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Bad politics

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, April 13th, 2008 - 89 comments
Categories: dpf, election funding, same old national, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

National’s current attempt to stop the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union from registering as a third party pretty much proves what we all knew. They have no interest in democracy.

Rather than accept the decision of the Electoral Commission and move on they’ve decided to appeal the decision and apply for an injunction to stop the EPMU from registering until a decision is made – something that could take several months and is designed to muzzle the fifty-thousand ordinary New Zealand workers the union represents.

Interestingly David Farrar has decided to out himself as the National party operative he is by providing evidence for National’s application. The irony is of course that David’s front-group, the Free Speech Coalition, registered as a third party unchallenged despite being funded by the same group of hollow men as the National party and David having considerable ties to the Nats himself. And fair enough, the EFA was never about stopping people campaigning but about making sure they had to do so transparently.

In my opinion National have fallen for their own spin and made a bad call. Bill’s attempts to scaremonger using the dreaded word “union” over the last couple of weeks have fallen on deaf ears. And there’s a reason for that: people are not scared of unions because they are voluntary and democratic organisations that do things like fight for 800 cleaners to get the deal they need to feed their families. Unfortunately for National, Bill still thinks people believe unions are full of smoky back-rooms and mobster types. That’s a bad call and shows how out of touch with New Zealand the National Party are.

This expensive litigation tells a story and that story is one of a political party that is supported by some of New Zealand’s wealthiest people demonstrating they are willing to spend a fortune in the courts to deny working New Zealanders a voice. In a year when National needs the backing of those working people to win the election that’s just bad politics.

As an aside I’d like to point out I made the call early this year that National would spend its huge war-chest on litigation in order to get around the EFA spending cap. I really thought they’d do it smarter than this.

89 comments on “Bad politics”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Will there be the same interest in the court case over nationals ‘undemocratic’ candidate selection process in Rakaia ?

    The Aussie media ( only in their home market it seems) are usually all over labour when it comes to assorted goings on in pre selection of official candidates.
    The Rakaia selection has it all! Yet do we see David Carter persued through parliaments corridors till he confesses. Does the Herald run full page headlines over the attck on democracy

  2. mike 2

    This will see the union shed a few more members. I would be pissed off if my $6 bucks a week was going towards fighting a court case brought about by Labours shambolic EFA.

  3. randal 3

    TALK ABOUT SMALL…JUST TAKE YA SIX BUX, BUY A BOTTLE OF COKE AND A PIE, TAKE A WALK IN THE PARK, SIT UNDER A TREE AND THANK HEAVEN FOR SMALL MERCIES

  4. Anita 4

    It doesn’t seem like bad politics to me.

    If the Nats really want to test the EFA they’re much better to do so by challenging the unions then doing whatever the unions have proven if acceptable. No swing voter is going to care that they’re having a go at the unions. Plus, if they win they win, and if they lose they win as they can then set-up … I mean watch their allies set-up similar 3rd parties.

    For the Nats to have to defend an ally (or even stand aongside an ally defeding itself) is a much worse look with no chance of a big win, and a bad look if they were to lose.

    Anita

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Except Anita, the national party has been going on and on about the EFA is labour trying to muzzle free speech. Here they are appealing a decision that went the other way.

    If they were standing along side someone who was being told to shut up, it would fit their narrative. This one muddies that story line, because the have to sell the far more convoluted storyline that “We support free speech and that is why we are trying to get the Union to shut up, which is what the EFA really requires even though the ruling went the other way, which is why we are appealing it”.

    People who aren’t paying that level of attention will just see the Nats trying to get the EPMU to shut up. They see the Nat’s trying to limit free speech, and use the courts to get at their opponents. This goes 180 degrees against the narrative they have been selling. Far better to wait and see if any right wingers get in trouble, and then say “see we told you this was all about labour trying to muzzle it’s opponents”.

  6. Tane 6

    The vexatious legal challenge is bad enough, but it’s the request for an injunction that I find even more hypocritical. Silencing union members through an injunction does nothing to clarify the law – it has everything to do with National muzzling its opponents.

  7. IrishBill 7

    Anita, the issue is that the law has been tested and two high court judges have given the EPMU the green light to become a third party so the story is:

    1. National claims the EFA will stifle democracy by stopping the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    2. The decision is made – the EFA doesn’t stop the EPMU becoming a third party.

    3. National challenges decision and applies for an injunction to stop EPMU being third-party.

    It’s bad politics because National can no longer argue they are attacking the EFA. They are now clearly attacking working people.

  8. They are now clearly attacking working people.

    Using a tool crafted for them by Labour. For all that I hope National’s case fails, there’s a very rich irony in watching them using this law. Labour created it to try and prevent critics with money from publicising that criticism, and now here it is being used against Labour. Somehow I find my sympathy for the union rather diluted by this knowledge – unfair, but true.

  9. IrishBill 9

    Milt, the EFA was never about stopping critics with money publicising that criticism it was about making sure people knew where that money was coming from. Unions have always been upfront about who they are and who they represent in their election campaigning.

  10. Daveo 10

    I fear the media will either ignore this issue or give it the National party spin. National seems to get a free ride from the media on the EFA regardless of what they’re saying or doing.

  11. James Kearney 11

    if they lose they win as they can then set-up I mean watch their allies set-up similar 3rd parties.

    There’s nothing stopping National allies like Sensible Sentencing, Family First, the Brethren, John Boscawen, the Free Speech Coalition or the Business Roundtable from setting up as third parties and supporting National. Two of them already have.

    The EFA was never designed to stop partisan third party campaigns- it was designed to provide transparency on who each party is and where their funding is coming from, and to limit the amount any one group can spend.

    English lost the original challenge run by his proxy David Farrar so now he’s trying to misrepresent the intentions of the act and silence his opponents.

  12. r0b 12

    OK, pop quiz. Before you use Google to check – which NZ political commentator (while wrong about the interpretation of the law) wrote the following, strongly in favour of the EPMU’s right to free speech?:

    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is an important institution in our society. … it is the largest private sector union in New Zealand, with more than 45,000 members, and focussed on all the political machinations in Wellington. …

    In any free society, a trade union advocating politically would be uncontroversial. The whole collapse of the Soviet empire began in 1980 over whether or not Lech Walesa’s Solidarity union should be able to be politically independent. …

    The law needs to return to parliament to be amended to make clear that the New Zealand trade union movement is allowed to be properly involved in our elections. Unlike the Labour Party, we shouldn’t be afraid we might be corrupted if the EPMU or anyone else drops pamphlets in our letterboxes.

    I hope that this same commentator will now come out just as vigourously opposed to National’s attempt to stifle the free speech of more than 45,000 working Kiwis.

    What irony it is. After all their fuss about the sanctity of free speech last year – who are the ones shutting it down? National are silencing journalists, and National are silencing working New Zealanders. Shame.

  13. hopefully this backfires on national and results in a huge increase in union membership when they see how national thinks of workers rights

  14. Monty 14

    Of Course National may well win (I hope they do) then will you lefties retract what you have said and say this is a bad law? Do not forget that tere will be a delicious irony if the EPMU / Labour lose. After all this is Labour’s legislation and National Voted against it..

  15. dave 15

    So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law.

    Anyway wouldnt it have been better for Labour to write law that was clear? Of course! So Irish Bill, dont be too upset at National going to the courts, you should be annoyed that Labour didn’t write clear law.

    Thats the real bad politics of it all.

    IrishBill says: The EC said the EFA didn’t stop the EPMU from putting its members’ interests forward. National is now saying it should. That’s double-speak and I’m sure they’ll pay for it.

  16. r0b 16

    So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law.

    Ahh Dave, I think you are a wee bit confused there. Labour has said that it does not oppose National’s legal proceedings to clarify some aspects of the law. But it does not support Nationals appeal of the decision that the EPMU can register as a third party (where National is brazenly hypocritical in its attempts to silence working Kiwis).

  17. dave 17

    I didnt say which part of National’s court action it supports, did I, so no, I’m not really confused at all. I`m certainly not cojfised wehn I say that it would have been better for Labour to write law that was clear in the first place.

  18. r0b 18

    OK Dave, you weren’t confused. So I guess your first sentence “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either, particularly as it has supported Nationals court action in fixing up its law” makes no sense at all for entirely different reasons.

    It would have been better for Labour to write law that was clear in the first place

    They didn’t write a perfect law to be sure. But if they had, vested interests would still be challenging it, and we would still be having this conversation. Plus ca change.

  19. dave 19

    No youre wrong. If law is clear there is no need to go to court to clarify it. I thought that was pretty elementary to understand…

  20. r0b 20

    The bit that is giving me problems is “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either” . Huh?

    National is the party with no interest in democracy, they are the ones trying to silence 45,000 working Kiwis. I thought that was pretty elementary to understand

  21. Milt, the EFA was never about stopping critics with money publicising that criticism it was about making sure people knew where that money was coming from.

    That was the stated intent, sure. Unfortunately, neither bill nor act look like that stated intent. They look more like an attempt to load the funding dice in favour of the incumbent. Labour deserve their arses kicked for that alone. Not to mention: the clowns that came up with this unsubtle scam might usefully have stopped to think that Labour won’t always be the incumbent – in three years time it might be the Nats strangling Labour’s funding while taking full advantage of publishing “policy information” (snigger) at taxpayers’ expense.

  22. dave 22

    where National is brazenly hypocritical in its attempts to silence working Kiwis
    Working kiwis are not silenced by National. Hahahaha. Practically any group of Kiwis can register as a Third Party. Do tell how “National is hypocritical in its attempts to silence working kiwis”.

  23. r0b 23

    in three years time it might be the Nats strangling Labour’s funding

    Is it a full moon or something? Now P.M is making no sense. How does the EFA strangle any party’s funding?

    publishing “policy information’ (snigger)

    Grow up. People need to be told about policies that affect them and resources that they are entitled to use. What use would KiwiSaver or Working for Families be if no one knew about them? Should we do away with expensive health campaigns like those addressing the issues of drink driving and domestic violence? Should we maybe, keep elections secret, so no one gets to vote? Public information campaigns are a vital part of what government departments do, and your “snigger” is the snigger of a foolish schoolboy.

  24. r0b 24

    Dave, I notice that you haven’t answered the question. When you wrote “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either’ what were you talking about? Because I think you were entirely confused about the different legal processes going on.

    Do tell how “National is hypocritical in its attempts to silence working kiwis’.

    And we come full circle. Go back to the top of the thread and read the initial post. Read IrishBill’s comment of 2:35pm. It couldn’t be laid out much more clearly.

  25. dave 25

    Yes it could.. In terms my democracy comment I was merely stating that I think that Irish Bill thinks by implication that Labour has no interest in democracy. Of course I may be wrong, bur its not up to you to decide that, its up to IB.I did have another comment that somehow got wiped (nmust have been the captcha) It said that any subgroup of the 25000 working kiwis can register as a third party, so how is National silenceing working kiwis? Do tell, given that Ive answered your question.

    IrishBill says: oh dear Dave, you’ve tried to misrepresent my argument. That’s what people do when they are desperate and the right is obviously desperate to silence criticism on the issue of work rights don’t embarrass yourself by trying to claim black is white on this issue. You and other people of you unfortunate political ilk have nothing but disregard for working people. Why are you afraid to own that truth?

  26. Tane 26

    Dave, I’m genuinely having real trouble understanding your argument. Could you lay it out a bit more clearly?

  27. dave 27

    what part are you having difficulty with?

  28. Tane 28

    All of it.

    [captcha: Mr repititious]

  29. dave 29

    OK I`ll start with this bit, and lay it out a bit more clearly for you – and I`ll be real basic for you, given that you have difficulty in understanding what most people can comprehend

    Wouldnt it have been better for Labour to write law that was clear? Of course! So Irish Bill, dont be too upset at National going to the courts, you should be annoyed that Labour didn’t write clear law.

    Thats the real bad politics of it all.

    1. It is always good for government to write law that is clear and easy to understand. Then its citizens can know what to follow and what is outlawed, and authorities can correctly interpret the law. The EFA is unclear. If you don’t understand or agree with that, Tane, there is something wrong with you.

    2. If Labour had written clear law with regards to the EFA, people would be able to understand the law and its meaning. Therefore they would know what is within the law and what isnt. Therefore there would be no need to go to court to clarify this law. Given that the is misunderstanding, and Labour ministers have given confliciting opinions about the same points of law, there is need to seek clarification on that law. To do that the judiciary is the place to go to, so thats what National is doing, in part supported by Labour.

    Is that clear enough for you?

  30. Tane 30

    Dave, I’ll agree the EFA was poorly drafted in parts, but it’s pretty clear from the Electoral Commission’s ruling that the EPMU and other affiliated unions can register as third parties, just as the law intended.

    National should be overjoyed if they really care about free speech and democracy. But they don’t.

    Tell me, why else would National launch a judicial review to have the EPMU muzzled, and how does their application for an interim injuction help to clarify the law?

  31. r0b 31

    Dave, I’ve always been clear on that part of your argument.

    The bit that still puzzles me is: “So your post means that you think Labour has no interest in democracy either’ . What part of IrishBill’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour has no interest in democracy? And – “either”?

  32. dave 32

    Its clear that the Electoral Commission said that the EPMU can register as third parties. (Crown Law had a bigger role to play in that decision). But its not as clear that it was how the law intended, which is more the point. National is not muzzling the EPMU, it is clarifying the law. If it wanted to muzzle the EPMU and prevent it from registering as a Third Party it would have put up an amendment at the time to do so and would have failed. The fact that the EPMU is caught up in it is unfortunate. Theres a limit to the time you can waste in parliament to fix up crap law and in the end if the Government refuses to pass decent law, despite its 150 amendments after a select committee, amnd failing to pass decent amendments from Natinal at the time, because of political rather than legal reasons, then its off to court to get it clarified.

    We dont need to know what the law says, we need to know what it means.

  33. Tane 33

    Dave, let’s lay it out simply:

    1) Parliament always intended for unions, affiliated or otherwise, to be able to register as third parties.

    2) National tried to argue the EFA forbids the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    3) The Electoral Commission has found the wording of the Act does not prevent the EPMU from becoming a third party.

    So what exactly needs clarifying here? And how on earth does National’s application for an injunction to silence the EPMU until after the court case help to clarify the issue?

    And this is just stupid:

    If it wanted to muzzle the EPMU and prevent it from registering as a Third Party it would have put up an amendment at the time to do so and would have failed.

    That course of action would have been far too blatant, and besides I don’t think National planned that far ahead. This is an act of political opportunism, and any New Zealander who cares free speech and democracy will oppose it.

  34. dave 34

    >What part of Irish Bill’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour has no interest in democracy
    The same part that can be interpreted as meaning that National has no interest in democracy.

    And Tane, I think an injunction is a sensible decision from a legal perspective as if the EPMU is not allowed to register as a Third Party, it shouldn’t now. The flipside argument is that if it is, it should be – but because the law is so unclear, nobody really knows whether they should or shouldnt, therefore until the law is clarified we don’t know whether teh EC was correct.

    All this is the fault of Labour, not Parliament, and certainly not the EPMU. Your conplaint should not be the legal process that National has undetaken, but the lack of clarity of the law, but you appear to be too biased to communicate that view for fear that it could be sayihng something less than positive about Labour.

  35. r0b 35

    The same part that can be interpreted as meaning that National has no interest in democracy.

    Nope, Ok, I give up. National are the ones trying to silence the EPMU. National are the ones who have shredded even the pretence of “clarifying the law” by taking out injunctions. National are the ones with no interest in democracy. No part of IB’s post can be interpreted as meaning that Labour condones these things unless you are terminally confused (and then too small to admit it).

    Goodnight, Dave.

  36. Wayne 36

    It hasn’t gone unnoticed that National’s highly principled attempt to clarify the law also happens to silence one of their biggest opponents.

    Did they really think we were too stupid to notice?

  37. Dean 37

    “National are the ones with no interest in democracy.”

    Oh, for goodness sakes.

    You people really do draw a long bow, don’t you? Seriously, it’s like something out of a bad, bad movie.

    “National should be overjoyed if they really care about free speech and democracy. But they don’t.”

    You should be overjoyed that the Exclusive Brethren voiced their opinion at the last election. But! Shock horror! You’re not.

    Why? Because you’re terribly, horribly biased. Just like the National party. In fact, you people seem to yearn to take every opportunity you can find to denegrate the “chinless scarf wearers” in any way you can.

    Really, it’s kind of sickening to see these kinds of double standards (no, that’s not supposed to be a pun) from people who want to trumpet the cause of “democracy”. And all in response to a post from Irish “Uncle Tom” Bill… well. I think that about takes the proverbial cake.

    IrishBill says: The problem with the EB is they wanted to campaign without people knowing they were campaigning. The EFB stopped that. At no time have the unions disowned their campaigns. New Zealanders have the right to know who is trying to influence their decision to vote. That’s transparent democracy.

    On the issue of your attempt to smear me: try it again and I will ban you for a month.

  38. Dave – you are the dumbest fuck I have ever seen on these blogs bar D4J. You may not have noticed this but no other rightie is backing you ‘cos this is a lost cause. National have given up all pretense of caring for democracy or for working people with this attack and it’s so clear no-one but a sad little house-slave like yourself is willing to try to deny it. Get a life you fool and stop sucking up to the shitbags that are trying to fuck ordinary kiwis like me. You make me sick you fuckin quisling.

    [lprent: ‘sod you can say exactly the same thing without the language. I’d suggest strongly that you tone it down. How many bans have the moderators given you recently? It is starting to attract my attention. You should also notice that dave has managed his end of the debate without doing anything to attract my attention in this mornings scan.]

  39. dave 39

    piss off Porton, you sick child and stop hassling and smearing me with your abusive language or perhaps the nice people at the Standard will ban you for good, you loser. Why do you think I refuse to engage with jerkoffs like you?

  40. Dean 40

    “On the issue of your attempt to smear me: try it again and I will ban you for a month.”

    Go ahead and permaban me, Irish. I’m sure your hypocrisy will continue unashamedly.

  41. Grow up. People need to be told about policies that affect them and resources that they are entitled to use.

    I look forward to seeing the same “grown-up” attitude displayed when a National govt is helpfully telling us about its policies with the taxpayer-funded message “You’re better off with National,” exempt from being counted against its election spend, while Labour struggles with having its party secretary financially at risk from every non-authorised message that anyone in the party gives anyone in the electorate. Tell you what though – I’ll cheerfully stop writing “snigger” after “policy information” if Labour will stop using policy information as free election advertising.

  42. Occasional Observer 42

    The Electoral Commission–staff of two, including the Communications Manager, neither of whom are lawyers–is not the definitive authority on electoral law. They merely offer advice. Decisions of the EC are not binding. This isn’t like going to the Inland Revenue Commissioner and asking for a ruling on tax law.

    The EC’s determination was based on Crown Law advice, which again is not infallible. It’s not unreasonable to go and test it in Court, and get a binding decision on third party applications. Crown Law stated that there were no issues with the EFB and the Bill of Rights Act, despite the Human Rights Commission taking the unprecedented position of calling on a Government bill to be scrapped, on the basis that it breached Bill of Rights and other core human rights principles.

    If you allow the EC’s determination to stand, then you are opening up the door for sham third parties to set themselves up to avoid spending caps. Act on Campus could register as a third party, and say they are merely affiliated to the Act Party, just as the EPMU is merely affiliated to the Labour Party. The SuperBlues could apply to be a third party, and say they are merely affiliated to the National Party. The WildGreens could register separately.

  43. Occasional Observer 43

    That’s a good point, PM.

    We learned from the Labour congress this weekend that Labour Party activists are being asked to distribute pamphlets from government departments, explaining Labour’s key policies, with propaganda on how Labour supports those policies and National opposes them. What a coincidence that the promotional material won’t count in Labour’s spending cap.

  44. Sorry Lynn – I’ll tone it down.

  45. gobsmacked 45

    Some idiot in the Labour Party needs a right bollocking this morning. I’m sick of the gun-aimed-at-foot stupidity around this issue.

    This may be cynical (hell, it IS cynical, I admit it) but in politics you follow the basic maxim: “If you don’t want it on the front page, don’t write it down”.

    Get your act together, people. National should be toast, but you’re too busy jamming your own fingers in the toaster.

    Labour will win on the issues that New Zealanders care about (see Cullen’s superb speech yesterday, listing dozens of achievements), or lose on the stupid distractions, the gifts they generously give the opposition (which includes the Herald).

    I recommend a line from that fine Australian film ‘The Dish’, where the PM talks to the aspiring candidate:

    “We have a saying in the party – don’t fuck up … (pause) … that’s it”.

  46. higherstandard 46

    GS

    I agree the election will be won on issues NZ’s care about one of which is an inherent dislike of what on the face of it appears to be an abuse of taxpayer money for political purposes.

  47. Billy 47

    Thank God we have the Labour Party protecting openness and transparency in the democratic process

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10503960

  48. IrishBill 48

    Yes Billy, very good off-topic link. But how do you feel about National trying to stop the EPMU from representing it’s members’ interests?

  49. Billy 49

    So on a thread about alleged abuse of electoral legislation, I can’t discuss its abuse by anyone other than those you want to talk about?

    You don’t want a blog, IB, you want a megaphone.

  50. Matthew Pilott 50

    Psycho Milt – I’d love the idea of National using government departments to advertise their policies. Can you imagine it?

    “You’re better off with National – why the 90-day bill will work for you, and why it’s easier to get a job because you can now be fired for no reason.”

    I’d do another, but National only have one policy. Oh wait:

    “You’re better off with National – why our boot camps will work despite best practice and international research showing involuntary boot camps are virtually useless.”

    So yeah, not likely there, and therein lies the rub for National, don’t you think?

  51. dave 51

    National is not stopping the EPMU from representing its members interests. Not all EPMU members are interested in breaking the law and campaigning to elect a Labour Government in work time using government department pamphlets – that were printed for other purposes – to do so.

  52. IrishBill 52

    No Billy, I want to know your view on National’s attempted injunction. As I understand it the advice to provide WWF materials to voters was brought up in an open meeting in front of media. I can’t see how that fits with the Herald’s secret agenda story.

  53. Occasional Observer 53

    Bill,

    Haven’t various right-wing organisations offered the your employer the right to use their authorisation on electoral spending?

    The Libertarianz aren’t going to spend all their cap. They believe in free speech, which is why they were the largest funders behind the Free Speech Coalition. Ask them for their authorisation to campaign.

  54. r0b 54

    I look forward to seeing the same “grown-up’ attitude displayed when a National govt is helpfully telling us about its policies with the taxpayer-funded message “You’re better off with National,’

    I think you may be confusing several different issues in that mess P.M. If you can show may an example of a government department (as opposed to the Labour Party) advertising “better off with Labour” then I’d be very interested to take a look. Otherwise, I’m not sure what relevance this has to the topic of government department advertising?

  55. IrishBill 55

    OO, I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you are talking about. Could you explain your comment more clearly?

  56. Billy 56

    Billy: So on a thread about alleged abuse of electoral legislation, I can’t discuss its abuse by anyone other than those you want to talk about?

    IB: No Billy…

    Full marks for honesty, IB.

    Here is what I think: Labour decided to make electoral law it’s plaything. If further evidence was needed, we now have them detailing a strategy (secret or not) to use the advantages of encumbancy in a quite cynical way. Add to this the Australian experience of the unions spending $10m to back Labor, and National have every right to think that Labour have used this law as nothing more thatn election tactic.

    The injunction is a natural consequence of Labour’s politicising electoral law.

    Labour drafted the law. It included the prohibition on those involved in running a political party from registering as a third party. So add ineptitude to their other shortcomings.

    And as for: “deny[ing] working New Zealanders a voice”, I thought this law didn’t curtail free speech, just the use of big money to do so. Or do we only run that line when it suits us?

  57. Billy 57

    “it’s plaything”

    Bugger. Misplaced apostrophe.

  58. IrishBill 58

    I won’t tell ‘Sod about the apostrophe.

    Ok Billy, Firstly full marks for decontextualising my words.

    Secondly, your points about the Aussie Unions’ election campaign and Labour writing self-serving law directly contradict each other. Surely if Labour wanted to write a law to serve itself it would not have allowed the unions to be capped to $120,000? (which, incidentally is much more that is spent on any union campaign I have heard of).

    Thirdly, the law was not about stopping money being spent but about capping how much could be spent and making sure who was spending it was not in doubt.

    And finally, National has tried to claim it is in favour of the EPMU campaigning but is injuncting it in order to stop it doing so. That’s a pretty big disconnect. I have no problem with National trying to muzzle workers. It’s pretty much what I expect of them. What I do have issues with is their attempts to claim they are the friends of working people while they are doing it. I also think it is bad politics because they need the votes of working people to win the election (and remember 370,000 of those working people are union members).

  59. insider 59

    Matthew

    If you want some catchy policy publicity why not these ones?

    your money is better off with Labour, as we know how to spend it much better than you do

    You’re better off with Labour if you like high itnerest rates, low house affordability, low productivity and lower wages.

    let’s not get too silly

  60. Steve Pierson 60

    insider. productivity is up, wages are up, and interest rates have been lower under Labour than National (I have a post on that for later in the day)

  61. r0b 61

    Billy: I thought this law didn’t curtail free speech, just the use of big money to do so. Or do we only run that line when it suits us?

    The law doesn’t curtail the EPMU’s free speech, as the Electoral Commission just ruled, based on an absolutely straight forward reading of the Act.

    None the less National is doing its best to challenge the law and try and twist it into a shape that could be used to curtail free speech. And adding legal injunctions to the mix, that have no other purpose at all.

    And you’re still here trying to blame the law? Pathetic. National are the ones trying to twist the law to silence 45,000 working New Zealanders.

  62. Occasional Observer 62

    Irishbill:

    Do you think the WildGreens should be able to register as a third party and campaign in parallel to the Greens? Do you think that Act on Campus should be allowed to do so, on ten different campuses, thus boosting the amount of money that Act can spend by $1.2 million?

    Because that’s what the law, as interpreted by the Electoral Commission, is saying by allowing an organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, such as the EPMU, to do.

    This makes a total farce of the government’s stated intention to get rid of parallel campaigning. It makes a farce of spending limits by political parties if two people heavily involved with a political party can set up a third party and increase their spending cap accordingly.

    I note that you seem to be cranky that National is seeking a declaration on this from the Court. I haven’t heard you say anything about National getting clarity from the Court on the definition of parliamentary purposes in a separate action–although because that bit of litigation is being encouraged by the Labour Party, it defeats your claim that National’s using its war-chest to tie up opponents in litigation.

    Nice seeing you all at Chow the other night.

  63. IrishBill 63

    OO, the EFA doesn’t allow Act on campus or branches of the labour party or any wholly subsidiary part of a political party to register as a third party. You seem to have misinterpreted the interpretation by the electoral commission. In exactly the same way Bill English and DPF have misinterpreted them.

    Your second point relies on the false information in your first for it’s validity and so is also false.

    And your point about me being cranky? Well I have to say that when I heard National was doing this I was stoked. I imagine the EPMU will take this opportunity to point out exactly what National think of Kiwi workers. Like I said bad politics.

    I’ve eaten at chow once in my life and it was over a year ago. If you did see me there last night I would be astounded. Tell me, are you trying to imply you are stalking me or was that a misguided attempt at friendliness?

  64. dave 64

    IB

    why arent you as concerned about the lack of clarity of this law to at least the same extent as your concern of National’s court action?

  65. Ari 65

    The EFA was never intended to get rid of paralell campaigning. Merely to make it accountable, and to assign it its own spending limits.

    The law is also pretty clear that groups like Act on Campus or Rainbow Labour or so on are not eligible third parties. I cannot see the Electoral Commission taking any such application seriously.

    The EPMU is very, very different to a party organisation. Denying them the chance to register would be like denying the Business Roundtable because of its ties to National, or denying Greenpeace because of its shared principles with the Green Party.

  66. dave 66

    .. except that the BRT and Greenpeace members are not given automatic membership opf a political pary and their officials dont have a governing role in any political party, nor do these organisations campaign for a poltical party, nor are they taxpayer funded.

    Ari quit while you`re behind…or chatch up

  67. Tane 67

    Dave:

    a) Affiliated union members are not automatically members of the Labour Party. They have voting rights in the party though due to their affiliation, if they choose to use them.

    b) The role of affiliates vice-president is elected by the affiliates and represents in an individual capacity the interests of all affiliates on the NZ Council, not the VP’s particular union.

    c) Unions are not taxpayer funded.

    d) ‘chatch up’???

  68. dave 68

    every EPMU member is automatically a Labour Party member should they wish to take it up – entitlement is automatic – you join the EPMU and you join Labour effectively. Okay taxpayer funded was a bitOTT- but teh PSA – and any other union whose mambers are primarily public servants – is government funded given that all members are public servants whose salaries – and union fees – are paid for by the state.

  69. hmm 69

    Irish Bill said:

    “OO, the EFA doesn’t allow Act on campus or branches of the labour party or any wholly subsidiary part of a political party to register as a third party. You seem to have misinterpreted the interpretation by the electoral commission. In exactly the same way Bill English and DPF have misinterpreted them.”

    Where does the EFA say that wholly subidiary parts are not allowed. All the EFA says in section 13 is that parties are ineligible to register. Parties are defined as those parties registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993. The New Zealand Labour Party is registered – therefore cannot register.

    Young Labour is not registered as a party under the Electoral Act. It is itself an unincorporated body which I imagine has its own rules and or constitution. It is therefore not a party registered under the Electoral Act AND because it is an unincorporated body it is not a natural person which means according to the EC’s determination that only natural persons can be ineligible because of involvement in the party that Young Labour would have to be registered as a third party.

  70. Tane 70

    Dave, grasping at straws.

  71. …is government funded given that all members are public servants whose salaries – and union fees – are paid for by the state.

    So, if you and a bunch of other people employed by private enterprise organisations form a club, that club is “funded by private business interests” – because that’s who’s paying all your salaries? I don’t think so. What you do with your salary is your business, not your employer’s.

  72. Matthew Pilott 72

    Dave – the PSA is state funded is it?

    If five public servants who were union members went to the pub would you say that their drinking session was state funded?

    What if someone worked for the PSA, was a union member and then used their income to pay for New Zealand citizenship!!! That would be out and out vote buying wouldn’t it!?!

  73. Billy 73

    r0b: None the less National is doing its best to challenge the law and try and twist it into a shape that could be used to curtail free speech.

    My point was, on the Labour Party’s previous argument, if this happened, the people’s free speech wouldn’t be curtailed, just the money they used to buy that free speech. Only you guys seem to abandon that as a defensible position when the free speech being curtailed is that which argues your position.

  74. r0b 74

    Billy – I was phrasing the debate in the same language that the Right has been using on this issue. Language is a two edged sword, don’t you think?

    If we are agreed that the fevered language and framing of the Right on the EFA as a “free speech” issue is inappropriate, then I will happily rephrase my comment more precisely. Are we agreed?

  75. dave 75

    If five public servants who were union members went to the pub would you say that their drinking session was state funded?

    GIven that Ive been a public servant and a PSA member, yeah, it would be state funded, particularly if the bar tab was paid for by the employer, as it often is.

  76. Billy 76

    Either we’re at cross purposes r0b, or I am really dumb. What are you on about, girl?

    At the great risk of labouring my point, I am saying that Labour’s argument has been that no-one’s free speech is curtailed by placing restrictions on how much money they can spend broadcasting that speech. If that is true, the EPMU’s speech is not being restricted. If it’s not true, you have to admit that free speech is being restricted by the Act (albeit, you might well say, for a greater good).

  77. So Dave – it’s my taxes that pay your wages. The thought of you spending your time posting right-wing filth on my dime is almost enough to make me vote tory just to see your lazy stupid arse get downsized.

    Billy – well done. You’ve picked up on a small rhetorical paradox. Now while you’re on a roll how about telling me whether you think people should be able to spend more than $120k to influence your vote and whether they should be able to do so in a way that means you will never know who they are or what their interest in doing so is?

  78. Billy 78

    ‘sod, are you just going to leave that “I am really dumb” alone?

  79. dave 79

    Robinsod, you child, hahahahahahahaha, you really are a loser, the best that you an hope for is to die in your sleep..

    [lprent: dave: I didn’t give you a license to go childish either. You were doing quite well without this comment.]

  80. Billy 80

    I am glad I picked up on the paradox, because, reading r0b, I thought I was missng soemthing.

    The problem is that, if you restrict everyone else to $120k and then instruct your MPs on how to get the most out of the use of taxpayers’ money you are kind of leaving yourself open to the charge that you are manipulating electoral law to your best advantage.

    For more, see what the below member of the rabid member of the kiwiblog right has to say:

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-i-cant-support-labour.html

  81. Dave – I’ll outlive you no worries. Especially if you continue to refuse to take your pills.

    Billy – yes, yes, yes you’ve shown you can use irony now why not show you can answer my question without misdirecting.

  82. Billy 82

    The problem is not my answer. It is that you have asked the wrong question.

    The question should be about the fairness of the electoral system. It is invalid to pick out the parts of that system which suit your argument, and scream “misdirect” every time someone points out you’re missing something.

    If I am just not allowed to factor in the $47m a year that the government spends telling its story (and the fact that the government has instructed its MPs on how to use this to the best advantage of the Labour Party), then your question is unworthy of an answer. It will prove what you set out to prove, but only because it was only looking at a corner of the problem.

  83. Whatever, Billy. I should learn not to expect a straight answer from you.

  84. Billy 84

    OK. But we agree I win, right?

  85. Oh good lord. If it makes you happy then yes Billy you win. You are dead right it is indeed a good thing that National are stopping unions from campaigning. OK???

  86. Billy 86

    Well, at least that’s settled, then.

  87. AncientGeek 87

    hmmmmmm:

    Young Labour is not registered as a party under the Electoral Act. It is itself an unincorporated body which I imagine has its own rules and or constitution. It is therefore not a party registered under the Electoral Act….

    You are correct as far as my reading of the act goes. But you miss the point. A lot of the provisions of the EFA are about transparency and public accountability. If you campaign, then you cannot do it covertly and you must account for the full electoral period.

    We’re in April now, and as far as I can see, all major and most of the minor parties have been running some sort of campaign already. Under the old act this wouldn’t have had to be accounted for. It is probably 6-7 months to elections. This is what happened in 2005, but only the last 3 months in that campaign were accounted for, and very little was transparent.

    So far it looks like the act is doing exactly what was intended. Transparancy and accountability for the full election campaign

  88. r0b 88

    Either we’re at cross purposes r0b, or I am really dumb. What are you on about, girl?

    Cross purposes Billy, you don’t seem to be dumb. And bravo for not assuming that I’m male.

    At the great risk of labouring my point, I am saying that Labour’s argument has been that no-one’s free speech is curtailed by placing restrictions on how much money they can spend broadcasting that speech.

    Correct, if the restriction is $120,000.

    If that is true, the EPMU’s speech is not being restricted.

    Ahhh no, because the Nats are trying to set the limit for the EPMU at effectively $0, by denying them the right to register as a third party.

    So, spend $120,000, free speech not curtailed. Spend $0 curtails the free speech of an organisation of 45,000 people. Spot the difference?

    Now, it’s true that I am being deliberately provocative in framing this in the same language – “restricting free speech” – that the Right used in attacking the EFA (two edged sword). I’m happy to use less emotive language if we are agreed that the language used by the Right on this issue has been cynically and hysterically emotive.

    But whatever language we use, it is the case that EFA doesn’t meaningfully restrict the speech of (most) individuals or organisations up to a limit of $120,000. But the Nats are trying to twist it so that it does restrict the free speech of the EPMU, and also using another legal tool, the injunction, to the same end. Shame on them.

  89. higherstandard 89

    Congratulations to the Prime Minister on doing the right thing.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10504166

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    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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