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Climate change – ETS or Carbon tax?

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, June 4th, 2014 - 71 comments
Categories: climate change, david cunliffe, Environment, ETS, global warming, greens, labour - Tags:

Climate change global warming

Rather predictably the media is starting to imply that the difference in policy between Labour and the Greens concerning which system is best to address climate change is a sign that they cannot work together.  A recent Fairfax article titled “Labour opposes Green’s Carbon Tax plan” contains the following passage:

Labour opposes the Green Party’s new carbon tax policy, saying the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was its preferred option.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said today his party would negotiate with the Greens on the policy, but did not favour it.

“That’s the Green’s position, not ours,” he said on Firstline.

“Our position is in favour of an Emissions Trading Scheme, which is well managed – not one that’s been gutted by the current government policy.

“An ETS is probably slightly more complex, but slightly more effective in terms of allocating the costs and benefits of a carbon price across the board.”

The language in the article and the heading is rather strong.  I do not read Cunliffe’s statements as opposition to a carbon tax, just that Labour’s preference for an ETS is based on it being slightly more effective even though it is slightly more complex.  And a carbon tax was the party’s previously preferred method of complying with the country’s Kyoto obligations as I noted in a previous post.

To those claiming that Labour has shown some sort of weakness by not being able to change its policy in the three days since the Green’s Carbon tax announcement they do not understand how policy is adopted in the Labour Party.  There is a full constitutional process where the party’s policy council has an ongoing role to prepare and refine the party’s policy platform and Annual Conference reigns supreme.  Currently the Policy Platform says:

4.12  Labour wants New Zealand to honour its international commitment to reduce our gross greenhouse gas emissions through good science and responsible behaviour by companies and individuals. We will encourage the development of mitigation technologies and industries, such as forestry. We will make sure our Emissions Trading Scheme has environmental credibility as an ‘all gases all sectors’ scheme, ultimately free from subsidies to greenhouse gas polluters.

Cunliffe is correct in respecting the party’s constitution.  He would be pilloried if he was to unilaterally change party policy.

The differing policies create an interesting debate.  Which is better?  A carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme?

Both systems put a price on the production of greenhouse gasses.  Basically an ETS is more complex and attempts to drive up the price of polluting depending on how much over a set cap GHGs are being produced whereas a Carbon Tax is a more straight forward tax on GHG production.  If you want a more detailed primer on the differences between the two systems this Guardian Article is helpful.

The Green’s proposal is simpler.  A straight forward $25 a tonne of GHG equivalent will be paid by major polluters.  Foresters will receive a credit of $12.50 for every tonne of CO2 sequestered.

And it is clear that Labour’s ETS has been effectively guttered by National’s changes and needs to be strengthened.  Not only is agriculture not in the scheme but major polluters have no incentive to do anything.  Things are that bad that the petrol companies have discovered that they are able to profit from the scheme by receiving locally sourced credits and then purchasing much cheaper overseas credits to cover their obligations.  The incentive to do something to address climate change is effectively nil.

Hopefully Labour and the Greens will gain power at this year’s election and can then have a robust discussion on what system is best.  But current differences of opinion should be regarded as being nothing more than the pursuit of the best possible means of addressing what both parties agree is one of humanity’s most pressing problems.

71 comments on “Climate change – ETS or Carbon tax?”

  1. Tracey 1

    Yes. Apparently wanting to beat your children and drive homosexuals back into crminiality doesnt mean key and craig cant work together butThe left must agree on everything with each other or be declated in chaos.

  2. Lefty 2

    The current disagreement between Labour and the Greens is over which of two methods of pretending to reduce carbon emissions while allowing business as usual will fool the most people.

    It is true though that such disagreements should not be blown out of proportion and certainly it doesn’t mean they can’t work very effectively together as a government.

  3. Ad 3

    If one policy is slightly more effective and slightly more complex, is it necessary to have two different policies between the Green Party and the Labour Party? Why can’t we just all get along, so to speak?

    In fact is is time for Labour and the Greens to agree in specific areas which have the stronger policies, and adopt them? Wholesale pre-election coalitions have already been ruled out. But pick just a few areas such as this one, and simply saying to the other: take the running on this one will you?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Good idea – it would give the Left across the country confidence that LAB and GP are definitely talking and co-ordinating productively ahead of the election.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Thats what coalition agreements are about . When you are in government.

      The Greens just spend their time in opposition drawing up purge lists of list Mps to be dumped.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        The Greens just spend their time in opposition drawing up purge lists of list Mps to be dumped.

        Yeah but there’s a corollary of this for Labour to do with keeping everyone on even if they have proven bloody useless and a liability over and over again. So which do you prefer?

  4. Macro 4

    Emission Trading Schemes have been show around the world to not work because they are far too open to scams from unscrupulous players in the market. Furthermore they are far too easy to trash by succeeding and unthinking governments – as we have seen to our cost here.
    One might say that Carbon Taxes suffer the same weakness – e.g. Aussies Carbon Tax and the Abbott idiocy. But just the other day Australia’s Emissions reduction target increased from 5% to 18% – courtesy of their Carbon Tax! Hidden in the detail which Abbott and co failed to notice :)
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australias-emissions-cut-target-triples-overnight-thanks-to-failure-to-repeal-carbon-tax-20140602-39esv.html
    The good thing about a Carbon Tax is that a Fixed Price can be set. This gives Business and consumers knowledge of just what the burning of fossil fuels by them will cost – varying prices means people may not actively attempt to reduce their emissions but rather chase the cheapest price.
    Furthermore this proposal by the greens includes the establishment of a independent commission to advise govt on setting the continued carbon price.If the price is too low then the tax can be adjusted so that people return to seeking alternatives to burning carbon.
    The dividend part of the Proposal is also a must and more difficult to implement with an ETS. The dividend needs to be directed at those who can least afford change – The $2000 tax threshold is a good start. and the drop in company tax rates also a sweetener to smaller companies who do not have the facility to offshore their profits.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    China is considering to put a cap on greenhouse emissions starting in 2016.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1524872/china-considering-cap-greenhouse-gas-pollution

    National are looking like dinosaurs more and more, and their feeble fig-leaf of “others have to do it first” is fast slipping away.

  6. Bill 6

    And there you have an excellent example of how not to write fucking policy. Here’s the basics.

    If there is a direction you wish to go in, then you choose language that leaves the door open for possibilities that might develop in the chosen direction. You don’t fucking well hem yourself in as Labour have done here.

    On the other side of the coin, if you identify a direction you do not want to go in, then you slam the door shut by being very specific and tight in the language used…as Labour have done here.

    Rocket science, it ain’t.

    edit We will for example make sure our Emissions Trading Scheme has environmental credibility as an ‘all gases all sectors’ scheme, ultimately free from subsidies to greenhouse gas polluters.…should have been obvious as an ‘open door’ progressive policy clause.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      What a load of nonsense.

      The ETS framework is the current LAW. So what part of a majority does the Green party have expect to have in parliament that can throw out the existing law in total AND introduce a whole new version.
      Even if Labour were to reverse its existing policy ( which takes some doing as Mickey pointed out) do the Greens have ALL the other minor parties lined up in support ?

      I dont think so. Green around the ears is definitely showing in some peoples minds in their rush to have a seat at the cabinet table. Its MMP stupid !

      • It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate that the Government support a carbon tax as part of a coalition agreement. That would mean that all parties entering the coalition need to support it as well. Then you form a government that has a majority of seats in parliament, et voila, you have your carbon tax.

        I think you should brush up on your MMP. ;)

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.1

          Doesnt happen that way. National currently have NO coalition arrangements with its parties. Only a confidence and supply.

          Same as when Labour was in power only a few parties were full coalition, Greens were only C&S partners, so there was arrangements on any legislation as it occurred.

          Your assumptions about “coalitions” hasnt been based on facts

      • Bill 6.1.2

        You’ve missed my point so fucking completely, haven’t you ‘ghost’? So I’ll make it real simple. The way the policy is worded means that Labour can’t say jack-shit that would overtly favour a carbon tax. Had they worded their fucking policy with an eye to possible developments and half a fucking brain, they could have publicly said they favoured a carbon tax while remaining within their own policy’s written parameters.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          This is more evidence that Labour intrinsically do not have the hang of this MMP business and are missing (avoiding) a lot of strategic subtleties/opportunities with which to take the nation Left.

          Also they have a self perception problem – they seem to honestly view themselves as the major and natural party of the NZ left – when in fact they long ago gave up any such role. Firstly in favour of major right wing neoliberalism, and more recently as a proponent of pragmatic, pro-capitalist centrism. Instead of fulfilling its historical mission, which the country needs more badly than ever, the Labour Party has become the Centrist-Moderates Party. And people are waking up to that.

          • Macro 6.1.2.1.1

            Well said.
            One had hoped that there was a movement back to the true roots of the Labour movement a few months ago – but not to be. Labour is afraid to really stand up for the people it supposedly represents, and that is why we have a proliferation of Parties on the Left because the powerless are no longer being represented by Labour.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1.1

              And are now more willing than ever to do something about it. Which appears to be pissing some Labour MPs off no end.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.2.2

          Their policy was written in 2008 when the legislation was passed ( with Greens support)

          Just because the Greens have changed their minds about which tree to hug this month doesnt mean Labour should throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          This is how parties that have been in government work Not that you would know anything about that

          • Macro 6.1.2.2.1

            I’m not sure there is any baby left it has pretty much been dissolved. But Brian Fallow says it much better than I.
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11267674

            Here he is commenting on the World Bank’s opinion of our ETS ranked 26th out of 26 world wide.

            “In the measured language of such organisations, the World Bank is scathing about New Zealand’s scheme. It notes that last year in the international negotiations we adopted an unconditional target of a 5 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020.

            But it says – as the Government’s own forecasts admit – that current measures and policies are not sufficient to meet this target domestically.

            “The unlimited use of international credits in the New Zealand ETS, combined with the record low price for these international credits, has resulted in insufficient domestic reductions.”

            That is putting it mildly.”

            Frankly not one Cap and Trade scheme around the world is doing what it is supposed to do – reduce the use of Carbon. All countries that have such a scheme and have brought down their emissions are doing so by regulation rather than incentivisng throughout Carbon Pricing. There is really only one way to put a price of the burning of Carbon – and that is to TAX it.

  7. Johnm 7

    ETS or Carbon Tax, either are just smoke screens to cover our dire predicament:

    “Keeping in mind that humans of industrial civilization have thus far warmed the planet by 0.85˚C in the last couple hundred years, the extreme weather events that have occurred just in the last decade, let alone in the last year, are clear evidence of an increasingly destabilized climate system. Catastrophic changes in the glacial zones of the Arctic and Antarctic have been set into motion, altering global jet streams and weather patterns as well as locking in a sea level rise that will make most coastal cities uninhabitable within a couple of generations. Thus we can see that the target of 2˚C is a totally fraudulent upper limit for anything safe; industrial civilization has already passed the point of no return into climate chaos.”

    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2014/06/03/no-dice-too-little-too-late/#comments

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Is this one of the websites that claims 95% of life on earth is going to go extinct because of anthropogenic climate change?

      • Johnm 7.1.1

        Hi Lanthanide
        We are currently living through the 6th great extinction over 200 species are going extinct every day. This is reality not feel good political posturing irony and hypocrisy. This is actually happening, it’s not a status game! And catastrophic climate change is really, really happening and will impact you and your descendents. The ETS and Carbon Tax are BS distractions from reality!

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Is this one of the websites that claims 95% of life on earth is going to go extinct because of anthropogenic climate change?

        Well, I’m picking the number at around 75%, but the odds will distinctly improve for most of the planet once human civilisation (and population) degrades a century or so.

        After all, several global mass extinction events have occurred over the geological history of the Earth

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/extinction_events

  8. George 8

    Certainty of price (and thus the ability to make investment decisions) has not been delivered. Because of NZ’s small size, an international market will always be necessary, and that brings with it its own sets of challenges and risks. Those problems will remain, and are not easily bridged.

    I have always been in favour of a tax and dividend approach, as advocated by James Hansen, and this is pretty close. Once you give the population something, especially something that is both universal and financial, it is difficult to take it back. WFF and interest-free student loans are prime examples. Had Labour gone with their original plans, and not been beaten back by braying from business, such a thing would have been firmly established by the late 2000s.

  9. Tracey 9

    The govt is paying corporate polluters with taxpayer money but wont tell us who has been getting our money.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1405/S00531/taxpayers-subsidising-millions-in-pollution-under-ets.htm

  10. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10

    Yeah look, from my perspective it is sheer lunacy to introduce any more systems of speculation into our world– after what we have just witnesses with the GFC.

    Do I really need to explain my reasoning further?

    I shall assume it is as blatantly obvious to the reader of this comment as it is to me on this occasion.

    Therefore Labour has now fallen into the ‘sheer lunatics’ category in my mind and the Greens get approx. 1000**1000 more brownie points.

    Get your act together Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The strategy of the power elite – ‘pretend and extend’

      Time for people to become familiar with the Kübler-Ross hierarchy of grief vis a vis a depleted and difficult future which is not going to be far less shiny than promised, at least for the bottom 95%

      1) Denial
      2) Anger
      3) Bargaining
      4) Depression
      5) Acceptance

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2

      Youre dreaming !

      You dont have a majority in parliament to introduce a wish list ( well thought out maybe) that is the policy of a 10-12% tops minor party

      • Macro 10.2.1

        No ghost your the one who’s dreaming. Labour will not be able to form a government without the support of the Greens end of story. They will need to find accommodation or there is no deal. The ETS trial has shown itself to be a complete waste of time and the planet cannot afford this useless experiment any longer. The Greens will loose huge support if they continue to support ETS. That’s 10+% of the voting public pissed off there and then.
        Frankly with the current “broad church” that Labour run at the moment there is no way they will improve much beyond 30% – People have had enough of their wish wash flannel.
        So either Labour get their act together and begin to run with some Policy that inspires and work with others, or the country can look towards the reality of another 3 years of misery.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2.1.1

          Labour and Greens still doesnt get you over 50% of the MPs !

          Its the smaller parties that will decide.

          Im all for the Greens becoming Climate Change Minister and doing all the writing of legislation- no bumper sticker platitudes- and getting the required numbers through the house.

          Do you have Winston all lined up ?. Good luck on that.

          Of course the Greens were all in favour in 2008.

          “On 10 September 2008, the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 had its third reading in Parliament and was adopted 63 votes to 57 with support from the Green Party and New Zealand First.”

          Conversely the existing ETS scheme can have the stuffing put back in that National has taken out much more easily

          • Macro 10.2.1.1.1

            The support the Greens gave the ETS (as it was then) was solely because there was no other option – Peters had sunk the possibility of a carbon tax and anything is better than nothing. You can rewrite history as much as you like – but Labour and the Greens both initially wanted a Carbon Tax – The ETS was the only alternative – and as it proved not a very good one . Time it was gotten rid of. I would be surprised if Mana and Internet did not support a Carbon Tax – Minto campaigned for the Auckland Mayoralty on a ticket of Public Transport and is well aware of the issues and the dividend part of the Policy will appeal to their supporters.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2.1.1.1.1

              So the Greens voted for the labour governments previous ETS scheme, no they have had a group hug and now want it scrapped and start over with a carbon tax. And criticise labour for not instantly agreeing ?

              And since Minto, might be a supporter and might be an MP means its all easy peasy to pass the legislation ( which isnt even written). hello ?

              If Winston Peters scuppered the carbon tax last time he will do so again.

              Back to square one. Greens support Labour putting teeth back into ETS.

              Deja Vue its called

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        You dont have a majority in parliament to introduce a wish list ( well thought out maybe) that is the policy of a 10-12% tops minor party

        Sigh.

        National are just so much better at this than Labourites are. What the NATs do is use 2% ACT as the excuse to introduce radical right wing policies. “We have to do it,” they explain, “it’s in our coalition agreement.” Therefore a NACT government swings heavily right with ACT as the camouflage.

        Labour on the other hand use their position to completely block the implementation of more Left wing policies from their 11% coalition partner. “Too radical,” is the catchcry,”NZ is not ready”…which exactly repeats the messaging of the MSM. So instead of taking the opportunity to move Left and respect their coalition partner, Labour takes the super centrist view and acts as the major barrier against the nation moving Left.

        Ridiculous.

        Labour and Greens still doesnt get you over 50% of the MPs !

        And it’s Labour which has not been pulling its weight in the polling.

      • blue leopard 10.2.3

        @ Ghostwhowalksnz,

        I don’t really understand how your comment is relevant to the opinion I expressed. Do you think that an alcoholic that gets drunk on whiskey is o.k if they drink vodka?

        I think a speculative approach toward environment matters (or anything for that matter) in the current culture of ‘if I can get away with it anything goes’ is an idiotic approach to take. Simple.

        What is all this about ‘majority’ and ‘wishlist’. You are writing as though you think I am a political party – I am simply one out of approx 2, 300,000 people, expressing my opinion on the matter.

        I sincerely do hope that a majority of the approx 2, 300,000 have noted and not forgotten the causes of the recent and myriad financial disasters and vote in a manner that ensures that the next government take the negative effects of speculation into account when considering approaches on how they address pressing issues. i.e that they don’t address pressing issues by employing devices that have caused extremely serious issues only a few years back and continue to do so.

        Are you aware that some people, got suckered into believing Fred Singer’s nonsense re climate change denial due to the dodgy, dodgy method that was suggested to fix it; it made the science look like there were ulterior motives driving it. Look who are making the most money, who are also becoming seriously disengaged with ordinary folk and causing extreme damage. Never mind oil and gas, take a look at the financial sector throughout the world.

        Speculation is causing a great deal of harm across the board in our society world-wide. No more speculative systems please, they are utter nonsense.

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    It is fantastic that the Green party continues to lead in almost every policy area. There are not really any progressive policies in mainstream politics that do not have their roots in the Green Party.

    The main differences with Labour are their idiotic policies like austerity measures against the pensioners.

    Labour will do what they always do. Have meeting after meeting for the next 6 weeks. Argue, annoy each other, leak some dirt to the media, and then release their “new” carbon emissions policy (with the name “kiwi” in there somewhere) with great fan fare.

    And guess what that new policy will look almost identical to the Greens policy.

    • Pasupial 11.1

      Gordon Campbell has a good summary of the BC experience with instituting a carbon tax – though I’m yet to read through all the links:

      http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/06/04/gordon-campbell-on-the-greens-carbon-tax-setbacks-in-syria-and-arcade-fires-gender-politics/

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2

      They allready have a carbon policy ! Its in the story.

      “Labour opposes the Green Party’s new carbon tax policy, saying the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was its preferred option”

      • Tracey 11.2.1

        do you think it is effectively reducing nz emissions?

      • Macro 11.2.2

        “They allready have a carbon policy ! Its in the story.”

        And that is why anyone who is serious about reducing Carbon Emissions (which is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity at this time) will NOT be voting Labour.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.2.1

          Fossil fuel energy depletion is the greatest challenge facing humanity at this time; the effects have been biting the global economy for about 10 years now and it will get really ugly within the next 20 years. You are seeing a madness take over the capitalists now in their chase to extract every last bit of resource available. I reckon in the 2020’s people are going to start talking seriously about oil extraction out of Antarctica.

          Climate change will be nasty too but on a 50 year timeframe.

          The clincher is this: just as the worst effects of climate change hits us, we will have the least free energy available to power technology and solutions to deal with it.

          I’m picking 2050-2060 and 2060-2070 as really really bad decades.

          If climate change is severe by that time and sea levels around NZ rise by 1m-2m, most of the suburbs around me here in Dunedin will be a wading pool.

  12. dimebag russell 12

    LETS FACE IT. The whole industrial system based on cheap energy and to hell with the consequences is going to come to grinding halt in 25 years because of its own internal contradictions that have nothing to do with karl marx or capitalist theory. when its gone its all gone and no focus group or parliamentary party is going to be able to do a damn thing about it.

    • Macro 12.1

      more than likely – but don’t you think that it might be a good idea to prepare for that day by working seriously towards implementing alternative energy strategies?

  13. The Chairman 13

    Labour are concerned about speculation and market failures (housing, the NZ dollar) yet prefer a carbon market?

  14. Jim 14

    Since labour changed its constitution to give members more say in policy and electing the leader membership has more than doubled. You can’t have it both ways, so policy on the hoof because of media dictating the agenda or to react to other parties is now a lot harder to do. Also any lurch to the left or right becomes member driven over time. All the talk of labour moving to the centre in election year and not having a unified view with the greens is just a media beat up. The parties of the left do not have to have the same policies, and we should be celebrating that. It gives people different flavours to identify with. When phoning for labour in the last few months, and number of people have said that because of the sell out of the Lange/ Douglas era that the can’t bring them selves to vote for Labour. They now have the Greens or IMP as alternatives which is wonderful.

  15. Tanz 15

    Carbon tax is just a tax for breathing the free air. No such thing as climate change, have you not read Air Con yet?

  16. fisiani 16

    Labour don’t like the fart tax. The Greens don’t like the ETS.
    On 20th September you can vote for a stable government or a collection of second, third, fourth and fifth place getters who will never be able to agree on the crucial aspects of life.

  17. Mike the Savage One 17

    Clearly on this Labour are sitting on the fence again, like on so many issues. It is time for Labour to come clean and take a clearer stand on what they want, and what they do not support. All this half hearted stuff in comments and media statements is not helping.

    And what the bloody hell are they doing in other policy areas, like also welfare, some clearer messages may be welcome, but I fear that Cunliffe and Labour (ABC dominated) will not commit to anything much, until one or two days before 20 September.

    Maybe they are hoping a big scandal will hit Key? Mallard’s rather idiotic allegations in Select Committee today are certainly not helping Labour, he does more harm than good with such side shows.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1

      What you are saying isnt supported by Cunliffes comments .

      What fence sitting ?

      Labour opposes the Green Party’s new carbon tax policy, saying the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was its preferred option.

      “Our position is in favour of an Emissions Trading Scheme, which is well managed – not one that’s been gutted by the current government policy.

      They support what they DID in government. How simple is that !

  18. philj 18

    xox
    The Banks and the financial system must be reformed simultaneously with the carbon tax if the game is to fundamentally change. lol

  19. Ennui 19

    ETS or Carbon Tax? Who gives a flying proverbial? Either way the implication is that we burn the fossil fuels which drive climate change.

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    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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