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A thinking opposition

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, August 1st, 2015 - 37 comments

the-future-of-work-1-638

So the news on Labour’s first paper from its “Future of Work” Commission revolves around “ex-Labour member” Phil Quin noticing some missing quote marks and National making gleeful diversions from it. But of course what is actually important is the content.

Health and Safety

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, July 24th, 2015 - 2 comments

pike river fire

The CTU’s excellent campaign to get a stronger version of National’s post-Pike River Health and Safety law has produced this excellent video, and you can sign to support Iain Lees-Galloway’s amendments to improve the bill.

Guantanamo Diary

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 pm, January 21st, 2015 - 4 comments

guantanamo

The Guardian has some amazing extracts from a diary that Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi kept and gave to his lawyers. It’s the first book by a serving Guantanamo inmate.

Protecting our Freedom

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, January 19th, 2015 - 7 comments

internet freedom

UK PM David Cameron thinks freedom will be enhanced by monitoring everything – something we used to call totalitarianism. We need more encryption and to make sure the internet is built for the people, not the data-miners – be they our security agencies, criminal gangs, or facebook.

Jobs That Count

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 17th, 2014 - 20 comments

MWU-JobsThatCount

The Meatworkers Union today launch a campaign for Jobs That Count – to try to get better conditions for these marginalised workers who face it all – seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts and anti-union pressure.

Why is it Len’s fault?

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 pm, December 10th, 2014 - 36 comments

city rail link

Various Tory voices, fresh from finding Len Brown guilty of needing a wee; now find he’s to blame for failing to get his visionary Central Rail Loop started on time, with its delayed start to 2018. But surely the blame lies not with him, but squarely with National and Key for refusing to pay their share until 2020.

Dodging the big decisions

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, December 10th, 2014 - 18 comments

avoiding-criticism-being-nothing

Colin James has an excellent piece on the housing market. Simon Collins has a piece on the implications on young renters. Meanwhile, a number of other big problems are being ignored by National as well.

Charter Schools: F

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, December 4th, 2014 - 45 comments

classroom

So despite the vast amount more funding (5x more per pupil) to charter schools, 1 of the 5 first, Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru, is failing abysmally.

The Government has previously said that all their problems were fixed, or being fixed – but they clearly aren’t.

Prove It

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, December 3rd, 2014 - 28 comments

lunchbox meal

So John Key reckons the decile 1 & 2 principals he talks to say that hardly any kids at their school need lunch. Campbell Live & Kids Can seem to only find school principals who say that lots of kids need lunch. So maybe John Key can name these mythical decile 1 & 2 schools that are doing so well. And then when he gets shown up again, maybe National can move to support Hone’s Food in Schools Bill.

Distract and Divert

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 3rd, 2014 - 16 comments

national rabbit in the headlights

Why do I want to know about Bronagh’s private 30th wedding anniversary gift to John Key? The PM is in trouble and trying to get fluff out to distract from his recent repeated lying, make people think more nicely of him. Presumably his superstitiousness played well in focus groups.

Children’s Plea

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, November 21st, 2014 - 24 comments

child poverty in godzone

We all know that Child Poverty is one of New Zealand’s major problems. In an attempt to finally get a response from the National government to the problem ex-Family Court judge Graeme MacCormick has issued a “Children’s Plea” to get the government to do something serious in their next budget. You can sign it here. […]

In defence of John Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, November 18th, 2014 - 158 comments

john key 31

Click-bait, moi?

Distractify

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, October 29th, 2014 - 28 comments

NewNZFlag_sm

While shepherding through horrendous housing changes and removing workers’ rights – and hiding from Dirty Politics – John Key needs a big “look over there!”

I’m backing Grant

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, October 26th, 2014 - 174 comments

grant-robertson

We have 4 great Leftie contenders, who all want to take Aotearoa where we want it to go. Whomever wins, I’ll back them to the hilt. But I have a vote and a voice, and I’m backing Grant – here’s why.

I disagree

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, September 26th, 2014 - 112 comments

arguing

With Lynn, which according to the trolls should see me banned 😈

I think the Labour results show voters understand MMP, not that Labour doesn’t.

Child Poverty March

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, September 6th, 2014 - 14 comments

cpag march against poverty

There was a great protest up Queen St today, as 1000-odd people (including me!) marched against child poverty, and government and societal inaction over it.

 

From Twitter

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 pm, August 31st, 2014 - 34 comments

component politics

All your trashing the SFO connections. h/t DebsHancock

Look over there! Tax cuts!

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, August 26th, 2014 - 7 comments

diversion

So National are both so out of ideas and so desperate to take the spotlight off their Dirty Politics that they’re now promising tax cuts. Tax cuts straight after we have a panel of our most prominent economists warning that the ‘rock star’ economy is going to hit the rocks.

Policy Free Zone?

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, August 21st, 2014 - 26 comments

john key repeating and repeating

Cut Your Hair has some great analysis of who is the “policy free zone” that Key is claiming the left is…

Child Poverty in Aotearoa: Tackling Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 10 comments

There’s a wee bit of irony in showing a program on inequality on expensive subscriber-only TV; but nonetheless there’s an excellent new series on Face TV (Sky 83).

John Banks must resign

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, June 5th, 2014 - 105 comments

key banks

It is untenable for someone to remain as an MP after being found guilty of electoral fraud. For the integrity of Parliament, John Banks must go: now.

Save the Poisons Helpline!

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 23rd, 2014 - 29 comments

baby-poison

National are planning to merge a bunch of health helplines to save money. The 0800 POISON number could be scrapped leaving additional seconds or minutes until help is received in those most urgent of moments.

Labour membership greatest in 30 years

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 11 comments

logo-labour-square

Moira Coatsworth recently announced that last year’s party membership was the greatest in 30 years – ie, it is higher than even before the 4th Labour Government did such damage to membership numbers. This is a sign of rude health. And it shows in the quality of new candidates being selected.

Save Invermay

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, May 7th, 2014 - 17 comments

agresearch

We still don’t know why Joyce is pushing on with the move to shut Invermay, Dunedin’s impressive AgResearch centre, but it’s still not too late to stop him and the AgResearch board. Last week, one of the biggest breeds of sheep, Texel breeders voted no confidence in the AgResearch board.  The petition continues to grow.  Dunedin is […]

Piketty: inequality & capitalism’s flaw

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, April 30th, 2014 - 50 comments

thomas_piketty

There is a major new economics tome out this year that’s sending waves through the economics community like none since Friedman in the 70s. It’s Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
It points out that under capitalism, we’re doomed to inequality.

Politics bruises even Shane Jones

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, April 24th, 2014 - 107 comments

shane-jones

While I know many on here aren’t sad to see Shane go, I think he’s a lost voice for Labour – and we’ll need others to step up into his place. I also think we might be a little less visceral and personal in our attacks on politicians if we were a little quicker to realise they are human.
Also: Shane Jones Media Watch

Upper Harbour exists.

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 pm, April 17th, 2014 - 17 comments

Paula Bennett proud to be a westie

The new electorate boundaries are out.

Some noticeable changes around Port Hills, but mainly only tinkering from the previous proposals.

Tim Watkin is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, April 8th, 2014 - 21 comments

pundit logo -square

Tim Watkin recently had a post over at Pundit, saying about why a 15% gap between Labour and National matters. His crux point is that in no MMP election has a party led by 15% and not formed the government. Unfortunately for Tim, this is demonstrably wrong.

Where ‘welfare reform’ ends

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, March 10th, 2014 - 25 comments

welfare-infographic300

Sheila Holt, in the UK, is in a coma for 2 months. She has also just been invited to “intensive job-focused activity” by the Dept of Work & Pensions.

Invermay: Meddling Joyce Ignores the Evidence

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, March 10th, 2014 - 8 comments

steven joyce idiot

My brother has posted across at Red Alert on Steven Joyce’s bungling oversight of AgResearch’s current $100 million restructure. The Crown Research Institute is New Zealand’s largest, and a recipient of generous Government support. Andy West, the former head of AgResearch stands to gain as head of Lincoln University from a plan that independent review […]

Pinning hopes on China

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, March 9th, 2014 - 33 comments

china credit card

Our export-led economy is a rock-star according to those on the right. Australia kept us going, and now, despite the EU still spluttering, we can fly because China will buy all our milk powder. But there’s a potential flaw in putting all your eggs in one China basket, as a number of BBC stories have been revealing.

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  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
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    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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