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Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 pm, September 7th, 2013 - 73 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: , ,

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Australia heads to the polling booths today.  The polls suggest that a change in Government is not only inevitable but that many Labor MPs may lose their seats.  There is even the suggestion that Kevin Rudd may not make it back into Parliament.

Late polls suggests that after distribution of preferences the Liberal Coalition will have 54% of votes and Labor 46% of votes.  This could result in the ALP having as few as 50 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives.  Labor is polling as low at 33% of the primary vote but with the Greens at a respectable 10% and most of their preferences expected to head Labor’s way Labour’s preferential vote should be in the mid to high 40s.  But given the nature of Australia’s election system this could result in a landslide victory to the Liberal National Coalition.

Labor stalwarts will be hoping that Kevin Rudd can repeat the success of Paul Keating in 1993 when he won the unwinnable election. Despite Labor being written off at the time Keating somehow overcame what appeared to be hopeless odds to win.  A six percent deficit two weeks out was turned into a narrow majority for Labor after all the votes were counted.

Keating’s election night speech is one for the ages.  He put the win down to Labor’s appeal to the decency in Australians, their refusal for Australia to be divided and to the hard work of the party and described the win as “the sweetest victory of all”.

Keating’s success was helped by the good will extended by progressives to a leader who was brave and willing to speak his mind.  In his Redfern Speech the year before he said this about the plight of Australia’s Aboriginal people:

… [T]he starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians.  It begins, I think, with that act of recognition.  Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing.  We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol.  We committed the murders.  We took the children from their mothers.  We practised discrimination and exclusion.  It was our ignorance and our prejudice.  And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.  With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds.

Unlike Kevin Rudd, Keating has also been scathing about the way that the refugee issue has been handled.  He is reported as saying last year that there were “racial undertones” to the debate.

I often used to say as prime minister, when they were handing out continents, not many people got one, but we did and there’s only 20 million of us.  And yet we’re complaining about 6000 people coming by boat and we want to push all of them away.

Mr Keating also said Australians demonstrated no “generosity of spirit” when it came to asylum-seekers.

His attitude should be contrasted to that of Kevin Rudd’s who recently advocated a policy about refugees that was so bad that Tony Abbott thought it was promising.  Keating’s bravery, at least concerning issues of race is in stark contrast to Rudd’s focus group inspired cowardice.  Because there is nothing to enthuse progressives in Australia I doubt that Rudd will be able to emulate Keating’s accomplishment.

If Rudd is bad however then Tony Abbott will be absolutely appalling.  He is already up to his Crosby Textor designed tricks.  Yesterday, the day before the election, the Coalition released its budget costings and promised what in real terms are wafer thing cuts.  This reminded me of a description of National’s campaign in Aotearoa in 2008 where their campaign was described as “not answering questions and not debating policy except when it suits them; and now, mid-election campaign, releasing “policy” that is little more than publicity stunts and too late for proper scrutiny”.  I wonder if National and the Coalition have the same advisors?

For all of Rudd’s faults he is not in the same league of terror inducing as Tony Abbott.  The coalition will cause a great deal of damage.  For instance their climate change policies are a joke.  As described by George Monbiot:

His views have changed, but don’t expect Tony Abbott to acknowledge this, let alone apologise to Australians for misleading them. In 2009 he maintained that manmade climate change is “absolute crap”. Now he says “I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution.” But he has merely switched from denying global warming to denying the need to act on it.

Abbott is following a familiar script – the 4 Ds of climate change inaction promoted by fossil fuel lovers the world over. Deny, then defer, then delay, then despair.

His Direct Action program for reducing emissions is incapable of delivering the cuts it promises, absurdly underfunded and surrounded by a swarm of unanswered questions. Were it to become big enough to meet its promises, it would be far more expensive than a comparable carbon trading scheme, which Abbott has falsely claimed would incur “almost unimaginable” costs. But it won’t be big enough, because he refuses to set aside the money it requires. Direct Action is a program designed to create a semblance of policy, in the certain knowledge that it will fail to achieve its objectives.

I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring but effectively gutted the ETS so that nothing significant is happening about New Zealand’s output of greenhouse gasses.  As Monbiot says there does seem to be a similar script used by conservatives throughout the world.

After the election and presuming things go the way they appear to be going then the Labor Party will need to have good think about things and work out what went wrong.  And it will need to work out how to respect its proud history while remaining relevant to voters and at the same time adhering to its core values and refusing to travel along the dead ends that focus group politics entails. [Edit did a quick tidy up of this]

73 comments on “Australia – Labor’s unwinnable election”

  1. Forget the polls and the votes, what are the trends saying?

  2. Ad 2

    A grand set of lines from Keating there.

    Australia is marching quickly into the quarry-enclave economy New Zealand had from the 1870s to the 1920s. Except this time made worse with its dominance by just a handful of listed multinational mining conglomerates. Has New Zealand chosen a comparatively more sustainable path?

  3. BM 3

    Expect big changes in the lucky country once Abbot gets in.
    The place is being choked to death by union interference so expect Abbot to cut a few union throats within a very short period.

    It’s desperately needed if OZ is going to get back on track.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.

      • srylands 3.1.1

        Yes that evil John Howard prescribed that poison and it made Australia the richest country in the world. It only went off the rails when he lowered the quality of spending like a maniac, a trend continued by Rudd and Julia. Lucky there is no party in NZ that would take us down that destructive track again. Oh bugger, wait..

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Australia shipped real physical resources offshore for electronically generated credits, as well as creating masses of money by acquiring huge amounts of private debt.

          It’s sorta stupid strategy, and is coming to an end now.

          edit – do you really think Abbott is another John Howard? You’re fucking dreaming.

          • Poem 3.1.1.1.1

            Would say, puppet Abbott is the Australian version of Mitt Romney.

          • KJT 3.1.1.1.2

            We had the same commodities boom as Australia. In dairying not mining.

            In fact ours earned more per capita than Australia’s.

            Due to the fact they still have union power in Australia, however, the income from their commodities boom was spread throughout the economy.

            Most of ours went offshore for Hawaii holidays and offshore corporate profits, particularly to the Australian(US) banks.

            Note: Sweden has gone downhill by all indicators since they swallowed the poison pill recently.

      • Poem 3.1.2

        “Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, as the Tory poison prescription takes hold.”

        +1 Colonial Viper

      • Green machine UpandComer 3.1.3

        Viper, at least you’re consistent in your off the scale parallel universe-isms. Australia will be in a deepening economic and unemployment crisis 12 months from now, if OZLabour’s present poison prescription isn’t remedied by Mr Abbot.

    • tricledrown 3.2

      what unions the unions have been decimated in Australia just like NZ

  4. amirite 4

    I was listening to one Aussie voter yesterday who said he’ll vote for the Pirate Party because both Labour and Libs are as bad as each other and both have failed to address the fact that the whole Aussie economy relies on mining and the housing market.
    Hear, hear.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Clue for the NZLP: Labor and Rudd fucked up by trying to position themselves as Liberal Lite. The PNG boat people policy, crowing about ditching steps to reduce climate change, etc.

    People vote RED when the Red Team shows true bright red values, not when it tries to hide them.

    Oh yeah, the endless division in caucus and with the leadership was the finishing touch.

    • srylands 5.1

      Oh that must explain why the Hawke/Keating governments won 5 terms opening up Australia with long lasting economic reforms that you would obviously hate.

      I suggest Colonial Viper that you take a break from your obsession with posting to the Standard and come back when you know something about economics and Australian economic history.

      There is ZERO chance of Australia EVER electing a left wing government. The last one left office in 1975.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Don’t get nervous mate, just watch the Oz economy crash and burn over the next 12 months under the Coalition.

        • infused 5.1.1.1

          It would crash and burn anyway because of the stupid policies introduced over the last 5 years.

          It’s the same shit here when you say Labour left the govt in best fiscal shape ever… What a load of shit.

          • muzza 5.1.1.1.1

            So you’re good with how the current government are working things?

            Do you feel like we’re all heading in the best direction, or is it a case of you don’t really care for anything other than petty point scoring, trying to make yourself feel like a winner!

          • tricledrown 5.1.1.1.2

            con fused the stupid policies that the labor govt introduced like the A$200 million stimulus package kept Australia out of recession the only OECD country to do so!
            Australia has the lowest govt debt of any country!
            The mining tax +carbon tax allows Australia to keep valuable minerals in the ground !
            under Abbott those will be dug up quickly leaving within 50 years no mining income!
            Labour reduced the child subsidy that Howard introduced!

      • KJT 5.1.2

        Talk about re-writing history.

        Comparing the Hawk/Keating reforms with Douglas’s Richardsons is like comparing a few drone strikes to carpet bombing. In very many ways they have done the diametric opposite to New Zealand.

        I can only assume that Srylands was too young to remember.

        Just a few differences of the top of my head.

        Douglas de-regulated the financial sector leading to a crash only two years later, 1987.
        Keating strengthened regulation. A large part of the reason why Australia’s, and our banking systems did not join the GFC.

        Ricahardson cut benefits to below subsistence level. Australia never has.

        Douglas unilaterally removed almost all tariffs, leaving us nothing to bargain with for free trade agreements and decimating local industry and employment. Like the embarrassing spectacle of the prime minister trading on our dead soldiers to get trade concessions from Korea. Douglas left us nothing to bargain with.

        Australia kept steeply progressive taxes and liveable minimum wages.

        We have been borrowing for tax cuts we could not afford since 1986.

        Australian unions rejected their equivalent of the ECA. Meaning Australians actually have enough money to invest in buying their own assets back, and there wasn’t the same hemorrhage of money to offshore banking and profit taking, and massive transfer of wealth to the parasitic sectors..

        Australia has been more successful than us very obviously because they did not buy into the neo-liberal poison to the same extent.

        To say otherwise shows a profound cognitive dissonance.

      • tricledrown 5.1.3

        Schrillglands Hawk Keating Govt took measured steps of change and didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
        Your understanding of Australian economic history is far removed from reality!

  6. Sosoo 6

    This result makes me glad we have MMP. It means we don’t have the stupidity of pretending that there is a massive change in public opinion (a landslide) when the vote changes by only a few percentage points.

    I’m also proud to say that someone like Tony Abbott could never be elected Prime Minister of New Zealand. John Banks is perhaps the worst we’ve got, and he voted to legalise gay marriage. We’re not a particularly sophisticated or liberal people here in NZ, but compared to the small minded, bigoted Neanderthals who live across the Tasman we look just great.

    There will be lots of mealy mouthed press about this election, but the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

    • Richard Christie 6.1

      the truth should be told: the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.

      I’m glad I’m not you.

    • Jimmie 6.2

      Pots and Kettles are a darker shade of gray lol

    • Murray Olsen 6.3

      I’m not sure the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot, but enough of them are that Rudd thought it was worth rolling out his travesty of a policy on refugees.

      My prediction is that they’re in for a shocking recession, with total mismanagement by Abbott and Hockey, but as in all recessions, a small number of the very rich will do well. And SSLands will cheer on the policies as he goes to the wall, believing all the time that they just needed to be applied a bit more fervently for him to become one of the super rich.

    • karol 6.4

      And the number of Kiwi guys in the NZ media cheerleading Shane Jones, shows misogyny can be a winner for some Kiwi guys.

      Add Matt MCCarten to that list of people, showing NZ does not have a lot to gloat about.

      • LynWiper 6.4.1

        My thoughts exactly karol. I really thought that Matt would have a different take on the SJ debacle. I am extremely disappointed in SJ’s apparent popularity. While I can understand the entertainment value, hearing that NZ’rs (most likely kiwi guys) are seriously considering voting him for Labour Leader is very disheartening.

      • Murray Olsen 6.4.2

        I’ve always considered McCarten one of the blokish Waitakere man types on the left. That he admires Jones doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m appalled that Jones is even in the Labour Party. Even if we don’t consider his neanderthal-like misogyny, his attitudes on the environment and industrial relations could come straight from Tony Abbott and Gina Stoneheart.

    • tricledrown 6.5

      Sosoo anger is not going to help hate filled rants either !
      Australia has an upper house called the senate its proportionally elected it will moderate the rampant right!
      They also have state govts which usually vote opposite to the federal elctorate !
      NZ is where we have to focus on getting the 800,000 that didn’t vote out at the next election!
      Frustration can be good motivation we need a change here and in recent times we have voted the opposite of Australia thats a good Omen!

      • Murray Olsen 6.5.1

        All the things Sosoo mentions do exist in Australia, but happily they are not all the things that exist in Australia. There are some signs of hope.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    “I seem to recall that John Key also denied the existence of climate change but then accepted that it was occurring …”

    Funny, I recall Key saying that he considered man made climate change an issue of global importance – but this was a year or two before he became PM. I’ve long since added the remarks to the list of BS he delivered as part of his sheep’s clothing.

  8. Richard Christie 8

    Oh, and my condolences to Australian readers on the election of a full blown science-denier to their highest political office.
    Your future regret will prove to be painful.

    • Steve Wrathall 8.1

      Yes, the lack of an Australian carbon tax will make the world 0.000005 degrees warmer in 100 years than it would have been…painful!

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        What is painful is your condemnation of billions of people, just so you can keep business as usual burning for another 10-20 years.

        What a fucking dick.

      • tricledrown 8.1.2

        SW Doing nothing laissez faire why not we all increase our carbon footprint and stuff the planet quickly is what your saying!
        Good leadership is leading by example, we lead the the world on nuclear free legislation and now even the right wing claim that policy .

  9. big bruv 9

    What a great result for the people of Aussie. This is a comprehensive thrashing of the Labour/Green party.

    Now Aussie can start to repair the damage done by the socialists in six long years.

  10. big bruv 10

    “the average Australian is an ignorant, hate-filled, racist bigot.”

    A lot like Hone Harawira really.

    • Sosoo 10.1

      See, in New Zealand the hate parties (like Christian Heritage) characteristically garner about 1-2% of the vote.

      In Australia hate is mainstream.

      • tricledrown 10.1.1

        SoSo In Australia hate is not mainstream.
        Its the the Murdocracy that dictates the debate!
        their was only a 3.5% percent swing against labor with a lot of marginal seats lost have given the coalition a land slide.
        NSW has had a state government mired in corruption,Labor mired in leadership wrangles have handed Abbott a clear majority but like Howard before Abbott will have to run inclusive policies because if he pushes unpopular policies he will only last 1 term!
        I have lived and worked in Australia nearly half of my extended family are Australian !
        Australians are well educated and love a good debate.
        No more hateful than Kiwis!

    • JonL 10.2

      Unlike you, of course……..

  11. tc 11

    It’s all academic, the senate passes laws so depends who controls that, only half the senate is elected tonight. Unlike here gov’t can’t run riot unless it controls the senate.

    An awful campaign. Rudd overrode his campaign advice and made many bad calls, Abbott is driven by CT with neither addressing any serious issues.

    Hawke/keating did the hard yards 25years ago and now the reality of a fading minerals boom, 7 governments and many other non productive entities, a high dollar etc will catch Oz.

    As keating noted there’s an uneasy racial tone and a mean spirit about the place now just wait till Tony, Joe, Malcolm and co get busy.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks TC. I am just watching Rudd’s concession speech and I am wondering WTF? He is happy? He is trying to make it sound like he almost won?

      Some politics is far too choreographed and the injection of a bit of honest emotion would be a good thing.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        He’s probably planning to stay on as Labor Leader. Seriously.

      • Murray Olsen 11.1.2

        Rudd was in a room full of people who adore him. That’s enough to make him happy. Sadly, I’m serious.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          He probably did salvage up to 10-15 seats that would have been lost under Gillard. Kept most of QLD intact when just 24 hours ago predictions were that Labor would be wiped out.

          So a loss, some of it seriously self inflicted, but with a few bright spots. However for Australia over the next (4?) years. It’s going to be frakkin horrible.

  12. tc 12

    Yes the mining boom fades, a high dollar and neither party addressed the elephant in the room…..tax reform. States arent getting enough from federal and Gillard screwed the big revenue fixer, mining tax. Universities and the massive public service will be hit like the retail sector has been and will continue to be.

    What goes up….it will not be pretty.
    I’m unsure Gillard would’ve done any worse, those that backed Kevin will hold the line she was leading them to slaughter but she had abbotts number and you tolerate kev or you don’t not really a warm character.

  13. muzza 13

    That’s Australia done and dusted then, as if it wasn’t already.

    The experiment continues, oz and nz destined to become the vassels of neoliberal exploitation.

    Our largest trading partner is going to have major impacts on nz, unlikely to be positive!

    Australians all let us rejoice…

  14. Wensleydale 14

    So, hands up who thinks Gina Rinehart’s going to be soiling her over-sized panties in glee?

    • tc 14.1

      Yes allowing gina to have her way is going to fix all oz’s issues…..and packer, murdoch, palmer, stokes, qantas, telstra etc etc

      • KJT 14.1.1

        Yeah. How well are the countries with no welfare, low or no taxation and little Government regulation doing, again?

        Rienharts and Murdochs unfettered capitalism do exist, in Somalia and similar examples of “success”.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    It gets worse, it loks like Pauline Hanson may win a seat in the senate.

  16. Sanctuary 16

    And how about old Murdoch’s tweet, eh?

    Rupert Murdoch@rupertmurdoch

    Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy.Others nations to follow in time

    • muzza 16.1

      Murdoch is a tool of the system, it created him, which is why he is untouchable.

      They workship at the alter, his task being the head of swaths of the global psy op known as the entertainment industry, of which the so called msm news media is part of!

      Another who sold his soul, and who is responsible for the deaths of many innocent souls, which is always the intent, physically or psychologically!

      Yes Rupert, its the workers and beneficiaries who have wrecked the planet, and who have a destroyed nations such as Australia, its financial stability etc, nothing at all to do with neoliberalism!

    • Wensleydale 16.2

      If this nation “follows in time”, I shall spend my retirement years living in a shack in the bush.

      • tricledrown 16.2.1

        Wensleydale there are 1 to 2 million people in the US living rough now under tarps and in tents its a complete disgrace that the richest country in the world can’t look after their own.

  17. millsya 17

    No point in saving the furniture when the house has burned to the ground.

    This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state, Coalition inroads into safe ALP seats, saying “it could have been worse” and “at least we still have our cabinet ministers” is not good enough. There are no such things as “moral victories” or whatever the cuss they are, the winner on the day is the one that has the bigger number on the scoreboard than the rest that is a fact. It doesnt matter if a side wins by 30 seats or 3.

    Australia moved (further) to the right last night. That is a fact. Even the Greens took a hit, though their core vote still held, and the seat of Melbourne looks like it will be a green fortress.

    Labor have only themselves to blame really, I need not go into the details of the past 3 years.

    I cannot see them getting back into power this side of 2020.

    So, plenty of time to drill, mine, sell and slash.

  18. KJT 18

    This must be extremely frightening for National.

    The days of hiding their unemployment figures in Australia may be over.

    And the effect of Australian Labor’s stimulus policies, on hiding National’s recession, will became shockingly apparent.

    • s y d 18.1

      It’s frightening for the hundreds of thousands on New Zealanders who currently live and work in Australia, but who have absolutely no access into their social security system – they must be fearful for the future. I foresee an application of ‘targetted austerity’ by Mr Abott. And when and if the jobs for New Zealanders (the wife be damned) go, I’m guesing the only viable option will be a return to NZ. What are WE going to do when the 50,000 a year from the last 10 years all come back at once? Treat them like boat people? Set up refugee camps? Our very own Pacific solution?
      How could we cope? can we? It’s nice to have the family back for christmas, but I suspect the love runs a bit thin by June.

      This could be a defining issue for our near future.

    • JonL 18.2

      “This is an absolute thrashing. Lowest primary vote since 190-whatever, votes lost in every state” – 1996 was worse.
      Labour self destructed – as usual, it was voting a party out, not a party in, for most people., but the example of the Nat-Lib state gov. in Queensland may have swayed many voters back to Labour, there.
      For all the tories rhetoric, I don’t see how they could have done any better than Labour – and the next 3 yrs are going to be frightening, to all except the rich, those who would aspire to be, and the terminally stupid – which covers a large chunk of the Australian landscape unfortunately. Then they’ll turn around and blame labour’s “mismanagement”!
      There are some truly creepy people in the higher echelons of the nat-Libs!

  19. Macro 19

    As Einstein once said:

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”.

    And as Joseph de Maistre said:

    “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” Not that Rudd is any better than Abbott.

    Australians only had to look across the ditch at the disaster that is the NZ “economy” to realise that 4 years of austerity, union bashing, and laissez faire government is the road to ruination.

    But then we live in the Age of Stupid – and I fear the “lucky country” is just about to get very unlucky..

  20. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 20

    It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it up close and personal over years and years, but Rudd is insane. I disagree with almost everything Tony Abbott holds dear, but I would rather have him as PM than Kevin Rudd.

  21. Core_Labour_Voter 21

    Sad day in Australian history.

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    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
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn
  • 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
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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,...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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,...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • 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....
    Scoop politics
  • 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...
    Scoop politics
  • 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...
    Scoop politics
  • 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...
    Scoop politics
  • 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....
    Scoop politics
  • 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...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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