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Avoiding the silly wars of the republic

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, October 30th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: defence, International, Parliament, political alternatives, republic, us politics, war - Tags:

So the US military/diplomats has decided that we should be friends again after nearly 30 years. Whooptee do! Who really gives  a pigs arse?

Since the USA decided that our domestic policy of banning the use of our territorial waters to vessels carrying nuclear weapons and being propelled by nuclear engines interfered with their domestic military policy of neither confirming nor denying if a vessel is carrying nuclear weapons, we have been spared the bloody stupid ideological wars of their war-hungry republic. Their policy not to grant permission for our military to train with them has, almost by accident, spared us from getting heavily involved in some of the more stupid wars in recent history. The second Iraq war in search of mythic weapons of mass destruction and in an apparent vendetta by the Bush dynasty being the prime example.

Instead we, including the military members of my wider family, have been involved in a series of multilateral military and policing operations mostly mandated by the UN. They have largely been effective in their limited objectives. Some like some of the reconstruction operations in the Iraq war are of dubious value and appear to have been undertaken for reasons of national advantage. But at least they were done with our national advantage in mind rather than out of some stupid knee jerk loyalty to overseas empires.

Of course there are supine members of the National party would probably prefer to change that – as depicted in this cartoon by Emmerson in the NZ Herald below. However there is little support amongst either the civilians in the public or even ex-military like myself.

Jonathon Coleman offering himself as a doormat yesterday

But the official reasons for this increased cooperation are

In a joint statement Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and US Secretary of defence Chuck Hagel said the increased cooperation will see the defence forces of both countries come together for peacekeeping initiatives, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Asia-Pacific, as well as joint training exercises.

Of course we should be quite wary of the actual meaning of these categories because they often have rather different meaning to the US diplomatic corp than they do to anyone else. Our participation in the war in Vietnam was initially a humanitarian/peace keeping mission for instance until Holyoake was pressured by Johnson into providing combat troops to a war that was viewed with skepticism even by a National government.

Quite simply, the interests of New Zealand do not appear to coincide with the rather chaotic government of the republic of the United States of America. Rather than doing things for pragmatic common interests, they have a tendency to try to drag us into conflicts of dubious ideological stupidity. It is something for our diplomats and government to be aware that the public isn’t exactly enthusiastic about.

I’d also point out for the supporters of a change to the constitutional system in New Zealand, that the example of the republic in the USA is one of the largest disincentives I know to adopting a republican form of government.

60 comments on “Avoiding the silly wars of the republic”

  1. Galeandra 2

    Hearing yesterday’s news from the Coleface had me in my usual knee jerk negativity too. Uncle Sam lost his moral authority a long time ago, maybe around the time of the war with Mexico. Pox Americana is contagious.

  2. Tat Loo (CV) 3

    China is fast rising in the Pacific. India is the other billion person power whose interests are starting to head this way. NZs role in the region needs to be neutral, as an honest broker between US and Asian aspirations. The “Nordic of the South Pacific” to borrow a Cunliffe term.

    We’re not going to be well served in the long term by being one eyed and picking sides, to put it mildly.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      “Neutral”.

      Yeah nah. We need to be on the side of universal human rights, sustainability and resilience. China, the USA, a pox on both their houses if they think they can continue to treat people the way they do.

      PS: that involves allying ourselves with their respective internal resistance movements, rather than their business interests.

      • Ugly Truth 3.1.1

        Human rights are fictions of law.

        person: A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the rights to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes. 1 Bouv. Inst. no. 137. A human being considered as capable of having rights and or being charged with duties, while a “thing” is the object over which rights may be exercised. (Black’s 2nd (1910))

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1

          Most monomanics manage to make their monomania sound interesting. Not this one.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        We need to be on the side of universal human rights, sustainability and resilience.

        Being neutral to the major powers would allow us to do that.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1

          Would the People’s Central Committee see us as neutral if our embassies started welcoming political refugees and holding talks with local democracy campaigners? Would the Pentagon?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      /agreed

  3. Macro 4

    Totally agree with all that’s said above, As a retired Naval Officer my heart sank when I heard the news yesterday…. We have no need to be tied to the apron strings of the USA.

    True there have been some benefits in the past – what could be obtained in maintenance from a USN ship alongside for the offer of an illicit bottle of Naval rum, was sometimes extraordinary. but those days of comradeship are well in the past and the rum tot is long gone thankfully.

  4. Sable 5

    This is all about the US attempting to extend its sphere of influence in Asia and Oceania as a Geo-political bolster against the presumed threat presented by the growing political, economic and military influence of China.

    Bases in Australia and Singapore lend evidence to the paranoid siege mentality which seems to characterise US policy.

    What this really tells us in the US is not gaining but in fact loosing influence globally.The same oppressive, paranoid behavior was seen on the part of the British empire as it slowly came unraveled.

    So what do tools like Keys do, they buy us a ticket on the sinking ship….

    • Tat Loo (CV) 5.1

      Europe is rapidly distancing itself from the US and the way it treats it’s “allies”. What we are doing and why, who the hell knows.

      • Sable 5.1.1

        Europe might appear to be distancing itself from the US but I think you will find that’s a fiction designed to defuse public outrage. Just look at the number of countries in Europe that not only refused to help Edward Snowden but worse still made it impossible for him to safely fly out of Russia.

        As to why we are selling out, its no doubt the same reason politicians elsewhere have done so-MONEY.

      • Chooky 5.1.2

        @ Tat Loo (CV)

        I dont think Europe or Europeans are that enamored of China either , especially as an alternative to USA

        https://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/Plone/about-tibet/tibet-todayhttp://in.reuters.com/article/2013/10/22/china-un-rights-tibet-idINDEE99L04X20131022

        …..Europeans are very well aware of human rights violations in China and the annexing of Tibet.

        …Tibetan Buddhist monastries have been built in France for example
        http://wwrn.org/articles/14098/?&place=france&section=buddhism

        China is grossly overpopulated and there is a huge gender imbalance in favour of males, which in itself is a potential security threat for SE Asia….. eg Nepal/ India borders…Japanese islands

        ….Forced abortions of girl ‘babies’ is argued to be a case of violating human rights …especially women’s rights ( Mother and potential daughter)

        http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/alarm-in-china-over-high-gender-imbalance/article4332304.ece

        http://www.wikistrat.com/future-implications-of-chinas-growing-gender-imbalance-summary-report/

          • Tat Loo (CV) 5.1.2.1.1

            yeah China has some massive problems alright.

            Be interesting to see what direction their next 5 year plan goes in. Indications are that there will be major changes.

            • travellerev 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, they are buying massive amounts of gold for starters. Not the paper kind but the real shiny stuff.

              They are also promoting gold as savings amongst the general population so that might give you an idea. It is why they can afford to say that the world has to de-Americanize. They know the trillions in digital fiat dollars they have stashed away are only good for one thing: to buy real world assets while the scamsters of Wall street have to keep pretending their crap is gold.

              And the scamsters have to continue to do so for fear of ending up under the guillotine when the American population finally wakes up to the fact that they have become a third world nation.

              A third world nation with no chance in hell to ever get back to being a first one since every single production job has been sailed into the sunset towards China in a world devoid of abundance in resources.

              • Macro

                Yes. The US doesn’t realise just how vunerable and 3rd rate they now are. Their companies may have turnovers equivalent to the GDP of Norway, but they are now incapable of manufacturing their own clothes. In military Staff College the concept of “National Power” was a basic concept. The strength of a country was not just in its armament, but in its ability to provide for itself and its people. Did it have a robust infrastructure, was it energy sufficient, could it feed itself, could it cloth itself. These are important fundamentals. Britain was within a few weeks of having to capitulate in 1942 because Uboats were sinking almost all shipping. The Battle of the Atlantic was just as vital as the Battle of Britain.

                Over the past 2 decades the globalised economy has seen the developed countries are steadily becoming more and more dependent upon overseas imports (NZ is no exception as we well know) and exporting jobs and skills to less developed countries. Cheap imports may sound good, but ultimately the country is the poorer for it.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  +1 travellerev and Macro.

                • Chooky

                  @ travellerev and Macro

                  Ordinary Americans have been sold out by their Capitalist class

                  ….the question is will ordinary Americans realise this and take back their power and independence…ie bring the work back to USA

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Cheap imports may sound good, but ultimately the country is the poorer for it.

                  QFT

                  We cannot get anything for less than it costs. One way or another, we will pay. Under the present neo-liberal paradigm of free-markets we’ll eventually pay for those cheap imports through the loss of our sovereignty and our ability to provide for ourselves.

  5. grumpy 6

    ….thank God for the US. If the Australian Labor left had it’s way, we would all be Japanese.

    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2013/10/war-unions-fought-australia/

    Those who love freedom have only the US on their side. I cannot believe that the Left would shoot themselves in the foot by trying to deny New Zealand the freedom and democracy that allows us to survive in this great country.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      Don’t forget the glorious drone strikes and collateralised debt obligations, and please wipe your chin.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      I don’t see any indications that the US loves freedom:

      FROM WOUNDED KNEE TO LIBYA:

      A CENTURY OF U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTIONS

      Silly little things like invading and taking over sovereign countries, protecting US businesses from foreign democratic governments etc, etc.

      No, the US is no defender of freedom.

    • lprent 6.3

      Those who love freedom have only the US on their side.

      Personally there are a lot of elements of the US style of “freedom” that I could do without. As an ex-soldier who did my training in 1977 amongst the RF who went to Vietnam was where I formed my impressions of what that war of “freedom” was about. Going to war for silly ideological reasons to support a oppressive government from another oppressive government wasn’t exactly what they considered to be a good idea.

      Always nice to see a fool acting as a armchair general.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 6.3.1

        Especially since the Pentagon knew that war was unwinnable yet kept pushing for more men and equipment to be sent over.

        • exkiwiforces 6.3.1.1

          Tat,

          Get hold of these two books as it will give you a understanding of how the Yanks Stuffed up in Vietnam and it will give you a insight to there latest cock up in the Gan / Iraq.
          “Learning to eat Soup with a Knife” Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. By John A. Nagl. This Book is a bloody eye opener.

          There to the Bitter End. By Ted Sernog. He was a Australian (like David Kilcullen for Iraq and the Gan) attach to the Pentagon/CIA to advise them on how to conduct Counterinsurgency warfare in Vietnam. I think this book is now out of print?

          The Yanks are very good at wining a All Arms War ie State on State, but get them to fight against a bunch of ladies and men wearing Black PJ’s or bunch of blokes wearing towels on their head. The 90% Yanks look like a mob of lost Sheep in paddock in the high country or useless as tits on a bull.

      • exkiwiforces 6.3.2

        Fully agree with your comment as I fully understand on what you are saying as they are the same problems we face in the Gan.
        (Did not Serve with NZDF)

        • lprent 6.3.2.1

          Yeah, looked hopeful there a decade ago for a wee while. Been reverting to business as usual ever since from what I can see. Since my idea of what is ‘usual’ there comes from 19th century histories and accounts – so I’m not that hopeful.

          • exkiwiforces 6.3.2.1.1

            As in Iraq the Yanks in the Ghan lost their early gains as they then try to conduct Counter-insurgency warfare by conventional means! As the silly buggers weren’t trained in Counter-insurgency Warfare as they did not have a Counter-insurgency manual/ doctrine or TTP’s at any level of command (from the White House/ Pentagon down to the poor bloody grunt in the field). Not a very good way to fight a war as you can’t train and fight at the same time.

            The Commonwealth Nations had a Counter-insurgency manual/ doctrine or TTP’s but their Pollies did not give them the means to defeat the insurgency ie lack of equipment, manpower, and the lack of whole government approach from top to bottom ie just an enough to get the job done (From my point a view we did a half arse job, as I say to my troops either to the job right or don’t do it at all and the Pollies want this war on cheap). This also applies to Peacekeeping as well whether its Chap 1 mission to a Chap 7 mission.

            As the Ghan come 2015 onwards it is not good as old habits die hard over there.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.4

      oh ffs Grumpy.

      If the Japanese hadn’t bombed Pearl harbour we’d all be speaking Japanese too.

    • Rosie 6.5

      Grumpy,you lol thing you, you put this image into my mind:

      http://i.qkme.me/3ttec4.jpg

      Yeah, we love our freedom (whatever you mean by that emotionally loaded word) here but we don’t need no Chickenhawk influence looming like a big ol’ shadow over us.

    • Murray Olsen 6.6

      The Quadrant is fiction from a right wing perspective. Colebatch doesn’t give any references for his anecdotes, which is not surprising seeing as the Australian Labor Party was an enthusiastic supporter of WW2, and became even more enthusiastic after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. The ALP PM during most of the war, John Curtin, was a huge fan of the seppos.

      http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-91_t-203_c-680/john-curtin-labor-pm-1941-1945-/nsw/john-curtin-labor-pm-1941-1945-/australia-and-world-war-ii/relations-with-britain-and-the-united-states-of-america

      I cannot believe that anyone can take Colebatch seriously. The guy who writes bad science fiction with himself as one of the heroes? Ha!

  6. joe90 7

    Hoorah for us, we’ve been signed up as a new contributor to their pork barrel death machine – the F-35 will be the last manned aircraft, the US navy plans for unmanned surface vessels and unmanned underwater vessels, US ground forces planning for a future which includes unmanned ground vehicles and autonomous fighting machines – but at least we’ll be the client state supplying their cannon fodder and a few grounds stations staffed with a handful of civilian contractors.
    /

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    I’d also point out for the supporters of a change to the constitutional system in New Zealand, that the example of the republic in the USA is one of the largest disincentives I know to adopting a republican form of government.

    The problem is that the USA isn’t a democracy in the truest sense of the word. Hell, a lot of the USA’s Founding Fathers actually wanted to put in place an actual aristocracy along the lines of the one in England but they had the same problem as the English capitalists had at the end of the English revolution – lots of peasants with guns that wanted democracy. The result being that they set up a limited democracy where the rich would still get to rule.

    The same type of democracy we have in NZ.

  8. What’s with the idea that this is about subservience to the collapsing empire of the US?
    This is a step towards the end of National sovereignty. We are exercising with US soldiers and French soldiers to name but a few of the Nationalities present on the South Island. This is about our membership of NATO, us signing up to the corporate TPPA and a far more dangerous position to find ourselves in.

  9. Tiger Mountain 10

    An obvious possible problem per chumming up again with the yankee devils is that ordinary kiwis are going to be bitten hard at some stage.

    As if it is not bad enough being involved in Five Eyes. ShonKey ‘definitively’ –sort of, in Key speak, saying that kiwis have not been spied on by NSA surely confirms we have.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/25/europe-erupts-nsa-spying-chief-government

  10. yeshe 11

    Can anyone tell me if this now means we will be receiving nuclear-armed and powered US ships into our harbours ? Is our nuclear-free status now back in play for Key with this move ?? Thx for any help.

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      I’m pretty sure they’ll be working on a way to get them back in. Key will probably begin by announcing that the Chathams will be forcibly evacuated and turned into a US base. If there’s an outcry, he’ll pull back and settle for the Karekare Peninsula. WhaleSpew will state that the lazy dole bludging Maori Treaty bludgers up there just want to grow dope anyway, and the US Army promised to let him hold a really big gun. Brownlee will get a ride on an Abrams, dressed in specially made combat gear, and Crusher will be allowed to direct a drone strike on a 3rd world target of her choice. Kiwis will pat themselves on the back for saving the Chathams………

      They’ll try. It’s up to us to stop them.

    • Wayne 11.2

      The answer is clear. We won’t see such visits because the nuclear free legislation forbids such visits.

      The Nats formally endorsed the nuclear free policy as part of National’s defense and foreign policy in 2006. Which was a strategic decision we made to get the debate beyond this issue, and frankly to stop the US asking us about whether the policy would change.

      So now the US does not raise the nuclear issue with us and we do not raise it with them. Instead the approach has been to focus on what we can do together, and therefore the approach has been to essentially normalise the defence relationship.

      For instance just about every Asia Pacific nation participates in RIMPAC, including China from 2014. It would be odd, given the evolving security balance in the Asia Pacific, if we were the one Asia Pacific nation to opt out.

      Now I know that Labour will be sensible on this, but the Greens would opt out from just about all defense relationships, just as they would from TPP. But that is why in any future Labour/Green government, the Greens should be kept way from fundamental foreign policy issues – they can have overseas aid instead! I guess it is the same for finance – you don’t want Russell Norman being a potential finance minister.

      As it happens I was the first Minister of Defence to visit Pearl Harbour (in 2011) for 27 years. And I should note the huge amount of work by Ambassador Mike Moore to facilitate all of this.

      We have suggested a visit by a US Coastguard icebreaker (conventionally powered), but thus far the US has said the Coastguard is effectively part of the US Navy, so therefore no visit. But in my view the US will soften on the icebreaker issue, since the Christchurch Deep Freeze facility is the closest facility to McMurdo Sound

      • travellerev 11.2.1

        :lol: Fuck me, you really believe that?!

        So far John key has run rough shot over everything the average Kiwi held dear and you really think he’s gonna respect a silly ratification made by those silly National people before he came to do his masters bidding?

        I despair!

        • Wayne 11.2.1.1

          But I actually know the policy of the National party on this issue, which has been restated numerous times by the PM, (who was instrumental in making it). And whether you believe it or not, this policy will not change.

          And obviously we have been able to normalize the relationship with the US within the policy.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 11.2.2

        The main concern is being dragged into conflicts where the major military and humanitarian objectives are either unclear or unachievable, regardless of the amount of time, blood and treasure wasted. And where NZ has no vital interest.

  11. Rogue Trooper 12

    There’s always Casablanca – “My God, there’s gambling going on here!”

  12. Populuxe1 13

    So I guess you’re all still operating under the fiction that we live in a benign geopolitical environment and distance and ocean will protect us?

  13. Rogue Trooper 14

    In fact Populuxe1, I have been personally reflecting on the themes of our times, climate, debt, population growth, resource extraction, changing geopolitical power, technology, political decay, violence, exploitation and waste, for example.
    It can be an unusual awareness to be walking or cycling along considering the multitude of influences on the self and other familiar actors ranging from the local-to-global levels, the past until the present, influences made apparent through these very tools.

    Ignorance is bliss, or Ignorance is suffering. Because it sure seems unpleasant out there in the political jungle.

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    Donna Tartt’s new book won the Pulitzer Prize today. Lots of people loved this book – and if you’re into beautiful prose there is a lot to love. But the story-telling really bugged me, and the event of it winning a...
    DimPost | 15-04
  • New Fisk
    Has Recep Tayyip Erdogan gone from model Middle East 'strongman' to tin-pot dictator?...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • Maritimes magazine Autumn 2014 now online
    This edition of the Maritimes magazine covers the new Regional Maritime Federation, the offshore oil and gas industry, the 2014 Interport sports competition and much more....
    MUNZ | 14-04
  • Climate change: Action is affordable
    Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part of its Fifth Assessment report, showing the dire future we faced if we did not act to reduce emissions. Over the weekend, the IPCC released the third part...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in r...
    Date of Release: Saturday, April 12, 2014Body:  News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to those affected, FIRST Union said on Saturday.Staff at Christchurch Yarns were told yesterday that their...
    First Union Media | 14-04
  • Gordon Campbell on royalty and its tourism spin-offs
    Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal...
    Gordon Campbell | 14-04
  • World News Brief, Tuesday April 15
    Top of the AgendaWorst Climate Change Scenarios Can Be Averted, Panel Says...
    Pundit | 14-04
  • Images of women and mother blaming
    There have been a few stories in the media about New Zealand women and obesity and body image, some referenced in this editorial from the Herald on Sunday. This article blames mothers for teaching girls to put on lip gloss....
    frogblog | 14-04
  • A Matter of Time: Reflections Of A Waning Republican
    Time Lords: The historical transition of the Monarchy: from that which rules, to those who reign, was a remarkable constitutional innovation. Neither a true monarchy, nor yet a full republic, Britain’s constitutional monarchy offered its subjects something unique. "[A] constitution...
    Bowalley Road | 14-04
  • IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy
    The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions...
    frogblog | 14-04
  • Maori Party / Key fundraiser
    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • The cost of small transport projects
    Every year the 21 local boards each get a share of $10 million to spend on transport projects in their area. The money is split up based on the population (except for Waiheke and Gt Barrier). The amount that each...
    Transport Blog | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • Trading through a more complex global economy
    Australia signed a trade deal with Japan last week. Does that help or hinder New Zealand’s trade ambitions and prospects? There are four parts to New Zealand’s trade strategy, broadly followed since Trade Minister Tim Groser enunciated them when an...
    Colin James | 14-04
  • In search of found time
    Originally published at Overland Three different projects dealing with presence, absence and the passage of time. The first one is straight photography: no tricks. Irina Werning’s Back to the Future features adults posing as their childhood selves in replicas of...
    Bat bean beam | 14-04
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless talley
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
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