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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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    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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