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Bloggers and ripping off content

Written By: - Date published: 5:54 pm, September 23rd, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Felix Marwick, in comments at Public Address, raises some concerning behaviour:

I was trying to draw a distinction between what I regard as genuine blogging; opinion and news gathering involving individual research vs blatant plagiarism dressed up as opinion/news.

Forgive me if I get a little pissed off at people who help themselves to my work and that of my colleagues, slap it up on their site without so much as a “please” or a “do you mind”. Journalism costs. You want to take our work? How about asking first? How about making a contribution even?

I don’t mind quotes and links. Fair use is fine. But lifting whole articles is taking the piss.

Completely fair point. It’s not just taking the piss, it’s plagiarism – and even where attributed, copy-pasting another author or site’s whole work basically means, if you or they are making money off onsite advertising, that you’re stealing from them.

(Obviously this doesn’t apply to consensual cross- or guest-posting, but duh.)

Here’s what I find super-interesting: Felix, as a member of the mainstream media, has talked about this issue as being about bloggers – and others in the PA comments have a few suggestions of who specifically might have that accusation levelled at them.

But you know who I immediately think of when people start talking about lifting whole articles and placing them on other sites to boost their own currency / activity / pageviews?

Bob fucking McCoskrie.

Evidence for the prosecution: the Protect Marriage website; the Family First website. FF’s website is particularly hilarious for the way all the posts are by the author “Bob” yet are nothing but copypasta from the mainstream media. (Or occasionally, totally-anonymous-honest “satires” about how funny gay teenagers killing themselves is.)

Oh, sure, they’re attributed, they even have a link to the original story at the end, in case you find it so fascinating you want to re-read it in a different font.

But no one writes off Bob McCoskrie as a blogging parasite. No, he gets TV interviews and mass media coverage of every twisted, inaccurate factoid he tries to create moral panic over. All the while, basically stealing shit from that very media to make his sites look active and relevant.

I’ve no doubt there are blogs out there which just churn through other sites’ posts, and that’s shitty and uncreative and goddammit go away and leave the Google rankings to us original-content creators. But at least you can snort derisively when it’s a blogger doing it.

When it’s the Moral Guiding Hand of the nation, it’s just a bit pathetic.

Cross-posted (with permission!) from QoT’s superb blog ideologically impure

53 comments on “Bloggers and ripping off content”

  1. Carol 1

    There’s good and bad practices all over, both in the MSM and from bloggers and citizen journalists. Indeed, the MSM has tended to pick on the left wingers as their targets, But it has intensified lately – struggling MSM? And there’s certainly right wing bloggers guilty of bad practices, like McCroskrie. Moral Guiding Hand?! :roll:

    Then those those (so-called) “journalists” that don’t do much more than regurgitate press releases and get paid for it.

    Meanwhile, in the current intensification of the struggle between the MSM and amateur bloggers and citizen journalists, Stuff has decided if you can’t beat them, appropriate them.

    Part of the new Stuff Nation (which aims it getting, unpaid, participation from the public), in order to bolster its ad income), is to ask the public to contribute stories.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7554661/Share-your-news-and-views

    I don’t see any offer to pay for the stories, either.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      That’s been going on for awhile. Started out a few years ago when on-line newspapers started to ask if people wanted to submit pictures with, as you say, no mention that you’d be paid but specifically stating that the pictures would become owned by the newspaper upon submission. As it’s all voluntary it’s, supposedly, not theft.

      • weka 1.1.1

        I wouldn’t call it theft.

        I am not sure that Stuff Nation is the best name they could have some up with. It’s a bit ripe for ridicule. 

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          I tend to the idea that if someone makes an income from someone else’s work then they need to share that income in a reasonable fashion and that not doing so is theft.

    • weka 1.2

      Colour me cynical, but here’s part of the Privacy Policy from Stuff Nation’s sign up form. Participatory journalism, my arse. They’re collecting email and usage data so they can sell shit.

      How we use Personal Information
      We will only use your personal information for the purpose for which you have provided it, unless you consent otherwise or we are required by law to disclose it.
      The primary purpose for which we collect information about you is to provide you with information, products and services that you have requested or expressed an interest in. We may state a more specific purpose at the point that we collect your information.    If you do not provide us with information requested we may not be able to provide you with the services that you have requested. We may use this personal information to help us to  provide the services to you, verify your identity,  enforce or apply our terms and conditions,  protect the rights of Fairfax Media,  or for internal research purposes, for promoting and marketing  Fairfax Media products and services to you, and for any other use that you authorise.  You will be given the option of unsubscribing from any commercial electronic message that we send you promoting goods or services. 

      • Carol 1.2.1

        Arck! Another instance of ordinary people and their energy (their wurk) being commodified, controlled …. and sold back to them, sooner or later.

    • mike e 1.3

      I thought his site should also set up a protect children from catholic priests site as well just looking across the ditch in Victoria up to 30,000 incidents and more get covered up by Catholic Church!
      A lot of these victims have had their lives ruined by a patriarchal church no mention from McCrusty!
      To busy interfering in others sex lives typical !
      Now they are denying that Jesus was married!
      As early sects of Christians still believe.
      The Roman Empire turned his wife Mary into a prostitute to keep the Roman woman subjugated in their rewriting of the the bible 650 ad on the island of crete!
      The Roman empire used religion as a tool of colonization not unlike what the British empire and other empires have done
      Jesus was turned into a martyr by the Roman Empire something Jesus never wanted to be!

  2. Raymond A Francis 2

    Agree Carol and it not unknown for the MSM to pick up stories from the blogsphere and run them with no attribution
    Happens to poor old whaleboy all the time, so he claims

    • Mary 2.1

      “Happens to poor old whaleboy all the time, so he claims”

      Slater’s the worst offender. He chucks anything and everything up, sometimes adding a couple of lines but often not, next minute he’s got 30 posts up before lunch for his braindead bunch of nameless sycophants to spew over. Slater’s the biggest hypocritical and parasitic one out of all of them. Is all very amusing.

  3. Jokerman 3

    Here is some “news gathering”then:

    Yee Hah! Labour only 11% behind nat and Labour/Green on 46% (at this Time)

    Shearer still in denial about his communication challenges

    Catholic Church not so Victoria us (so sad all this deceptive abuse of children and young people)

    Commercially grown Celery likely to have the highest pesticide residues in fresh veges

    Howard League for Penal Reform: YES

    sensible sentencing trust-not so much
    Victim culture, Stuck on loss not so helpful

    ARE THEY GONNA ALLOCATE 8.2M FOR GENERAL BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT?
    (i don’t think so)

    Loss is a rock in the road to find one’s own way a round (often a rocky road)

    G.E-hairy mutant calves and parasites inseminated into a woman’s womb
    Be careful what you ask for

  4. Pete 4

    On the other hand, there are some particularly good services for sharing content that have been a boon to blogging. Embedding video from YouTube, for example. Or the Daily Show. Radio New Zealand provides embeddable audio too. I’m a little surprised that TVNZ and TV3 have failed to provide embeddable links to their news content as they could then get more eyeballs on their ads.

    • …It’s like you’ve read a review of an orchard, and are complaining that at least their oranges are good. ;)

      Yes, those services are excellent. but they inherently involve attribution through linking and branding. You can click a little “youtube” button on embedded videos and go to the relevant page. Likewise for most other embedded players or services. That is the equivalent of cross-posting and nothing to complain about.

      The equivalent, in the world of online video, would be someone re-posting an original video you uploaded to YouTube under their account and trying to take credit for authoring it. Imagine Kony 2012 on the Family First website and you get the drift. ;)

  5. Jackal 5

    QoT is very good at attributing other people’s work, and so is the Standard come to think of it. Much better than I am anyway :)

    I’d never heard of Bob fucking McCoskrie before, and fail to see the relevance for his site McBlog. Maybe that should be McFlop or McFried. Most RSS readers can do a better job.

    • David H 5.1

      Makes you wonder if he’s tied to the ‘bob , ben or fierce guppy of posting nastiness in to comments section of some of the pages i read. ie Stuff, Herald,

  6. captain hook 6

    the media is the massage.

  7. captain hook 7

    I just made that up!
    I feel very clever tonite!
    and the thing is that if you disagree with whaleshit then he cuts you off but any can come here.
    spot the fundamental difference.

    • Jokerman 7.1

      once upon a time, on a cloud far, far, away from here, i took my mischief to WO and he warned me that i was being annoying and that it was not a “good idea” (didn’t you cam)
      as i have said, people all a round the sphere can read national blogs; who immigrates to a sewer?
      (Farrer? well ask yourself)

    • weka 7.2

      I’ve been thinking lately about how people say TS is worse than WO or KB (in terms of behaviour or levels of abuse I suppose). But I don’t see it. Leaving the politics aside, the behaviours are quite different. Would love to see a post on that some time, comparing each side (is the Right simply more vicious than the Left? and comparing that to political values)

      • Carol 7.2.1

        I suspect it’s partly to do with the position or POV we each view the blogs from – ie whether we see ourselves or views under attack – goes for both left and righties. Though to me those other sites are happy to allow the kinds of personalised (misogynist etc) abuse that I find unacceptable.

      • BernyD 7.2.2

        I can’t comment on the other sites, but have thought this site deserves an AO rating.
        Impossible to enforce of course (They’d have to block it), but worth telling parents perhaps.
        The only saving grace is it’s buried in the comments.
        And this site is not an educational facility although it may feel that way sometimes.

        • Carol 7.2.2.1

          Try this research:

          Lexicon of unemployment in New Zealand
          Tamsin Porter

          http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/research/nzdc/documents/NZWords_no16.pdf

          includes this:

          For less conventional language use, the infamous blogs Tumeke!,
          Kiwiblog, Whale Oil Beef Hooked (Whale Oil) and The Standard were selected as these provide a range of political opinions and writing styles. All of these blogs also allow comments from the public. Blogs allow writers to tag posts according to the themes and issues. The blogs were searched via tags that were considered relevant
          to this domain, such as Welfare, State Housing and Paula Bennett.

          I think this is the research that Stuff reported on this morning – been looking for it since:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7718530/Kiwisms-target-benny-bashers

          But the research doesn’t seem to have produced any significant comparisons between the blogs – only that blogs/commenters use the term Paula Benefit a lot.

          • Pete 7.2.2.1.1

            One thing that might be illuminating is taking a sample of New Zealand blog posts (and their comments) and running them through a Fleisch-Kincaid test, to see what level people are writing at on each site.

            • BernyD 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Not a bad idea, u could probably do it with a simple pearl script.
              (sum(word length)/no of words), little caption for the moderators too look at when they start a thread.
              The lower the average the more AO, strangley.
              The higher the average the more ?Wisdom?.

            • Pete 7.2.2.1.1.2

              OK, so I’ve done it. I entered the text of each of the last five posts (skipping the General Debates, Open Mikes, Mental Health Breaks and re-posts of YouTube clips etc) on a number of blogs into this readability index calculator. I didn’t include the blog comments. Wikipedia gives a good explanation of what the Flesch-Kincaid test measures. The lower the reading ease, the more complex. A reading ease score of 0.0-30.0 is best understood by university graduates, while 60.0-70.0 should be easily understood by 15 year-olds and 90.0-100.0 by 11 year-olds. The grade level corresponds to the number of years of education required by a reader to understand a passage.

              There seems to be a correlation between the level of comprehension required to understand a post and where the author sits on the political spectrum. It should be remembered, though, that simplicity is not necessarily a vice. Especially when trying to communicate with a large community and trying to persuade them to a particular point of view. Hemmingway, for example, liked short bold sentences.

              Anyway, ranked from most complex to least:

              Bowalley Road Grade: 15.8; Reading ease: 20
              The Standard Grade: 14.4; Reading ease: 36.6
              Gordon Campbell Grade: 14.2; Reading ease: 34.2
              Bryce Edwards Grade: 13.8; Reading ease: 35.2
              Frogblog Grade: 13.2; Reading ease: 38.8
              Public Address Grade: 13; Reading ease: 40.2
              Pundit Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
              Red Alert Grade: 13; Reading ease: 41.2
              Tumeke Grade: 12.6; Reading ease: 40.6
              John Armstrong Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 40.2
              John Roughan Grade: 12.4; Reading ease: 41
              Whale Oil Grade: 11.6; Reading ease: 49.4
              Kiwiblog Grade: 9.4; Reading ease: 53.8

              A spreadsheet with links to the individual posts and their scores is here.

          • BernyD 7.2.2.1.2

            It’s such a transient thing, what’s true today might not be in a year.
            The reality is, it’s us that use blogs for positive debate,
            If we hear our views being expressed, then chances are we’ll stop commenting.
            Are we still blogging if we don’t comment? … yes.
            And the AO is more about R ratings, bit over the top sometimes, and moderation will always be retrospective unfortunately)
            Y’know I think they are scared, coz it works, as long as everyone repects the reality of what blogs are and what they can achieve we have another voice, and that will always be a good thing.

        • jcuknz 7.2.2.2

          Originally I migrated from Kiwiblog to The Standard because of the senseless slagging but as time passes I have returned to Kiwiblog for the same reason. I guess it is the frustration of the Left with nothing to say but name calling compared to the satisfaction of the Right knowing they are doing a good job in difficult conditions.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.3

        (is the Right simply more vicious than the Left? and comparing that to political values)

        Right and left

        There have been a number of other attempts to identify “left-wing authoritarians” in the United States and Canada. These would be people who submit to leftist authorities, are highly conventional to liberal viewpoints, and are aggressive to people who oppose left-wing ideology. These attempts have failed because measures of authoritarianism always correlate at least slightly with the right. There are certainly extremists across the political spectrum, but most psychologists now believe that authoritarianism is a predominantly right-wing phenomenon.

        Which become interesting when you take the bit at the top:

        Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don’t adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.

        It has been studied, the political right are more vicious than the left.

        • BernyD 7.2.3.1

          Ya just can’t beat Observational realities, both statements are well said.
          The “Evil” is in the implementation, when the participant doesn’t understand the “Qualifying” left or right perspective and over react.
          Ya have too have both otherwise the equation has no balance.

        • ianmac 7.2.3.2

          DTB: “Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, ….”
          That sort of fits when the supporters of National Standards seemed to concentrate on, “You teachers must obey the Government,” rather than debate the merits or otherwise of the issue.

  8. Dr Terry 8

    The tragedy of morons like McCroskie is that what they mouth represents what so many people actually want to hear and believe. The Right just loves this, of course. McCroskie is constantly cited as spokesman for the Nation (when there are plenty of true experts for the media to consult, if they would only take the trouble to do so).
    I guess there is some consolation in that Garth McVicar, his moronic companion, is pulling out, though he assures us unkindly that he will be replaced by 9 spokesmen (not women) throughout the Nation. Imagine people like this pair being multiplied several times over! Key will be delighted by that!

  9. BernyD 9

    Chances are they cut and paste because they have no context of their own to portray.
    We should b glad we could expand their minds for them :-D
    But a gentle reminder that words and thought exist for a reason may b rqrd sometimes.

    There’s still a real person behind that alias, and we use them for a reason, no way do we want our families/friends/workplace/employer affected by a blog discussion.

    For them it’s a job for us it’s our lives, maybe we should just accept the benefits and accept their relevance in the 21st century.

    And yes I think bloggers should bear that in mind, people ask for a reason.

  10. Jokerman 10

    Wow! Guess What? someone anonymously gave our fellowship 15K. it has gone towards a new kitchen for community meals and towards supporting the care of young women in prostitution in Calcutta.
    It is also clear to see that many friends of communities are turning out more free stuff for the people around them, like meals and domestic support etc;

    better a culture of hope than a culture of tragedy (anthropological terms)

    btw, imo, let us call a spade a spade, ie, digs a hole

    -alcohol=ethanol=solve n’t

    (and much tourism is glorified retail+think of all that jet fuel)

  11. blue leopard 11

    …I fail to see the point of a blogger copying and pasting an MSM article…unless this was in order to show the dearth of information possible in one piece of writing, I just do not see the advantage of anyone doing this….people would soon stop visiting their site….and that they should pay for it is laughable…just doesn’t make sense why anyone would BUY the stuff….indignant snort…

  12. kiwi_prometheus 12

    ” from QoT’s superb blog ” – shameless promo.

    Has anyone bothered to check out QofTs revamped site?

    I wouldn’t describe purple lightning and peroxide blond hair as “superb”, lol.

    QofT what were you thinking?

    Is that ketch fantasy fiction character how you fancy yourself or is it the girl of your dreams?

    Well at least the fantasy fiction graphic theme is an appropriate one for your blogging attempt.

    Team Jesus vs Team Manhater in a battle for the Universe!, lol.

    Still the usual foul mouthed expletives from QofT. Guess she thinks that being ‘radical’ and ‘feminist’ means using words like “shit” and “fuck” a lot, because you know women aren’t suppose to. :roll:

    • fatty 12.1

      Any chance of a critique on one of her posts?…I thought you’d at least say something like ‘gays can’t marry cause I don’t want them to’…blah blah blah.
      Still, its one of your more logical efforts KP…you are improving, chin up buddy.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.1.1

        “I thought you’d at least say something like ‘gays can’t marry cause I don’t want them to’…blah blah blah.”

        Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.

        At least the Aussies are smart enough to see through the Lifestyle Liberal/Coffee Table Feminist propaganda “Let me marry who I love!” and smashed down their attempts to wreck marriage even more.

        Hope it happens here but I think the rot has set in.

        As for critiquing the rants of a radfem who seems to identify with some kind of fantasy fiction “tough girl” caricature – I’ve said plenty about the fembots and their extreme views.

        The Left does not need them.

        • fatty 12.1.1.1

          Most people in NZ now think that by redefining marriage to include gay marriage will improve it and make it more meaningful. Although you view does exist and used to dominate, it is no longer the norm. Also Australia will change, at the moment you are right, but if you look at what age groups hold that view, it is just a matter of time. You call it the “rot”…most call it progressive movements towards equality.

          “The Left does not need them.”

          Its pretty clear that the left needs feminist viewpoints now as much as they ever have, particularly if they also acknowledge economic inequalities…which is what QoT often does.
          Are QoT’s rants really that radical? What are her extreme views?

        • felix 12.1.1.2

          “Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.”

          k_p you still don’t know where babies come from, do you?

          How many times am I going to have to explain this to you?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.3

          Marriage is between a man and a woman, anything else is a redefinition that renders it meaningless.

          Please explain how this redefinition might render your marriage or my marriage meaningless.

          Be specific.

    • QoT 12.2

      Oh shit, k_p doesn’t approve of my banner image because he doesn’t get the reference. Truly I have been cut to the quick today.

      He has a point though, I *do* think that swearing can be a feminist act, because [insert feminism 101 about gender socialisation here].

      But he still thinks I’m a radfem. It is to laugh. Still, if all I succeed in at life is making misogynist trolls prove all my points for me I’ll count that as a success.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.2.1

        Not buying in to your feminist nonsense makes me a misogynist does it?

        Why don’t you strike me with your purple lightning then , Power Girl! lol

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1

          Not buying in to your feminist nonsense makes me a misogynist does it?

          Yep, it does. Specifically because you won’t even listen to what she says, read the statistics that back her up and you certainly won’t even consider that she may actually be right. And you won’t do it because she happens to be a woman. All you do is whinge that men aren’t all bad and that it’s all the radfems fault anyway.

      • kiwi_prometheus 12.2.2

        “k_p doesn’t approve of my banner image because he doesn’t get the reference.”

        I think the fantasy fiction theme is appropriate for your blogging efforts, like I said before.

        Reference? It must be one of those lesbian subculture insider ones.

        Who is your audience suppose to be besides the fembots?

        • QoT 12.2.2.1

          Yes, well you have a point there, k_p, Warhammer 40k is well-known as a radical lesbian fandom.

          • felix 12.2.2.1.1

            I’m having trouble finding the “rad fem” angle in your post. Or even the fem angle.

            But it must be there because k_p thinks it is and I’m pretty sure he’s not a delusional obsessive with shit for brains.

        • blue leopard 12.2.2.2

          k_p

          really, why don’t you quit banging on.

          harping on like a harping thing

          whittering on and on and on

          about nothing

          for days

          Will it stop?

          what’s your problem?

          NO! I don’t want to know!

  13. kiwi_prometheus 13

    It’s cynical of Queen of Manhaters to exploit suicide rate of young men to score points against Team Jesus.

    As if a rad fem gives a flying fuck* about young men – “men are rapists!”, “men are abusers!”, “men are dangerous!”, “men are violent!”, “men are the problem!”.

    Does the message the feminists send out about men help? No.

    * presumably I can use swear words if QofT is free too or does she think only girls are allowed.

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  • VIDEO: ‘My daughter’s education is my duty,’ says Vanuatu cyclone fat...
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch Ten-year-old Joana Bani tells her story at Black Sand near Vanuatu’s capital of Port Vila. Video: UNDP Pacific Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9189 Alice Clements PORT VILA (UNDP Pacific/Pacific… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    8 hours ago
  • WEST PAPUA: Media restrictions over simmering struggle 50 years on
    MIL OSI Analysis – Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Image: CPJ/Reuters Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Item: 9190 Bob Dietz NEW YORK (Committee to Protect Journalists/ Pacific Media Watch): One of the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    8 hours ago
  • $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Press Release/Statement Headline: $7.8m for new sustainable farming projects 29 new projects have been approved for $7.8 million in new funding over four years through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Primary Industries… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    8 hours ago
  • MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches
    MIL OSI - Source: New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment MBIE – Press Release/Statement: Headline: MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    8 hours ago
  • ACT Gets Twitchy – Leader Says National looks after everyone but taxpayer...
    MIL OSI – Source: ACT Party – National looks after everyone but taxpayers “National is parading its indexation of welfare payments while refusing to do the same with tax brackets,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “Benefits were adjusted for inflation today.… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    8 hours ago
  • No good reason for secrecy
    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee recently returned from Iraq with an impunity agreement enabling the deployment of New Zealand troops. But he's refusing to release it:Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand First’s Succession Plan
    Last time I met a New Zealand First MP, I decided to ask him about New Zealand First’s succession plan. He replied “why would we need a succession plan? Winston Peters isn’t going anywhere” “Well, Winston Peters is not as… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    8 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    9 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    9 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    9 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    11 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    12 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    12 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    14 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    14 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    14 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    15 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    15 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    15 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    16 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    17 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    9 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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