT win the 2014 election, no matter how positive you are. He also needs the respect of his colleagues. Shane Jones’s antics and the Media leaks in Caucus, shows how much his colleagues rate him. On top of all that I don’t trust him. He may as well have a ring through his nose for Mallard, King and co to lead him around.

    • Good thread Mr Mike,

      You appear to have hit the nail on the head with regard to where there is conflict amongst us posters and it is good to have it discussed.

      Well done and Merry Christmas

    • gobsmacked 30.4

      Mike, you’re right that my first concern is that Labour/Shearer will lose. But the nature of the “win” they want is also worrying.

      You say … I also believe a Labour-Greens government will be very different from National.

      I agree. It might not be Left enough for some on the Standard, but it probably would be OK for me. BUT do Shearer and his faction actually want a Labour-Greens government? We’re talking about a leader who deliberately avoids those words, who doesn’t even want to say “left” or “right”.

      If Shearer and co really want us to believe they represent change, then changing their attitude to their allies would be a good start. If Shane Jones speaks for Labour, then Labour don’t speak for me.

      (and … logging off for Xmas. Hope it’s a good one for all)

    • Anne 30.5

      @ Mike Smith
      I gather from your lack of a response to my question: what do you think about the dishonest and unjustified demotion of David Cunliffe?, that you don’t want to answer.

      This is the problem Mike. That disgraceful episode is indicative of the reason for the current impasse which exists between certain Caucus members and a significant portion of the membership. What’s more it is an impasse created by those Caucus members… not the Party members including those of us who comment here. If the Labour Party hierarchy don’t face up to this problem, they are never going to have unity and a strong, viable Labour-led alternative government.

      Perhaps you would like to pass on this message for us. Thanks.

    • karol 30.6

      I also don’t find it helpful to dismiss as “pessimistic”, those who have provided good reasons for disagreeing with you. Unfounded optimism can be more destructive than reasoned criticisms. And I have yet to see any evidence that a Shearer led government will take us in a positive and necessary new direction.

      But it is now time to take a breath and chill with those closest to us.

      Have a good holiday season, Mike, and everyone else.

    • RedLogix 30.7

      So I go to the “About Us” link Mike has kindly provided. What do I find about the 14th para down?

      The Fourth Labour Government (1984-1990), led successively by David Lange, Geoffrey Palmer and Mike Moore took difficult and long overdue decisions necessary for the modernisation of the New Zealand Economy.

      No mention of Roger Douglas, no mention of Richard Prebble, no mention of the neo-liberal madness and how it tore the LP apart. And no repudiation.

      Fundamentally this is the gap that remains un-bridged.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 30.8

      It’s a pity you linked to the history and not the manifesto you refer to.

      The history simply re-in forces what has been lost.

      Following the link on the principles (which is another discussion) to the manifesto you do get information about where Labour management are coming from. I’d be interested from members how well this reflects members thinking.

      A few short comments before battery goes flat:

      ACC – I see a case this morning re the police who are one of several departments who I understand are no longer part of the ACC system as they look after their own claims through private providers. It’s a bit on the nose to say to the private sector privatisation will end and to still allow govt departments to not contribute into the scheme. Why won’t govt agencies be put back into the ACC scheme. Accredited employers scheme still remains and will apparently be improved?

      Elder care – someone like Ryman has massively increased profits in recent years to the point they are using NZ taxpayers money to build homes in Australia. If the principle is that the private sector is more efficient and can do it cheaper when they do it cheaper (as evidenced by increased profit) surely the state should then benefit by paying less to them the following year for the service. The principle of private sector efficiency then resulting in lower costs to government.

      What’s missing is anything ensuring staff are well paid and manning levels are sufficient. As the population ages you might like to consider things such as older people providing voluntary support in homes in return for discounted fees perhaps. I’m in no doubt in soe areas like Tauranga we will need older people to care for the elderly.

      Elder abuse policy skips over financial abuse of older people (relevant also to those with intellectual and other disabilities). Most agencies do not have policies in this area or their policy is not our business. A clear mandatory reporting to an independent government agency who can examine bank accounts etc to see if financial abuse is occurring is needed.

      Renaming of Invlads Benefit and increasing services to those who want to work with disabilities.

      The problem that was evident in the 80′s was that services you were offered depended on what benefit you were on not your needs e.g. Sole parents got stuff all support into work and NZES at time wouldn’t register them. I get the impression little has changed. I thought back then that removing benefit types would also remove that barrier and allow a focus on the individual and their needs. More staff with different skills would also be needed as well.

      Tax – I’ve noted elsewhere you’re giving me more tax cuts I don’t need.

      Manifesto link here:
      http://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2011%20Labour%20Party%20Manifesto.pdf

  31. Rogue Trooper 31

    one thing i frequently forget is to awhi the “posters”; you are all very generous people.

  32. No sense in the labour caucus crying in their beer or chardonay,the shearer faction of the
    caucus set the scene.
    Condemnation and some flicks around the ears may be aimed at commenters and bloggers
    on the standard,but in reality that would not be happening if they didn’t set the play and the
    main players.
    If the shearer faction dont want my vote, that’s fine, there are the green’s and mana,both
    left and both respectable in policy and in their approach towards their members.
    The caucus may try and pull some back into the fold,but it will take three things,
    1/ An announcement in the new year that there will be an honest leadership vote in Feb
    2/ An apology to Cunliffe for the disgraceful treatment he got at and after the conference.
    3/ Shearer standing down as leader.

  33. Mike Smith 33

    Happy Christmas to you too Karol, and to all others on the Standard. Anne, I certainly hope David Cunliffe plays a prominent role in the next Labour government. Red Logix, Prebble and Douglas repudiated themselves by forming ACT. Lange to his credit chucked them both out of Cabinet.

    • RedLogix 33.1

      True Mike. Unfortunately I can’t recall the LP simply saying what quartz said: We lost our way, we won’t do it again.

      I do however recall a conversation I had with Michael Cullen in about 2007. (I’ll have to confess to being a huge admirer of the man and how faithfully he served Labour and the nation.)

      He took the pains to explain to me in my naivety that governments can only operate within what is considered the acceptable ‘paradigm’ of the day. That some things were possible and others were a step too far at the time. (Like for instance a Capital Gains Tax).

      If we do get a Labour/Green government in 2014 it will be subject to the same constraints … unless it is able to begin the process of setting the acceptable framework now. That means coming out NOW and saying things that will get laughed or sneered at today, but will become ‘conventional wisdom’ in five years time.

      This is what Russel Norman has done by coming out and naming ‘quantitative easing’ for what it is … printing money. He’s setting his agenda not for today, but for tomorrow. Labour need to be clear about not just their policy details… but what their values are and to set the scene for them to be implemented as policy.

      “Polly speak” and “political platitudes” won’t cut mustard. That’s a huge part of John Key’s success; for while he’s become a bit of a David Brent parody … at the same time lots of Kiwi’s think he a ‘top bloke’ because he’s mastered the art of faking sincerity, he doesn’t sound like a politician.

      The quote I took from Labours own website sounds exactly like a politician speaking … weasel words that avoid saying what everyone knows should be said.

      And the best of the Season to you Mike. And to all of you here.

      It’s been five years now, and of the 500,000 comments or so I think I must have read 450,000 of them. Along the way I’ve learnt a great deal from you all.

      But above all there is one reason why this is my home on the ‘net; Lynn Prentice.

      Best wishes to you all, and I really hope Mike that what you are trying to do takes us all somewhere worthwhile in the New Year.

      • KJT 33.1.1

        The idea that Government can only follow the current paradigm is Bullshit.

        It didn’t stop Labour in the 80′s from adopting the neo-liberal paradigm, way ahead of any public support or knowledge.

        It was more like Brash’s ideas of. “Hit them hard before they figure out what is going on”.

        Research shows the majority of New Zealanders are strongly socialist. Even many who consider themselves right wing, and would object to being called socialist, do not oppose fairness in our society. Something even Key had to acknowledge.

        It is the politicians who are lagging behind, as usual.

        • KJT 33.1.1.1

          And. It is the Greens who are showing the leadership in reversing the neo-liberal memes.

          Labour is still so enmeshed in the memes, they adopted one as flagship policy last election, instead of explaining why it is part of the neo-liberal failed paradigm..

        • RedLogix 33.1.1.2

          I think what you have in mind KJT is ‘disaster capitalism’. Douglas only got away with what he did because in the last days of Muldoon’s government this country went bankrupt. (It was pretty much kept a secret, but quite a few people know.)

          In the aftermath of that, and a dramatic election Douglas was handed a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to break with the conventional wisdom.

          But for the most part governments are constrained within bounds of what is achievable at the time. It’s why for instance National was so coy about asset sales in 2008, but by 2011 they had set the agenda and could openly commit to them.

          • Crimson Nile 33.1.1.2.1

            Of course, the country wasn’t actually bankrupt. It may have virtually run out of foreign reserves (which is a related but quite different matter), but net government assets on the balance sheet were clearly positive.

            Insolvency is not equivalent to bankruptcy, in other words.

          • karol 33.1.1.2.2

            Excellent explanation, RL. And I agree the left parties need to be changing the paradigms now, not appeasing the mainstream as represented in the MSM.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 33.1.1.2.2.1

              One would hope then that the level of debt the current National Government is getting us into doesn’t result in a Labour Government saving us with new harsh reforms.

              Certainly there seems to be an unwillingness by Labour to increase taxation except for the very very few at the top.

              I see from their manifesto though they are offering me a further tax cut by making my first $5,000 tax free.

              Spose I can pay my mortgage off a bit quicker.

              • GeoffCartwright

                My concern too.
                Can’t sweeze the bottom or wide middle as its tight tight very tight in the burbs.
                So what can labour do to get billions of cash?
                Print it instead of borrowing it maybe?
                Alter the tax thresholds
                Tobin investment taxes. Too long the smart rich have rorted the system.
                Let the SOE loose to invest and expand.

                What else – hopefully Parker and poor cunliffe have the answers and the party is willing to implement them.
                Perhaps time for the party and it’s new to be created policy hub to set the direction and let’s get going now.
                Can’t wait for the pollies as they are blind.

    • JK 33.2

      You have obviously forgotten, Mike S, that the then Labour caucus promptly voted Douglas back in again. That led directly to Lange’s resignation. The majority of caucus of that time (which included Goff Mallard, King, and others) were pro-Rogernomics. As an activist for as much of the same time as you, Mike S, I have to say I can’t see very much difference at the moment between the 4th Labour govermment and the current caucus. I’m hoping to see some changes come Feb 2013, but like others posting on The Standard that’s just a “hope” – I’ll be very surprised indeed if positive changes come about. On which non-cheerful note, I hope you all have a happy Christmas Day with your whanau tomorrow.

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    Hot Topic | 29-08
  • Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids
    MEDIA RELEASE: 28th AUGUST 2014 “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids” It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too. It’s time to talk about Capital Gains Tax,...
    Closing the Gap | 29-08
  • Government to save $400 million by doing ice bucket challenge on behalf of ...
    Turkmenistan’s challenge to New Zealand comes just one week after Pope Francis apparently died attempting to avoid his own $100 donation. The National Government this afternoon announced plans to save New Zealand in excess of $400 million by performing an...
    The Civilian | 29-08
  • Green Election Policy Highly Sophisticated.
    As each new election policy is released by the Greens I am impressed by the depth of thinking, costing and multiple benefits that come with them. We have made a convincing impression this election that we are ready to govern...
    Local Bodies | 29-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #17: A Greater Auckland?
    17: A Greater Auckland? What if we felt like we lived in an Auckland that was greater than the sum of its parts? This is perhaps one of the reoccurring themes in my 100 days project. It reflects the public...
    Transport Blog | 29-08
  • Green Party companion leaders’ debate
    The Greens take an inclusive approach to being excluded. So when we were shut out of the TVNZ leaders’ debate (despite being New Zealand’s third largest party, and despite the two-handed Key-Cunliffe format feeling more like a throwback to First...
    frogblog | 29-08
  • Shouldn’t this farmer be prosecuted for bribery?
    The Waikato Regional Council, in reporting on the fine handed down to a polluting farmer, also has some disturbing news:During the course of the Waikato Regional Council inspections that led to the prosecution, Bilkar Singh, a director of B &...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • Whatever happened to liberty?
    Yesterday, the Independent Police Conduct Authority released a report finding that police routinely exceeded their powers in shutting down "out of control" parties, invading people's homes, assaulting people, using excessive force (in some cases causing significant injury), and shutting down...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • Viewers judge TV3 to be winner in TV One leaders’ debate
    Key says the poll shows that Labour is 4% worse than gouging your eyes out, while National is only 2% worse. A snap political poll taken after last night’s leader’s debate on TV One has revealed that most New Zealanders...
    The Civilian | 29-08
  • Kiwis care about inequality
    Inequality has emerged as the key issue in the election campaign:The gap between rich and poor is by far the biggest issue facing New Zealand three weeks before election day, a new poll has found. The Roy Morgan Research poll...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • Something to do on Saturday
    There will be a series of anti-government marches in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on Saturday:The Auckland rally starts at Aotea Square, Wellington at Te Papa marching to Parliament, Dunedin held at the Octagon and the Christchurch rally at Haley...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • Speaker: Rocking in the Public Good: Hager and Shihad
    Seldom has New Zealand seen such super-harmonies in the traditionally separate spheres of music  and investigative journalism. The release of New Zealand prog-rocker Nicky Hager’s latest album Dirty Politics coincided with the well known citizen journalist group Shihad’s book FVEY,...
    Public Address | 29-08
  • The cost of irrigation
    At the moment, the government is pushing irrigation and water storage as a way of increasing milk production and boosting the economy. Critics have argued that the result will be dirty, polluted rivers unfit for recreational use. And we've just...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • An empty void at the heart of the election
    Its election time. The blog should be humming. Its not. Why? Because there's not enough policy to comment on. Note that this is not a complaint about Dirty Politics. How power is exercised and the ethics displayed in doing so...
    No Right Turn | 29-08
  • Making money out of fanatics
    Click on image to enlarge This looks like a Xcd cartoon. I picked it up from a new Facebook page The Girl Against Fluoride Lies. Good to see more and more Facebook pages like this. Speaking of fluoride – the cartoon sort...
    Open Parachute | 29-08
  • Debate 1
    As you know, there was a debate last night, and the consensus appears to be that David Cunliffe won. (The strongest clue that National also thinks Cunliffe won is that Kiwiblog has seven posts up this morning to change the...
    Polity | 29-08
  • Britomart precinct quick wins
    It has now been three months since Janette Sadik-Khan visited Auckland and showed us how easy it was to create a more liveable city by making things better for people to walk and cycle around, and best of all we...
    Transport Blog | 29-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 29 August 2014
    The polls are coming thick and fast. There must be an election on… Yesterday, we had the release of the latest Herald Digipoll, while this morning it’s the Fairfax Ipsos poll. In the Digipoll, National are up 0.7% to 50.7%,...
    Occasionally erudite | 28-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 29
    Top of the AgendaUkraine Accuses Russia of Invasion...
    Pundit | 28-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Tramadol Rock
    I saw Samuel Flynn Scott a couple of times last year at the time he was suffering through a back injury in a haze of painkillers. It made for a fairly spaced out Phoenix Foundation show at the Powerstation --...
    Public Address | 28-08
  • Vale Brad Fletcher, MUNZ Lyttelton Branch President
    The Maritime Union is greatly saddened by the death of Maritime Union Lyttelton Branch President Brad Fletcher in a workplace accident on Thursday 28 August 2014. Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the death of Brad Fletcher, a full-time...
    MUNZ | 28-08
  • Matthew Hooton (Fanatical National Supporter) Says Key is “Dishonest”
    This morning on Radio Live, Matthew Hooton has said what John Key is saying about about not being told of the SIS Official Information Request release to Scumbag Adulterous Blogger Cameron Slater, is “unbelievable”....
    An average kiwi | 28-08
  • How most people get hacked
    Chris Trotter writes about hackers:  LISBETH SALANDER is the archetypal hacker: a damaged outsider; phenomenally clever; contemptuous of society’s rules; but possessed of an unflinching, if somewhat quirky, sense of right and wrong. Without Lisbeth, the journalist hero of Stieg Larsen’sThe...
    DimPost | 28-08
  • Rift in National Party – MPs Want Key Gone
    Rumours are rife that some National MPS are planning to oust John Key as leader after the election, while others say Key almost without a doubt will be resigning not long after the election. Key is apparently ‘fed up’ with...
    An average kiwi | 28-08
  • Quick post debate comment
    The general consensus seems to be that Cunliffe ‘won’ the debate although not overwhelmingly. Various pundits have wondered what happened to Key. Why wasn’t he funnier? Didn’t he prepare enough?  I think Key’s problem last night went a bit deeper...
    DimPost | 28-08
  • National Housing propaganda – McGehan Close Revisited
    .   . Housing has become a major, defining issue in New Zealand. We have critical shortages and escalating prices in  in the main centres and falling house values in the regions. The National government has addressed the supply &...
    Frankly Speaking | 28-08
  • National Housing propaganda – McGehan Close Revisited
    .   . Housing has become a major, defining issue in New Zealand. We have critical shortages and escalating prices in  in the main centres and falling house values in the regions. The National government has addressed the supply &...
    Frankly Speaking | 28-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Democracy and Cancer: A critical analysis of Dirty Politics
    Twenty years ago, England’s renowned television playwright Denis Potter died of pancreatic cancer.  Readers may recall his two masterpieces ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and ‘The Singing Detective’.  During a final television interview with Melvyn Bragg, Potter declared that he had named...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Cunliffe beats Key in First Leaders debate
    I watched the First Leaders debate at the Green Party #GreenRoomNZ, they were very kind to include me and the atmosphere was great. The debate was a resounding victory to Cunliffe. He won Round 1, Round 2, Round 3 and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • LIVE STREAM: The Green Room Leader’s Debate from 6:30pm
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators. ‘The Green Room’ 6pm – 8.30pm...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • How many taxpayer funded staff does John Key need to prepare for a Leaders ...
    John Key is currently at the Auckland Stamford Plaza with 40 staff, 4 undercover police cars and an entire floor booked out in preparation for tonights Leader’s debate. Isn’t 40 staff including coms, flown up to Auckland for a debate...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • A brief word on National Party Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell
    MP considers legal action against Nicky HagerThe National MP says he is considering taking a defamation case after the September 20 election.“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he said. Oh really champ? Brothers and sisters, there is a long way...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens advertise on Whaleoil – but not on The Daily Blog?
    PaknSave have shown ethical compass and blocked adverts on Whaleoil, yet the Greens are advertising on Whaleoil, and not The Daily Blog? I would imagine there are far more potential Green voters on The Daily Blog then ever are on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • It’s about the stupid economy stupid
    In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour Policy vs National Policy
    John Key’s favourite defence spin at the moment is people want to talk about policy and not hear answers on the ethics of trawling brothels, why Slater was given SIS information, blackmailing MPs into standing down, rigging candidate elections and hacking...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • The Green Room live streamed on TDB 6.30pm tonight for First Leaders debate
    The ‘Green Room’ will stream 6.pm tonight on The Daily Blog during the TV One leaders’ debate.Use #GreenRoomNZ to join in. The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Manukau East – the next Coalition in action
    A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of opening Voice Up – a youth forum run by young people in Otara. I had been asked as Chair of the Local Board to set the scene, encouraging young people...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Big Bang Theory
    It’s a shame that it took a brain injury for me to start seeing things with such startling clarity. The realisation that lawyering, fishing, parenting, selling cars and racing yachts had common themes was stunning. Not perhaps as stunning as...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how much Key aro...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • 5AA Australia – New Zealand’s Dirty Politics Aftermath and Polls
    MIL OSI – Source: Selwyn Manning – Analysis Headline: 5AA Australia – New Zealand’s Dirty Politics Aftermath and Polls 5AA Australia: On this week’s Across the Ditch bulletin on 5AA Australia, host Peter Godfery and Selwyn Manning discuss the aftermath...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • La’o Hamutuk calls for inquiry into Timor GAP ‘mismanagement’ of oil ...
    The Suai project on the South Coast … “liberated” land but confused communities.Photo: La’o Hamutuk David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. AN INDEPENDENT Timor-Leste development and social justice agency has called for an inquiry into the Timor GAP corporation...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • What Is Nicky Hager?
    WHAT WILL HISTORY MAKE of Nicky Hager? That slight, perpetually boyish, journalist who descends periodically, like the admonishing angel in a medieval mystery play, to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs....
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Can anyone in msm explain how after Dirty Politics that they all got played...
    Would you not think, that after reading Dirty Politics, that our mainstream media wouldn’t allow themselves to get tricked and played again by the VERY SAME discredited pundits? The best new feature on Radio NZ is their ‘Blog Watch’ and their...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Crusher Collins caught out lying about Privacy Commissioner – is this her...
    Crusher angry. Crusher smash own career. Crusher more angry. You would think that after getting outed as such a nasty, vicious piece of work in Dirty Politics, that Crusher would be scrambling to dial back the lies and manipulations. Apparently...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Cunliffe vs Key – first leaders debate
    This is your election ‘moderator’ – just one more reason an incoming Government need to sack everyone at TVNZ and reform it into an actual public broadcaster. The first leaders debate happens this Thursday, 7pm on TV One. I have...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – An Old and Honourable Profession
      When Dirty Politics started to reference an ex-prostitute I began to get antsy. My first response was “come on Nicky, we decriminalised in 2003. Its sex worker.” My second response was “Ah oh. Who was it and did they...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Bought and paid for: the dirty politics of climate denial
    Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receives from wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs,...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • If the msm read The Daily Blog, THIS wouldn’t be a surprise – explainin...
    Yawn. How embarrassing for Hamish Rutherford and Andrea Vance, their breathless article today suggests that the idea of Labour and NZ First cutting a  deal over the buy back of assets  is some how new news. Silly mainstream media  journalists. If...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??
    Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage. And I put out this media release for the Mana Movement: MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Hip hop death threats – the selective outrage of our media
    PM death threat in hip hop songAn Auckland hip-hop crew slammed for releasing a song with lyrics that apparently include a threat to kill Prime Minister John Key are urging young people to enrol to vote. Kill The PM, by...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes
    Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this!
    I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this weird spear tackle from behind by his own company. I was listening to this interview at the time, and the awkwardness of it must be the worst...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Is it weird Radio NZ ban me yet still have….
    Is it weird Radio NZ ban me for life because I criticised the Prime Minister yet still have Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and Jordan Williams, 3 of the main protagonists revealed in Dirty Politics as part of their ongoing political...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Christchurch GCSB meeting – why mass surveillance matters in 2014
    This is the video for last weeks GCSB meeting in Christchurch. Don’t forget Nicky Hager’s public meeting Wednesday night in Auckland, TDB will live stream the event in the interests of our democracy. Broadcast starts 7.30pm here on TDB....
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Assange, Greenwald to appear at Town Hall meeting? + KDC is not the hacker ...
    Wikileaks founder and the engineer of revealing some of the largest abuses of power in the modern era, Julian Assange, is rumoured to be appearing at the September 15th Town Hall meeting. Assange would join award winning investigative journalist Glen...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Why Paula Bennett will be the next leader and Hooton throws the Prime Minis...
    I don’t think the public have any idea of the behind the scenes meltdown now occurring within National. There are plenty of decent right wingers who all have ethical standards who have looked at what their leaders have been doing and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – That Awkward Feeling When Your Campaign Goe...
    Urgh. It’s a thankless and nearly impossible task politically firefighting some days. Somebody (who isn’t you, but who’s in your care, or whom you’ve got a close professional relationship with) does or says something stupid; somebody from the Media’s there...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Dirty politics goes viral
    Join the latest social networking craze this election that every Dog Cat and Jabba is putting on their facebook pages.     Joe Trinder – Ngāti Awa Born and born in Ōtepoti Ōtākou, Ex RNZN he is an Information Technology...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Blogwatch: An open letter to David Farrar: Please, be that guy
    Dear David, In light of  Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, you wrote a blog entitled ‘Some changes on Kiwiblog’ and you suggested it was time to tighten up ship on your website, saying “I want to improve trust in myself,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • What The Hell Was That! Reflections on the media’s coverage of the Intern...
    WHAT, EXACTLY, DO WE KNOW about the confrontation outside Internet-Mana’s campaign launch? Well, we know the news media was there in force. We also know Internet-Mana’s media person, Pam Corkery, blew her stack. We know that Corkery’s outburst led the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ 2014 Leaders Index – week ending 29 August
    Below is iSentia’s first weekly Leaders’ Index, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will produce these reports for the next three...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Judgment in Paki v Attorney General
    Tamaiti Cairns said that today’s Supreme Court decision is complicated, but, in essence opens the door for Maori people to go forward with their essential claims to water. Further work is required and Pouakani Trust will continue to pursue its...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Supreme Court Decision on Maori Water Rights
    “ … the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead. The Appellants had argued that the Crown’s ownership of the River was as a fiduciary for...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Leaders Dinner with Campbell Live, Dessert with RadioLIVE
    John Campbell is hosting Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Laila Harre, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Jamie Whyte and Te Ururoa Flavell LIVE from Auckland’s Grand Harbour Restaurant on Wednesday 3 September at 7pm....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Credit unions in the political spotlight
    Dirty politics was put aside last night as senior politicians outlined their universal support for growing the cooperatively owned credit union and mutual building society sector in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Maryan Street on issues of importance to older people
    Liam Butler interviews Hon Maryan Street MP on issues of importance to older New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General
    JOHN HANITA PAKI, TORIWAI ROTARANGI, TAUHOPA TE WANO HEPI, MATIU MAMAE PITIROI AND GEORGE MONGAMONGA RAWHITI v THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CROWN (“THE CROWN”) (SC 7/2010)...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Last Nights Leaders Debate Drives The #nzpol Wordcloud
    Following last nights leaders debate on TV One between John Key and David Cunliffe, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol from approximately the last 24 hours to produce this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Campaign suggests reason behind suicide gender statistics
    An online campaign about meaning and belonging has revealed an interesting connection with the difference in suicide rates between men and women....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Act Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data
    ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country. The figures show beyond...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids”
    It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Cannabis Laws Breach Treaty – ALCP
    Cannabis prohibition is neo-colonial oppression resulting in the disproportionate imprisonment of Maori, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • 2014 Variation Broadcasting Allocation Decision Released
    The Electoral Commission has released a variation decision on the amount of time and money allocated to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes for the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • New Zealand Shoppers- Demand Blue Tick Accredited Products
    Following ongoing concerns surrounding the issue of animal welfare in farming, particularly in the layer and broiler chicken sectors, the RNZSPCA is now asking consumers to purchase only eggs, pork, turkey and chicken that have been Accredited by the Blue...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Environment Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Environment Policy which recognises that New Zealand cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Candidate calls for an end to institutional racism
    29 AUGUST 2014 Tāmaki Makaurau candidate, Rangi McLean has spoken up in support of Irie Te Wehi-Takerei who was wrongfully accused of shoplifting at a Warehouse store in Manukau. "Over the last month, two different supermarkets have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Making tertiary education more accessible to Māori
    29 August 2014 The Māori Party launched its tertiary education policy today at Te Huinga Tauira o Te Mana Ākonga, the national hui for the Māori Teritary Students Association in Palmerston North. Te Tai Hauāuru candidate Chris McKenzie says the...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ Sign Language programmes receives $11 million boost
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with Education minister Hekia Parata’s announcement this week that $11 million in funding will go towards a range of New Zealand Sign Language initiatives, including First Signs – a programme that involves sign language...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Abortion violates the Human Rights of Fathers
    Fathers1Right to Life is concerned at the glaring imbalance that exists in law, in regard to the rights of men to defend the lives of the children they have fathered. Fatherhood commences at conception. Children in the womb, just like...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Hundreds to join march against male violence in Auckland CBD
    Hundreds of supporters are expected to join the 'Take Back the Night' march through central Auckland streets tomorrow night in solidarity with making the streets safe for women and the rainbow community to walk without fear of male violence....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Classic example of need for Conservative policy
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman, Garth McVicar believes the sentencing of killer Aaron McDonald is a classic example of why an overhaul of the parole and sentencing system is required.”...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Greens & Labour Politicising Bullying in Schools
    Family First NZ says that both the Greens and Labour are wanting to politicise and sexualise school children under the guise of bullying programmes rather than deal with the school bullying issue as it should be dealt with....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Wellington National Is Not Our Future Rally 30/8/14
    Thousands of people will march and rally at National is not our Future events on Saturday. Auckland is the main rally centre with supportive actions in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Hamilton. In Wellington, marchers will assemble at Te Papa...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • EPA grants marine consent for OMV exploration well
    The Environmental Protection Authority has granted a marine consent to OMV New Zealand Ltd for its Whio-1 exploration well in the Taranaki Basin....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • First anniversary of the horrific chemical attacks on Syria
    Members of the Syrian Community and friends are commemorating the first anniversary of the horrific chemical attacks on Syria, in Aotea Square on Saturday 30 August 2014, between 11-3 pm. The Assad regimes chemical attacks on al Ghouta were responsible...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Anniversary of the NZ Occupation of German Samoa
    Today, 29th August 2014, marks the 100 years centenary of the occupation of Samoa by New Zealand forces at the request of the British empire, ending the German rule of Samoa. It is also the starting point for the special...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Submissions sought on mosquito repellent
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a portable mosquito repellent for use outdoors. The repellent consists of a strip impregnated with metofluthrin, a substance from the pyrethroid family....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Spot the difference – the leaders debate
    I watched the Leaders' debate last night and was struck by the fact that John Key accepted all of David Cunliffe's basic assumptions. For example, he did not say that the government should not tell farmers who they could sell...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Colin Craig’s tax figures do not add up and are dishonest
    “Colin Craig’s tax plan is to have two rates of income tax: 0% up to $20,000 and 25% above that. This will leave a $6.4 billion hole in the budget even before the new spending proposed by the Conservatives. The...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Dirty Politics Impacts National Party Support
    Media Release – For Immediate Release Dirty Politics Impacts National Party Support Support for National has dropped by 4.3% to 50.8%, the latest stuff.co.nz / Ipsos political poll shows....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Labour’s environment policy welcomed
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird says that overall the Labour Party’s newly released environment policy would go a long way towards protecting New Zealand’s natural heritage....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • National: Not our Future Marches across New Zealand
    Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government's track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to oppose National's...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Tune in to tonight’s debate from 7pm
    The countdown is on! You can watch the first leader’s debate for 2014 tonight, 7pm, on TV One ....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Gamblefree Day 1 September
    It's Gamblefree Day this Monday 1 September, the national awareness day for problem gambling in New Zealand. While traditionally celebrated on the first day of September, many events and activities are held both before and after this day to raise...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Success through captioning should be a given as a Right
    Success through captioning should be a given as a Right per the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Alcohol Marketing Committee Questions Government’s Motives
    An Independent Expert Committee on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship (IECAAS) has been formed out of concern amongst alcohol and public health researchers about the government’s Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship (MFAAS)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • How Much Higher Can Auckland Prices Go?
    National's plan to liberalise the use of Kiwisaver funds and its proposal to raise ts cheap "Welcome Home" loan thresholds to help buyers purchase a new home has been welcomed by home building companies but attacked as a "welfare scheme...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • OPC submission period extended
    We have extended the submission period for the modified reassessment of a bee control affecting five organophosphate and carbamate insecticides (APP202142)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Vinay Deobhakta struck off roll of barristers and solicitors
    The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered former Tauranga lawyer Vinay Deobhakta to be struck off the roll of barristers and solicitors....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Major parties to front up for Climate Voter election debate
    New Zealand’s main political parties will take part in ‘The Great Climate Voter Debate’ on September 3....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Family violence… too big to be ignored
    As Annah Stretton gears up for her New Zealand Fashion Week show on Thursday she is utilizing her spotlight to help change the face of family violence in this country saying “the problem is far too big to ignore”....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Candidate’s SOS to northern Maori voters: Save our seats!
    (Extract from address by Rev Te Hira Paenga to Kura Hourua Maori Political Leaders hui, in Whangarei this evening)....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Mary O’Neill to Stand for the Alliance in Napier
    The Alliance Party has confirmed Mary O’Neill as the Alliance candidate in the Napier Electorate for the 2014 election....
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • TONIGHT [28/8/14]: The Great Political Comedy Debate
    It's a night for debating. You could stay home frowning at tonight's Leaders debate, or laugh it up with us at BATS!...
    Scoop politics | 28-08
  • Cunliffe against personal responsibility over billboards
    The accusation by David Cunliffe that the Conservative Party is subscribing to a surveillance society by protecting its billboards via the use of motion sensor cameras reveals an anti-personal responsibility position by the about-to-be-retired Leader...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Groundbreaking health and climate conference
    The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding its first conference on climate change and health at its headquarters in Geneva this week, with New Zealand health experts in attendance....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Te Tai Tokerau Party
    Last night at the Leadership Academy of Company A debate Clinton Dearlove announced the creation of a new political party supported by Whanau and Hapu....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Significant fallout from Dirty Politics allegations
    Dirty politics ... costing National up to 3.8% of its pre-publication support Large numbers of New Zealanders are aware of and talking about the issues raised as a result of the publication of Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, according to...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Colin Craig is “deluded and dangerous” – Act
    “Colin Craig is proposing a radical transformation of our constitution. The Conservatives are proposing to overthrow of one hundred and fifty odd years of parliamentary democracy and replace it with binding referenda” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
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