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Broken principles and broken windows

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, September 5th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: class war, jobs - Tags: , , ,

Compare two situations:

People put money into a finance company after dozens have collapsed. They know that high interest equals high risk. They know SCF is shaky as hell. It goes belly up and…. government pay-outs for all of them. Including the interest! Including non-residents who aren’t covered by the rules! No questions of whether SCF met the terms of its guarantee. No worries about ‘moral dilemma’ of letting people gamble with all the risk on the taxpayer.

People whose houses and property were damaged in Christchurch but don’t have insurance get the cold shoulder from the government. Key says “Ultimately if you don’t have insurance and you don’t fit in the category of real hardship, then there’s no question there will be a cost,” Reckons he’s worried about “moral dilemma”. Doesn’t want to make not having insurance risk-free for home owners. But risk-free investing underwritten by the taxpayer is fine, eh?

Rich investor and you put your money in a dodgy finance company? Did the company collapse? You get your money back. No questions.

Lost your job thanks to this endless recession? Couldn’t afford insurance? Property damaged in the quake? Key says you can get stuffed.

The rich get taxpayer-backed insurance for their savings. The workers don’t for their houses.

It’s called class war.

One more thing. Key reckons the rebuilding will be a “be tremendous stimulus”. Says it’s a “great irony” that jobless workers in Christchurch might get work in the rebuilding. Nah, you pillock, it’s called the broken windows fallacy. Working to rebuild what you lost is no gain. Not a substitute for real stimulus.

45 comments on “Broken principles and broken windows”

  1. So, this broken windows fallacy.

    Does it apply if the money will be paid by local insurance companies who have reinsured with overseas companies? (Which I am assuming is the case.)

    Doesn’t this mean that we (New Zealand) are receiving money from overseas that we otherwise would not have got and that this transfer therefore does have some stimulus effect?

    (Of course, if the actuaries have done their jobs correctly I guess we have paid for it, with a profit margin, in our insurance premiums transferred to those very same reinsurers.)

    • Marty G 1.1

      ha, zet’s right. working to replace a loss is not a gain in wealth. In fact, it means that resources are expended that otherwise could have been used to gain wealth. Think about it. If this was a great economic event and there’s been no loss of human life, we would be celebrating, wouldn’t we? But we’re not because we’re going to have to spend so much time rebuilding, diverting resources from stuff we would rather be doing.

      Sure, there will be jobs created in the short-term but what’s happened is the loss of a couple of billion in capital in physical damage and the conversion of a couple of billion of EQC capital into present spending.

      • Yes, but if the person paying for the window to be fixed is overseas, how does that change things? In that case the money is coming from out of our economy and means that New Zealand is receiving money that would otherwise have gone to the shareholders in France as profit.

        Of course, to analyse properly, you’d have to have a good idea of where the insurance money was coming from and the domestic/foreign split.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        If the resources would otherwise go to profits in overseas insurance companies then you could say it is a gain in wealth.

    • Ari 1.2

      If you have a window and it breaks, and someone else offers to pay to fix it, you haven’t gained the money they gave you to fix it. You’ve broken even because you’re spending it to replace lost assets. Foreign insurance companies don’t even account for that, as you’ve had to pay them previously for the privilege, so you’re actually out of pocket for the deal unless they somehow overpay you.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Nail head hit Zet.

    In the normal course of events Key might have a point; after all it’s kinda galling for sane responsible folk who’ve paid their own insurance, to see their taxes spent on bailing out those who have chosen not to.

    But set in the context of the SCF bailout, and impact of the recession, the hypocrisy is laid bare. Moreover Key has let the mask slip badly here.

    As Warren Buffet famously put it, ‘it’s class warfare alright, and my class is winning’.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Nail hit too RL. It’s like these reckless shits who drive around uninsured and with no asset backing and then leave other people holding the bill… not to be encouraged. But that argument, perfectly valid in its own right, kinda falls flat when you’re happy to have your mates recklessly drive a company into a metaphorical power pole, only to have everyone else pay to tow it off and panelbeat it.

  3. Macro 3

    What about the rural community hit by extreme weather (flood, drought, etc)? Minister of Ag on the spot to fork out relief packages aplenty! Another of what’s good for some – not for others.

    • KJT 3.1

      Yeah always thought that was funny. There with bells on for cockies. Not that I think we should not be! But! No help for the drainlayer in Whangarei who went bust after a winter of solid rain.

  4. Anne 4

    Didn’t Bill English and John Key decry Labour – both before and after the election – about Labour’s policy to create a stimulus package as a means of overcoming the worst effects of the recession? Smile and Wave has had a change of heart then?

  5. Puddleglum 5

    As Minister of Tourism I would have expected John Key to factor in the loss to Christchurch’s heritage in any ‘accounting’ of the benefits of fixing these particular ‘broken windows’ – and perhaps supporting the strengthening of what remains of the city’s older buildings (not to mention those of other cities).

    That work would provide a rather less ‘ironic’ stimulus. (The phrase ‘great irony’ may actually show that Key has some dim awareness of the fallacy he is hawking to the public.)

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      that awareness isn’t dim….. he knows full well what he’s saying..and how honest it isn’t..

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Yep, even in the limited economics training he got at uni as part of his business degree he would have been introduced to the Broken Windows Fallacy.

  6. illuminatedtiger 6

    Not sure if this is entirely on topic but did anyone notice how Key could only talk about swimming pools when interviewed by John Campbell last night? Is this seriously all our Prime Minister thinks about. Does this man know what a typical Kiwi home looks like?

    • Marty G 6.1

      “Does this man know what a typical Kiwi home looks like?” -No.

      • joe bloggs 6.1.1

        Liar. Dissembler. There has been no end of publicity about JK’s beginnings:

        I was raised, along with my sisters, in a state house in Christchurch. Back then I thought I was poor and, by most standards we were.

        John Key: Valuing Families
        Speech to the Family First New Zealand Forum on the Family
        08 September 2008

        He goes on to say in the next breath

        “As I grew up, though, I recognised that what my mother gave to my sisters and I was far more valuable than money. She instilled in us the desire to improve ourselves by our own hard work, the confidence that we were able to do it, and the hope that it was possible to do so. She instilled in me an ethic of hard work and determination and a genuine belief that “you get out of life what you put into it”.

        Evidently the politics of envy plays a central role in YOUR belief system Marty.

        • prism 6.1.1.1

          joe bloggs – Sounds like a quote from John Key’s personal PR manager. It makes its three points which are a well-known effective speechifying strategem. It sounds very preachy, it would be peachy though, if all one had to do to become a millionaire or just a success was to follow his mother’s approach. It sounds a good approach but it needs to include having consideration for others and not measuring yourself or them firstly by the value of financial assets.

        • Puddleglum 6.1.1.2

          It’s all about what comes to mind, joe bloggs. And, what comes to mind is usually determined by recent, adult experiences rather than what happened in your childhood.

          I, too, was raised in a state house in Christchurch and, before that, a migrant’s hostel in Australia and, before that, post WWII prefabricated housing for the working class in England. But I became educated and have spent most of my adult life around educated people. I still find myself assuming that people know things that I just take as ‘general knowledge’ – but most don’t. That is, I don’t relate to other people’s likely experience of ‘general knowledge’ based on my childhood experiences of people’s knowledge but on the experiences I’ve had for the last few decades.

          Similarly, I imagine that hearing about swimming pools, spa pools, or whatever, was salient for Key because of HIS last few decades of experience around wealthier people. Naturally enough, that’s probably how he could empathise/ understand what was going on – by its effects on upper middle class New Zealand. Not by its effects on the lives of the less wealthy.

          More charitably, perhaps he thought he was basically talking to relatively wealthy Aucklanders on John Campbell’s programme and that’s how he thought he could best get the sense of the event across to those people. Who knows? What’s for sure is that swimming pools aren’t a priority for most Christchurch citizens at the moment and so such comments won’t resonate with them.

          To be honest, I don’t think this is just a failing of Key’s. There are tens of thousands of people in Christchurch who have no idea of the daily experience of even more tens of thousands of their co-citizens. I think it’s that basic ignorance that allows some New Zealanders to say things like “there are no classes in New Zealand” and other ridiculous claims.

          One of the (predictable) tragedies is that it was the eastern (lower SES) suburbs that were hit worst because of the liquefaction and general instability of the ground their houses were built on. As cities grow, typically, cheaper housing gets developed on less ‘prime’ more marginal land. Apparently there’s a recent Bexley development (an eastern suburb) that has had major damage to the foundations of most of the houses in it. Still, I guess the developer did his or her bit to boosting GDP at the time the development went ahead. Now it can be boosted again by fixing it up (or trashing it).

  7. Tigger 7

    Key is praying for a hurricane, tsunami and a couple of major fires to hit various parts of the country. Heck, if Rangitoto erupts he’ll likely wet himself in delight. He is revolting.

  8. vto 8

    Your parable may have some relevance in normal conditions however here in Canterbury at this stage of the depression (will everyone stop calling it a recession please) the influx of money is indeed a silver lining.

    People I know in the construction industry who were looking down the barrel of empty work orders are now full to over-flowing. This provides income to people wo would not otherwise have had it.

    So, fine parable and maybe it is correct in the final outcome in that people may not have new shoes, and instead have repaired windows, but it will drastically improve the incomes in Canterbury in a situation where things were dire.

    Save the parable for when all else is equal.

    • Marty G 8.1

      The country is worse off, you can’t get around that. Ultimately, we end up with $2 billion less in our national savings that has been spent replacing $2 billion of physical damage.

      Yes the rebuild will contribute to GDP but that just shows the flaws in GDP as a measure of human welfare. Anyway, the loss of ordinary business activity may offset that.

      Remember, if the broken windows fallacy doesn’t apply then it stands to reason that you should be going around damaging more buildings to create more stimulus.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        “The country is worse off, you can’t get around that.”

        Undeniably true. There was a big fucking earthquake that wrecked a bunch of shit.

        But what’s also true is that there is an increase in aggregate demand that will be filled by using labour and capital that previously couldn’t find anything particularly productive to do.

        The source of that increase in demand is, in a sense, irrelevant. The work created is undeniably productive. It’s not nothing. Sure, it’s rebuilding assets that were lost, but so what?

        “should be going around damaging more buildings to create more stimulus.”

        Not really, because no one is saying that the damage is good thing. They are saying that fixing broken shit is work. It’s more like saying that a govt should soak up ‘excess’ labour in a depression by fixing up run down infrastructure. Would you respond to someone who suggested that by saying that they ‘may as well go around blowing up bridges?’

        I’m not saying that fallacy isn’t real, just that it’s not entirely convincing or always appropriate.

        I’m pretty sure the folks getting paid, and their families, and the people they buy goods and services off, would agree. If that offends libertarians, econowonks, and people who think an economy is a race to build the biggest pile of shit, fuck them.

        People that didn’t ahve work, are gonna have good productive work. And it’s going to be paid for with funds that otherwise would have been sitting in investments waiting for just such an occurance.

        • Loota 8.1.1.1

          But what’s also true is that there is an increase in aggregate demand that will be filled by using labour and capital that previously couldn’t find anything particularly productive to do.

          The source of that increase in demand is, in a sense, irrelevant. The work created is undeniably productive. It’s not nothing. Sure, it’s rebuilding assets that were lost, but so what?

          This is exactly why major powers love wars.

          Nothing gets the economy going like a good bash-bam.

          All things considered however, NZ should already have been spending that $2B developing new science and industry.

          That’s what I call stimulus.

          This, this is just spending to stand still. Pays some bills for some contractors, great, but don’t see it as being much more than that.

  9. Jenny 9

    .
    ZETETIC:

    Key reckons the rebuilding will be a “be tremendous stimulus”. Says it’s a “great irony” that jobless workers in Christchurch might get work in the rebuilding. Nah, you pillock, it’s called the broken windows fallacy. Working to rebuild what you lost is no gain. Not a substitute for real stimulus.

    In his essay the ‘Beware! the end is nigh! Grant Morgan explains that the ‘growth gene’ is deep in the DNA of capitalism.

    Without continual growth capitalism cannot exist.

    This means, that when capitalism is up against any limits to endless growth, like recessions or depressions – Capitalists Welcome Destruction.

    In a recession capitalists like Key see natural disasters, (or wars for that matter) as a good thing.

    UNITY: ‘Beware! The end is nigh!’

    Capitalism’s growth gene has spurred a reckless looting and spoilage of nature, particularly since the invention of the oil well drill 150 years ago. …

    Morgan’s claim of an endless need for growth and expansion also explains capitalism’s shift to financialisation in the ’80s and ’90s, (ending in the present financial collapse), occurred because the real economy could no longer generate sufficient profits to sate capitalism’s growth gene.

    • prism 9.1

      Wikipedia info on who Grant Morgan is –
      Grant Morgan is a political activist from Auckland, New Zealand.
      Morgan is a leading member of Socialist Worker (Aotearoa), and the chairperson of the Residents Action Movement. He was also the first Secretary of the Solidarity Union, and the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of New Zealand.

      And Gareth Morgan is NZ financier. Just for those who like me don’t know who’s who about all.

  10. nadis 10

    It’s not a black and white as you’d think.

    GDP = C +G +I +(Ex-Imp)

    In the aftermath of the earthquake you’ll see C , G and I all increase plus the multiplier effect as money circulates, so in GDP terms it is likely there will be an increase in measured activity (yes i know GDP is a flawed measure that doesnt take account of all externalities). The argument is no different to calls for stimulus on the back of the GFC induced recession. Exactly the same logic but on the back of the earthquake, any spending (stimulus) will be far better targeted – good for employees,small business, big business. And afterwards you have (hopefully) better quality infrastructure than when you started so there will also be a productivity gain (one of the externalities ignored by the broken window fallacy).

    The problem with invoking the broken windows fallacy is that it makes more sense in micro-economic terms than macro as it ignores a lot of external costs and benefits.

    It actually would be a good thing to go around breaking windows to promote GDP growth – as long as you stopped when you had spent the savings you had put away for the rainy day, and provided you were installing fancy new improved windows that allow businesses and investors to be more efficient in the future. After that point though, it doesn’t make sense to continue breaking windows.

    And tell the the tradesman in a small business who previously had no forward work who now has 12 months of work that “it’s not real activity”.

    The real issue here (which I don’t disagree with) is the inequity of treatment you point out between SCF investors and uninsured homeowners. The initial guarantee scheme was flawed, the extension was flawed, neither should have have extended beyond banks and building societies. So no argument that the SCF bailout was a joke. But equally no argument that if you are uninsured you are stupid. NZ is earthquake prone.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      “And afterwards you have (hopefully) better quality infrastructure than when you started so there will also be a productivity gain (one of the externalities ignored by the broken window fallacy).”

      I don’t deny that in general that could be an outcome, but I don’t see it as particularly being the case here. Most of the damage is to chimneys and inner city brick buildings. These aren’t ‘productive’ assets anyway, so replacing them with new ones isn’t going to increase productivity. Ok so the new buildings might have new, more efficient heating and lighting, but that’s about it, and the number of buildings affected is so small that it would count as a rounding error and nothing more.

    • Bright Red 10.2

      “It actually would be a good thing to go around breaking windows to promote GDP growth – as long as you stopped when you had spent the savings you had put away for the rainy day, and provided you were installing fancy new improved windows that allow businesses and investors to be more efficient in the future.”

      No, it would be good providing you had nothing better to expend your resources on than replacing windows with better windows.

      I think we can agree that being forced to replace infrastructure that was working perfectly well with more modern infrastructure is not a good thing when it diverts resources from elsewhere or, at the very least, leaves our national accounts $2 billion worse off.

      And you’re ignoring the fact that going around breaking windows would prevent those buildings being used efficiently until the windows are replaced. The same is true of the earthquake – yes, there will be economic activity replacing damaged infrastructure but a whole lot of ordinary economic activity (which is presumably more optimal in normal times) will be disrupted for months.

  11. F.Y 11

    It may also be more profitable not to rebuild and instead demolish damaged buildings, using the sites of less profitable dwellings for better use or bank their value as bare land. Key isn’t really thinking straight. That’s pretty clear, he’s just making something bad look good for him. Luckily, no one will pull him up on it. And 98% of voters won’t even notice. Being busy is an integral part of NZ culture. Doesn’t matter if you’re picking the nose off your face as long as you can say you’re busy over a beer later.

  12. Bill 12

    At least the reconstruction of infrastructure will be useful and might have the added benefit of making up for any shortfalls that might have been occurring vis a vis maintenance.

    And repairing ‘broken windows’ is a lot more desirable and possibly rewarding for workers that the mind numbing tedium that defines far too much utterly pointless employment that is undertaken for absolutely no good reason and that constitutes a total waste of resources (both human and material).

    Actually, talking of princilples and things that get broken, there would seem to be an argument for breaking a whole heap of windows, not repairing them and concentrating on repairing the humanity that has been crushed and diminished by the imposition of utterly unrewarding and soul destroying ‘gainful’ employment.

    Now wouldn’t that be novel? To see a social initiative that encouraged people to realise their human potential rather than insisting that they become enthralled by their earning potential or lack thereof and summarily judged by that same sole criteria?

  13. zimmer 13

    Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.

    No insurance should mean no payout, whats the point of insurance then? SCF was covered by a scheme, I have a problem with it but they were covered.
    Sometimes people have to learn the hard way and not rely on the tax payer as much for income as they could not be bothered getting it in the first place. This is called being responsible. Like getting a car and ramming a new BMW with no insurance, plain dumb. Insurance is cheap for a house & contents, $10-15/wk, that is all. So don’t cry if you are not insured. Just rent.
    Last week you were saying the Greens had a plan, build state houses, but to rebuild houses in Chch is different? Labour/Greens good, National bad.
    Class war my arse, just a little game going on in your deluded head. I bet a few employers will lose their shirt over this EQ as well, especially un-insured or under insured. Dumb arse Unite Union upset some workers may not get paid, well how can an employer pay when he has lost a revenue stream? The worker & boss will suffer together. That what happens in disasters.

    • F.Y 13.1

      You tell us that not be insured is dumb, and not to cry for the victims, then tell us some employers will be left with nothing because of no insurance and that’s a shame? Class war, yep, you’re part of it, pushing “the employer is better” end. And just to upset your silly little world, renters need insurance too. Landlords insurance doesn’t cover the tenants belongings or the property in some situations. But why should facts upset those who also think landlords are owed? Carry on with your class war, it only demonstrates your ignorance.

    • prism 13.2

      Hey zimmer you say
      Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.
      It will be good for you to keep writing to this site as the informed people who gather here will play along with your search for the truth and as you fumble around, let you know when you’re getting warmer! You may actually learn about the earth too. But it looks as if you’ll have a big job. Well kia kaha.

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.2.1

        Zimmer Building Additional homes is a stimulus, rebuilding damaged homes does not create a extra building. It simply gets the owner back to the pre earth quake state. If you had been following what people are saying in their posts and you are not biased you can clearly see their point that this will increase the building sector activity and spend, but it is not the same as additional stimulus spending.It is your leader Smile and Wave who is trying to have it both ways.

        Labour said to stimulate National said not to, now Key says the increase in building activity will be good. The only people who are Flip flopping is Key.

        ANTI -spam word caught

    • Bright Red 13.3

      the world is getting warmer: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2010july/

      “So don’t cry if you are not insured. Just rent.”

      Did you opose the SCF bail-out too? Just want consistancy here.

      “Last week you were saying the Greens had a plan, build state houses, but to rebuild houses in Chch is different? Labour/Greens good, National bad.”

      I don’t think anyone is against rebuilding Chch.

    • Armchair Critic 13.4

      zimmer – in response to your “insurance analogy”:
      Most insurance companies put significant effort into making sure claims are strictly in terms of the policy, and will try to find any excuse not to pay out. Once they accept a claim, they pay out as little as they possibly can. The unseemly haste with which National used taxpayer’s money to pay out SCF’s creditors, and the percentage the paid out, is quite unlike what an insurance company would or should have done.
      There is plenty of water to pass under the bridge with SCF.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.

      Actually, it’s the NACT people who think everyone should be taxed billions to pay for their pollution. Oh, and the Earth has just had another record warm year which is fairly irrefutable proof that it is getting warmer.

      SCF was covered by a scheme, I have a problem with it but they were covered.

      Actually, indications are that SCF had broken the terms of the cover and, therefore, weren’t covered.

      Sometimes people have to learn the hard way and not rely on the tax payer as much for income as they could not be bothered getting it in the first place. This is called being responsible.

      The people working 40+ hours a week and still not having enough to live on are being responsible. The people who aren’t are the people who think that paying a living wage is paying too much. People such as Jonkey.

      Class war my arse, just a little game going on in your deluded head.

      Not delusion, NACT really are working to lower the incomes of at least 95% of the population. You know, the people not in their class. This is seen by their removal of workers rights, their reluctance to increase the minimum wage, their removal of democracy in Canterbury and Auckland and their gift of $1.8b to their rich mates in SFC.

    • Vicky32 13.6

      I’d like to point out zimmer-frame, that UB for a single person is $194.00 a week – $15.00 a week for insurance = $179.00. Unaffordable.

  14. So many great points Zet.
    I wonder if any of them will be raised by the ‘Opposition’.

  15. Kleefer 15

    Zetetic, you so nearly hit the nail on the head that I grunted in frustration when you said “real stimulus”. Read Henry Hazlitt’s book Economics in one Lesson and you’ll understand that all government “stimulus” falls prey to the broken window fallacy. However thank you for pointing out Mr Key’s stupidity, it’s up there with Judith “Crusher” Collins touting the economic benefits to a region of having a $1.2 billion prison. Goes to show right-wingers are often just as economically illiterate as left-wingers. They all need to read some Austrian economics and understand how the economy actually works.

  16. Billy the Fish 16

    Interesting comparing the comments by two senior economic analysts (mass paraphrasing)

    ANZ Analsysis – This will stimulate the economy and lead to good things

    Westpac Analysis – Be careful on looking on this as a stimulus – Broken Windows Fallacy

    Looking at moving my account to the W bank as the dude there talks much sense and seems to understand economics 101

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    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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