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At conference, vote for a members’ democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 13th, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Next weekend, the Labour Party has the opportunity to become a truly progressive social democratic party. One that values and wants member input into one of its most crucial decisions: the selection of the leader.

For the past year, the Labour Party has been engaged in an organisational review that has drawn its momentum from the enthusiasm and interest shown by party activists in the leadership contest following the last election. The culmination of the organisation review is a number of remits to amend the Party constitution that have the potential to increase the voice and involvement of activists and members in the Party. The Party has consulted with members throughout the organisation review and at each stage of the process members have clearly identified that input into the selection of the leader is significant to them.

So where are things at? There appears to be consensus around the Party’s proposal for an electoral college of: caucus (40%), members (40%), and affiliates (20%). This is positive and reflects the importance of members. In any leadership contest, members’ votes will now have the same weighting as caucus. However, as always, the devil is in the detail.

In order for members to have a say, there has to be a leadership contest. This makes the ‘trigger’ for a leadership contest crucial. If the ‘trigger’ is too high, caucus ultimately decides and members are excluded, so if the Party is serious about member involvement and input the threshold for the trigger will be reasonably low. There are two parts to Party’s proposal:

an endorsement 3 months after a general election; and
a ‘trigger’ outside of the endorsement process.

It is difficult to deal with these two issues separately, but in theory the threshold for both should be the same.

Originally, the Party proposed a 50% plus 1 trigger for the endorsement after a general election and a signed petition by two-thirds of the caucus for a leadership election outside of the endorsement. A two-thirds ‘trigger’ is ridiculously high. It would give a small minority of the caucus the ability to prop up an unpopular leader who had lost of the confidence of the majority of his parliamentary colleagues or members. This seems to be the feedback the Party has received as well and largely reflects the amendments to conference put forward by members. So with two-thirds pretty much a gone. What options are there for delegates to conference to choose from?

The Party has now proposed the trigger outside the endorsement process be 55%. I’m not sure where this number has come from, it seems a bit random, but I suspect it is about placating parts of the caucus that are worried about having too much member involvement. There is also an amendment to make it 50% plus 1. But this still leaves the selection of the leader primarily in hands of caucus and will encourage factionalism.

I’ve heard rumours that there might be an amendment to make the ‘trigger’ 40% of caucus. This is intriguing. It would mean that the leader would need to maintain the support of a clear majority of their parliamentary colleagues promoting stability and would also align with the members proportion of the electoral college votes. It is also worth bearing in mind that the British Labour Party only requires 20% of their parliamentary caucus to sign a petition to call a leadership election so the talk about 50% seems strange given the proposed model is largely modeled on Britain. My advice to delegates would be go with the lowest threshold possible to ensure that members will always be an integral part of selecting the leader.

No less important is the threshold for the endorsement following a general election. The current proposal is 50% plus 1 for endorsement. This seems to run a little counter to the intent of the organisational review. It centres the process on caucus and a low threshold for caucus endorsement will result in reduced member involvement. This is probably what is behind one of the amendments to require 60% support of caucus to endorse the leader. This would align with the members’ share of electoral college vote and would require a clear majority of support for the leader in caucus to avoid member involvement in selecting the leader. I’d support this amendment.

This conference provides members with a unique opportunity to solidify their involvement in the process for selecting the leader. Once this is done, there is not likely to be another chance to change the rules for some time. I’d encourage delegates to conference to keep this in mind when they come to cast their votes and as issues emerge on the floor of conference. No doubt, there is lots of maneuvering going on behind the scenes at the minute. The Party hierarchy shouldn’t be afraid of proper input members. After all, members are the foot-soldiers the drive the cause. Just remember, that in order for the leader to be successful they need to have the support of members. Let’s make sure the process truly reflects the importance of our place in the party.

53 comments on “At conference, vote for a members’ democracy”

  1. And this is why all parties should be run by the members, with each member of caucus and each person involved with an affiliate also being… a member.

    The ability of Caucus and its affiliates to override members is exactly how Labour gets bad leaders, bad policy, and is the quickest way for the party to get out of touch.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      Elitism: Rule by a select group of people whose (supposedly) extraordinary skills, abilities, and wisdom render them especially fit to govern. (I.e., the parliamentary caucus.)

      Democracy: Rule by the people.

      We have never had a revolution which overthrew the government. Elitism reigns in all spheres of our lives: economy, labor relations, schools, government.

      What supporters of elitism ignore is:

      1. Elites are self-serving.
      2. Elitism produces apathy.

      The proposed remits are only a first step towards increased member participation. Will the next Labour government pursue the agenda of its parliamentary leaders or an agenda prioritized by the majority of ALL the people?

      Politics is local. People want safe neighborhoods, clean streets, functioning schools and hospitals . . . . . mundane things. Most people do NOT want dramatic changes from government. On the other hand, people who struggle to rise to political power want to re-design the world into their concept of utopia.

      Therein lies the rub. The majority want the present systems to function smoothly. MP’s want to tear the systems apart and re-make them into their concept of the ideal.

      Pure democracy is inherently conservative. Elitism is radical.

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        Nice comment, worthy of its own post for open debate.

      • r0b 1.1.2

        AmaKiwi – mind if I put it up as a guest post?

      • Elites are most certainly not radical, in the true sense of believing in reforming social and economic systems is a good idea. They are extreme, (in their reinforcement of existing power systems) which is a fundamentally different thing. You can only be a (small-c) conservative radical in any sense if you want to turn back the clock and go back to previous policies, and even that is arguable.

        I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, (especially that the delusion of utopia if only we could implement all our radical reforms is a huge problem in politics) but I think the specifics are striking the wrong chord with me. People don’t mind large change, IF they can be reassured it won’t disturb their everyday life. People don’t mind large change when they find it beneficial, necessary, or it disproportionately benefits them. The important lesson to this is politics requires pragmatism of one flavour or another. For radicals who aren’t extremists, that means advancing your agenda policy-by-policy when you can sell the concrete benefits to the electorate and build a coalition around them. The Green Party is a very good example of pragmatic reform-minded radicalism in New Zealand politics.

        None of those difficulties to systematic change necessarily implies conservatism, they simply make it easier. That we have been progressing slowly but steadily away from conservative social and economic values despite the uphill slope this implies says something about just how bad these values really are, especially in a relatively skeptical and swing-voting electorate like New Zealand, even if sometimes conservative or even right-wing policies can sneak through the cracks, even under nominally left-wing governments.

  2. KhandallaMan 2

    +1 Guest.

    The membership has a once in a generation opportunity to put its mark on how the party is shaped and how it governs itself.  

    The membership must grab this opportunity to amend, speak and vote for resolutions that give the membership power.  

    The leadership will genuinely point out administrative/stability/various reasons why high trigger points, small powerful sub-committees are the way to run the party effectively.  Yes, effectively in the eyes of people who have spent their lives working in the rarified atmosphere of the Beehive and Fraser House. 

    When looking at any proposed rule ask your self: does this help the membership have a stronger voice; or does it allow a small senior group to do their stuff with less accountability?

    Have a “great” weekend.  

  3. Cayte Shepherd 3

    More points for consideration::

    1. The membership votes in the candidates
    2. The general election determines who will be in the house of representatives
    3. The Leader is the Leader of the Parliamentarty wing of the party, who was voted there by the membership and the public.
    4. The Leader of The Party is the President, voted there by the membership.
    5. Caucus votes for the Leader of the parliamentary wing, he/she is the Leader of the Parlaimentary wing and not the party membership.
    6. All roles have been voted for by both the membership and in the case of candidates by the general public as well
    7. Those voted into the house of representatives have a duty to determine who is best to run that aspect of the party, that is who they think is best to lead the parliamentary representation as these are the people who work directly with the Leader of the parliamentary arm.
    8. At the branch or LEC all positions of responsiblity have been voted for by the membership.
    9. What a tier of voting to determine the best to be the representaives and hold positions of responsiblity!

  4. alex 4

    If the Labour caucus screws this up there will be a huge exodus of members towards other parties, most likely the Greens who are much more internally democratic, but also potentially to Mana and NZ1st. That has got to worry even the most self-serving of MPs, that they will have nobody to hammer their signs into the ground in 2014.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.1

      Jacinda Ardern didn’t seem to care what her electorate committee’s thoughts were about the previous leadership battle even after they had done all the work in her electorate and from what I remember, wanted her to vote for David Cunliffe. She ignored them!!! If the Caucus display the same arrogant and selfish behaviour in the future I think the members of the party might be ignoring her and her ilk and leaving. My cousin and her husband are dyed-in-the-wool labour party members, leaflet deliverers, stall holders, electorate helpers and have been for decades. When I saw them recently they stated that if David Cunliffe is not elected leader soon, that they are thinking of voting for the Greens. I was shocked!! If THEY are feeling this way, you can bet your bottom dollar that many many more party members are too! I am not a member of the Labour Party, but I have voted for them in every election since I turned 18 – over 30 years . But I won’t be voting for them if Shearer is leader. He’s shown his contempt for sickness beneficiaries and others, and no doubt he would call them underclass like the Nacts. He’s so busy trying to woo back a few swinging voters from the Nacts and doesn’t seem to think that it might be a good idea to encourage the 800,000 people who didn’t vote last time, to actually vote and vote Labour this time. He can’t convince anyone to vote for Labour because he doesn’t seem to have much in the way of convictions, or if he does, he doesn’t articulate them well at all. I get the feeling he doesn’t think anyone’s poor unless they’re scrambling to pick up mango skins to eat!! What do others think?

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    @ Cayte Shepherd

    b.s. Cayte, you are all about WHO is given power to rule over us, NOT about what decisions they make.

    Asset sales are stupid whether they are proposed by Key or Shearer; Banks or Norman.

    I don’t give a damn which political leader makes the decision, I care about WHAT they decide.

    If you think you know what these leaders really intend to do, you are dreaming. Politicians only rise to the top if they CONCEAL their true intentions from us.

    Personalities will disappoint you every time. Examples: Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble.

  6. Bill 6

    Okay, it looks like a ‘dogs dinner’ as far as structures go, but…

    On the 40/40/20 split, it would appear that the affiliates become ‘king makers’. Whoever has the affiliates ‘on board’ wins. And since access to and potential influence over them is easier for caucus…(a two way process, I know, but the members marginalised regardless)

    Meanwhile, I’d have thought (simple me) that the obvious scenario would involve the caucus chosing ‘their’ leader and that leader needing a simple majority of the members to endorse him or her in the first instance.

    And once endorsed, a low trigger among members to faccilitate any necessary discussion, debate and input… a ‘taking things on board’ or into account mechanism… but with a high bar for actual removal as being the way to go.

    Y’know, it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to develop a structure whereby the larger the %age the call for change is within the membership, the lower the necessary %age for change would be within caucus…a kind of sliding scale of balance.

    And why not roll the affiliates into the membership and have each affiliate given one vote. They’d still have far more day to day and behind the scenes influence on caucus than members, but their power (and so, potentially the power of caucus) would be lessened in relation to members when any matters came down to voting.

    • Ironically, even if you move to a vote where affiliates and caucus members only have their one vote, they still wield a lot of power in the party because they still form and influence a lot of the party’s opinions on issues. They just can’t completely run roughshod over the members whenever they like any more and have to consider the opinions of their base.

  7. prism 7

    I am critical of the coverage that this morning’s Radionz Morning Report gave to this discussion and analysis of Shearer’s performance. In the constant lead ups to the item there was reference to a ‘whispering campaign’ by bloggers and some media commentators. There were other negative remarks by a political reporter.

    To my mind a whispering campaign is a malicious behind-their-back white-anting of a person. The discussion on Shearer has been very public, no whispering at all. And there seems to be the idea that people should not have too much to say about the choice of Labour leader, that the Party should decide.

    This is about a Party that is the major one to prevent the destruction of our New Zealand. Which would become a floating protean entity that anyone with money could own, like some of the islands off the UK. And we people would become a new type of serf. So we all have an interest in getting an intelligent, informed, principled, business and environment oriented, person with strong and subtle media skills and a desire to communicate the Labour vision for the future.

    • lprent 7.1

      Yeah, I’d call it being rather public.

    • Dr Terry 7.2

      Note headline in today’s Herald (13/11/12), “Shearer brushes off critics”. He is reported as as follows:
      “Labour leader David Shearer is brushing off a crescendo of calls for him to step down by left-leaning bloggers and and commentators . . . saying it is ‘nonsense’ and should be ignored”. This is, in my opinion, an offensive and dismissive remark to the many who have offered reasoned comment through the Standard.

      Is everything going to depend upon a solitary speech (with aid of speech writers) at a solitary Conference? (Naturally, and as to be expected, his front bench colleagues mutter words of loyalty). I have yet to be convinced by Shearer, or convinced about the quality of Labour’s leadership team.

      Columnist John Armstrong remarks “that the postings’ pessimism . . . sounds less like panic and more like reasoned and considered discourse between party members” (and, may I add, some who are not party members). Sometimes, Armstrong has a way of putting his finger correctly upon an issue.

      • bbfloyd 7.2.1

        It doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet just how well this particular “debate” has played into the merry pranksters hands…..

        While we fall about, arguing the merits, or not, of a leadership change, the raiding party are making hay with the last of our sovreignty…..

        Whether David shearer is ready to lead the fightback on behalf of what’s left to fight for, is a discussion that needs to happen….

        But why, oh why, is it necessary to feed the barking dogs of the tories with enough guff to make it entirely possible for them to completely cover what is ACTUALLY being done to what is left of this potentially great place to live?

        Well done guys’ n’ girls… sucked in beautifully!

        • I can’t speak for anyone else, but this kind of “sucked in” situation actually was the first thing on my mind.

          I concluded that Shearer is so:
          1) incompetent.
          2) headed in the wrong direction by the wrong approach. (ie. triangulating instead of laying out firm principles, even if those principles are more centrist than the base would like, they’re still better than nothing)
          that it was worth it either way.

          Honestly, the leadership has been doing so little to gain attention that I’m tempted to say there could even be an element of “there is no such thing as bad publicity” to the attempt of inane pundits to try and spin our calls for a resignation as rumours, whispering campaigns, or some sort of leadership challenge. Any time you need to call on a party leader to resign with our current media environment, it gets covered in the same stupid horse-race style.

          This isn’t about drama, it’s about the fact that the man could hardly lead his way out of a paper bag, and has used up all his chances to do so. If Labour had been in competent hands, it would already be winning the polls with the opportunities they’ve been handed by the government.

          • PlanetOrphan 7.2.1.1.1

            U underestimate “Voters” grumpy hearts, it hurts to tell people u were an idiot, they’ll stay with silence for a while yet bud.

        • PlanetOrphan 7.2.1.2

          Well said bbfloyd (-:

  8. Great post, thanks.
    It seems to me that a members’ democracy is the only thing that could save the Party from caucus.
    The other option is another trip down ideological hijack lane, back to the awful 80s.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yep. A Labour Members Democracy.

      The concept of caucus needing a dominant say in who the Leader is “because they have to work with them” is poorly founded IMO.

      The MPs are professionals on over $140K pa.

      IMO their job is to work with whomever their MEMBERSHIP CONSTITUENCY decides is best in the role and is best for the country as PM. It is up to the Leadership candidates and caucus to present the case for who is best to the membership, so that the membership can make an informed decision.

      And this is a core issue at the moment. Caucus do not want to have to go to the wider membership to make the case for who the best Leadership team is, and to listen to our feedback. A large element within that group of MPs still think it should be completely up to themselves.

  9. Cayte Shepherd 9

    Responding to Ama Kiwi.

    It is indeed sad that you have had to interprete my post. Which did not need an interpreter!

    I was outlining how the process is at present. It was neutral.

    On Asset Sales is David Shearer proposing to sell our Assets? I think not. Many New Zealanders have been out gathering signatures for months for the citizens initiated referendum on Assets Sales, including David Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Cunliff, David Parker, Annette King, Clayton Cosgrove, Russel Norman, Matiria Turei etc, atc and so forth and myself.

    I see no hint of D.S. backing the sale of our assets. Have you meet him and has he said such to you? I indeed have meet with DS and spoken at length about the strategic importance of rail in New Zealand. He certainly does not back the rail for sale or mothballing and nor does the party. It was the Labour-Progressive Coalition who bought back our rail and renamed it Kiwi Rail to line up with Kiwi Bank and Kiwi Saver and the Cullen Fund!

    Often times actions speak louder then words.

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Responding to Cayte Shepherd

      “What a tier of voting to determine the best to be the representaives and hold positions of responsiblity!”

      I interpreted that to mean you approve of the hierarchical framework for decision making.

      I return to my central position: I do NOT trust representatives to make decisions reflecting the will of the majority of the people. Only a referendum can guarantee that. Labour leaders CONCEAL their views about binding referendums. But every one I have asked abhors them.

      It’s about protecting their patch, THEIR power to decide for us. They do not want us to decide for ourselves. Their inaction on binding referendums speaks volumes.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      I see no hint of D.S. backing the sale of our assets. Have you meet him and has he said such to you? I indeed have meet with DS and spoken at length about the strategic importance of rail in New Zealand.

      How about repurchase or nationalisation of any assets sold.

      • Rodel 9.2.1

        CV yes! Re-purchasing assets and stating that ACT’s idiot charter schools will be closed would bring me back to Labour.

      • Aussie hisss 9.2.2

        “How about repurchase or nationalisation of any assets sold.”

        Can I be on your planet, where we have a bottomless pit of money. And we just overtax everyone so we can buy assets back!  Fuck off, when Labour get back in, the last thing they should be doing is buying everything back, they are going to have to focus on jobs first and getting this country out of debt.  You are such a tit!

  10. Cayte Shepherd 10

    Responding to Colonial Viper.

    The Labour Party has a strong history of repurchase and nationalisation of assets. It started with Michael Joseph Savage.

    Yes madness was a foot with Prebble Douglas etc. They became The Act! And lessons deeply learnt form that mischief.

    Through the Labour-Progessive years we saw repurcahse of Air NZ, the rail, build and repair of state houses, roads, schools, creation of a bank, savings schemes etc.

    It has been firmly acknowledged that selling of stategic assets and non strategic assets was a folly, it has been heralded that it will not be repeated by a coalition of the progressive.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Labour’s renationalisation in the 2000’s was largely due to intense pressure from its coalition allies, most notably the Alliance but also the Greens.
             
      Left to their own devices Labour would not have been half as progressive as the were, and now their defenders give Labour the credit for policies that it fought at the time.
             
      This is why I’d actually be happy for a left government where Labour only got 35-40% of the vote. The Labour Party of Savage and Lee has been dead for thirty-odd years. 

    • Flossie 10.2

      “Yes madness was a foot with Prebble Douglas etc. They became The Act! And lessons deeply learnt form that mischief.”

      If that is the case Cayte, I suggest you watch Shane Jones very carefully. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  11. Rich 11

    It doesn’t seem to a problem for the Greens to have the membership elect leaders (and rank the list). Why can’t Labour follow suit – it might help them stop haemorrhaging activists to the more democratic party?

  12. KhandallaMan 12

    Do all MPs have to attend the Annaul Conference?

    What are the circumstances under which an MP may miss the important Saturday session. 

    If an MP asked to be excused, in order to attend a social event, would that be seen as a snub to the membership that has prepared hard for the Review Remit session? 

    • Rich 12.1

      Rather than the passive aggression, why not write: “MP X is a dick because they’re dipping out of the review remit session in order to attend a rugby game / sisters wedding / S&M party in the Wairarapa”. Say what you mean, eh.

  13. ak 13

    Top post Guesty. Ae, go for it delegates, 20% max or bust. Aligns with the very deepest, seething essentials of Labour ethos and sets a base to eliminate the perennial and fatal infighting and intrigue that is the cancer of the Left.

    Remind them of the alternative examples: the Alliance and the mainstream churches. The tragedy of the ages: the purest and most glittering motives and promise, bludgeoned to a pulp by something as mundane as structure.

  14. Pete Fraser 14

    I actually don’t understand at all how giving a minority of caucus the ability to roll the leader elected by the membership is at all protecting the membership’s say.

    This is transparently an effort to make it easier for Cunliffe to force a spill before the next election, part of the same campaign as the sudden burst of anti-Shearer rants. And to be honest, I think it’s self-serving, anti-democratic, careerist bullshit.

    • peterlepaysan 14.1

      You mean caucus does not indulge in “self-serving anti-democratic, careerist bullshit” already?
      Yeah right!

      It is the membership, not bloody caucus that should be driving policy and thus leadership, not a bunch self serving wankers (eating fish and chips is now optional).

  15. infused 15

    You guys must be pissed about what all of them said about this blog. Basically don’t give a shit. hah.

  16. Jimmie 16

    What good have the union affiliates ever done for Labour?

    Aren’t they more about pushing their own self interests?

    Why can’t the leadership be split evenly between the members & caucus?

    Why can’t the members have the opportunity to have a recall vote on a leader? (Say a petition of 15-20% of members)

    Otherwise the members will be shown lip service while caucus and the unions do their dodgy deals.

    Imagine the brouhaha if the Nats gave the business round table a 20% block vote on who their leader should be?

  17. millsy 17

    To be honest, I am not very optimtistic about Labour’s conference in the weekend. The rogernomes still lurk in the background, pushing the Third Way policy settings. Labour’s national super policy attests to that.

    They will die in a ditch to keep Labour wedded to the neo-liberal consensus, in the hope of capturing the fabled ‘centre ground’. Even alternative policies that will be seen as viable by those they call the ‘mainstream’ will not even have a look in.

    • kiwicommie 17.1

      I am curious to see if the Greens can win some electorates in 2014, it might even be vital if Labour doesn’t get its act together and stop pandering to the center-right voter (which would blindly vote National -Act anyway).

  18. kiwi_prometheus 18

    Whats with middle age guys who keep trying to grow what sparse tuffs of hair they have – it looks like the mange? Why are these guys completely clueless about style? I thought politicians spent heaps on image consultants?

    Shearer needs a no. 1 buzz cut to eliminate the receding hairline/mange effect, then grow a neatly trimmed manicured full beard or maybe a wide goatee to balance out the absence of hair up top.

    Not exactly expensive, time consuming or technically difficult to achieve.

    http://menshair.about.com/od/facialhair/ig/Facial-Hair-Styles/manicuredscruff.htm

    Would show some style and character instead of that standard issue sallow complexion, tired bags under the eyes lacklustre, banal, middle age appearance.

    • Te Reo Putake 18.1

      I believe Shearer’s do is known as The Cosgrove.
       
      You are right, KP, and if he went with the beard/goatee/whatever, he’d at least look less like, you know, just another white man in a suit. Obviously, it’s now too late to go for the rug, so no point trying to find out whatever now extinct species’ pelt Dunnokeyo wears on his head and copying that.

  19. Jenny 19

    Leadership is vital, of this there can be little doubt.

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    How corrupt is the British establishment? This corrupt:The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two...
    No Right Turn
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    frogblog
  • Labour’s front bench: Demographics
    When he became Labour leader last week, Andrew Little promised a front bench that was representative of New Zealanders' background aspirations, and also promised a front bench that represented New Zealand's future aspirations. Here's how he did: The average age...
    Polity
  • Was Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations...
    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revelled by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
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  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
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  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
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  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
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  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
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  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
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  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
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  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
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  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
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  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
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  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Proposal Would Ensure Mental Health Transparency: SST
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is once again calling for reform of the insanity defence following revelations over the weekend that mass murderer Stephen Anderson is tutoring at a Wellington art school. Anderson was acquitted of six murders in 1997 by...
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  • The Warehouse Group praised for removing Grand Theft Auto V
    The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation....
    Scoop politics
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
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  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
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  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
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  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
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