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The democracy challenge

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, November 24th, 2013 - 101 comments

i_love_coalitions

I’ve been thinking about what next years’ election is going to be like. Not like 2011 that’s for sure. Labour was in the doldrums and ran a largely negative campaign. Let’s assume that Labour has learnt its lesson about running an effective campaign and ticks all the boxes. The secret weapon that Labour and the Greens have eschewed for as many elections as I can remember is actually working together.

Dear media….

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, September 24th, 2013 - 9 comments

jen 2013

Just for the record, if you or any other idiot accuse me of homophobia, genocide, necrophilia, child kidnapping or just not being nice enough please use this photo; not the ones you used recently which make me look disturbingly like my mother – whom I love and admire dearly but she is, after all, 81. […]

Cunliffe passes my campaign litmus test

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, September 6th, 2013 - 83 comments

jennie_michie_facebook

I’ve just spent the last week on the road with David Cunliffe and his wife Karen. Campaigns are a handy litmus test to see people as they really are when under pressure and performing to grueling schedules. As a general rule I’m prepared to like most people but as friends who know me well will […]

No time for experiments

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, August 22nd, 2013 - 158 comments

jennie_michie_facebook

We all knew David Shearer was a good guy and he’s just proved how good – and noble – a man he is by resigning rather than forcing a messy and protracted leadership coup. Let’s hope that caucus, Labour members and the affiliates will be as clear headed. Now is not the time for another […]

Campaign heroics or hubris?

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 38 comments

Clipboard02

I was impressed by this press statement from the Mana Party on the ground in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election reporting that they door-knocked over 1000 houses over the weekend and found that support for their candidate was over 70%.  As a political campaigner of many years experience, and I’m now running Labour’s by-election HQ in […]

Something missing from asset sales debate

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 pm, September 8th, 2012 - 38 comments

Something’s missing from Labour’s position on asset sales. It’s what it will do with the partially privatised companies (if the sales do go ahead despite Treaty issues and the dearth of economic rationale)  when  Labour is once more in  government.  I understand why it cannot promise to buy back the shares but why not make […]

Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, August 17th, 2012 - 65 comments

drug-test

I could hardly believe my ears this morning when I heard about Paula Bennett’s plan to drug test beneficiaries and cut their benefits if they fail.  Yeah that’s the problem that’s preventing people from finding work.  Drugs.  Not the 6.8 percent unemployment rate (and it’s higher in the provinces).   It’s hard to imagine a […]

Bad behaviour puts Labour activists off

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 pm, August 13th, 2012 - 81 comments

I have spent the better part of 17 years  – eight  of those as a paid organiser for the Labour Party – practicing the ancient art of alchemy; turning supporters into volunteers, volunteers into members and members into activists.  I have recruited hundreds of union and Labour Party members. I have mentored and trained, supported […]

Tea ladies to be drug tested

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 11th, 2012 - 45 comments

mrsdoyle

 Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson seems to be living  in an alternative universe, with her comment on Checkpoint yesterday that tea ladies in the adventure tourism industry could be drug tested: “The boss might be tested, it could be his turn or it could be the tea lady.” We’ll take it as a given that Kate assumes the boss […]

What would Wilberforce say?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 33 comments

Consciences are uncomfortable things and mine’s been giving me a bit of trouble lately.   I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma (sorry for the cliche but who can resist the imagery?) about employment practices. We allow ourselves a handwringing moment, a short burst of outraged righteousness and then run off to buy  a pair […]

Wanted: more news like this

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 2nd, 2012 - 16 comments

A remarkably nice worker/boss story from across the ditch: Australian Ken Grenda may have sold his bus company, but his staff of almost 2,000 are smiling. Mr Grenda gave cash bonuses totalling A$15m ($16m, £10m) from proceeds of the sale to employees of his 66-year-old Melbourne-based company. The bonuses, averaging A$8,500, were based on the length […]

Setting up business: we’re prize winners

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, January 18th, 2012 - 35 comments

second place

Yesterday I officially set myself up in business.  As a GST registered independent contractor. It took about half an hour. Both IRD and ACC’s websites were easy to navigate and understand. I do admit I got a little befuddled trying to figure out the correct ACC classification for what I do (enthusiastic nagging, recruitment and communications at […]

1000 member challenge

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, January 11th, 2012 - 9 comments

together-305x305

My challenge (as part of my new life as expert communications / campaign / recruitment consultant to the stars) over the next 6 weeks is to encourage 1000 union members to bring their family into the union family for just $1 a week. That’s 1000 people who are already members of a union affiliated to the CTU to sign up their own family and whanau members to Together

Together: union security for $1 week

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, December 22nd, 2011 - 74 comments

together

There’s a new union in town and who knows?  it might just prove to be the salvation of the union movement (so you can put money on  some hard-headed unionists opposing it for ideological reasons!) The concept  of Together is simple; if you currently belong to a union and you’ve got family members who work in places where there’s […]

The little I know about David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, December 3rd, 2011 - 134 comments

david shearer

I ran David Shearer’s campaign headquarters in the 2009 Mt Albert by-election. That gave me unique perspective to get a good hard look at a man in a pressure cooker environment. David arrived from the middle east literally a few short hours before the candidate selection speeches.  It showed.  He looked tired. But he went […]

Do the maths on massive public service cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, November 15th, 2011 - 37 comments

We finally get a glimpse of just how ‘small’ the government thinks small government should be. From the Sunday Star Times: It has slashed new spending provisions and put the public service on a belt-tightening programme for which, English warns, there is no end in sight.  The public services, he says, is only about a […]

PAY IT BACK!

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, October 28th, 2011 - 39 comments

The Front Fell Off

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, October 19th, 2011 - 7 comments

oil-beach-papamoa

Clarke and Dawe on maritime disasters, all good build up to our own home-grown version…

Sleepover Bill in House tonight

Written By: - Date published: 4:10 pm, September 27th, 2011 - 48 comments

Where the fuck is Webb Ellis

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, September 21st, 2011 - 3 comments

Very, very funny. Where the fuck is Webb Ellis? hat tip: Trevor Mallard at Red Alert

118 years on – what would Kate say?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, September 19th, 2011 - 15 comments

kate sheppard

118 years to the day when NZ became the first country in the world to give women the vote.  You can imagine how incredibly proud Kate and the sisterhood must have been. You can imagine them lifting their eyes to the future and seeing women standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers, equal in political rights (and determined to […]

Are PPPs the best we can do?

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, September 13th, 2011 - 8 comments

A good piece in the Herald by Max Rashbrook on the high costs of PPPs (public private partnerships) with the new Wiri prison costing over $21m before a single sod is turned or brick laid because of the complex contract negotiatons which have to cover every possible continency for the next 30 years. Earlier this […]

Human face of public service cuts

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, August 30th, 2011 - 41 comments

Manuals Closed

Good human interest story in the DomPost today about the human costs of public service jobs cuts. A Wellington woman has written a letter to Prime Minister John after her 63-year-old mother learned last week that her position at the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry is to be axed. Staffing cuts after a merger with the Fisheries […]

What we owe policy wonks

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, August 26th, 2011 - 21 comments

nerd

Yesterday William commented to Cuts and Consequences to the effect that who needs policy analyst and that big private companies don’t bother with them and so neither should government. I’m paraphrasing a little bit but it did strike me that many people (including it seems some very senior ministers in this government – but not – funnily enough […]

Cuts and consequences

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 21 comments

half of invite

The government reckons it can cut the number of public sector workers without cutting services. That wasn’t the experience of the 80s and 90s when vital institutional knowledge and expertise were lost in a frenzy of asset sales,  privatisation and brutal job cuts– when public service numbers dropped from around 85,000 public servants  to under  30,000 […]

PSA launches myth busting campaign

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, August 2nd, 2011 - 57 comments

The PSA is launching its election campaign this evening.   Our big challenge is to break through the government’s narrative (now reaching  mythic proportions)  that NZ is sinking under debt the likes of Greece  tooand the only solution is to cut public spending and sell assets. As the well informed readers of The Standard know, NZ’s […]

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    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    5 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
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks 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… ...
    2 weeks ago

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