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Annoy Prosser and vote Muslim!

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 pm, March 4th, 2013 - 88 comments
Categories: humour, nz first - Tags: ,

After reading Queen of Thorns complaint about the limited gender options in the census, I was considering the census.

For me and almost everyone else I know (apart from my brother and a few others) we are devotedly irreligious. But every census they ask us that same old rather meaningless question…

Obviously voting Jedi didn’t work.

However perhaps we can give the finger to that dickhead bigot Richard Prosser – I suggest that we vote Muslim.

They can’t ignore that. It is a major religion. And you’ll have virtuously filled in a box with something other than “I don’t know and I really don’t care” – which isn’t there anyway.

And for the rest of the census, as antiquated as its questions often seem, answer it with truth and where the truth won’t serve with humour…

88 comments on “Annoy Prosser and vote Muslim!”

  1. karol 1

    where the truth won’t serve with humour

    There’s not enough space to insert humour – mostly tick boxes or short answers.

    • lprent 1.1

      Yeah. But as I was pointing out if they ask a stupid question, then give them a answer that indicates NZ is changing – if it is largely irrelevant like religion, give them a strange answer. Speaking of which, I’d better find the code to login with.

      • karol 1.1.1

        I actually don’t agree that a question about religion is irrelevant. I’m not religious, but it’s still very important to many people. I find it interesting that it’s an important part of many people’s lives.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          I always have. However I have a choice of “no religion” or having the word agnostic ignored.

          I hate being ignored. They won’t ignore “muslim” 😈

        • Tiresias 1.1.1.2

          OK, but what’s the relevance of the question – or the answer – to the New Zealand Government which is supposely secular and where religion is supposedly a matter of private conscience? What Government policies are affected by the numbers of the various religions or lack thereof in the Country?

          I’m a Pastafarian, as far as the Govt. are concerned.

  2. TheContrarian 2

    I hope you are being satirical.

    This is a dumb idea.

    • lprent 2.1

      On the contrary, I can’t think of a better use for answering that question. Tell me why you think it is a bad idea

      • TheContrarian 2.1.1

        Because it Is facile, stupid and childish to game the census in order to shame a no name MP who has little to no chance of being back in parliament next round. As well as the fact the question isn’t meaningless and the statistics garnered from this are used for serious purposes and are quoted frequently by everyone from Wikipedia to the CIA world fact book.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          The statistics garnered from it are meaningless to me. In fact, I’d have to ask how are they meaningful to any part of the government? This is meant to be a secular state right?

          Now tell me why they are meaningful to the government and why?

          Basically it is a dumbarse question left over from the start of last century when it was the basis of various kinds of bigotry. What I am suggesting is to make it a travestry as a way of getting rid of the question faster than traditional wisdom would normally allow.

          BTW: What in the hell relevance is the CIA handbook?

          • Colonial Weka 2.1.1.1.1

            “This is meant to be a secular state right?”

            Only in terms of government. Otherwise religion is a large and useful part of NZ society as a whole. Who’s been running foodbanks all these years?

            • Arfamo 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Good point. There are many good Christians with strong social consciences. And many not so good Christians with no social conscience. Judge them by their deeds I guess.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.2

              That is a good point. On the other hand try and find salvation army or city mission on the form…

              • Arfamo

                “Pretty much like non-religious groups then”. Yep :)

                Good point about no space for salvation army. Is city mission a christian sect or denomination? I think the whole religion section is aimed at identifying who claims affiliation with the biggest, or main christian churches. Dunno how useful it is for anything except maybe tracking the decline.

          • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.2

            “The statistics garnered from it are meaningless to me. In fact, I’d have to ask how are they meaningful to any part of the government? This is meant to be a secular state right?”

            Your facileness is matched only by your hubris, Prentice. indeed, forget whether or not you find it meaningful but do you think Prosser, a nobody, a one termer, is really going to be ‘shown’ by some people he hasn’t heard of, never will hear of and doesn’t actually care about because they voted Muslim on the census?

            “Basically it is a dumbarse question left over from the start of last century when it was the basis of various kinds of bigotry.”

            No it isn’t – this is your hubris again. Considering the fact we are having charter schools introduced and the architect of said schools, John Banks, is a creationist I think now is the most important time to make sure the government knows we are a secular nation that rejects religion in our schools, government and public affairs.

            • ropata 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Putting “atheist” / “no religion” on a census form won’t affect the secular nature of our democracy either, but it’s important to fill out the form accurately so the stats are useful.

              For example, census data is used to measure wealth distribution, something readers of this site are acutely aware of. No idea why they’d want to try and stuff it up!

  3. lprent 3

    Question 41.
    Take the bus or train tomorrow – support public transport.

  4. George D 4

    Meh. I think Prosser is marginal, and would rather get on with the business of getting every religion out of our lives.

    If I was home on census day I’d be putting Atheist for a third time.

    • lprent 4.1

      I suspect that if there was a large Muslim census, then we’d have religion out of our life a lot faster.

      Besides there is no atheist checkbox, and they as good as admitted with the Jedi stuff that they don’t count it anything written. If you don’t want “did not answer” as your vote, then I’d suggest you’d used the no religion box.

  5. lprent 5

    Question 46… ummm

  6. Visubversaviper 6

    There is a “no religion” option. That is the one for me.

  7. Arfamo 7

    The muslims might get a bit narked they don’t have the chance to specify which sect they belong to, like the Christians do. I’m just going to mark no religion.

  8. vto 8

    Lets annoy QoT and vote white, aged, blue rinse, north shore, male and female doesn’t matter, and definitely hetero.

    • lprent 8.1

      Damn thing is online now. Why don’t they ask some relevant questions that take more than 4 pages. Make 4 pages mandatory, and the rest optional but more relevant to the modern world.

      Do you ever use government services online?

      Do you have a listed landline? (mind you, that could seriously piss off the polling companies when the other data gets analysed against that).

      Do you mainly use a cellphone for voice or texting?

      Do you ever use use public transport?

      Do you have a car?

      What else?

    • QoT 8.2

      Jeez, vto, did I accidentally piss in your cornflakes or something?

      • vto 8.2.1

        Well yes I think you did. But don’t take it personally – I seriously struggle with much of the lefts take on matters of race and gender and equality. That is why it is a frequent subject of mine. I bash these things back and forwards because the views expressed on here are so often at quite the odds with so many other views. I keep trying to test the walls….

        (apologies for the attack over on that other thread. woops. its the anti gene again. must go about things better..).

        • QoT 8.2.1.1

          And yet you just kept doing it, vto. Maybe you could take some of this faux recalcitrance and figure out when to pay attention to what a moderator is telling you.

  9. lprent, i think you’re missing a rather important point here. just like the question about race/nationality, the question about religion helps to identify discrimination.

    so if the question is answered correctly, you could tie in income levels to religion, and see if any religious groups are disadvantaged. you could look at education levels etc. i haven’t filled out my form yet, so don’t know what all the questions are. but the same arguments that apply to those who whine about having to define their race/ethnicity, also apply to religion. because there is an aspect of privilege if you belong to the right religion(s) and an aspect of disadvantage if you don’t. there may also be an aspect of disadvantage if you don’t identify with any religion at all (i suspect that would be less in this country than it would be in many other countries around the world, including the US, but nonetheless important).

    there’s the additional aspect that certain religions are linked to race, and that some people will be visibly identifiable in terms of their religion while the vast majority aren’t. it’s much easier to discriminate against the latter, and particularly when they’re a person of colour as well.

    so i don’t think this particular post is helpful in the way you’ve framed it and i’m asking that people don’t lie in terms of identifying themselves as muslims if they aren’t. i appreciate the point that there aren’t suitable options for people who have no religious identification whatsoever, and it’s a totally valid point to make if you think the options are badly put. but you’re response is going to be more damaging than not – at least to the muslim community.

    • lprent 9.1

      Well I am still puzzled about what to answer. I don’t have “no religion” and they ignore whatever you write – like Jedi or agnostic or coptic or anything that isn’t a check box.

      • stargazer 9.1.1

        oh yes, i absolutely appreciate the problem. it’s a very valid concern & i’m sorry that i can’t offer you a better gimmick to highlight it to the census peeps…

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          I did spend quite a lot of time in my young adult life reading everything from the Koran to the book of the dead. Reading the old testament got me kicked out of Methodist Sunday school. Turns out they didn’t like my interpretation of Elijah.

          I determined that I was faithless and far too interested in logical inconsistencies and stirring to follow a actual religion..

      • Jim Nald 9.1.2

        I embrace the goodness in all religions including ‘no religion’ – should I tick all the boxes?

    • felixviper 9.2

      +1 stargazer

  10. infused 10

    Why not just answer the questions…

    • infused 10.1

      Like that retard that was on the news the other night, saying he won’t fill it in, got fined last time.

    • lprent 10.2

      The particular question I was highlighting has little significance to most people except at a general weak tribal level these days. I certainly don’t care. It doesn’t have a relevant answer. I could pick any of the available answers

      • Sufi Safari 10.2.1

        The particular question I was highlighting has little significance to most people except at a general weak tribal level these days.
        You just couldn’t be more wrong. Pacific communities are among the fastest growing demographics in the country and usually have religion as a cornerstone of their lives and their engagement with society and politics. Those same communities have been over-represented in lower socio-economic areas and households and they have been under-represented in higher education and high-income work. Understanding the evolution of those communities and their relationship to the rest of the population is really important for governments, and also for political parties. Those communities are a looming dilemma for socially liberal parties on the left. Accurate data doesn’t dull that, but it does provide useful insight into how things are tracking.

        I could pick any of the available answers
        Having already claimed to be faithless, unless you arbitrarily subscribe to the dogma of any of the listed religions, you’d have to be a bit of a dick to pick one of them when they’ve provided three options which would seem to fit your position better (“No Religion”, “Other” and “Object to answering”). Objecting to answer the question on the grounds that you have a problem with the structure of the question seems a perfectly reasonable outlet for your curmudgeonliness. But honestly, they’re pretty up-front about how broad a category “No Religion” is, and the semantic difference between atheists and agnostics while valid and important to individuals is pretty transparent from a policy making perspective, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to try and simplify the question to focus on the essential data that policy-makers need.

        And could you stop putting about that Stats NZ don’t count the other box. We know how many people called themselves Jedi (c.53,000), we know what percentage of the population that is (1.5%) and we know that our government statisticians have the ability to filter memes from their data. It seems to me that being pissed that they did that isn’t a good reason to advocate undermining the integrity of data collected this time around. It’s worth noting that whiel it’s not broken out, the Other column is included in all the quick tables from 2006, as is the total of people “not elsewhere included” (Jedi et al).

  11. felixviper 11

    Yeah this is just bloody silly. Observing the changing demographics in our society is something I would have thought was useful and interesting in many ways.

    • lprent 11.1

      But religion? I find that hard to see as major demographic….

      • Arfamo 11.1.1

        If they left the question out I reckon it’d pretty soon show up as major demographic.

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Yeah there is that. Measuring what people put in the text box like Jedi or agnostic or atheist or don’t care would help… In the case of the latter three, a checkbox could reduce their measurement error…

          • Arfamo 11.1.1.1.1

            Yeah I agree that it’s sloppily designed. They could have put more effort into identifying more particular denominations and subsets. But I’m an agnostic too and I don’t mind ticking no religion in the absence of a box for agno. I don’t think they’re interested in knowing how many are atheists and how many are agnostics. I think they just want to know how many belong to the major organised religious groups.

            The religion stats sheet from the 2006 census is pretty useless but I guess you can get detailed tables. I personally find it of interest to know what the non-religious/religious component of our society is, and how the religious component is changing. If you couldn’t get that data centrally from the census, where else could you get it from?

            I reckon it’s not a good idea to check yourself off as adhering to a religion you don’t though. Why screw the results?

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Longitudinal data is better to be sloppily designed but consistent, rather than any dramatic change in question format.

              Particularly when some mouths with fringe religious views like to claim significant support because they all get together in one place and protest.

              Prosser probably thinks he is a typical New Zealander. The Census helps demonstrate he isn’t.

      • felixviper 11.1.2

        “But religion? I find that hard to see as major demographic….”

        Too simplistic. Think about possible correlations between a particular religion and (for example) location, job type, income level or amount of children and you can see how it can become useful.

      • karol 11.1.3

        Lynn: But religion? I find that hard to see as major demographic….

        A little over half is not a major demographic? And the significant religious affiliation of Pacific peoples?

        Stats from the 2006 census:

        Christian religions
        In the 2006 Census, just over 2 million people, or 55.6 percent of those answering the religious affiliation question, affiliated with a Christian religion (including Māori Christian). This compares with the 2001 Census, when 60.6 percent of people affiliated with a Christian religion.

        Despite an overall decrease in people affiliating with Christian religions, some Christian denominations increased and some decreased.

        The five largest Christian denominations in 2001 remained the largest in 2006. There were increases in the number of people affiliating with Catholic and Methodist denominations, but decreases in the number of people affiliating with the Anglican denomination, the Presbyterian, Congregation and Reformed denomination, and with Christian not further defined (Christian, with no denomination stated)…

        There were, however, larger increases in affiliations with other Christian denominations between 2001 and 2006. The number of people affiliating with Orthodox Christian religions increased by 37.8 percent, affiliation with Evangelical, Born Again and Fundamentalist religions increased by 25.6 percent, and affiliation with Pentecostal religions increased by 17.8 percent.

        Just over 8 in 10 Pacific peoples (80.2 percent or 199,983 people) who answered the religious affiliation question identified with Christian religions.

        Of the people of Māori ethnicity who answered the religious affiliation question, 11.1 percent identified with a Māori Christian religion, such as Ratana and Ringatū.

        And census-derived stats are incorporated in the wikipedia page on religion in NZ, and includes the census Jedi “phenomenon”. It has a section on Religion in Politics:

        Religion has played and continues to play a ‘significant and sometimes controversial role’ in the politics of New Zealand.[32] Although most New Zealanders today consider politicians’ religious beliefs to be a private matter,[33] a large number of New Zealand Prime Ministers have been professing Christians, including Jenny Shipley, Jim Bolger, Geoffrey Palmer, David Lange, Robert Muldoon, Walter Nash, Keith Holyoake, and Michael Joseph Savage. However both the current Prime Minister John Key and his predecessor Helen Clark are agnostic.[34][35] The current Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is Roman Catholic and has acknowledged that religious groups should contribute to political discourse.[36] Sir Paul Reeves, Anglican Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980–85, was appointed Governor General from 1985–1990.

        Christian political parties have never gained significant support, and have often been characterised by controversy and public disgrace.

        As a social scientists I am interested in the relationship between people, groups, communities, religion and politics. The census provides some useful information, including on those antagonistic to institutionalised religions, as shown by Jedi and other responses on the census.

        I think is could be useful for discussion of proposed Charter schools to have statistics relating to culture, income, education and religious affiliation, and the changes in these over time.

        • karol 11.1.3.1

          Edit: I am only one social scientist, not the many.

        • lprent 11.1.3.2

          Apart from the Richard Prosser stir, I’m mostly questioning why this question is in the census at all. The underlying purpose of the census is to provide the basis for the allocation of resources for everything from laying out of electoral boundaries to the determination of regional economic anomalies.

          The space in 4 pages of the census is at a premium.

          There is no particular structural relationship between churches and the state. We don’t allocate monies based on religion except for the subsidies paid to private schools. Why are we bothering to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort to measure self-professed religious affiliations when it serves no meaningful role in the allocation of resources and effort by the state?

          What other more relevant questions that could have used that space got bumped to provide space for this rather useless question?

          For instance I remember a not that many censuses ago where there was a section about access to phones. There was a economic reason for that. Perhaps these days a question about access to the internet would be useful for determining where there significant economic holes.

          It is all very well satisfying peoples curiosity. But this is a hell of an expense to ask a poorly worded badly limited question.

          • Arfamo 11.1.3.2.1

            Has anyone ever asked them why they include a question on religion?

            • lprent 11.1.3.2.1.1

              I haven’t looked. However I suspect that you’d find that the stats department is required to from some arcane legislation originally promulgated when the census was first set up in NZ.

          • McFlock 11.1.3.2.2

            I thought they had both phone and internet questions in this census?

            • karol 11.1.3.2.2.1

              Yes, it’s on the Dwelling form qu 17, not the individual form. The cell phone option is a problematic one though. Mine goes where I go, but the question asks if its in the dwelling all or most of the time. I haven’t decided whether to mark that option yet.

              The wording of both the religion & communications questions could be improved, but I think a religious question still yields valuable information about NZ society – it may not directly inform government funding, but it does indirectly impact on state provisions.

            • RedBaronCv 11.1.3.2.2.2

              Turn off, disconnect all phones and internet while you are concentrating on ticking the boxes. Then answer “no” truthfully.
              BTW telephone numbers are legally personal property why are we required to hand personal property over to the government to use without charge.

  12. Arfamo 12

    The catholics showed a 4.7 % increase at the 2006 census. I think all the other denominations had declined. Be interesting to see the catholic numbers next time round. I was raised as one but these days I’m agnostic and I prefer not to mention my former religion at all any more. It just invites attack.

  13. alex 13

    This is a terrible idea, as if there is a large jump in census numbers of Muslims it will play into exactly the sort of bigotry Prosser espouses. A huge part of anti Muslim xenophobia is the idea that they will somehow demographically swamp Judeo Christian civilisation, if they have census numbers to back them up all of a sudden more idiots might buy into it.

  14. Te Reo Putake 14

    What if if no one at all ticked ‘muslim’? It might lift the Prosser paranoia level to Froth Con 1!

  15. felixviper 15

    Oh, the other thing is that this won’t annoy Prosser in the slightest, attention whore that he is.

  16. McFlock 16

    Ha.
    Ended up doing the “Jedi” thing, simply because it gets lumped in with “non-christian” anyway, and that’s the main thing.
    Might get up to 47 or even 50% this time!

    • Melb 16.1

      ” simply because it gets lumped in with “non-christian” anyway,”

      No, it doesn’t. Jedi, Pastafarian, X-man, etc answers get counted as “question understood, answer invalid” and are completely excluded from the data.

    • RedBaronCv 16.2

      Does your household have that religious artifact known as a “light saber”.

  17. the pigman 17

    What a bizarre post. Religion may have no place in your or my life, but by hijacking someone else’s you’re showing them profound disrespect.

    If anything, a sudden influx in Muslim identified population would only play into Prosser’s bigoted hand.

    I really think you have jumped the shark with this one…

  18. Beryl Streep 18

    Question 18: What is your religion?

    Can’t all us non-religious people just tick the first option ‘no religion’ instead of making up a religion or picking a religion to push. I believe New Zealand would be a more caring society if more people ticked ‘no religion’ if they aren’t really religious.

    http://www.humanist.org.nz/

    • lprent 18.1

      Actually I an irreligious, not non-religious (which is far more specific).

      Irreligion (adjective form: nonreligious or irreligious) is the absence of religion, an indifference towards religion, a rejection of religion, or hostility towards religion.[1] When characterized as the rejection of religious belief, it includes atheism and secular humanism. When characterized as hostility towards religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as indifference to religion, it includes apatheism. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may also include agnosticism, ignosticism, nontheism, religious skepticism and freethought. Irreligion may even include forms of theism depending on the religious context it is defined against, as in 18th century Europe where the epitome of irreligion was deism.[2]

      As you can see to simply dump everyone as non-religious is kind of broad brush. The question really is what is that question in the census for if it is so narrow and unrelated to anything that the state needs to know.

  19. Rupert 19

    Because I think telling the truth is important, I’ll be answering the question honestly.
    Because I think the truth is important, I have no religion.

    • kiwi_prometheus 19.1

      I ticked “No Religion”.

      What about asking about “philosophy”?

      Then I could tick “Humanist”.

      Why isn’t Humanism given a look in? After all the whole concept of a census is derived from a Humanist perspective isn’t it?

  20. Rogue Trooper 21

    speaking of denominations,
    -at the evangelical i support, we feed everybody
    -at the “methodist derived”; “feed the deserving”
    (it’s enough to drive a joker to drink), still, perseverance.

    Card up the sleeve;
    http://0.tqn.com/d/taoism/1/0/0/-/-/-/yinYang.gif

    • ropata 21.1

      Yep there’s a massive diversity of views in the Christian tradition. Liberal/socially aware churches tend to get less publicity than the Catholics and weirdos like Brian Tamaki. Meanwhile the Sallies and good people like yourself soldier on.

  21. RedBaronCv 22

    Perhaps we should have the “church of no asset sales” and that way the census could double as a referendum.

  22. bad12 23

    Lolz, besides all of us becoming Muslim we all should remember to ‘accidently’ tick the box for inclusion in the lowest income groups,

    The deciles for school funding are gained from the census and your local school would benefit by your inclusion in the lower income bracket…

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    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    21 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    21 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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