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Careful of them monsters, John

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 13th, 2008 - 75 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government - Tags:

It’s amazing to see how quickly John Key got over his fear of five-headed monsters once it came time to cobble together a government, and more amazing still how quickly the media chose to forgive and forget.

You’ll recall that just two weeks ago the media couldn’t get enough of John’s line that having a government composed of:

“all sorts of different parties” with “competing interests” would not be in the best interests of New Zealand during a period of “difficult economic times to manage”.

But, silly me, they bought that one when it was Helen Clark’s coalition options in question. Now that it’s John Key, it turns out what was irresponsible just two weeks ago was actually “smart” and “inclusive” all along.

They’re a funny bunch, our right-wing media.

75 comments on “Careful of them monsters, John”

  1. QoT 1

    And it has to be said, changing your mind isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you don’t get cookies for realising you were wrong in hindsight. I mean, the thought processes behind “this is a bad idea … oh wait, it didn’t all crash and burn like I thought … guess I was wrong” is just what the human brain should do. It doesn’t require Amazing Political Insight.

  2. Tane 2

    Yeah, or the old “we should have invaded Iraq… oh no actually we probably shouldn’t have, guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t it charge at the time… can you put me in charge now?”

  3. Monty 3

    There is a massive difference between the seven headed monster that Labour would have needed to pull together a marginal government – all pulling in different directions and the Government John Key could put together. For starters Act and National can form a majority government together. These two could skip together without missing a beat. – John Key – who is proving himself to be a very astute politician has decided to play the long game (a game Labour fear more than anything) and bring in Prissy Peter and the maori Party – and in doing so he will prove that National and Maori can work constructively together.

    Looks like Goff will only be a caretaker afterall.

    [Monty: That is simply a weak response. The right or the national party and act fit together ok. But not the centre. Why do you think that they're hunting for a party, any damn party to the left. The remaining moderates in the national party have a strong aversion to the nutters in Act - just like the rest of the country.]

  4. Daveski 4

    I think you’re missing the point.

    The fear that Key played on was that in order to stitch a majority together, Labour looked like having to work with the Greens, NZF, and Maori. In particular, Key was playing on the fears about what the Greens would extract and, especially, the natural instability inherent in involving Winston.

    This is different from the situation we are now seeing unfold. Key already has what could be a stable government with Act. He has deliberately gone beyond this to anchor National as a broad based party and then a step further by endeavouring to include the Maori Party.

    The issue that Key was raising was the prospect of instability. The coalition that Key is putting together is trying to broaden the base and ensure a more inclusive government.

    Key has actually surprised me. I bet beyond the posts and comments here, there must be real confusion as to what has happened and the prospect that regardless of the economic trials and tribulations ahead, Labour could be looking at more than 3 years in opposition.

  5. disgusting bunch more like it.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    This is simply smart politics by Key, not the politics of desperation as it would have been if Labour had been trying to scrape together enough votes to govern.

    Key has a strategic mix now that should allow him to impliment most of his policies. The more right wing ones will gain the support of Act. The more left-wing ones will gain the support of the MP. Thus, he is unlikely to be held to ransom by either side, and should always have enough votes to get his way.

    In short, Key is in control, putting together this coalition to meet his own ends. OTOH, Labour would have had no choice in the matter, having to scramble together enough votes despite all the inherent drawbacks in the relationships.

  7. Scribe 7

    Well said, Daveski. It’s one thing to bring others into the tent, as Key has done. It’s another completely to grasp for anyone and everyone to cobble together a majority.

    They’re a funny bunch, our right-wing media.

    What a load of nonsense. Did you hear the media referring to Helen’s speak as “gracious”? Go back and watch it again. It was all about her, including her snide comment about how she hoped the right-wingers didn’t undo all her good work.

    The media in this country are left wingers, through and through.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    It was all about her, including her snide comment about how she hoped the right-wingers didn’t undo all her good work.

    Bollocks. You’re projecting your view of the ‘one cautionary note’ over the whole speech.

    It’s one thing to bring others into the tent, as Key has done. It’s another completely to grasp for anyone and everyone to cobble together a majority.

    I bet beyond the posts and comments here, there must be real confusion as to what has happened…

    Sure, daveski and scribe, it’s all about bringing others into the tent for a big cozy snuggle. In case you don’t get it, it’s so that Key can play those sides off against each other; he can try for MP support when required, ACT at other times, all the while stroking his well-groomed lap-dog Peter.

    It’s possibly smarter than you guys give him credit for, all becuase you’re in such a rush to contradict the commenters here you’ve missed the point entirely! Inclusive my arse – it’s playing to the centre.

    I’ll wait to see what sort of concessions this requires – and whether ACT turns a blind eye while National works with the MP and vice versa. I suspect it’s something that’s good in theory, but in practice…we’ll see.

  9. Scribe 9

    MP,

    “Cautionary note”. Please.

    Go watch it again. I watched it last night, after having let the dust settle from Saturday. I think Helen Clark has done some great things for New Zealand; her concession speech lacked class, IMHO. She’d seen McCain’s three days earlier as an example of how to do it.

    I’ll wait to see what sort of concessions this requires – and whether ACT turns a blind eye while National works with the MP and vice versa.

    Or maybe they’ll be allowed to criticise the Government on anything they like — oh, except their portfolio areas. What an absurd arrangement that was!!

    And isn’t it amazing how quickly Peter Dunne became a “lapdog”.

  10. Tigger 10

    Monty – Key is smart, but what he’s doing now is hardly rocket science. To call him astute for bringing some parties to the table is like calling him astute for breathing. How low are you setting the bar here?

    It’s early days folks – everyone is all smiles while they rush to put their hands on the baubles of office – the Maori Party and ACT must be overjoyed at the prospect of having power… And of course they will all behave. But once National have to swallow the ACT and Maori policies that come with their deals let’s see how well the Prime Tosser does.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    No, it certainly ain’t rocket science. If people broadly agree on direction (but differ on details), there is a good chance of stability. If they don’t, there is conflict.

    These heads do not agree, at all. The only way to believe in the monster is to ignore not just the policies but the very reason for the existence of the ACT Party and Maori Party.

    None of this will be apparent today or next week or before the summer holiday. It’s happy hour. Everybody (except blog addicts) is politicked-out, and will be happy to head to the beach for a while.

    But next year all the opposition will have to do is turn up to ask Questions in the House.

    “Does the Minister (or Prime Minister) stand by / have confidence in / support … his/her own party policy? If not, why not? Does (s)he stand by / have confidence in / support the [diametrically opposed] view of the other Minister?”

    Fish, barrel.

    Anyway, time for a break, see you all in 2009!

  12. Nothing funny about it. The NZ Herald is a disgrace on political matters.

    With a daily print monopoly in our largest city, you’d think they would show more restraint, but apparently not.

    One could then gather they deem themselves to not be accountable for what they do. That could prove to be a mistake in the long run. By their actions they are making an excellent case for kerbing media monopolies for the good of democracy overall.

    Why?

    We do not have a free press where diversity of opinion is concerned. There is only one side being heard.

    With 55% of voters not supporting National we are left to wonder why almost 100% of our newspapers supported National. It isn’t that the values and views of the other 55% carry no weight.

    This pattern is repeated around the English-speaking world in places where media ownership concentration has reached extremes levels as they have here. One side is heard…and it’s almost always the conservative side.

    No accident this. It needs fixing. Democracy depends on it. We need real debate….not the phony, filtered sham we’re currently getting.

  13. Rocket Boy 13

    I like it, after a couple of years of supporting Labour’s policies while they were in government you have now moved full throttle into attacking the National government.

    You may have been disappointed at losing the election but I am sure you will have a hell of lot more fun taking the piss out of Key and his wobbly bunch of generals than you ever did propping up Helen and Co.

  14. jtuckey 14

    Steve

    “We do not have a free press where diversity of opinion is concerned.”

    Ah nope – 7th equal in the world for freedom of the press according to reporters without borders

    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=29031

    ….we are left to wonder why almost 100% of our newspapers supported National”

    Ah nope, Labour led National 37% to 35% in media coverage devoted to parties, National received the most negative coverage at 43% of their total coverage, followed by Labour at 35%, John Key received 13% more negative coverage than positive, while Helen Clark had 1% more negative coverage than positive

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0811/S00096.htm

  15. NX 15

    Tane is technically correct, but what he fails to take into account (conveniently) is National’s 45.5% of the party vote.

    So it’s not really a five headed monster, but rather a huge one-headed monster with a few pimples resembling the minor parties ;).

  16. “Ah nope, Labour led National 37% to 35% in media coverage devoted to parties, National received the most negative coverage at 43% of their total coverage, followed by Labour at 35%, John Key received 13% more negative coverage than positive, while Helen Clark had 1% more negative coverage than positive”

    In the last 6 weeks of the campaign.

    Someone should take the national press realse from a few weeks ago, and go to it with a red pen, swapping Labour for National and viceversa then go leave a bunch of copies up at the press gallery

  17. Scribe 17

    With 55% of voters not supporting National we are left to wonder why almost 100% of our newspapers supported National. It isn’t that the values and views of the other 55% carry no weight.

    Got anything resembling evidence for that? Feel free to read the information jtuckey presented before answering.

  18. Chris G 18

    Love daveski et al.

    “The issue that Key was raising was the prospect of instability. The coalition that Key is putting together is trying to broaden the base and ensure a more inclusive government.”

    Jeepers. If I’ve ever heard of worshipping idols/ repitition of crosby/textor spin, then you lot take the cake. But at least you give me my shits and giggles every day, and for that I thank you.

    The hypocrisy is quite clear: Key said labour working with lots of parties was a multi-headed monster to be feared. Now he is working with lots of parties that is a genuinely frightful monster. All quiet on the media front, suprise suprise.

  19. gingercrush 19

    Sorry but I can’t buy this media crap saying they’re all for national. National never stuffed up like Labour did numerous times in this electin.Also I didn’t see any complaining from 1999-2003 when the newspapers and television loved Helen Clark and she could do no wrong.

    Also have a look in America, you can’t tell me Obama isn’t mostly getting good press.

    The media goes where the momentum goes. If National stuffs up and Labour gets some momentum going, expect the media to start favouring them. Its just how things work.

  20. Daveski 20

    I don’t expect any balance here – it is unashamedly a partisan blog and if I don’t like it i can post office back to KB :)

    That doesn’t change the fact that Key has been criticised for a four headed monster when he criticized the five headed monster.

    The reality is that he could have settled for a two headed stable government. That would have been criticized here (rightfully) for being a right wing takeover.

    He’s now gone and brought UF into the fold and also attempted to reach out to the MP.

    Anyone with a sense of what’s right for NZ moving into dodgy times would have applauded the intent – allowing for things to go wrong in the future of course. Hell, he made it clear he would have even attempted to work with the Greens.

    All we are seeing her is rigid, standard lines from those bitter about losing the election. If it doesn’t suit the left, it’s anti-democratic – ban the press, change MMP.

    It’s going to be a long 6 or even 9 years in opposition

  21. Evidence-Based Practice 21

    Can I remind you all that key is a risk taking gambler and this is a very risky gamble.

  22. Daveski 22

    Chris G – stop giggling and read my comments to broaden your perspective.

    The issue with the 5 headed monster was instability and no one here has even attempted to dispute it.

    Key’s strategy is long term stability.

    My comments reflect my views. They relate to my perceptions. There’s more party lines been trotted out here than at New Year.

  23. Ianmac 23

    gingercrush: National did stuff up on numerous issues. But they items passed by with minimal reportage:
    Tranzrail shares, wrong dates on leaving Elders, Hobsonville pepperpotting, questions about trading unexplored, to name four.
    Williams? He said very little but the Herald mounted a major assault -Labour fault.
    Peters? Months of trashing him on allegations- unproven- Must be Clark’s fault.

    The proof will come at the first National Govt stuff up. How will MSM handle it?

  24. Chris G 24

    Daveski:

    “That doesn’t change the fact that Key has been criticised for a four headed monster when he criticized the five headed monster”

    Are you honestly going to point out the difference of one head? Straw clutching alert. When did Key ever say the issue with it was instability, rather than just saying it was a monster?

    “All we are seeing her is rigid, standard lines from those bitter about losing the election”

    Honestly the amount of times you pricks have said that, can you drop that line? Its obvious no one wants to lose an election. Callin us bitter all the time fucks me off like theres no tomorrow. Wanna grow up and instead say something constructive rather than repeat C/T lines like

    “Reaching out”

    “Whats right for NZ in these dodgy times”

    Gimme a break, what a PR job that is.

  25. gingercrush 25

    Well tranzrail got reported numerous times here. Same with Elders. Sorry but you;re cherry picking. You want to believe the media are all in some weird conspiracy against Labour. But sorry that isn’t true. I recall 2000, 2001 and the election in 2002. They sure loved Labour then. I doubt anyone here would complain.

    Labour should have kept their mouths shut about the possibility of there being some H-Fee Scandal. But they didn’t and they paid for their mistakes. Dirty politics that was and it effectively stopped all momentum Labour possibly had. You can’t blame the media. The only ones there to blame is Clark and Williams.

  26. Tigger 26

    NX – the five-headed monster remark is via Key himself – leave aside percentages, Key was referring to any bringing together of diverse parties and painting it as inherently unstable – this was to scare people to vote for National. Key has done just what Labour has done – but now it’s a triumph of leadership…well, according to his supporters.

    Your percentage noting also misses the point that here the one-headed monster needs the pimple(s) to govern – effectively the dog needs the tail…

  27. Scribe 27

    Any accusation of media bias ought to include discussion of the week before the 2005 election.

    Think about two major stories that broke that week: The Exclusive Brethren and allegations of corruption around Taito Phillip Field. One was front-page news; the other was page 5 news. Remember which was which? And which one led to criminal charges?

  28. Ianmac 28

    gingercrush: I am sure that we are partisan about coverage. My mother in law would get very angry just at the sight of David Lange on TV before he had said a word. When my boys were young they used to cut out pictures of David Lange and post them to her. Wow! She purred at the sight later on, of Jim Bolger.
    Beauty is in the ear of the beholder and balance will never be agreed to. (Unless one wears only one earring!)

  29. Daveski 29

    Chris G – try playing the ball not the man. This ain’t KB and you can do more to attack my points of view without abuse. Your post consisted of a stream of challenges rather than any attempt to argue your position.

  30. Nick C 30

    Out of interest do you guys plan to do a post on Phil Goffs U-turn on the EFA? Or is it to emmbarasing given how much time you spend defending it?

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    The issue with the 5 headed monster was instability and no one here has even attempted to dispute it.

    Daveski – Of course not. That being the point – National’s 5-headed monster isn’t inherently more stable than that which Labour would have formed.

    All we are seeing her is rigid, standard lines from those bitter about losing the election

    I notice you didn’t respond to my point. I don’t think there’s anything bitter about it all. Given you’re so quick to dispense advice to others on how they should comment, can I suggest you don’t make sweeping vacuous statements like this?

    As I said, instead of rushing to contradict what people are saying, think about the reality of the situation. What Key claimed was a scary prospect is now one he’s actively pursuing. Why? Becuase the centrist promises he’s made mean he won’t be able to work with ACT alone, but had already committed to doing so. It is nothing about ‘stability’ or ‘inclusion’ at all. He’s in just as much of a scramble for support as Labour would be.

    Or maybe they’ll be allowed to criticise the Government on anything they like — oh, except their portfolio areas. What an absurd arrangement that was!!

    Scribe – Why? And are you expecting something different now?

    Oh, and if you want to do speech comparisons with the US, you might want to step back and think about what my obvious rebuttal would be. Trust me, it ain’t gonna work in your favour.

  32. Nick – I don’t think it would be as embarrassing as not being able to spell “embarrassing”. I’m sure if you write your little post and send it to the standard they’ll put it up as a guest post as long as you get the spelling and grammar right…

    Oh and how’d neca go anyway? No… don’t tell me… I’m gonna guess you’re one of Key’s “one in five”…

  33. Scribe 33

    Callin us bitter all the time fucks me off like theres no tomorrow.

    Well, tomorrow is a loooooooooong way off for some of you. How does nine years sound?

  34. lprent 34

    For all of NX’s waffling about percentages further up (which is absolutely irrelevant),
    National doesn’t have an majority in the house. Which is what this coalition/agreement stuff is all about.

    In the event of parts of the agreements go belly up, or a partner starts asking for more than their weight is worth…. The main party has options about where to go to for votes.

    There is zero difference between Helen doing it and Key doing it. It is all for the same reason, wining votes in the house. The only real difference is that Key is doing it with training wheels (ie far more than required) because he knows his party is crap at playing with others and needs a gentle start. It also gives more options for National to position itself in the political spectrum by effectively castrating Act’s leverage (as I have previously pointed out, there is no way a centre party likes being dragged around by nutbars).

    So yeah, yet again it appears that John Key’s greatest talent appears to be flip-flopping like a fish out of water. But we know that already don’t we….

  35. Scribe 35

    ‘Sod,

    Oh and how’d neca go anyway?

    I’ll assume you were being ironic there.

    captcha: early sympathize

  36. Daveski 36

    MP

    Point 1 – Stability – that was my main point but will happily agree it is semantics – politics is born out of semantics

    Point 2 – Agreed – hoist on my own petard to an extent. I don’t normally bite so “bitter” wasn’t my usual cautious choice of words. In terms of your argument, my view is that you can’t judge the success of the coalition until it has had a chance to work or not. Moreover, it is not a scramble for support (he doesn’t need the support) but an attempt to be broad based and outflank Labour.

    I suppose the reality is that this is a discussion we will be having a few months down the track – one way or the other.

  37. Tigger 37

    When you cut off a hydra’s head, two grew back in its place…

    I can so see this arrangement Key has created forming splits in both the Maori Party and National itself… The Maori Party will shard within the next two years…National MPs will defect right (to ACT) and left (to Labour).

  38. Evidence-Based Practice 38

    Remeber Alamein Kopu- an Alliance? MP who broke away from her party to prop up the last National Government up for a year or so with her single vote. Everyone has their price in politics.

  39. bill brown 39

    Kopu was Alliance

  40. Lew 40

    EBP: You mean the same Alamein Kopu who was an Alliance MP and quit the party to be an independent and prop up the government, who might-have-but-didn’t join NZF before the Great Split?

    What was your point again?

    L

  41. Tigger 41

    I can guarantee there are a couple of Kopu-like personalities hiding in National and ACT…Auckland Central’s new MP Nikki Kaye looks like a dishrag in particular. I know several people she doorknocked who thought she was rather naive about the realities of politics. I saw her on TV next to Michelle Boag and I swear I could see Boag’s lips moving every time Kaye spoke…

  42. Billy 42

    Hey ‘sod,

    Instead of tormenting teenagers over their spelling, why don’t you go tend your once great (but now entirely neglected) blog?

  43. Carol 43

    The election media study is interesting. It is useful but such statistical content analysis has limitations, and it’s always important to look at the methodology. For instance we don’t know their criteria for positive and negative, and all positive & negative stories are weighted equally, whereas some stories can be way more negative than others.

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0811/New_Zealands_Media_Coverage_of_the_2008_Election_Study__Preliminary_Results.pdf

    So far they have presented relatively raw data. There is no weighting according to significance of the story or issue, or for relative size of story or viewership. The number of stories included for the Herald was about double that for the Press and Dom Post combined, while the readership of the Herald is about 3 times more. It also tends to present very skewed headlines supporting National and/or knocking Labour, but when you get further down the article the facts are more balanced. Also they have more diverse views within the paper.

    This research looked at the front pages of the papers, plus election/political pages, and at the first 10 stories each night on TV One and TV3.

    I’ve always felt that the NZ Herald is the most right/National leaning news outlet in the country, and it has the biggest paper circulation. Ditto for TV One and the Herald also had about the same number of stories in the research as for TV One and 3 combined. But there are more stories included from TV3 than TV One, even though TV One has a much bigger viewership.

    It was my impression was that the media coverage was more balanced quantitatively than usual on TV during the election period.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10527346

    585,000 readership for the Herald, while

    Wellington’s Dominion Post fell 3.6 per cent to 94,598, the Press, Christchurch, was down 2.1 per cent to 87,221

    TVNZ’s flagship bulletin was watched by an average of 651,400 viewers (5+) each night in July 2008,

    http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3545/features/10877/battle_of_the_box.html
    From the Listener archive: Features

    From April 19-25 2008
    “Every night One News attracts 200,000 more viewers overall than TV3.”

    In the election coverage research the most covered issues were (in order)

    1) the economy
    2) coalition/MMP
    3) Polls / Public Opinion / Horserace
    4) The Campaign (nature)
    5)Marketing/Advertising
    6)Tax
    7) Law and Order
    8) Kiwisaver / Superannuation
    9) Immigration / Population
    10) Maori Issues

    So basically, I think the raw data published so far for this research, may have diluted the impact of the fact that the most viewed news outlets are the most right leaning. We need to see a comparision between each media outlet for the positive and negative stories, and have more info about the nature of the stories.

  44. Carol 44

    Whoops, that smiley was meant to be number 8
    on the list.

  45. Scribe 45

    Carol,

    585,000 readership for the Herald, while

    Wellington?s Dominion Post fell 3.6 per cent to 94,598, the Press, Christchurch, was down 2.1 per cent to 87,221

    The Dom Post and Press figures are circulation; the Herald’s is readership. (Herald circulation 187,000).

  46. Daveski 46

    Labour gets more coverage than National

    Labour gets more positive stories

    National gets more negative stories

    Posters here complain about the MSM being right wing and blaming the media for Labour’s loss.

    I don’t expect to see any more discussion on this tho.

  47. Carol 47

    OK, Scribe, thanks. This puts more balance in the number of paper stories covered, but still not balanced when the relative number of TV stories are factored into it.

    Daveski, research methodology should always be interrogated. Raw mubers can be misleading. Any media content analysis only tells a very limited story.

    Also Key got about double the coverage of Clark, and opinion polls, which favoured National got way more coverage than they warranted.

  48. Daveski 48

    Carol

    Fair enough but the almost universal mantra here is that the media significantly favoured National yet the initial data challenges that belief to its core.

    it will be interesting to see what further analysis comes out of it but I can assure you on the other channel the belief is that the press is rabidly left wing :)

    The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

  49. gingercrush 49

    Yes lol I was about to comment on how in right blogs you see them saying the media is bias towards Labour.

    I always see it kinda like this. The side who has momentum typically gets better press. Thus when Labour was strong from 1999-2003 the media were very on side with them. Since then the pendulum has swung and its swinged towards National. Thus the media appears to favour them. But just as it once swung Labour eventually it’ll go back to Labour.

  50. Ianmac 50

    Carol: I noticed that headlines on the Herald (online) seemed to be very negative towards Labour.
    The text tended to reinforce the headline.
    Only at the end of the item would there be the positive aspect of the story.
    Sometimes the Headline had little to do with the substance.
    Therefore I was intrigued at how the methodology of the Survey separated the +- within each item.

  51. jtuckey 51

    Carol

    “Also Key got about double the coverage of Clark”

    Yes that’s what the raw data suggests but let’s not forget that -

    “John Key received 13% more negative coverage than positive, while Helen Clark had 1% more negative coverage than positive”

    Perhaps this supports the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity ?

  52. Carol 52

    Daveski, I agree we need to see more of the analysis to really understand this research properly and the extent of biases either way.

    My view is that the most viewed media outlets (The NZ Herald & TV One), over time tend to have been more biased to the right in the last few years. However, they are not always biased left in all stories or by all journalists equally. I do think the Herald is the most blatantaly right leaning, and I think they have a lot of influence in Auckland. Also I think the TV news tried to be more balanced than usual during the elections.

    I think statistical content analysis of media is a pretty blunt instrument that can produce misleading results (I think this is true of content analysis of violence in the media, for instance). I think such analysis can’t deal well with ambivalent messages, or subtexts or dog-whistles that tap into prejudices, or the fact that some stories or topics have more impact than others.

    For instance, I notice that the 2nd – 5th most covered topics were to do with the campaign itself, rather than issues of policy. So, were the stories rated as negative for Key/National, ones in which the focus of the story was on how negative Labour was in their campaign? Which actually could just make Labour look very negative. Meanwhile some of the more positive things on Labour’s record are way down the list (Kiwisaver etc). Was this Labour or the media’s fault? So I would like to know more of the detail. But if nothing else it shows that the media did a poor job in relation to helping the voters to understand policy issues.

    And the polls got too much coverage – there is a danger they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Could be. jtuckey.

    I’ve noticed that too, Ianmac. I wonder how the researcg rated such articles? Nedative for Labour? Or neutral.

  53. jtuckey 53

    “I think statistical content analysis of media is a pretty blunt instrument that can produce misleading results”

    Agreed but not nearly as blunt an instrument as personal opinions on blogs.

  54. Lew 54

    Ianmac, Carol: You’re absolutely right to rake methodology and content analysis practice over the coals. When the research is completed and released it’ll come with an explanation of the methodology and some details of how coding was conducted. However I’d be shocked if there was anything untoward about it. I’ve done this sort of research at university, and I do it for a living in my work, and when you’re going to publish your work in a peer-review system or before the eyes of a board of directors, you dot eyes and cross tees like crazy.

    Daveski: Yes, the common mantra on leftie sites is that the MSM favour the right, just as on rightie sites the mantra is that the MSM favour the left. I’ve long argued both are bollocks (if anything the ideological bias in the media is toward consumerism, because it drives advertising, which is the media revenue stream). These results don’t really provide any steer either way on the question of left/right bias – unless you want to beg the question that National are `the right’ and Labour are `the left’, which makes for a single fairly tenuous data-point. Assumptions and conclusions like that are problematised by matters like incumbency (wouldn’t the government normally get more press, and since ministerial pressecs issue authoritative releases on policy, wouldn’t it usually be more positive?); the parties’ media strategy (Key isn’t a polished public speaker but he insisted on dominating the cameras and microphones instead of allowing his better-spoken comrades to do so); etc. I can go into more detail if you’d like – but honestly, it’s better to wait until the thing’s released, in which (if they’re any good) the author and his researchers will themselves discuss all these factors.

    What the report does make clear is that there has been no bias in the media towards the National party and John Key (more specifically than `the right’), as most lefties suggest there has been. According to these results Key got a hard time from the media, and so did Rodney Hide. If anything this makes their election results all the more impressive.

    L

  55. NX 55

    Tiger wrote:
    NX – the five-headed monster remark is via Key himself – leave aside percentages, Key was referring to any bringing together of diverse parties and painting it as inherently unstable – this was to scare people to vote for National. Key has done just what Labour has done – but now it’s a triumph of leadership well, according to his supporters.

    Your percentage noting also misses the point that here the one-headed monster needs the pimple(s) to govern – effectively the dog needs the tail

    I disagree. Listening to Key on 3 news* he said “….that will work going in one direction with a smaller group of parties, or do they potentially want a five headed monster”.

    Proportionality was always implied when he talked about the ‘five headed monster’. That is the length of the tail that wags the dog – if you get my drift.

    In National’s case the tail is one of those short stumpy ones you see on bulldogs.

    *http://www.3news.co.nz/Video/Politics/tabid/370/articleID/77163/cat/67/Default.aspx#video

  56. Lew 56

    Carol: I think statistical content analysis of media is a pretty blunt instrument that can produce misleading results (I think this is true of content analysis of violence in the media, for instance). I think such analysis can’t deal well with ambivalent messages, or subtexts or dog-whistles that tap into prejudices, or the fact that some stories or topics have more impact than others.

    You’re quite right, but this is a question of methodology. There are ways of bringing the nuance and level of detail which discourse analysis (for example) provides in alongside statistical, quantitative or qualitative content analysis. But it’s a hell of a lot of work, and it’s very, very hard to do in a methodologically sound fashion, and very few people do it. Good researchers, however will be quite explicit about what their research does and doesn’t, and can and cannot mean.

    L

  57. Daveski 57

    That you Carol – that was both informative and interesting

  58. Lampie 58

    And the polls got too much coverage – there is a danger they can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I like that

  59. Carol.
    to what extent if any do you sense media played in a 59 percent turnout.? This would be for the campaigning period and prior up to let’s say 2 years..

  60. Carol 60

    Lew, I have a background in media research, and tend to favour a qualitative approach, though I think statistical analysis can be useful. I think we just have different perspectives on this, as occurs between different approaches to media analysis.( I have had one or two articles included in peer reviewed publications). And I think there’s a few media academics I know who would disagree with you on the lack of (left) bias in our mainstream media.

    I do think the consumerist approach pretty much amounts to a right wing slant, though that doesn’t necessarily match onto the Labour/National divide. Labour has taken on board quite a bit of (right wing) neoliberal & consumerist policies/philosophies – though it’s been hard not to over recent years.

    Some of the right wing bias I am aware of is as much in the way things are presented, and the more subtle meanings conveyed, which can be exposed through close analysis, and yes, discourse analysis. It’s also in the topics chosen and the things not said, the context etc. Statistical content analysis is not very good in examining such things.

    But, yes, I agree, when the research is published, I’m sure they will highlight more of the nuances and limitations. And I do think the choice of media outlets examined, and the lack of a strong equivalence, must skew the data.

  61. Carol 61

    Northpaw, it’s hard to say. But it is a possibility that the media did have an influence. I know at least one Uni academic in the media/politics field has said something along those lines. Because it is a possibility, I think they should be far more careful about how they use these polls – maybe follow some countries in not being allowed to release poll results in the week or so before elections.

    The MSM are largely irresponsible in the way they use such polls. They mainly use them to create a sense of an exclusive story. Over recent years they’ve inaccurately matched them onto a projection of parliamentary seats, with an FPP focus. Who knows how much this has influenced people’s views?

  62. Carol, thanks for that.

    You’ll also be aware of push-polling – (viz pushing a pov). To the extent that persistent and regular polling is conducted with – as was the case E08 – that pov could have gotten to be accepted as result = foregone conclusion. So why bother etc.. Push-polling, as used elsewhere and understood is partisan, Poll-push-polling (my wee suggestion) is something else.. not least of which would be the best intentions gone awry on democracy..

  63. Lew 63

    Carol: I have a background in media research, and tend to favour a qualitative approach

    Yes, I can tell you know what you’re talking about. I also favour qualitative research, the more qualitative the better – I prefer discourse analysis for this reason (though currently most of my time is spent doing content analysis).

    And I think there’s a few media academics I know who would disagree with you on the lack of (left) bias in our mainstream media.

    Yeah, I accept it isn’t an open-and-shut case. I have a few problems with the bald statement `the media are biased to the right’, though. I’m a political scientist working with the media as an expression of politics, and I find there’s a tendency among media academics without a background in politics to overstate or oversimplify ideological matters. As far as systemic ideological media bias goes, I’m certainly not arguing there’s none – just that bias typically takes the form of distortion rather than a distinct skew either way.

    I think there’s some merit to the argument that heavy focus on polls influenced the final election result, though – strong consisitent polling for one `side’ will tend to embolden that side and demoralise the other side. It’s about manipublating projected regret in voters.

    L

  64. Daveski 64

    Toyota me … things can often get a bit trivial on a blog but this level of discussion to me is what makes blogs like this so valuable. My thanks for your contributions and insights.

  65. Carol 65

    Hmmm. Well, the media academics I know tend to go for a pretty nuanced approach, in which there is a consideration of the ambiguities in relation to any poltiical perspective – more focus on discourse and the finely tuned negotiations that go on, rather than rigidly following any ideological line – a lot influenced by postmodernism/poststructuralism, and a few from a sociological background.

    With respect to our MSM, I think the Herald in recent years tends to be blatantly pro-National, though it can present some leftish views in some articles – usually buried away from the main pages. TV One tends to lean more to the right, but it could be the result of a variety of interacting facors rather than a conscious position – stories available, pressure for ratings, individual reporters (Espiner leans more to the right than some of the other journos), and maybe just having absorbed some of the right wing philosophy that is inscribed into the aims of a commercialised TV channel

    eg It always irritates me that, come budget time, TV One promotes their item on it by asking “Will there be something in it for you?” Rather than a more leftish question, which would be “Is it fair to all sections of ociety? Or a simplified version of,”What affect will this have on the different sections of society?”

    I have been surprised by the conservatism of some political studies academisc I have come across

  66. Carol 66

    Oh – lost the edit function & that above posted itself before I had finished typing – apologies for the typos.

  67. Akldnut 67

    Daveski – I’m with you this has been totally absorbing and has opened my eyes a lot wider on MSM.

    Interestingly it mostly confirms my thoughts and suspicions about the MSM but really good to see it written down and elaborated so well.

    Many thanks to you all

  68. lprent 68

    Carol: The re-edit is ajax and sometimes a bit flaky. Especially on safari on macs for some reason. There is a new version ready for release I think, but I’ll check it out well before I put it up.

  69. Lew 69

    Carol: Yes, political science is much more conservative than that of media studies and most of the ~ologies. It’s not nearly as normative a discipline as it is descriptive, and it’s very much concerned with implementation.

    One of the major reasons the right (such as it is) takes such a dim view of the humanities and of academics in general is because they take for granted a lot of postmodernist, poststructuralist, Marxist/Gramscian, relativist, etc. theory and perceive it to be a sort of orthodoxy. I adhere to a lot of that theory, but I don’t believe it is an orthodoxy anywhere outside the academy. In the (and I hate this propaganda term) `real’ world, other theoretical bases – realism, nationalism, etc. hold much more sway, Much of the problem I find with media academics is that they tend to presume that orthodoxy and apply it in a normative sense to the media and political action – essentially they judge the world as it is against a yardstick of how they think it ought to be in light of a whole lot of somewhat alien theory. They say reality has a liberal bias – but I don’t think it’s quite as liberal as a lot of academics think.

    Lynn: Yeah, I’ve been hatin’ on this new ajax edit. Bring back the old one, I say!

    L

    [lprent: I'm coming to think that I should just write my own (usual time pressures apply). Unfortunately the old one was having problems with newer browsers and didn't work with the latest version of wordpress.]

  70. ak 70

    Carol: I think such analysis can’t deal well with ambivalent messages, or subtexts or dog-whistles that tap into prejudices, or the fact that some stories or topics have more impact than others.

    Too true Carol: nor deliberate omissions or under-reporting, nor the justification for reporting at all, nor timing of reports, nor placement or duration…nor….etc

    Lew: There are ways of bringing the nuance and level of detail……. But it’s a hell of a lot of work, and it’s very, very hard to do…

    Impossible I reckon Lew. Sorry, I know it’s your job an’ all (and I had high hopes that someone like yourself might be able to quantify it), but it’s a bit like trying to pre-judge or analyse the effectiveness of advertising: persuasion is an art form and the only real proof is in the pudding.

    One pudding we have is the high male/Auckland tory vote, and the stand-out ingredient is the “Lenin/Clark” Herald. Geographical coincidence?

    To quote my favourite fillum (The Castle), “it’s the vibe”. Death by a million “unbiased” repetitions of, e.g., “Her critics accuse her of…… nanny state-corrupt-Helengrad-anti-smacking-digging dirt-third-termitis-desperate-tied at the hip-social agenda-lightbulb banning-short showers……etc etc ad nauseam coupled with a studied nonchalance towards the greatest political flip-flop and blooper show in history.

    Unmeasurable? Sure. So is the assumption that those who hire the sole informants of our swing voters’ opinions vote tory. So’s love. But not pudding.

  71. Carol 71

    Lew, I am interested to read your perspective on media academics. I will keep it in mind in the future when I’m reading or listening to some of them. At this point I’m having difficulty in matching it with the media academics I know (either quite well or in passing), and who include some of the best in the field in NZ. They are quite diverse in their approaches and interests. I don’t see them as having that big a disconnect between their theoretical perspectives and the ‘real’ world, though there is a difference here between individuals. And those of us interested in audience/reception and media use studies do spend some time focusing on how diverse people use and discuss the media.

    Still it’s an interesting proposition/observation and I’ll keep it in mind for the future.

    Iprent – something strange seemed to happen when I wrote that problem post, that seemed to be more than just an edit problem. As I recall I hadn’t finished typing when I must have hit some key or the mouse by mistake & the comments posted (I may not have added anti-spam the code words(?)), with the last paragraph incomplete. As you can see it ends mid sentence, and didn’t include the last sentence or two that I wrote. I was using a PC and Firefox. There was an edit link visible, but no timer counting down, and clicking on the edit link produced an error message.

    ak, some good points. I too worry about the possible untoward influence of such dominant productions as the Herald. I think it would help if our main news outlets were less commercially oriented, raised the quality of their reporting, encouraged more diversity of perspectives in front page/headline stories, and encouraged more people to critically engage with the media. A big ask I know in our infotainment, consumerist environment. But IMO the problem is not so much that there is bias in the MSM, but that a large number of people consume the stories without being aware of and/or critical of the biases.

  72. Tigger 72

    Hehehehe. I see Key has met with union leaders about Kiwisaver and will try to consider their concerns. Better add another head to that hydra…and I wonder how ACT feel about that.

    I swear, Key is trying to be centrist but he had no idea how much blood is going to fly once all those heads start attacking one another. He has such a desire to please everyone – that sort of attitude is idealistic but will make for a huge mess once people’s expectations are shattered.

  73. Lew 73

    Carol: I suppose we probably know or have worked with some of the same people :) Yes, it’s a complicated business and a complex and critical group of people, about whom I don’t intend to over-generalise. I certainly don’t mean to bag academia – I’m a part of it, in a way, and on the whole I don’t think the rest of the world listens to them enough – partly due to the ideological gap I talked about.

    AK: Well, it’s impossible by definition to nail down all the meaning in a cultural system, because meaning is a function of audience – different things mean different things to different people, if that’s a banal enough way to put it. I agree it’s the vibe – but I question the assumption that The Herald (to take your example) is creating that feeling or reflecting. It’s a feedback loop – you can’t assign all the agency to the media outlet and its Tory-voting primaries, which is what the `media has a right-wing bias’ argument does. A great deal of the media’s function is in agenda-setting – telling people what to think about, rather than explicitly what to think – but by the same token a media outlet generally needs to tell its audience what they want to hear in order to be successful. It’s a devilishly hard bit of business to tease out whether the media’s main role is in reinforcing peoples’ prejudices or in forming them in the first place, and I’m always deeply suspicious of people who claim to have done so (unless I can see their working).

    L

  74. When you are right, you are right.

    Whilst I could nit-pick one or two points I won’t.

    Good call.

  75. Ok, I can’t help it.

    I have linked to this post on my blog but I have nit picked those points…

    Sometimes the Left are Right: The Right-Wing 5 Headed Monster

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    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Minister must come clean on amalgamation
    The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.   National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Labour sends condolences to families of MH17
    ...
    Labour | 17-07
  • IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies
    A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant...
    Labour | 16-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never get their justice, said the Green Party today.The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its findings on whether the Police were negligent...
    Greens | 16-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui's dolphin sanctuary, the Green Party has revealed today.This follows revelations that permits have also been issued for oil exploration in the sanctuary.There have been 254 Maui's...
    Greens | 16-07
  • No cosmetics tested on animals under Labour
    A Labour Government will help protect animals from harm by prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Trevor Mallard today launched the initiative at an event organised by Labour’s Ōhariu candidate Ginny...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up
    Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Parata ploughs ahead with anti-democracy plan
      Hekia Parata is ignoring overwhelming opposition by ploughing ahead with plans to gut the political independence of the teaching profession and stifle democracy on tertiary institution councils, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is no surprise a massive...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Greens announce $1 billion additional investment in R&D, including busi...
    The Green Party has announced today that its economic priority for the election is building a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.In the Party's headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Families under more pressure as power, food prices rise
    Higher power prices, housing costs and food prices are behind today's inflation rise, putting already stressed families under renewed pressure, the Green Party said today."Families are facing rising costs from food, power, and mortgages, or rents; and most are getting...
    Greens | 15-07