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Beyond the middleclasses

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, December 16th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class, class war, employment, poverty - Tags: , ,

There is plenty of evidence that political parties tend to target their campaigns and policies on the middle-classes, while low income strugglers have become increasingly disenfranchised.  This is strongly influenced by the tendency of the MSM to focus on the middle and upper-classes, especially in  front page and prime-time coverage of political news.

An article on Stuff this morning, at first seemed to be following the standard middle-class focus.  But then, as it progressed it developed a critique of the relative impact of current economic realities on people in different class or income bands.  The impact of the GFC on the middle classes, may not be as expected:

So with a recession, spiralling inner-city house prices and a rising cost of living, is the Kiwi middle-class also feeling the squeeze? You might think so, but some economists reckon the numbers tell us we’ve never had it so good.

“They don’t know how lucky they are,” declares analyst Matthew Nolan of Wellington’s Infometrics.

The author/s refer to various theorists, studies and statistics, providing more evidence than I have time to analyse before I head to work.  But here are some extracts:

Jean-Pierre Du Raad, chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, agrees. The middle-class squeeze is “a bit of an urban myth”, he says.

Since 2001, our middle-class median income has risen by 21 per cent. Yes, the recession has hit, but it’s arguable the middle class has suffered less than the poor and the rich. In part, that’s because of Director’s Law.

Named after the late American economist Aaron Director, it suggests the middle class will always have undue political influence because of its size and aggregate wealth.

“The middle class has political power, so the things they are concerned about are acted on,” says Nolan.

And this:

So where did the myth of the middle-class squeeze come from? Well, says Nolan, the middle class knows how to make a noise, everyone’s feeling the recession, and many have paid attention to the noises coming from America.

Of course, this is about statistics – the average. This isn’t you, living from pay cheque to pay cheque, scraping together the school donation, the football subs, the car repayment, the Sky bill, the rent for the bach this Christmas.

Department of Statistics figures show, in the past five years, substantial climbs in the cost of insurance (home insurance by 130 per cent, contents by 41 per cent and health by 43 per cent), most foods (by about a fifth), rates (30 per cent) and electricity bills (26 per cent).

But remember, says Du Raad, rising prices hit everyone, but reduced mortgage rates are more likely to help the middle class (if, crudely, you presume the rich own their homes outright and the poor rent). And house prices? That’s merely young middle-class people paying more to older middle-class people.

But here is the real crunch:

What all three economists do agree on is the growing level of inequality in New Zealand – it’s this chasm between our poorest and richest that’s probably the real issue.

Du Raad says the squeeze has actually come strongest on low-income households earning between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.

“There are social issues we should be looking at, not a blanket claim that the middle class are struggling – it’s not in the data,” argues Nolan.

“We’d be better to focus our attention and efforts on people hit by the recession – the long-term unemployed; child poverty.”

The article humanises the issues by presenting some thumbnail sketches of different individuals and families.  Some, like the unemployed 59 year old job seeker, and the quake survivors struggling in difficult circumstances.  However, the examples tend to undercut the main argument in the article, and re-focus attention on the middle-classes. It doesn’t include any people who are really doing it tough, like Bernadette Connell, contemplating Christmas on the breadline.

Nor does it include people who will be contemplating attending Christmas celebrations or foodbanks organised by the likes of the Auckland City Mission:

Each Christmas the Mission supports thousands of people who have no-one else to turn to. Throughout December we expect to provide 2000 emergency food parcels, distribute approximately 20,000 Christmas presents and host around 2500 people at New Zealand’s largest community Christmas Lunch.

Or the Christchurch City Mission.  These are the organisations that I know of.  You may be able to provide links to others.

And, given the amount of detail in the above Stuff article, you may have more time to ponder on it and provide some insights, than I do right now.

81 comments on “Beyond the middleclasses”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    Thanks Karol, lots to think about here. I am no longer very sure as to whom we are referring when we speak of middle-classes. There seem to be middle-classes and middle-classes. Some of these (a majority still) are “comfortably off, thank you”, others (still the minority) are hit by the recession and punitive measures. Plenty are left, regrettably, to assure the Tories of their vote (the “I’m all right Jack” type and the Nat’s take great care not to offend (too much) these wealthier middle-classes persons (when it came to offences against teachers or mining conservation land, for example, the government pulled in its horns). For all the very real problems, sorrows, even despair, that the country is experiencing, in the end this remains a reasonably prosperous country if only by a small margin. The Nat’s count upon it. The thing to notice, however, is that currently the government IS beginning to make inroads on upsetting its customary supporters, thus there is hope on the horizon yet (of being shot of it)

    Don’t know that I am making much sense – hard to express it clearly.

    • just saying 1.1

      Comfortable urban professional/business people have come to sense a degree of entitlement previously only seen in farmers and the gentry.
      The griping and sense of aggrievement we see expressed by them – memes such as: impossibly, unsustainable x number of taxpayers supporting x number of bludgers; the Maori grievance industry robbing taxpayers blind, the idea that they are the backbone burdened with supporting everybody else and deprived as a result, these to me smell of a a preemptive strike against the dirt-poor, the struggling, Maori, assorted other oppressed. -   They know in their hearts that they have for than is fair, oftentimes more than they themselves actually expected to have compared with the more modest middle-class they grew up in.  They know in their hearts that the many luxuries and freedoms they enjoy must inevitably be somewhat curtailed.  They know that there comes a point in which suffereing inflicted on large numbers of less fortunate others will reach a critical mass and that they will have a fight on their hands.  They know all this and they are still getting in first and belligerently declaring that they are entitled to everything they have and more.  And they aint compromising one jot.

      • Neoleftie 1.1.1

        Urban professional and business types are not inclusive terms,  urban professional covers range of jobs etc that might lend itself to a social conscious and awareness whereas business types usually imbedded into the neolib investment capital constructed systeURL

        • just saying 1.1.1.1

          Of course Neolefite, I expressed myself badly. There are no homogenous groups obviously.  I was trying (unsuccessfully) to describe members (and not all of them) of a group of particular asset wealth, disposable income and social resources.
           
          A friend of mine used to send me emails circulated amongst her middle-class friends-friends in Auckland. God knows who originally wrote them.   The emails bitched about all the things I mentioned and made out they (the prosperous middle class) were some kind of precious endangered species under imminent threat.  They were in an unattributed, apparently authorative newspaper column-type format, but full of untruths half-truths and other kinds of deception.
           
          My friend found the emails offensive but fascinating.  There were a massive number of names on the mailing list.  When she finally said what she thought about them she stopped receiving them.  It was amazing how hard done by such wealthy people felt in regard to others so much less advantaged.  How angry they were.
           
          I came upon similar ‘newsletters’ via wealthier friends and acquaintances down here in the South Island.  I assume they are the sorts of things that are informally distributed quite widely.  That famous quote from the US tea party that Mallard recently posted on his facebook page about the middle class slaving away to pay taxes to enable bludgers to loll around doing nothing (I paraphrase, I can’t remember the exact words) was of a similar genre.
          I wasn’t suggesting all of the middle class think similarly.   I’m not actually poor myself.

          edit: I don’t think most middle class professionals are liberals though I know many who are.

          • Neoleftie 1.1.1.1.1

            I remember two brothers one new off the boat from Auckland , the other a dunedinite conservative local councillor and business suit type. The Aucklander was rude classist and devoid of any respect or understanding for those perceived as his inferiors by earning of position, his brother had to take him to task and state that it’s not the done thing in the deep south.
             

  2. Descendant Of Sssmith 2

    For me it can be put quite simply.

    I’m not wealthy and still have a reasonable mortgage which I’ll pay off by the time I retire.

    I can pay all my bills on time and have a reasonable spend on luxuries or choose to pay a bit more off my mortgage.

    I’m in a similar position to my grandparents generation who simply aimed similarly to have bought a house and paid their mortgage off before retirement.

    I don’t change my house cause I bought it to live in and I’ll never own a rental property. I raised my kids rather than chasing the dollar and am happy with that choice.

    Did I need tax cuts – no.

    Am I happy for my tax to be increased – yes.

    Am I happy for those increases to be spent on poor people absolutely.

    Do I think non-judgemental societal welfare via taxation is better than charity via benefactors – by a country mile.

    Do I wish Labour would off anything like this – yes

    Do they – No.

    • Neoleftie 2.1

      Me I want a progression to a state where mega corporation no longer and either co ops or SOE with all their profit retaimed, bye bye ruling class, no entity is more powerful than the state.
      The Fabian society has some intersting articles on the next way outa the more we are in and face so very very soon.

  3. BM 3

    NZ is well down the path to becoming a meritocracy.
    People expect others to make an effort, just giving money to poor people, annoys most people intensely.
    Like the Americans, if you’re not making enough money, get educated, work harder, don’t just sit around with your hand out expecting some else to provide.

    You may not like it but this is modern NZ.

    • rosy viper 3.1

      How about you tell that to the person who cleans your office toilet. Who has a low status job because s/he had to leave school at 14 due to being kicked out of home after s/he was being beaten up by parents or something?

      • BM 3.1.1

        Well if she’s moaning about not making enough money I’d say.

        Get educated, work harder, don’t just sit around with your hand out expecting some else to provide.

        • Foreign Waka 3.1.1.1

          Good morning BM
          I belief your answer is a bit too simplistic. As everything in life, there are a great number of variants playing a part in income levels. I would say, that the greatest number of people that our society could call lower class or poor are women with their children. As long as there is no pay parity they will stay poor. Or would you say that cleaning a toilet is less worth than cleaning your desk? Most of these manual nondescriptive jobs are filled by women and it is too easy to say that they sit around. Far from it! It’s just that they work and work and get nowhere for the sake or their kids. At the same time, yes there are some who use the very benefit system to take advantage. But I also know people who have finally landed a job only to say after 2 months they are now enttitled to far far more. One has to be carful not to lose perspective. The few are not representitive of the many. It is sooo easy to make blanket statements as these are the best defence to keep the status quo. So please look closer, make sure you understand the human circumstance before your judge. Have a great Christmas.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1.1.2

          BM
          You and people like you are the main reasons why NZ can’t get ahead and isn’t developing strategies to maintain adequately paying jobs and reasonable standard of living.  You breakfast, lunch and dine on your own stupid ideas all day so they are an integral part of you and so you can’t understand the wide society outside your little cave and shopping patch and echo chamber where you sit with your chosen companions listening to each other’s prejudices and slogans critical of practically everyone.

        • rosy viper 3.1.1.3

          Obviously you’ve been in a similar situation and know how simple your prescription is.

          Btw as an accidentally middleclass person I have no problem at all paying people a decent wage for performing the lowest status jobs. Including those jobs that improve the working environment of office workers who have never been toilet-trained.

        • QoTViper 3.1.1.4

          It’s a great piece of propaganda, the “meritocracy”.  It allows people like BM to assume that people doing shit jobs like cleaning toilets don’t deserve anything better, because hey, if they just tried hard enough they wouldn’t have to clean toilets.
          “Meritocracy” thus involves the assumption that people who clean toilets are scum.  Otherwise questions like “so who the fuck cleans your toilets when we’re all bootstrap millionaires?” would be a bit tricky.

          • Colonial Weka 3.1.1.4.1

            You’re forgetting there are no toilets on Planet Key,

            • xtasy 3.1.1.4.1.1

              Hence there are also no guts and stomachs in people living on Planet Key, as the “shit” that is made through there simply does not get created on his planet, so they all live off nectar and ambrosia, leaving nothing to pas through, as the body will fully absorb it all and only sweat out tiny residual stuff, aye?!
               
              Or would we not believe that Planet Key, if it was more “real life” is covered in shite and piss all over, as there is no special, organised place to put it, when it comes out of the body?
               
              Not a pleasant place to be in, I must say! Too smelly and slippery for my well being.

            • rosy viper 3.1.1.4.1.2

              ahh, Weka, you found the fatal flaw in my example.

        • bad12 3.1.1.5

          You just don’t ‘get it’ do you, perhaps you don’t ‘get it’ because you have not the intellectual where-with-all or perhaps you have for too long been availing yourself of sucking the scum from the trough of priveledge and you no longer care to ‘get it’,
           
          Your whole pathetic argument falls over at the first hurdle of the unemployment figures, 170,000 unemployed in New Zealand means just that, the economy is short of 170,000 jobs, so, even if every jobless person in New Zealand educated themselves to university degree level there would still be a New Zealand economy with a shortfall of 170,000 jobs,(unless you are laughably suggesting that there are 170,000 people out there wilfully avoiding employment),
           
          Your argument, pathetic as it is, falls at the second hurdle in that someone has to do the jobs of Labor where the burgers get flipped, the trash gets taken out, and, the gas gets pumped, should the 170,000 unemployed and the 400,000 low waged workers avail themselves of the education system and all become degree graduates WHERE EXACTLY do you think that would leave them or an equal number of degree graduates currently in employment at a level that goes some way to express due respect to the degrees they have sought and gained???
           
          What we would have is a highly educated workforce clamoring to be rewarded for their personal educational qualifications without having an economy capable of meeting such expectations, in other words university qualified burger flippers….
           

          • BM 3.1.1.5.1

            Nobody gives a fuck that people clean toilets or do any other menial job, I’ve done a few in my time.The issue is when people don’t live within their means and moan that they haven’t got enough money.
            You cannot live the life of an accountant,scientist,programmer etc, if you’re a cleaner, that’s the facts of life. if that’s all you can do learn to live a fairly basic existence,you’ll be a lot happier.

            • QoTViper 3.1.1.5.1.1

              Nobody gives a fuck that people clean toilets or do any other menial job, 
               
              You probably should, those jobs are kind of vital to all the “important” jobs which you think deserve big money.
               
              Not to mention that it often isn’t actually possible to “learn to live a fairly basic existence” on minimum wage, unless you think food and electricity are luxuries only accountants should be able to afford.

              • BM

                Have you ever had to?, I have, it’s hard but it’s acheivable.
                If you have very little money you need to learn to budget, look at ways to cut costs,It’s all about controlling your expenditure
                 
                 

                • QoTViper

                  Oh, well, if you managed then I’m sure the countless people living in poverty who literally cannot make ends meet just aren’t trying hard enough!  Anecdata is awesome!

      • anthony bull 3.1.2

        So, Rosy, does their life end at 14 then?  Are they incapable of upskilling or choosing a career or working hard from that point onwards?
         
        I know people who have made career changes at the age of 60 after being made redundant after working for firms for 30+ years, and then being laughed out of interviews for being too old – and they managed to completely change their careers and start new professions without prior training or skills in that profession.
         
        So why, can’t someone who is a young adult do the same?  Because their parents kicked them out of the house at some point in the past?  Is that their story for the rest of their life?

        • rosy viper 3.1.2.1

          So, anthony bull would you suggest a young person who leaves school with no qualifications, and a who had dysfunctional relationship with parent/s starts would start a working life on an equal footing with someone who finished school and has learned the communication skills they might need to make their way successfully in the adult world?

          Further, would you suggest that someone who might be unaware of how to make the most of life’s chances e.g. the aspirations the parents for the child is zilch, would have the same chance of making successful life choices as people who followed supported educational routes?

          Would you suggest that all young people who start out with such disadvantage will all have the same set of skills to successfully negotiate it?

          Do you suggest that a person with 30+ years work experience is at the same disadvantage as someone who didn’t learn any work skills at all, and that someone brought up in a violent home has the same communication skills and positive outlook as someone with 30 years work experience? Don’t you think the chance of a slip-up in a life plan is a little greater for someone with this background, so that person might require a little more input from ?? to make it happen, and that input might just reduce that chances of that person costing society a whole lot more in the long run?

          Even the Nats profess to believe in equality of opportunity.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2

      And you somehow think people don’t do that?
      You somehow don’t think that people work when work is there?
      You somehow think that moving GDP distribution away from wages to profits has made things better for people.
      You somehow think that those increased profits are being used to create innovate businesses that light up the sharemarket?
      You somehow think that those reduced taxes are doing the same?
      You somehow think that if tomorrow you had a car accident and suffered a brain injury that meant you could never work again that you would be OK.
      You somehow think that people on benefit is a fixed group of people who stay there forever?
      You think that some of those people you despise already work hard often holding down 2 jobs to just get by?
      You think everyone has the same capability, skill and circumstances – that no-one has disabilties, that employers aren’t racist or sexist, that men don’t beat and abuse their wives or suddenly leave them for no reason.
      You think get your shit together is the ONLY solution?
       
       
       

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2.1

        btw a true meritocracy would have all people starting off with nothing. I look forward to your promotion of 100% death duties.

    • vto 3.3

      BM “People expect others to make an effort, just giving money to poor people, annoys most people intensely”

      You need to think that it may be possible your lenses are a particular shape and your view is a result of that lens.

      You see, you assume that the reason poopr don’t have enough money is because they are not educated enough, don’t work hard enough, don’t get off their backside enough. You have expressed this view many times before.

      Has it occured to you that the reason poor people do not have enough money is because the parameters around the distribution of society’s wealth (and make no mistake – all money is “distributed” or “redistributed” by way of rules and regs and systems and settings. It has little to do with work or “earning”.) have been adjusted away from the poorer workers? Example: tax cuts for the upper income earners. Another example: lack of a capital gains tax means businesses aim for “earning” their wealth by way of capital rather than income. Example: a minimum wage that is less than slave wages (it costs more to keep a slave than to pay minimum wage. Did yo know that BM?)

      • BM 3.3.1

        I used to be on the dole with no money.

        Everyone that I got on the piss with every Thursday never wanted to work, took too much effort.Most enjoyed the dole life style, lack of money sucked but not been answerable to any one out weighted that and there were other ways you could make an extra bit of coin.

        Wasn’t until I applied myself learnt some skills, that life started moving forward.

        Most of the people I run into from this time, were the same.

        • vto 3.3.1.1

          Fair enough BM, and there are without doubt those types around. But they always will be around. They used to be on the railways and wharves in the 70′s, now they sit on te dole (generalisations taken).

          But your post there confirms my point above, namely that your lens is shaped to too great an extent by your own life’s circumstances. You should stop judging through your own lens and try the others that exist out there. The distribution of NZ’s wealth has little to do with hard work and education and most to do with the current distribution settings. It is these settings which need adjusting so that hard working poorer people get a greater share – like they used in the good old days…..

          Here is another related question – NZ is at its most wealthy today, yet we cannot adequately look after all our brothers and sisters. Why is that BM?

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.3.1.2

          And that everyone was what 10-15 people, 20-30 people, 500-600 people?
          And at what point did you decide you wanted something different, at what point did you decide to stop behaving in the same way? And what made you change?
          Some of us make decisions that others don’t make. What makes me more resilient that others who had similar enviornments to myself? Is it genetic is it enviornment? Is it an individual that inspires me? Is it a lifechanging experience? Is it the depths of despair or a change in medication? Is it an opportunity that came along out of the blue?
          There’s multiple answers and multiple solutions. One size cannot fit all.
          Simply thinking that all you have to do is get off your arse is not either realistic or pragmatic.
          Creating opportunty is much more likely to be successful particularly for those who are disadvantaged in the labour market to start off with.
          You’ll note one of the points of meritocracy is to identify young people with intelligence and talent and to develop them. This would mean you would go to a bright as a button school because you were bright as a button and you would go to a thick as pigshit school because you were thick as pigshit.
          The notion of meritocracy that you think we are moving to would have lots of poor ( and Maori and Pacific Island ) people at Auckland Grammar and lots of wealthy children somewhere ese. IQ geniuses they are not.
          Who you know would no longer be important and we’d have a much larger public service amongst other things.
          I’m not sure how you think we are moving to that.
          Here’s a good view of such a party.
          http://gmpuk.ucoz.co.uk/ 
           
           

    • Neoleftie 3.4

      Funny that unemployment in real terms is over 10 percent in America the land of the free. More like the land of the slaves to coportations.

  4. Colonial Weka 4

    Defining the middle class is difficult now. I know people with working class backgrounds who live middle class lives. Is class socio-economic or cultural or both.
     
    I wasn’t aware that a big deal had been made in NZ about the middle class squeeze, I thought NZ had gotten off quite lightly compared to other places in the world.
     

    Since 2001, our middle-class median income has risen by 21 per cent. Yes, the recession has hit, but it’s arguable the middle class has suffered less than the poor and the rich.
     

    Well duh, of course the poor are the worst off. Not sure about the rich, I guess he is talking purely in financial terms. The median income… isn’t that just the mid point? Doesn’t tell us how many people below that point are struggling compared to before.
     
    My upper middle class family don’t appear to have been affected by the recession in any noticeable way. But I do know people who I would have thought were well off who have no cash. All their income is tied up in debt repayment (including mortgages and increased rents) and increases in the cost of living. Some of those people are losing ground and/or using savings for daily living costs. Their incomes haven’t gone up by 21%, so me thinks there is something off about the measuring.
     
    I think Chch is an important part of the picture. Living in the South Island, it’s hard not to see people whose fortunes have changed in various ways.

  5. Coronial Typer 5

    I would not dare decry the virtue or necessity of one strata of society over another. I would only stress how important a middle class is to New Zealand.

    Some typical markers of being middle class are this:

    - Home ownership. Declining consistently and substantially in New Zealand.

    - University degree. Young people now think hard before taking on that scale of debt.

    - A career path into a good salary. New Zealand is too hollowed-out in both public and private sectors to see this too often.

    - Savings, for income to retire with, even after a health scare in mid-60s. Perhaps in a rental property, in an accelerated Kiwisaver, bonds, shares, or shares in a business. Whole sectors of society spectacularly shunted down-market by the mezzanine finance wipeout over 5 years.

    - Holidays with travel. Check out the pressure of our local tourist sector

    As Deng Xiaopeng, China’s greatest Premier famously said: “To be rich is glorious”.

    People with the above attributes are the people that keep the New Zealand economy going, because they spend locally, they raise debt, they aspire and are often aspired to. They are attractive as prospective mates. The don’t own much of the economy, but they are at the core of New Zealand.

    It is smug. It is comfortable. It is tidy and hygienic. It is its own regime, so finely calibrated you can see it in every property rating table. You know where you are, and that’s precisely part of its neurosis and its definition.

    There’s a really good reason Labour and the Greens need to regain more of the middle class in New Zealand, and why they need to focus the economy on building more of them: they are the definition of getting a fair chance in life, and National presumes they have a lock on them. They generate aspiration and dynamism.

    I am middle class. I will never be bottom 10% or top 1%. Probably the only thing that makes me stay in New Zealand, rather than leave and come back to retire, is it’s hard to get the same strata of career for my partner in one shift. No party yet compels me to want to stay.

    • just saying 5.1

      No other reason you would want to live in NZ? It’s all about getting more money?
      <i>There’s a really good reason Labour and the Greens need to regain more of the middle class in New Zealand,…</i>
      These two attitudes always seem to together.
      just saying.
       
       
       

      • Coronial Typer 5.1.1

        “Career” is different from “more money”, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that mere patriotism will span the difference between the two. There’s a minor segment here of real outsiders whose lives can do without either, but they are by definition not in the middle class.

        • just saying 5.1.1.1

          Who said anything about patriotism?
          For me its about the land itself, the wildlife, the people (esp my people), and on a day like today – the weather.
          Thought you said you had a career – but that you could make more money at it oversaeas?
          Of course power usually comes into the mix with the more money.

          • Coronial Typer 5.1.1.1.1

            Sorry patriotism is my shorthand code for all of that stuff. Land, 100% Pure, etc etc, whole Hobbiton mythology. Totally buy it.
             
            Yes I could make more overseas, and provided a clear explanation why I was still here.
             
            And yes the greater available power would naturally also be attractive. 
             
            Plan is to retire to Wanaka. Haute-bourgeoise enclave of The World’s Chosen.

            • just saying 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Stop putting words in my mouth.
               
              100 percent pure – what a load of bollocks.  I suspect you might be getting a little defensive with this sarcastic nonsense
              Patriotism – loyalty to one’s state and its institiutions.
              I’m no patriot.  Love of particular land and people – quite different.
              Had to laugh about your Wanaka plans.  I know a few people who have gone to live there.  You’ll fit right in.

    • Neoleftie 5.2

      Nice definition of middle class. Inho the middle is extremely wide now. Bottom 20 or so percent classed as poor, middle class make up the bulk and the top few percent is elite class who rob the rest.
      As a left wing labourite it’s time we reconnected to more of the middle and the bottom class, the young, the non voter and solidified our position as the party to bring about meaningful change and betterment.
      Sure labour take a bit from the elite, a lot from the middle to give to the poor, talk about equality but true equality come about when the imbedded power structurethat we call investment capitalism ipost the mega corporation entities are controlled and harnesses by the state for the betterment of the people and not just the few.

      • Coronial Typer 5.2.1

        In true Robin Hood fashion, as a policy setting that’s just fine, bur as a means to power it simply sucks. Home ownership is a great feint towards aspiration and equity. And it’s mighty good if Labour really can find the Minister who can pull it iff. I don’t think they’ve got one.
        But that’s only one appeal. Reagan and Clinton had a whole suite of policy directions to get them back. In 2014 Shearer will probably scrape in just by being Not-National. But to get more than one term, he will need a whole bunch more in the tank for the midle class to pop into the voting booth with a happy wallet or handbag.

    • Populuxe1 5.3

      Well said. I’m bourgeois and proud. Also it’s the middle class expectations of a civil society that  reinforces the freedoms of our liberal democracy. All this hating on the middle class, whatever “middle class” means anymore, and indeed the whole archaic notion of “class”, is primarily ideologically motivated and doesn’t accurately reflect our society – the vast majority of whom would consider themselves middle class.

      • just saying 5.3.1

        I’m bourgeois and proud. unquote
         
        …indeed the whole archaic notion of “class”, is primarily ideologically motivated and doesn’t accurately reflect our society. unquote
         
        So, it’s only an archaic concept when it comes to the working class demanding their share?
         

        • Neoleftie 5.3.1.1

          Then again most if not all of us are working class…apart form the very few elite owner class who treat the rest of us as slaves to their profit…labour is now simple a commodity with few rights and fewer protections.
          Time for a paradymal shift.

          • karol 5.3.1.1.1

            “class” is difficult to pin down, because of the factors that can have an influence: money, status, power etc.
             
            Marx mainly had 2 classes based on differences of power, control and access to the means to own a business, compared with workers having to sell  their labour to the owners.
             
            Most official state  research has tended to use a more Weberian influenced division of classes, based on occupations and their relative status: manual (worker) and non-manual (middle-class).   But these were based on the notion of one male breadwinner per household.  Women didn’t fit neatly into such classification systems.
             
            And these days, a skilled manual worker (bricklayer, motor mechanic) can be better off than some lower middle-class office workers.  Then there’s the whole thorny issues of households with 2 breadwinners, compared with single parents;  the increase in part time, casual and precarious work.
             
            To me, the significant class differences relate to income level, security of income, and access to power or powerful networks – beneficiaries not able to negotiate the system, without networks of contacts to help them etc. – lack of social capital.

            • Bill 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Ruling Class….some owners, capitalists, certain bankers or whatever (powerful)
              Co-ordinator Class….various managers, bureaucrats, doctors, lawyers and other recognised ‘professionals’ essentially in the service of the ruling class (empowered)
              Working Class….subject to the directions of co-ordinators (disempowered)

              • felixviper

                Exactly. 
                 
                Arguments about what hourly rate is the cutoff between different classes of workers is a red herring. It’s all about power.

        • Populuxe1 5.3.1.2

          You are a sad humourless little thing, aren’t you. What is “working class” except someone who works – something most of us do or have done. Aside from a tiny minority who are very rich, categories like “working class” and “middle class” are utterly meaningless.

          • just saying 5.3.1.2.1

            So what exactly are you “proud” of?  Expressing it in french doesn’t change the concept.
             
             

            • Populuxe1 5.3.1.2.1.1

              It’s a joke, you poor humourless bore, but as I don’t feel particularly ashamed of a status I had not control over being born into and contributes quite a lot, it’s not exactly inaccurate.

              • Neoleftie

                You are the bore , silly and dumbed by youR status in society.
                My house income is over 140 k I have 30 millionaire in the extended family, my uncle was COO of contact, lawyers, high court judge and also  GovGeneral in the family, for good measure my mum had a nanny, a cook and a housekeeper but this is meaningless.
                Time for you and your kind to grow up, look around you and see people. You’re a elitist snob silly silly person, shortsighted a mole nothing more or less.

          • VindowViper 5.3.1.2.2

            While I agree that it’s probably a meaningless distinction, nonetheless snobbery being what it is most people can immediately tell the difference when they see it.
             
            These days it’s not primarily an economic distinction; it’s more of a cultural one. 

            • Populuxe1 5.3.1.2.2.1

              Snobbery is a funny thing – everyone does it. You see it here an awful lot, especially when a National government gives any support to anything populist, or god-forbid anyone should mention reality television, and the number of people who seem to exist only to show off how well they’ve internalised various aspects of social theory is itself a form of snobbery. 

            • karol 5.3.1.2.2.2

              I think there is both a cultural and an economic element in class distinctions, along with power and status – but it is primarily economic/financial.  Why else is there such a smearing of beneficiaries by our current government?

  6. geoff 6

    The best way to divvy the country up is into pre and post rogernomics.

    NZ before getting Rogered:
    - low unemployment
    - cheap housing
    - free tertiary education
    - proper apprenticeship system
    - job security
    - not drenched in advertising and cheap credit

    NZ after getting Rogered:
    - everything the opposite

    Even most of the fuckups I know, who reached adulthood pre-Rogering, are usually so much
    better off financially than the most switched on people I know who got Rogered.

    Roger.

  7. xtasy 7

    The “middle class” is breaking apart, and it has done so for years. Many only still count themselves “middle class” out of false pride, not wanting to admit, they are dropping into the working poor category.

    Yes, a fair number in that better off part of the “middle class” are still managing, and some are happy with lower interest rates on mortgages, even if that gets neutralised to some degree by increases in living and other costs deemed essential.

    The “middle class” as such is the prime focus of Labour and the Nats, because they know that they are more vocal if unhappy, and they have their expectations to keep their living standards.

    It is a fact that neither National Party nor Labour do really care all that much about beneficiaries and the real poor, as they are considered an element on “the fringe”.

    Many beneficiaries do not even bother to vote (sadly), as they have been disappointed so often, feel betrayed and not listened to, they have NO more hope at all. They are struggling to survive week to week, and they are totally disenfranchised, so most of them do not even consult advocates, who could help them, as they really trust almost nobody anymore.

    Take a drive or busride from Meadowbank down to Glen Innes one day, if you live or are in Auckland, you will seen that within a hundred metres you will travel from the first world to more or less the third world, all within NZ.

    I do on a benefit live from hand to mouth, I cannot even afford to buy a pair of needed new shoes, although WINZ and MSD tell us, that the benefit is enough to do so also.

    My clothes are largely what I brought with me from overseas a few years back, where life was easier. Living in a country blessed with natural fertility and much agricultural and other products being grown here, one has to bloody wonder, why so many food products here cost much more in more densely populated places in Europe and elsewhere.

    So I do not have much time for “middle class” concerns, as that is not the world I live in, and if they feel they are hard done by, many driving around in gas guzzling SUVs and able to afford take away food and new gadgets, I have NO time for them. Sorry, but that makes me a non voter when it comes to Labour!

    Greens or Mana are my only alternative left!

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1

      I have little sympathy for my middle class concerns either. Life’s not tough for me at all.

      It was tougher when I had three kids with disabilities and paying 22.5% on my mortgage but even then when I was getting my power and phone disconnected and cooling my milk in the bath cause I had no money it wasn’t as tough as people on benefit would be finding it right now.

      Any party who has any concern for those worse off would have as the first part of their platform an immediate increase in benefit rates effective the day they come to power.

      Not as a cynical vote catcher either but because they actually genuinely believe people are in poverty and struggling.

      Yeah and they can put my tax up to pay for it.

      A Muldoon rent freeze for two years wouldn’t go amiss either and would take some of the heat out of rising house prices.

      • xtasy 7.1.1

        DOS – I must thank you for putting some thought onto these issues, and also for bearing thoughts about the plight of some!
         
        I get a bit worked up on what I experienced, and also what others have experienced, hence I raise my voice again and again.
         
        It is encouraging to receive some support and sympathy, I just wish to say!

    • Neoleftie 7.2

      Xtasy it’s time for real meaningful change…it’s not right or fair that you can’t afford shoes, I don’t know what to do anymore….I vote with my feet, I’ve contributed, I donate , I give my effort but am still a slave.
      My family income put me in the top five percent of income but we are tight tight? 
      ThiIsis to right at all, time for a new direction real change and action.
       
       

      • xtasy 7.2.1

        Actually, I know a fair number of people even much worse of than I am. I do at least have a landlord that does not charge me the now common “market rent”, as I believe, to her this flat I live in is not so much a “cash cow”, but more of a longer term investment. Also does she appreciate me looking after the place and grounds really well. So with a good landlord it can work both ways.
         
        Others living just up the block pay about 30 to 50 per cent more rent for the same size flat!
         
        Also I have a mate who got evicted from his rented home for 9 years last year, by a new buyer and developer. He was the quick “slap on the paint job” guy there are many of. He sold the units in the block off, one by one, for a great profit.
         
        My mate has a nightmarish fight with Housing NZ to get a place, as he was also ill and on a benefit. It took us meetings at top level, and then certainly the step to involve the NZ Herald to make a story of it, to finally, suddenly have Housing NZ back down and give him a (run down) home.
         
        I know many who had to get food parcels. I had to also  a couple of years back, and WINZ must give you a letter to even get the foot into the door to a food bank, Sallies or else. For getting a letter you must make an appointment, after your special needs for food has been exhausted.
         
        This is so common now, even the Citizen Advice bureaus now are doing the job of offering food parcels, and serving as a gap filler for WINZ.
         
        Now Bennett and co want to lay the blame game on beneficiaries, suggesting it is “attitude” and commitment, that is the problem. How disgusting.
         
        I just read this today, that AAAP (Auckland Action Against Poverty) are having a public meeting at 03:30 pm on Wednesday, 19 Dec. 2012 at their new 86 Princes St address in Onehunga, Auckland. Sue Bradford and Chris Zack will be talking to interested persons about benefit issues. I suggest that those interested and affected consider going there, as they may be able to give good info, advice and support to you.
         
        See info on their website:
        http://aaap.org.nz/
         
        It is time to take action, for sure, or you will be steam rolled by the monster brigade of Nat ACT in government, the biggest wheel in the heavy rolling machinery being Bennett.

        • karol 7.2.1.1

          Thanks, xtasy.  I’d be interested to hear what happens at that meeting on Wednesday.  I wanted to go, but am working. 

    • Coronial Typer 7.3

      Crikey that sounds an increadibly harsh life. Completely understand why you prefer Greens or Mana as your political home. 
      Withoug a full essay, what are the standout things it would take to switch your vote to Labour, both in basic policies and in personalities?

      • xtasy 7.3.1

        a) Vote Shearer out as “leader” in February;
        b) have someone hammer out a resolute, clear, well based and balanced policy program for the party in the early to mid of next year, being inclusive of all , of course;
        c) Jancinda Ardern to adress the REAL issues of beneficiaries for once, rather than go on about kiosk privacy and information leak issues at WINZ (e.g. fair deal and proper services for beneficiaries);
        d) to develop an economic plan that is not just based on words, but offers a real agenda, to create jobs by smart, future proof, sustainable and value added business promotion, rather than sell more of the same, while ruining the environment;
        e) run a recruitment drive for new memberships, based on true democracy and to stop the “Stalinist” type suppression of criticism and dissent, as we witnessed here on The Standard;
        f) increase the minimum wage to a liveable wage of at least $ 15 an hour;
        g) make apprenticeships the standard path of qualification for school leavers apart from tertiary education;
        h) abolish the present, suppressive, harsh, unjust benefit system by bringing in a universal base income, allowing top ups based on real needs, and also paying benefits at a level that match real living needs and costs;
        i) present a state housing program alongside Kiwi Build, while Kiwi Build must be improved to ensure that land for sections are available, and to consider also to “nationalise” certain lands not used appropriately by speculators, only wanting to gain maximum profits on sales at high market rates;
        j) Put more money into mental health care to offer services that actually work and assist sick, rather than have doctors mass prescribe medication;
        k) stop and partly reverse asset sales of power companies and the likes;
        l) stop foreign nationals – some of whom not even being residents – from investing in real estate purely for personal gains and profits;
        and so forth.
        This is just a selection of what I would expect, and there could be a fair few points added, but I will refrain from being too pushy here.

        • xtasy 7.3.1.1

          I may add: Free milk, fruit and real lunches for school kids, not just private enterprise promoted basics, which are rather a marketing strategy used by Fonterra, and not just toast and jam for nourishment, as that is poor diet.
           
          The Swedes can offer this (REAL cooked lunch), and they are a comparable country by geographical and population size, why can prime agricultural NZ not deliver such basics to their future citizens? It is an appalling state of affairs we have here!
           
          Best quality produce goes overseas, and consumers in Central Europe can buy Kiwifruit cheaper than it is often sold here. NZers get second rate food made here. What a bloody disgrace this society has become!

        • Coronial Typer 7.3.1.2

          Yup love all of that.

        • Neoleftie 7.3.1.3

          Very well said xtasy.we need more voices like that as members. Roll on feb and the show downfinally the members demand the caucus show the and help the people and not jufew bangout a few vote catching poppy policies, we the people are starving, most don’t even know it.
          Add a few more.
          Print money don’t borrow it.
          Tobin tax.

    • BM 7.4

      How come you can’t find work?

      • xtasy 7.4.1

        “BM(W)” minded person, if you asked me, my answer is: Serious, ongoing health issues. No employer is interested in hiring a sick and incapacitated person. But this government thinks they are happy to do so, and they blame the attitude of sufferers, rather than inform themselves about the real world.
         
        Read the bloody submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment bill, all freely available via the website of Parliament, please, and you may start to get an idea about what is going on!
         
        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Evidence/?Custom=00DBHOH_BILL11634_1
         
        But let me guess, you have already made your mind up and could not give a damn, right?
         
         
         

        • BM 7.4.1.1

          That’s no good, must be very frustrating.

          • xtasy 7.4.1.1.1

            It is, but I am not alone. Thanks for your acknowledgment.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.4.1.1.2

            BM
            You sound as if you are thinking and getting informed about various problems being aired on this site.   Surely your greater understanding is an illusion that will show up as a temporary blip when your later posts return to your default position of septic sceptic.  It is so annoying and time-consuming having to change one’s mind – I have you down as an ignorant, sour soood so don’t make me do the brainwork to change my ideas about you.

  8. bad12 8

    Just as we can list a number of reasons why Government have created a class of poverty in the beneficiary class of New Zealand we can also widen that list to show how such poverty has been, with deliberation in some cases, spread to the working poor,especially those with children,

    We can also in the same time frame list a series of initiatives from Governments both National and Labour which have deliberately favored the ‘middle class’ of New Zealand over both beneficiary dependent families and especially in the latter case of National’s tax cuts deliberately leaving the working poor with families no particular gains 3 years on,

    The worst examples of such pandering to the middle class while creating poverty lower down the Clark Labour Government and it’s Working for Families tax credits, given a blank canvas these tax credits could,(and should),have started with those with children at the bottom of the economic heap, those receiving welfare benefits,

    The fact that that Labour Government refused to include children of beneficiaries as the recipients of these tax credits while allowing the children of the upper middle class to benefit is a depressing reminder of just how far to the right Labour has positioned itself, Clark Herself losing much of the respect She had among the activists of the left over Her statement that not allowing beneficiary families to share in the largesse of Working for Families as this would encourage them to ‘get a job’,

    National of course have continued to feather the nests of the middle class with both its tax cuts and it’s State Owned Asset sell-off….

    • Coronial Typer 8.1

      IMHO Clark lost the 2008 election by pandering to haute-bourgeoise moral panics. She needed to focus on my wallet.
       
      We need the new Structural Adjustment towards new equity. Equity that makes more people rich, fast. Housing is a start. But we need a Capital Gains Tax with laser-like accuracy on propoerty speculation. A much cheaper dollar (great for exporters and really tough on the whole transport economy). And a Financial Transaction tax to focus the minds of the fund managers, both public and private, local and international. 
       
      Structural Adjustment towards a new equity.
      Would need a really really tough Labour leader to do it. Ah well…
      Soak the 1%-ers. The middle class, and the public sector, will then employ a whole bunch more of everyone else. Gung-Ho!

      • Neoleftie 8.1.1

        That’s a start….now for 2015

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 8.1.2

        Coronial Typer  8.1
        Santa are you listening?   You will need to bring your bag of various tools for fixing things along with the one with the usual cuddly toys, DVDs, sports equipment, nice consumables and on line games. We’ve got other, serious requests for action here.

  9. xtasy 9

    To really change things I do not want to go as far as Che Guevara, but seeing a great documentary on him and background info, also knowing about revolution in Europe (e.g. Rosa Luxemburbg), he was RIGHT all the way. He stoody up for justice and fairness, but we have nobody of such calibre bother to look after NZers interests.

    It is cowardice, wankerism and division running the show here, I am afraid. Sorry, I hate to upset, but I cannot resist telling the truth!

    1

  10. felixviper 10

    John Key puts it in slightly different terms. He simply refers to the ‘quality’ of people, as in “a good class of person”.

    But then he is a complete fucking dropkick, so there is that.

  11. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 11

    I was talking yesterday to someone who knows about social welfare problems. One woman she knows has been turned away from DSW or whatever its called now, when she needed money for a bond which she was told to meet out of her benefit, (meagre already). When the benefits were cut in 1991 there was a follow-on of a grant of say $200 that could be applied for each year if there was need. This is being denied beneficiaries at this time of great need by them with prices going up, rents etc. and even if the country’s budget is strained, controlled distribution is still required. The politicians don’t decrease their earnings in hard times, citing the well-known peanuts getting monkeys cliche.

    A woman with no money or food was turned away from DSW when she asked for a voucher for the foodbank. The foodbank did help her but she needed an advocate to go with her as she was so demoralised. People on the raw rough end of societal levels can get so screwed. The speaker didn’t have a good word to say for Poorer Benefit and the climate that pervades in the department’s premises is chilling and peremptory. It can only get worse when they don’t even have to face up to people and the onus is on those begging to have the techno means of contacting them and cash to meet the expense of the call which will be at their expense. Or have I missed an announcement that 0800 numbers will be provided in sufficient multiples so that there is only a three minute waiting period at most times. Can anyone advise if this is the case. I may have missed this information of this service at a level which a well-run department would no doubt have provided.

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    DimPost | 26-07
  • Reconcile this, please, Mr Coleman
    National’s Jonathan Coleman has some explaining to do. He has stated that: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.” The NZ Herald reports that Immigration NZ received a detailed briefing regarding the FBI’s interest in Kim Dotcom, ahead...
    Occasionally erudite | 26-07
  • Much to fight for in the Maori seats
    We all know it could be a fight to the death in the Maori seats this election, but it's startling to think that some candidates are borrowing money off their mortgages just to be able to stand at this election.It seems...
    Pundit | 26-07
  • A plea to all Labour Party activists
    Let's focus on being unfocused. Hey, maybe it will work....
    Imperator Fish | 26-07
  • Hosking hits back
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I’m broadcaster and National Party stalwart Mike Hosking and I just wanted to take a bit of time out of my busy Saturday eating Gruyère cheese and supping trim latte’s to speak on a...
    My Thinks | 26-07
  • The CRL and City Centre Office Shortages
    When the government finally announced they would support the CRL – but starting in 2020 – they listed two targets that would need to be on track to being met to bring construction forward. Rail Patronage to double to 20...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • A tale of two meetings…continued
    Last week I pointed out the marked difference between how many people are attending National's campaign meetings compared to the Internet Mana party's and thought a follow-up on how things are going is in order. Unfortunately for National thing's aren't...
    The Jackal | 25-07
  • We Are Not Anti Dairy
    A common reaction to our clean rivers initiative is that we are anti-dairy farming. This is completely untrue. The truth is that many dairy farmers, with a little cajoling from Fonterra and Dairy NZ, are doing a lot to improve...
    Gareth’s World | 25-07
  • Why the Super-Rich need Governments. (from Social Europe Journal)
     WHY THE SUPER-RICH NEED GOVERNMENTSDani RodrikThe very rich, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “are different from you and me.” Their wealth makes them “cynical where we are trustful,” and makes them think “they are better than we are.” If these words...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 25-07
  • Four sackable offences
    We all know the National party is riding high in the opinion polls at the moment with old Teflon John seemingly untouched by any number of scandals that have plagued the government over the last six years. Much of this...
    The Jackal | 25-07
  • Another media gaffe – this time it’s TV3′s Brook Sabin
    . . Every so often (quite regularly, in fact), a media personality will say something outrageously offensive, or just plain gormless, that results in an uncontrollable  *facepalm* reaction. On 19 July, on TV3′s “The Nation“, it was Brook Sabin’s turn....
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Another media gaffe – this time it’s TV3′s Brook Sabin
    . . Every so often (quite regularly, in fact), a media personality will say something outrageously offensive, or just plain gormless, that results in an uncontrollable  *facepalm* reaction. On 19 July, on TV3′s “The Nation“, it was Brook Sabin’s turn....
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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