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Apocalypse Now

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, December 21st, 2012 - 56 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, disaster, film, sustainability - Tags:

Humans seem to have a paranoid fascination with our own demise.  Aside from the doomsday predictions like that for today, there’s numerous movies.  They show our fears and sometimes the realisation of the most destructive elements embodied by our species: social, environmental, behavioural, political.  Some of them are propaganda for some form of dictatorial political dominance.

Some of the causes come from out of space – though often these are a metaphor for the war within the planet: cold war (alien invasion movies for and against the cold war or McCarthyism), justifications for US imperialism (Independence Day).  Some are the result of human created viruses:  creating rampant rage, zombies, and other monstrous things.  Some are the results of human created machines or computers taking over (Terminator films).   And some are the result of climate change, with the world reaching a tipping point followed by a collapse of the natural world (The Day After Tomorrow).

Climate collapse as the result of climate change is more likely to be a long descent than sudden collapse of the eco-system.  But this is too political progressive for many, and involves preparing now by changing our lifestyles.  Too many apocalyptic moves put the blame on others: beyond individual, political or state control. In contrast, Bill’s post from yesterday gives some more realistic tips on how to adapt to and prepare for the impact of climate change.

One of my favourite apocalyptic movies is Children oi Men. There is a commentary by Zizek on the DVD, explaining the movie as portraying the collapse of capitalism.  In the movie human society collapses because women are no longer able to conceive children.  You need to adjust yourself to Zizek’s odd shlishing style of speech to watch the video where he explains the poltiical meanings in the background of the movie.

Naming today as the end of the world, is based on predictions related to the Mayan calender.   Some say it is going to be the end of the world, others that it is the beginning of a new era.  Apocalypse tourism is enabling tourists are flocking to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.  But in Guatemala, Mayans themselves are not panicking.  Al Jazeera has a video report providing a thumbnail sketch of the survivors of a once highly advanced civilisation: now living nearer to subsistence level, sensitive to their relationship with nature, and planning hopefully for the future.

Some peoples choices of best apocalypse movies: Stuff 25 best; shareranks top 20.

56 comments on “Apocalypse Now”

  1. just saying 1

    Thank you for this Karol (and for your post on poverty over there).
    I enjoyed the clip.
    Someone, a commenter on TS, said that it wasn’t until the great depression had been underway for some time, that most people gave up their denial about what was happening around them was actually happening. I think it is the same way now.

    My favourite tv show right now is the apocalyptic, ‘The Walking Dead’. Probably no coincidence.
    Anyone else watch?

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks, js.

      I have only watched an ep or 2 of Walking Dead. I’m not so great on horror, especially not schlock horror & zombie, though I can appreciate that such movies and are well done & significant. I did like the 28 Days/weeks later movies in spite of the grossness and one or two others.

      Walking Dead is probably better on many levels than Revolution. But, having been disappointed by the first 2 eps of Revolution, I picked up again on watching it when I found myfreeview had continued recording it. It’s gripping action, but politically very dodgy. I like the main premise of a world without electricity as the cause of the apocalypse. And I like that the women are as active and assertive as the male characters.

      Revolution is, however, too much of the glossy pretty people, and it is US imperialist propaganda: the resistance are people wanting the return of US governance, and their symbol is the US flag. Loss of electricity is caused by humans, by not because of resource depletion, and there is the hope that electricity use can be re–instated.

      Revolution is one of my guilty pleasures time-wasters.

      I did enjoy the UK programmeSurvivors, but it didn’t last long.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.2

      The comment about the depression being underway for some time was also evident during the dust bowl as well and the holding out because next year will be better.

      If you can get hold of or stream Ken Burns dust bowl documentary well worth a watch. I believe it was shown on arts channel recently if anyone has this.

  2. end o times viper shorts 2

    Walking Dead rules… wish Revolution had not be so crap in terms of apocalyptic vision and viewing

    and like Just Saying I’d like to say cheers for your insightful and thought provoking posts Karol

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Why do they never use bicycles? no need for petrol. And what’s with the roaring motorcycle attracting all the zombies. And have they never worked out a ship/boat is a great place to have a garden. A yacht marina, if deep enough, and the wharf removed/removal, would allow each person to have their own area and not be a threat to the group, each with their own vegies growing on the boat roof. Its just seems so boring, car oriented, any adapting to the new reality is forbidden.
      Even when they do come up with the sound making device, to trap zombies, they use the zombies for arena fighting, when they could just keep setting up these devices and traps for zombies to remove them entirely. Its just the same, fight or flight, with a lot of personal infighting, limited social adaption going on.

  3. Ennui in Requiem Mass for CV 3

    Down here in Purgatory we don’t much care for the concept of a mass influx of souls due to a Mayan prophesy. There is a spelling mistake in the translation, you earthlings have been sold a pup and you are staying aloft.

    As for the paranoid fascination with your demise, it all ends with a whimper and an inaudible death rattle. There is a bard up there in Heaven who put total perspective on it…Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    • Anne 3.1

      Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day….

      Yes, my favourite quote from the bard.

      it wasn’t until the great depression had been underway for some time, that most people gave up their denial about what was happening around them was actually happening. I think it is the same way now.

      Sadly very true. The other day I met an old acquaintance in the hairdressers and the conversation turned to talk-back radio. It turned out she is an avid follower of Leighton Smith on ZB Radio and it wasn’t long before she was passionately decrying the Climate Change believers. I dared to suggest Leighton Smith was a fake and that he quoted ideologically driven pseudo-scientists and he was a dangerous man. Probably not very diplomatic in the circumstances. Anyway the hairdresser prevented blood on the floor by swiftly changing the subject to something more benign.

      This is the third time in 12 months I’ve come across someone who has fallen for Smith’s maniacal crap about Climate Change. He appeals to the middle-class voter who has done reasonably well in life but is neither well informed or overly burdened with grey cells.

      • Napkins 3.1.1

        People always believe convenient lies. Find those who have the courage to accept the inconvenient truths ;)

  4. fisiani 4

    Sadly the world will not end today so David Cunliffe can still conspire to mount a coup in February

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      He may as well he was publically flogged for having a coup at conference which those of us who were present and support him didn’t know anything about. Though I have heard David sheare is actually the one who is bring about this democratic change in labour so maybe it was shearer who mounted a coup against himself.

    • Foreign waka 4.2

      He never had in the first place – this was just a chess move worthy of the roman senate.

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      fisiani – suggest you try to avoid emotive (prejudicial) language. How about “David Cunliffe can still plan to offer a challenge in February”?

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        @ Dr Terry,

        fisiani is one of our regular trolls. He drops these creepy sycophantic little turds and then runs.

        I’ve considered banning him as a waste of pixels many times. But then most of the regulars here have learnt not to take his obvious bait and for the most part he’s pretty harmless.

  5. ad 5

    Curious this post revels in narrating the end of the world, and on others today it’s all about the end of the world through climate change.

    Too often the Left broadly reaches for crisis as an end-times scenario. Because then only extreme measures will save us.

    Which makes the state necessary both as the instrument of force and to exproporiate the private into the public and common good.

    I don’t believe in the necessity of crisis, to enable the Left to force its way in.

    And we need to be better than catastrophist. because we will only have hope in anything if we know it can be made real.

    To be made real we need a measure of control, even if that is merely leverage.

    I think that is the essence of agency within a Labour politics.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Capitalism unchecked exploits. Now the argument for capitalism is that the cumulative effects of exploitation produce better outcomes than any other system. This however ignores the negative long term outcomes of capitalism, resource deplete, pollution, decline in quality of ecology, etc, etc.
      Is capitalism unchecked always to take us to the brink of some calamity? Or will the hero naysayers force checks upon capitalism, welfare to stop exploit of citizens, health cover to stop exploitation of disease people desperate for relief, taxation to stop exploitation of the weak by the economically strong. Will every ‘lefty’ have the correct right answer right off the bat? No. No, what we have is
      a pivot point, an inflection, where the denialists are desperate to cling on to their illusional reality and so invent the idea, that left progressives are always wrong, because they always want more stat control, and its always turned out bad. Sorry, but the insufferable left are here for a while, as people wake up the present over reach of crony capitalism.

      Oh, and no I’m not a lefty, I’m fed up with really stupid people who thing the right defends anything at all, rights, liberties, freedoms, economic efficiency. The right wing filled with zombies. Didn’t you get the metaphor of zombie movies, the billionarie grabbing his sacks of cash, getting in his limo as the last refuge of commercialism collapses in a zombie plague around him. Whose the zombie? The rich twit deluded about the nature of money without a soveign backer, or the zombies who destroy everything they despise?

      Take the walking dead, the governor gets two survivors to fight while four zombies try to bite them, in a ludicrous attempt to create the veneer of control over the plague, for the on lookers, while a sword wielding survivor meets up with a man gone mad with the reality of baby born into that hell, his anger at it for not being his, etc, etc.

      Nothing good comes from the Zombie plague, that’s you and your right wing delusions about the left.

      • ad 5.1.1

        It’s getting a bit late in the day for me today as i still have some shopping to do…

        But otherwise i would have a good old fashioned film argument with you.

        To me zombie films are generally only there to be enjoyed. The same attraction as popping pimples as a teenager.

        The only catastrophist film that has really stuck with me over the last year is Melancholia.
        The main lead actually has to rail firstly against a massive patriarchal order; weddings. And she does it in a wholesale trashing of every trope and liminal threshold she can get her hands on. barelay makes it through the vows. Shits on the golf course. Shags the houseboy. Smashes the plates. Stays asleep upstairs rather than do the speeches.

        Anyway without going through the entire list of every order sustaining humankind, she goes through all of them.

        It’s like Julia Kristeva, and Hardt and Negri, and Adorno and Horkheimer, all decided to write a script together.

        I don’t care whether it’s left or Right or anything else.

        If it takes the world apart and forcesyou to look at it afresh, and thrills you in the process wilfully and with skill, they’ve got me.

        And then it’s the end of the world. My kind of movie.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    just an idea… :)
    http://www.amazon.com/Living-Word-Resisting-World-Paternoster/dp/1842270532

    Thanks ad, I hope you have a” bon mot” Christmas yourself.

    -John

    • ad 6.1

      You could also turn to the original Apocalypse by Ellul, which sifted through Revelation.

      But for Christmas reading I’m reaching for Vargas-Llosa, salman, and as much magic realism as I can find in Wanaka.

  7. karol 7

    I don’t believe in the necessity of crisis, to enable the Left to force its way in.

    The motivation for this post was seeing the item on Al Jazeera, as in the vid linked to. It’s a topical issue, and led me to ponder on the cultural fascination with End Times. It seems to be something embedded strongly in contemporary culture.

    However, I think such scenarios have different meanings for people at either side of the left-right spectrum. Right-wingers are as fascinated by it as left-wingers.

    On the right such scenarios usually represent the threats to their conservative (especially US imperialist) ideal of their “civilisation” (see Independence Day and various cold war movies). Usually they face the threats and survive, reassuring themselves that all is right in the world.

    Some on the left, like Zizek in the vid in the post, see Children of Men as graphically depicting the collapse of capitalism – a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy. I guess it serves as a dramatic way to focus our minds on the issues.

    However, I agree, we don’t need End Time scenarios, to realise our political world needs to change direction, and to develop a plan for it.

    • ad 7.1

      Probably I’m just theorising my desires; I want to be bourgeoise-comfortable, so I don’t want scary and messy things I don’t have control of. I’m a bit less Zizek or Ellul, and a bit more Adorno and Habermas.

      • karol 7.1.1

        I think Adorno was right to point out the ways “popular” (ie films etc using new technologies of the early 20th century) culture can reinforce capitalism and divert the attention away from class-based inequalities. However, he also had some old European snobbery about popular culture forms, and saw classic forms as being more able to critique society and the economy, as well as motivating to action.

        I think that some films, TV, non-classical music, etc, can critique the world, and be a motivation to activism. I am a bit more Walter Benjamin than Adorno.

        • ad 7.1.1.1

          I can see that. Adorno’s old European snobbery was something like that of Clive James; he liked it complex and serious and high-minded. And of course part fo a mythical canon that he made up.

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.1.1

            If Clive James is such a snob, why does he also like Tony Curtis and Screwball Comedies?

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Can’t understand it myself.
              Have you had a look at his Amnesia? It’s got the elegant showiness of good ice skating. Definitely not petty in his summaries of his canon, but so clear that there is one.

              • Populuxe1

                I regard Cultural Amnesia as his masterpiece – but doesn’t everyone have a canon of personal taste? His is probably better than many – he got me reading in a lot of directions I might not previously have taken.

                • Ad

                  Yes, every home should have one. At least where one holidays. Clive – still hanging on – would be proud of his snobbery. A word to roll around the mouth not for braying ‘class’, but certainly for pronouncing ‘discernment’, ‘breadth’, likely for ‘entitled to a canon’, and probably for ‘deference to mastery of form’.

                  • Populuxe1

                    It’s hardly snobbery – he’s certainly not uncritical of the authors he likes. There’s nothing particularly elitist is his background, raised by a solo mother etc, and unlike John Key, he worked on his intellectual wealth over his physical wealth. I don’t have the faintest interest in sport, but only a total wanker would accuse those who do of snobbery.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    also, I enjoy cucumber (and cheese ) sandwiches just as much as they do at Downton Abbey;
    sandwich bread $1.48 and cucumbers, 98c ea. at Pak N Save.
    I tell you all what though…there sure are some cold-hearted, self-centred you know whose of what faith, about this Christmas. Ahhh, the paddock is broad yet the gate is narrow.

    -Shrek (where’s Flockie?)

  9. Ennui in Requiem Mass for CV 9

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, and then its Christmas, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Napkins 10

    Look at other screen hits e.g. Hunger Games, Battlestar Galactica. The tattered remnants of humanity trying to conduct society and civilisation after the apocalypse.
    Some people are waiting for collapse to be forced upon them by some external calamity eg. asteroid hit, zombie virus, killer cyborgs etc, so that they do not have to make hard, conscious, pro-active decisions themselves.
    The best advice I’ve read so far on the blogosphere for getting one’s own house in order: Collapse now and avoid the rush!

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1

      With the obsession this government has with women and reproduction I’d be thinking Handmaid’s Tale.

      • Populuxe1 10.1.1

        ???? Please explain that one – cite some examples. Perchance you are confusing the Nats with the American Republicans, who genuinely do have some scary attitudes to women and their bits.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1.1.1

          The changes to sole parent benefits, subsequent children policy, contraception push and the entire subtext around breeding for a business.

          You could achieve more sole parents into work without any of those changes simply by actually helping them find work and helping them through support and encouragement.

          The funding of parenting programs to religious fringe groups.

          None of those changes have a positive approach to women and reproduction.

          Next they’ll be looking to allow men to move all their assets into trusts – oops done that
          or making men pay less towards the cost of raising their children – yep they are thinking about that.

          • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1.1

            All relatively minor except for the revamp of the sole parent benefit – certainly not positive, but mostly not excessively scary stuff. The contraception was only ever optional, hardly enforced steralisation. And the assumption that only men can be deadbeat parents is a sexist one – women and whole families can just as equally take advantage of trust laws – some peopel abuse it, but then some people abuse welfare as well.

  11. Tim 11

    As a recent and intermittent interloper to TS….I figured this was a far less frustrating visit (online) than was listening to the very very very “agreeable” Jim Mora on RNZ. The guy agrees with everything and everyone whilst holding the right wing nice-man prejudice.

    Thanks all so far…..Karol for the post, and all others for the comments.
    You’ve saved me from an afternoon vomit.

    Where did people get the idea that RNZ National were a bunch of bleeding heart lefties? Nine-to-Noon with the delightful Rinni Roin and all her isssssssssyoos, a brief interlude of sanity, then everyman’s best friend, sage, rent-a-comment guests (all of whom Jim can agree with despite their diversity – unless of course they’re Bomber Bradley) on “Afternoons”.
    Thanks again people. It would have been more of a dry wretch than a vomit too.
    Such a nice man aye!
    Does anyone know if there are still some sort of media awards I could nominate Jim for? (Perhaps something like an OBE for services to broadcasting?)

    • Curran's Viper 11.1

      That’s OK, there’s always ‘Christmas with Noelle’ on RNZ .. which for a long long time seemed to me to be a play on ‘Xmas’. Save your eyes, enjoy ..

  12. TheContrarian 12

    “…Some say it is going to be the ned of the world”

    ned? Not the ned!

    Anyways, capitalism is not the problem. We are the problem. Every economic or societal problem we have transcends any system of governance we put in place. It is extremely naive to consider if we ditched capitalism everything would be fine.

    • karol 12.1

      ned? Not the ned!

      Heh! Thanks, TC. Fixed the typo. :)

    • Napkins 12.2

      “It is extremely naive to consider if we ditched capitalism everything would be fine.”

      Of course. What we do is ditch neoliberal forms of capitalism, and return to more localised, co-operative economies.

    • OneTrackViper 12.3

      But it worked for Russia, North Korea and Cuba. People are just desparate to move there.

      • Napkins 12.3.1

        Russia is capitalist. What is your problem with Russia.

        Cuba is socialist. With better employment, housing, education and healthcare stats than the USA. What is your problem with Cuba.

        North Korea. Well, its a great place if you are a rocket scientist, they like rocket scientists.

        • Populuxe1 12.3.1.1

          My problem with Cuba can be readily read on the website of Amnesty International among others. That’s what I fucking think of your Cuba.

          • RedLogix 12.3.1.1.1

            As can a whole bunch of other countries. A quick scan of their news page doesn’t seem to have Cuba as a stand-out country all on it’s own:

            http://www.amnesty.org.nz/category/story-type/international-news

            • Populuxe1 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Here, let me help you with that.

              http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cuba

              I’m ok with sausagefests about how great the Scandinavian countries are, because for th emost part they generally are. Cuba is still a dictatorship with a disgusting human rights record, so let’s not pretend otherwise.

            • RedLogix 12.3.1.1.1.2

              Snap:

              http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/usa

              Or a whole list of other countries; but none of which is especially relevant to point that Napkins was making.

              Indeed it’s pointed out somewhere in one of the later chapters of The Spirit Level that Cuba is the ONLY country of earth which has a GINI and development indexes which can be considered over the threshold for social stability … and at the same time has a carbon footprint considered below the threshold for environmental stability.

              That’s an interesting fact which can be quite reasonably considered alongside their human rights records. Indeed if we were to pre-qualify any observation about every nation on earth with the criterion you are applying here to Cuba, there would not be much we could say about a lot of other places either.

              • Populuxe1

                So? Who mentioned the USA? I certainly didn’t and few people would hold it up as a benchmark to aspire to. Aw it’s precious how some of the hard left can’t give up the precious sacred cow of Cuba. What is a little freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to elect one’s government when one can have sustainable GINI and development indexes (although what makes these two things exclusive eludes me). It’s also curious that in a book like The Spirit Level that argues that the more equal society is the more sustainable it is, would use Cuba as an example when the only people in Cuba with any real power are the Castros. And the figures throughout The Spirit Level are rubbery at best – so don’t hold your breath.

                • RedLogix

                  What is a little freedom of speech, assembly, and the right to elect one’s government when one can have sustainable GINI and development indexes (although what makes these two things exclusive eludes me).

                  Read what I said…. it’s not what you think I said. Nor have I for an instant defended Cuba’s human rights record; it’s certainly as bad as a whole lot of other countries.

                  It’s also curious that in a book like The Spirit Level that argues that the more equal society is the more sustainable it is,

                  Yes while it’s certainly true that in terms of political power Cuba is a very unequal society. But the case they made were in terms of income inequality and how the correlation was remarkably consistent across numerous countries independently of their political system.

                  And no I’m not overly precious about Cuba. In all the years I’ve been commenting here I think this is the first or maybe second time I’ve ever mentioned it.

      • Foreign waka 12.3.2

        Russia is an oligarchy, similar concept that is practiced in the West. Difference between the two: Experience that really nothing changes – just the players. The West beliefs Hollywood stories.

  13. Colonial Weka 13

    I happened to see a copy of the ODT today, and the front page had a headline with the acronym teotwawki. The article itself was idiotic (they seem to have missed that the world really is ending, just not today). Still, nice to see the acronym pasted into mainstream consciousness.

    The ODT also had an article and picture on the the proposed 18 storey waterfront hotel. I’m not sure how many stories the highest Dunedin building has, but this is much bigger and is in an incredibly obvious place. Eyesore is the word that comes to mind, but it was also hard not to see it as the welcoming beacon for teotwawki tsunami that will eventually charge up the Otago harbour. Would make a nice movie.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/240079/waterfront-hotel-how-big-would-it-be

  14. Viper73 14

    Walking dead and Y the Last man, The Road, Mad Max, Doomsday preppers, World War Z…its all good

  15. RedLogix 15

    Only one contender for me: Dark City

    I still haven’t a clue what it meant, but the cast is a collection of my favourites and the aesthetics unique.

  16. lenore 16

    I found Torchwood interesting whereby when the British Govt was deciding what children (became known as units) they would sacrifice to the aliens, someone said “it’s easy, what are league tables for?” – so got the low socio economic schools. Lots of uses for league tables obviously!

  17. Populuxe1 17

    The assumption that most people are ignorant of some of the subtexts is incredibly patronising and naive. A smattering for critical discourse entered the popular discourse thirty years ago and the last two or three generations of viewers are incredibly savvy to it. The trope that anything populist or entertaining has to be bad is just out and out snobbery, and Zizek is a hypocritical arseclown.

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  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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