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Can democratic parties succeed?

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, July 9th, 2013 - 110 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour, Media - Tags: , , ,

Can democratic parties be successful major parties in modern politics? The media’s drooling obsession with the “man ban” really makes me wonder.

Labour is a democratic party. It develops its policy in the open, via a remit system and conference. It recently became a lot more democratic, within internal review and constitutional changes to give the membership more control over the leadership and policy. Sounds good right? Compare and contrast with the National Party. They dream up their policy in smoke-filled rooms, have it dictated to them by big money, or Key makes it up over dinner.

In an idealised view of politics the open and democratic approach should be much preferred – people power, rather than a clique. But in the real world it has risks. Controversial policy can be put forward, and it is there for all to see. In the current ongoing example, the Nats sat on the gender balance proposals until they needed a distraction from Key’s GCSB attack on privacy, then they fed their blogs the “man ban” line, knowing that the media would fall on it like excited children. Cynical but effective.

If we had a more competent media it wouldn’t be a problem. Instead we have the likes of Patrick Gower, who doesn’t seem to understand how political parties work at all if this tweet is anything to go by:

And why did David Shearer let the man-ban proposal get though Labour national council – does he have any control

Does Gower have any understanding of the remit process? Does he really want the Labour leader to be able to veto what does and doesn’t get discussed at conference? Does he have any control over what he writes – or is this just another case of his obsession with Shearer taking over his keyboard?

Whatever, we have the media that we have. So democratic policy development is always going to be risky. Which gets me back to my original question. Can democratic parties be successful major parties in modern politics? What kind of a political system do we want?

110 comments on “Can democratic parties succeed?”

  1. Marty 1

    This would never have happened under Clark, and you know it. The difference here is that the tail is trying to wag the dog. Until this situation is reversed, the Nats, with the help of their lapdog media, is going to get all the free hits they want.

  2. karol 2

    Can democratic parties succeed/?

    Not when the caucus leader are willing to override party membership democracy and pander to right wing propaganda as perpetuated by some dominant voices in the MSM.

    The Labour Party has dumped its controversial ‘man ban’ proposal which would have seen electorates be able to opt for women-only candidate selection.

    Leader David Shearer said he asked Labour Party leadership to withdraw the selection process proposals, and this had been done.

    He said he had had a number of conversations about withdrawing the plan.

    Shearer said the proposal had been a distraction and the public wanted to hear about issues which affected them, not the Labour Party’s issues.

    I am losing patience with this kind of weak leadership that too often goes for appeasement over strong left wing principles.

    • Matthew Hooton 2.1

      “I am losing patience with this kind of weak leadership that too often goes for appeasement over strong left wing principles.”

      You sound like Redbaiter:

      “I am losing patience with this kind of weak leadership that too often goes for appeasement over strong conservative principles.”

      Strong principles lose elections, alas.

  3. chrissy 3

    Labour has dropped the “manban” remit at David Shearers request. Just on news.

  4. muzza 4

    No!

    NZ is an out of control *science project*, or psy-op, if you will!

    David Shearer is part of the experiment, what further evidence are people in need of, there. JK and his cronies speak for themselves, its been going on since Muldoon was minister of finance, if not earlier!

    As such, there will be no change!

  5. Bill 5

    Can democratic parties be successful major parties in modern politics?

    I guess we’ll know when we get one ;-)

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Of course democratic parties can succeed. But that presumes some basic competence.

    Really this post is just another apology for Shearer’s useless leadership. Let it go.

  7. One Anonymous Knucklehead 7

    You may as well ask can democracy thrive without the fourth estate. Answers on a postcard to Patrick Gower @ Tv3.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    The MSM don’t want or understand democracy.

    If Shearer believed in participatory democracy (which he does not), he would have been able to say something like this.

    “The Labour party is controlled by its members, not by an inner clique of wheeler dealers. When did the National Party members approve the Sky casino deal? Never. According to Matt McCarten, John Key did the casino deal BEFORE the 2008 election.”

    “Labour prides itself on being open to discussing a wide range of solutions to our country’s problems. National doesn’t. Remember it was Labour party members, NOT the leadership, who first put forward the idea of a nuclear free New Zealand.”

    “Do National party members want the GCSB to have greater spying powers? It doesn’t matter what they want. They won’t get any say. That’s dictatorship, not democracy.”

    • Red Rosa 8.1

      +1+1 Great stuff. Precisely what should have been said.

      Can’t expect the media to do more than ask the question.

      Shearer is a hopeless case.

    • AmaKiwi 8.2

      Shearer could have concluded:

      “If you want to decide this question you can join the LP on-line at . . . . . which will entitle you to speak and vote on this proposal at our next annual conference in Christchurch . . . . ”

      “The LP is people like yourself working together democratically to improve our country.”

      (because John Key’s “brighter future” dictatorship sure ain’t doin’ it).

  9. BM 9

    Hopefully the female party members don’t give up their fight for equal representation.

    This is just far too important to be allowed to just slip away, you need to really up the ante, take to the streets and demonstrate to Shearer and New Zealand how crucial this is to the Labour party and that one way or another it’s going to happen.

  10. Stephen 10

    So two right wing bloggers set in motion a chain of events that killed a legit internal party initiative. They must be howling with laughter at how this has played out. Very angry about how the leader, caucus and others have handled this.

  11. Gosman 11

    As many of you may well have picked up I enjoy comparing some views to Zimbabwe under Zanu-PF rule. This is mainly because Zanu-PF is a superficially ‘Progressive’ left wing movement which at least pays lip service to the same sort of ideals I see expressed on the left. Zimbabwe is to me a test bed for the more extreme leftist views puched by people like Draco t Bastard.

    This whole thread is an example of this similar mindset on an issue. The view that the Private media is in the pocket of those who work against the ‘progressives’ and how ‘true’ Democracy will never happen until the Media is ‘reformed’.

    • framu 11.1

      wow – i thought you were just here to stir – you admitted as much yourself

      still moving those goal posts around gosster?

      you might enjoy comparing left wing policy to zimbabwe – the rest of us enjoy laughing at you because of it

  12. Sable 12

    There is nothing especially democratic about Labour or National. In fact I’d say these two parties have done a lot to undermine human rights in this country. We are all aware of Keys outrages but lets not forget Clark’s antics such as her governments shabby treatment of Ahmed Zaoui, a protestor who had the temerity to bury an axe in her office window and the construction of no less than five prisons.

    The reality is we need co operative government that acknowledges the needs of business whilst ensuring social considerations such as human rights are respected. To date we have two main parties that effectively can not co operate fostering bi-partisan politics whilst at the same time acting in much the same manner as one another. Neither are good for this country or its people but yet even with MMP little has really changed. Time to take a HARD look at what government means in NZ and what we can do to reform it.

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      + 1

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      Key Govt orchestrated an unneeded paramilitary raid on Dotcom, complete with illegal surveillance.

      Clark Govt orchestrated an unneeded paramilitary raid during Operation 8, complete with illegal surveillance.

  13. Nicolas 13

    Do people here actually vote for Labour? I’m not being sarcastic; I genuinely want to be given reasons why people vote for the Labour party, besides the old “they’re better than the Nats” BS.

    Being a Green Party member, it really amazes me how people on the “Left” can still vote for one of the two main parties which have, for the past 30 years, taken New Zealand in a direction that doesn’t seem too good…

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      Door to door canvassing for Labour I constantly heard, “It doesn’t matter how I vote. Once they get in they’ll do whatever they want.”

      Some criticize those people who don’t vote. Maybe it is us voters who should be criticized for self-deception . . . . . believing either major party is other than top-down leadership.

      • Winston Smith 13.1.1

        We believe what we want to believe I guess…blue or red pill?

        • burt 13.1.1.1

          Blue or red pill – it’s just a purple haze of popularity in the two horse race we call politics in NZ.

    • Sable 13.2

      One very interesting study showed that people vote as their parents do. Its an interesting phenomenon, given that people in many other respects make their own life choices.

      I think too people do not see credible choices beyond the main parties. They may feel voting for other parties is a wasted vote and they feel either Labour or National is the lesser of two evils.

  14. Winston Smith 14

    This is a win for whaleoil :)

    • Nate 14.1

      Huge win. Blogger defeats major [used-to-be] political party.

      • Winston Smith 14.1.1

        The amount of crowing on here when the Truth folded was almost deafening and then he breaks a remit from Labour, names it (Man-ban was from whaleoil) and then has the Labour party running around like headless chickens

        Like him or loathe him you have to admit its pretty impressive

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          So was 9/11. What’s your point?

          Guy’s a pretty good fuckwit, it has to be said.

          • Winston Smith 14.1.1.1.1

            “Guy’s a pretty good fuckwit, it has to be said.”

            – Buts hes single handedly got Labour and Shearer on the back foot because now Shearers either weak for caving in or dictorial for over-riding the wishes of its members

            :)

            • felix 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Wipe your chin mate.

              • Winston Smith

                Don’t worry about it, no doubt someone in Labour who say or do something equally as dumb and we’ll forget all about it…until the election campaign :)

              • Transient Viper

                I’m sorry. I’m not sure that an anti-homosexual comment is going to get you anywhere here.

                Is there something wrong with gay people?

            • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Good point.

              Getting Shearer on the back foot and looking stupid is a really, really, low bar.

    • Sable 14.2

      No its a loose, loose situation for all concerned. As for whale blubber, less said the better.

  15. TightyRighty 15

    labour is a democratic party in the way that north korea is the DPRK

    • Sable 15.1

      Oh and Keys is doing such a wonderful job of behaving like a democratically elected leader. This kind of nonsense is just what I’m talking about. They are ALL BAD. Want a right leaning party, my advice, start your own but be sensible enough to see that there are issues beyond business.

  16. George D 16

    Labour is a democratic party.

    Are you sure?

    As James Dann said today, “[The] sad lesson from banning the #manban: WhaleOil has more influence over the direction of the Labour party than it’s members do.”

    • burt 16.1

      No surprise – he’s not a dumb-fuck repeater of the party line to make dear leader feel powerful.

    • The Fan Club 16.2

      Eh, George, mate, now’s not the best time eh.

      • George D 16.2.1

        Now’s not the best time, for what?

        What would be a good time, for whatever is it’s not a good time for?

        The good news is that Labour has got considerably more accountable to its members, and they have more influence on policy and selection than they did in the past. These remits are a part of that process. The disappointing thing is that there’s still a way to go, and there are many who oppose these changes quite vehemently.

        • The Fan Club 16.2.1.1

          For patronising comments from Green members. I mean, I know it’s fun and all, but also, really, it’s not your fight, and it really isn’t helpful.

          • Sable 16.2.1.1.1

            Whose “fight” is it then. If these fools get elected they impact on my life as much as yours mate. For myself I’m at a loss to know who to vote for, none of the options are especially appealing.

  17. burt 17

    Can democratic parties succeed?

    Who knows…. partisan hack foot soldiers for corrupt self serving parties give them the diversions they need to never be accountable for undemocratic acts like over spending on elections … breaking the funding laws and manipulating party lists etc.

  18. One Anonymous Knucklehead 18

    The answer to the question asked by the post is, “yes, of course they can, but political competence makes it a lot easier”.

    • burt 18.1

      Party members who don’t excuse the same thing in their own party that they protest against in the other parties are also essential. Apart from a court of law (which we all know politicians will do anything to avoid – including use parliament under urgency to kill off existing court cases) it’s the party members who hold the bar up and enforce ethical behaviour in the party.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1

        Every party straddles that fence: they all have their true believers and their honest brokers.

        • burt 18.1.1.1

          When partisan hacks excuse atrocious deeds in their own party they are acting against democracy – sure they might be able to convince themselves they are doing the right thing for their party believing their party to be “Good” – but it’s still enabling abuse of democratic principles.

          It might be all parties – and that is because they all have partisan hacks who excuse the same things in their own party that they protest wildly against when the other team does it. Take rOb, he defended Labour using parliament to kill a court case because he though it was right for the party to act in the best interests of the party – bet he wouldn’t support National doing that – I also bet he won’t admit he helped Labour act in an anti-democratic way by doing that.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.1.1

            Thank you for embodying the point so well, and for being such a good example of a partisan hack.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.2

            Take rOb, he defended Labour using parliament to kill a court case because he though it was right for the party to act in the best interests of the party

            [citation needed]

    • burt 18.2

      “yes, of course they can, but political competence makes it a lot easier”.

      I think accountability under the laws they make for themselves is a bigger factor. The courts are the place to determine if parties broke the law – not the caucus room.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1

        Yes, like for example far more recently, when John Key sent the police to raid newspaper offices to look for a recording of his private conversation with John Banks, but all the while was condoning ubiquitous illegal surveillance. Or when he set up a “seeing eye trust” to circumvent the law on members interests.

        With a Labour/Green government in the offing, I am gritting my teeth for the inevitable spectacle of Green MPs succumbing to similar dynamics, although I will be astonished if they scrape the barrel as thoroughly as the Prime Minister does on a daily basis.

      • Sable 18.2.2

        EXACTLY but the courts don’t convict! What’s needed is an independent group with oversight for these scoundrels actions and civil law so they can not worm their way out of a conviction for illegal behaviour.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    David Shearer, interviewed on Newstalk ZB now:

    “We’re a democratic party, you put things up, you vote on them.”

    So that’s settled then. … /sarc

  20. Wayne 20

    It really is fanciful to suggest that the Nats are less democratic than Labour, and it is a typical Labour Party conceit.

    I have been in both parties. And I was the National Caucus policy chair for a number of years.

    They are as democratic as one another. For instance the Nats have a much more democratic system of selecting candidates. Policy is widely debated in Policy Advisory Groups.There is no loaded vote for a particular sector as with Labour and the Unions.

    Sure, in the last 12 months Labour has made the selection of the Leader more democratic, but even when the leadership decision is confined to caucus, this is decided by secret ballot.

    So forget about claiming the moral high ground on this one!

    • burt 20.1

      Wayne

      Partisans love to hide behind:

      They did it too AND
      They did it worse ….

      That’s the key problem with hacks who support corrupt behaviour – they don’t measure the actions of their own party against the law or the principles of democracy – only against the other parties who they consider deeply corrupt and self serving… Apparently being 1% less corrupt than your opposition means you have done nothing wrong.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.2

      “Widely debated” by old white men :lol:

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      National has been the least democratic party for a long long time. Sure, Labour aren’t the best but they truly aren’t as bad as National.

      Policy is widely debated in Policy Advisory Groups.

      That, BTW, is not democratic – it’s authoritarian. Democratic would be the members debating the policies.

      • Wayne 20.3.1

        Why are the PAG’s authoritarian? Virtually everyone in them is a member. They were developed to give members more access to MP’s and to make sure there is ongoing dialogue on policy.

        This idea, and somewhat silly debat,e “we are more democratic than you, we are more inclusive than you” ignores the fact you just cannot persuade NZ’ers to join either the Nats or Labour, if you then ignore their role as members. They sure as heck won’t sign up next year.

        And Draco, I presume you have done that; try and persuade members that their voice counts.

    • Anne 20.4

      I have been in both parties.

      You were in Auckland Central. Richard Prebble’s stomping ground. You joined the Neo Con Party not Labour. They used Labour to further their own ends but thankfully Helen Clark and co. were finally able to turf them out. You apparently disappeared with them.

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Can democratic parties be successful major parties in modern politics?

    Yes but every-time that a journo comes up with a BS line like Gower’s above then they have to ask if the journos prefer dictatorship.

    • karol 21.1

      And tonight on 3 News, Gower is weeping crocodile tears for all the rank and file members who have been working on the remit for 18 months, and putting the failings (in management of the issue) all down to Shearer’s leadership. Same leader Gower supported back at last year’s LP conference.

      Anything to stir up drama and show up the NZLP, that Gower.

    • AmaKiwi 21.2

      I genuinely think most New Zealanders do not know the definition of democracy. Nearly everyone I ask believes being able to vote for the next dictator is democracy.

      I might say we need to teach more history in schools, but they do in the USA and the kids are universally taught the US won the Vietnam war. Japanese kids aren’t taught about the rape of Nanking. Nor Turkish kids about the Armenian genocide.

      ““The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”

      (Mark Twain, Following the Equator, Part 7)

  22. Can democratic parties be successful major parties in modern politics?

    Yes, just as soon as people realize that there is more to democracy than majority rule.

    • burt 22.1

      Democracy also relies on constant vigilance against (and accountability for) self serving and corrupt behaviour – even when it’s your own party doing it.

      • UglyTruth 22.1.1

        I agree, that main reason that the western civil democracy is such a basket case is that people expect the system to protect them and their rights.

        Also, recognizing corruption involves knowing what the boundaries of legitimate democratic behaviour are. The civil system actively misrepresents the nature of these boundaries.

        • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1

          The civil system actively misrepresents the nature of these boundaries.

          No, the problem is that you haven’t moved on from the 15th century while the rest of us have.

          • UglyTruth 22.1.1.1.1

            It misrepresents the boundaries when it says that common law is subordinate to statute law and then goes on to lie about the nature of common law. Those who are OK with using the idea of using the system to exploit others generally don’t have any ethical qualms about this.

            Lying in order to maintain power isn’t an issue that has changed in nature since the fifteenth century.

            • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1.1.1

              You’ve been running that line for months now and have been proved wrong several times. As I said, we’re not in the 15th century anymore.

              • Stop lying, Draco.

                The system misrepresents the nature of common law when it says that it is equivalent to case law. To make matters worse, the system exercises the common law privilege of giving oath, and that privilege is not from case law.

  23. red blooded 23

    Frankly, I think the proposal wasn’t the way to increase gender equity in parliament (see earlier post), but I also think it should have been debated and adopted, dumped or amended on the conference floor. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement within a party, so long as it is not entrenched or personalised. And while people argue that the time is not right for considering how to increase the number of women in parliament, that argument can be trotted out at any time.

    Why couldn’t Shearer have front-footed this more, saying that Labour are proud that they have fewer entrenched hurdles for women than parties to the right, but that it’s time to take another step forward, and that serious policy if formed through serious and wide-ranging debate; that that is what a party conference is for.

    As it is, Gower gloats, Whaleoil cackles away and both get to accuse Shearer both of:
    1) being weak for letting the proposal come forward,
    2) being a bully for killing it before conference, and
    3) being (a different kind of) weak for being influenced by the media fuss about 1) manipulate him into 2).

    • burt 23.1

      Agree it should have been front footed… Well it still should be. Right now the ‘well we got everyone talking about gender balance in politics didn’t we’ line is obvious. Snapshot party proportions now and if its changed come election time remind people ‘Labour got ridiculed for bringing this to public attention – but got results’ type thing.

      But no… Bumble and contradict ya way through it – Is Mallard in charge of party communications now?

  24. Yes 24

    How can Labour be a democratic party when the unions have 20% of the vote for leadership, seriously deluded however good post

    • Te Reo Putake 24.1

      I agree. Should be a much higher percentage. But, maybe not the 100% control the rich have in National.

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        Given that the Feds, Business Round Table and EMA are also unions…

        • burt 24.1.1.1

          So we agree, union control of political parties is nothing more than the unions buying political influence for their own self interest.

          Naturally bat shit crazy people are stupid enough to think that the unions they like are good so political influence is good but for the unions they don’t like political influence is bad. Rational sensible people recognise their own perspective of right or wrong is largely irrelevant to the principle of the issue.

          So which are you CV, should Labour have affiliated unions ?

          • mickysavage 24.1.1.1.1

            Unions are very democratic organisations burt. You should join one sometime and see how they work. You will be surprised!

            • Yes 24.1.1.1.1.1

              How can you have democracy when they have 20% voting right..that means 20% of real estate is taboo..no go..piss off..we have 20%….come on that is not democracy…everyone starts at ZERO

              • karol

                Because each union represents a load of people? One union isn’t equivalent to one person’s individual vote.

                • Yes

                  And so if that union has 40% vote Who want let’s say shearer then their vote is lost because assuming 20 unions have let’s say 1% of the 20% ..then 40% of 1% is not recorded because the 60% vote wins.

                  If you use the party vote style then 40% of 20% is 8% of 100% meaning this 8% ends up not being recorded if you use MMP party vote.

                  All too confusing this extremely democratic labour party.

                  Oops did I just write a David shearer speec?

        • Yes 24.1.1.2

          They don’t vote for nzf leadership

  25. Blue 25

    If you’re going to do your laundry in public, then everyone will see your knickers and sooner or later some little boy will grab them and run around with them on his head yelling “Look!”.

    It would be okay if Labour could rely on their own people not to embarrass them, but this incident clearly shows they can’t. The people responsible for that stupid remit are still out there waiting for the next fucking disaster they can inflict on their party’s election hopes.

    I’m beginning to despair of any form of competence, discipline or political savvy ever being found in the Labour Party again.

    • Tangled up in blue 25.1

      True.

      Perhaps Labour need some people that are a bit more pragmatic in their council that can shoot down these well intentioned but “wrong” solutions. “Hey guys, the outcome would be good, but let’s do it in a more fair and less politically damaging way eh?”

  26. geoff 26

    Question for the pro-‘man-ban’ners:

    What if the man ban stopped the best candidate from running? Hypothetically speaking, what if the choice for a seat was between, say, a Charles Chauvel vs an Annette King?
    Would you rather Annette ran for the seat, just because of gender equality, over Charles?

    What I’m trying to point out is, why would you make a blanket policy about a complicated and nuanced decision?

    Perhaps, if you could somehow ascertain that both candidates had equal merit in every respect ,apart from gender, then it could make sense to employ this kind of policy. But otherwise it just seems like a stupid idea.

    • McFlock 26.1

      If completely blind merit were the sole or even primary determinant in candidate selection, you might have a point.

      But realistically, the distinction between the chauvals and kings of the house is not so great as that between them and the gilmores or tolleys.

      • geoff 26.1.1

        Of course you wouldn’t see much difference between those two because you’re a shill for the old guard. As I have noted in open mike, thanks for condemning us to another 3 years of National shit, McFlock.

    • QoT 26.2

      Okay, let’s accept your hypothetical, which as McFlock has demonstrated has no bearing on reality. Then I just have a question for you: why would an LEC and the NZ Council of the Party voluntarily stop the objectively-best candidate from running?

      They wouldn’t, if there were such a thing as an objectively-best candidate (and, as I blogged, that’s assuming you think the model is that the one-best-candidate wins as opposed to shortlisting a group of candidates who meet the required standard and then selecting based on other factors).

      So either way, it’s a complete non-issue.

      But of course someone with a male pseudonym is going to raise the idea of it being SO TERRIBLE for the best man not to get picked. Something women and other marginalized groups have had thrown in their faces their entire lives.

      • geoff 26.2.1

        McFlock didn’t demonstrate a single thing, something he specialises in.

        What happens under your preferred system if only male candidates meet the required standard?

        But of course someone with a male pseudonym is going to raise the idea of it being SO TERRIBLE for the best man not to get picked.

        Fuck off.

        • McFlock 26.2.1.1

          What happens under your preferred system if only male candidates meet the required standard?
          Sigh.

          What is the “required standard”? Because it’s sure not merit at the moment. Unless, of course, women are not as capable of being MPs as men.

          As I said, if being a competent MP were the only requirement, you’d have a point. But then MPs in all parties would already be on a 50:50 gender ratio. Labour is close, but still not there. National – forget about it. But at the moment, all you’re arguing is that some people who appear to have an unfair advantage might (if the policy suggestion had gone through conference, and the LEC had made the request for the “quota”, and Labour head office had okay’d that request) end up being unfairly disadvantaged. Excuse me for being fresh out of sympathy.

          Oh, and just because you fail to understand a point doesn’t mean that one wasn’t made. QoT saw it, and it wasn’t written in Greek.

          • geoff 26.2.1.1.1

            Im not suprised you wouldn’t know what a required standard would be, that’s what I’d expect from someone who thinks Shearer is the right man for the job!

            Being capable and having properly left wing principles is obviously what should be the main criteria.
            If somebody who didn’t have those qualities was chosen over other candidates who did, purely on the basis of gender, then that is stupid and destructive.

            Again I wouldn’t expect you to agree because you clearly don’t care how capable our Labour MPs are, just as long as they’re one of your mates.

            • McFlock 26.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree entirely that those should be part of the requirements of MPs, particularly Labour MPs.

              But are they in current practise? And if they are, are they impartially assessed regardless of irrelevant criteria (such as gender or wealth or ethnicity or parental role)?

              I suggest that while most candidates and selectors might regard themselves as fulfilling that ideal consciously (“I’m not a [racist/sexist/homophobe/otherwise-bigoted jerk], but…”), the imbalance in parliament demonstrates that there is (at the very least) a clear subconscious bias in the selection of candidates and list MPs. The idea of the “quota” was a conscious method of confronting that subconscious (and maybe not quite so subconscious) bias.

              Basically, your concept of a male candidate being the only candidate (in an electorate that chose to apply for female-candidates only) who is qualified to be a competent MP is predicated on the concept that the male candidate put himself forward because he knew he was the best candidate, and would have been selected because the selectors (impartially and completely without bias) knew he was the best candidate, by your measure of “being capable and having properly left wing principles”. But in practise the current parliamentary composition suggests that he would have been chosen due to the selectors thinking he was the better candidate because he had a dick – not consciously maybe, but that would basically be it.

    • rosy 26.3

      “What if the man ban stopped the best candidate from running?”

      What is it about the current system, where it appears that (often) men from the middle classes are the favoured candidates, makes you assume the best candidates aren’t stopped from running now? A targeted selection process may encourage the best candidates to run.

      Some of those best candidates may be local, working class women (and men) and currently may not get a look in. The David Shearer parachute readily comes to mind as does the impossibility of getting rid of sitting MPs who are past their use by date.

  27. Plan B 27

    I think the trick that Shearer has to learn is how to answer questions as a commentator rather than as a combatant. It is a simple trick but one that I imagine takes a lot of practice. JK is of course very good at it and it works for him at the moment. One day he may be seriously called up on using the trick and the spell may well be broken. But for now it works a treat. I think Shearer should try and get up to speed with the trick as it should work for anybody. Try it for yourselves- answering the questions in this way removes the persona from it and the confrontation.

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    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • 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
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • 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...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • 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
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