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Compulsory voting and an explicit “none of the above”

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, May 25th, 2014 - 171 comments
Categories: accountability, australian politics, democratic participation, elections, leadership, politicans, Politics - Tags:

I was listening to Wallace Chapman interviewing Professor David Farrell, from University College, Dublin this morning on Radio New Zealand on compulsory voting which he was strongly in favour of. At one point the discussion veered on to the issue of “none of the above”. I think that this is the key to compulsory voting.

Almost everyone I know who doesn’t vote does so for one of two basic reasons.

  • The bastards are all as bad as each other. I call this the anti-vote and it expresses as not voting, spoiling the vote, or always voting against the government (ie the vto option).
  • I don’t know enough to vote.

These are both valid viewpoints as far as I am concerned. I think that they should be options in every vote. Both of them provide an explicit performance measure for all of our political and media establishment about how well they are doing their job.

Lets put them in first and then look at compulsory voting. To force that without an ability for voters to say what they don’t support is daft. Just look at the spoilt votes in aussie politics

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171 comments on “Compulsory voting and an explicit “none of the above””

  1. I remember at Auckland Uni the AUSA election ballots always had a “No Vote” and a “No Confidence” option at the bottom. I really liked that, as it gave you the opportunity to signal whether your lack-of-vote was due to just not caring or actual antipathy.

  2. TheContrarian 2

    “Don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards”
    -P. J. O’Rouke

    • lprent 2.1

      As much as I used to like O’Rouke, I also think that in some areas he is a dumb fuckwit. That was one of them. Not voting just allows the worst arseholes into power.

      My preferred punishment for nonvoters is that they get 6 weeks service. Army basic, old folks home, doing scut work for st johns or the police. If they don’t want to, then they get 6 months of work camp working for their food.

      I think not voting in an environment because of what amounts to a fit of childish tantrum in a society where you can change peoples minds peaceably over a lifetime. To be part of a society you carry obligations as well as ‘rights’

      • TheContrarian 2.1.1

        I only take him at face value as a humourous writer. Don’t care for his politics so much

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          I have trouble seeing the funny side of people writing about their horrible beliefs.

          Also have you seem him lately? Was on Maher’s show a while back and the guy is a fucking parsnip.

          • TheContrarian 2.1.1.1.1

            His early work was much better. Parliament of Whores is a classic

            • felix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Here’s a bit of that show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQnSu0DG3Oo

              Yeah he used to be sort of clever at being horrible, in the same sense that people credit Hitler with showmanship.

              Doesn’t seem like his brain’s functioning much these days though.

              • Populuxe1

                Does that stick up your arse hurt when you sit down?

                • swordfish

                  Oh Jesus !, *Populuxe is back for his weekly abuse-the-hell-out-of-everyone therapy session.

                  (Or * deleted * as I prefer to call him. Or, indeed, plain old * deleted *

                  [karol: Hope I got that right - as I understand it, was speculation about a commenters ID. It went over my head the first time I read it, as I didn't understand the point that was being made]

                  • felix

                    It’s probably best he gets it all out here where no-one takes him too seriously.

                  • Tracey

                    at 3am no less, just to be abusive

                  • Populuxe1

                    Hello. Moderator. Lynn. Anyone?

                    • Populuxe1

                      So that’s ten hours of no moderation

                    • felix

                      You want someone to moderate your own abusive comments? You really are a strange little man.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Oh Fuck off Felix, you know the rules as well as I do – I at least make the effort to keep within them. Twelve hours and no ban hammer

                      [Happy to start. What comment of yours do you want me to censor? - MS]

                    • Populuxe1

                      Are you going to enforce the rule about anonymity or are you going to pursue some personal dislike of me and shit all over any confidence people might have in having their security protected? Either way, I’m not going to cry about it, but I am screencapping as we go :)

                    • TheContrarian

                      You’re not “in” enough to be protected under Lynn’s arbitrary enforcement of the rules. Better luck next time.

                      I bet Felix is though – I know his full name. Shall we see?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Good thing I’m not in one of my more suicidal mood swings, but how does it look if you are just going to let people shit all over their anonymity and possibly endanger their careers or personal safety? But hey, if you want a martyr, I’ll give you one.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Yeah Contrarian, you might as well. It will be interesting to see if they can delete it faster than I can screencap it :D

                      [Karol: I don't think it was any double standard. I didn't understand the point - thought it must be some obscure pop culture reference or something. Was probably the same for the mods]

                    • felix

                      lolz TC. Having never concealed it, I imagine lots of people do.

                    • Populuxe1

                      13 hours gone by since The (Double) Standard rule regarding commenter anonymity was violated. Noted and ignored by a moderator. All class guys

                    • TheContrarian

                      I wouldn’t anyway. The reason I know it is because some jackass posted your details (and a link no less) to my quickly aborted blog which I deleted pretty swiftly.

                      Besides, we’ll no doubt run into each other sometime and I don’t want to ruin the fun.

                      [karol: You should know the Standard rules by now on respecting pseudonyms. So it's not worth trying. Lynn probably hasn't been by to notice swordfish's breach above - but flagging it to him now.]

                    • felix

                      That must have been traumatic TC. I hope you got through it ok.

                      Pop, maybe next time you could try saying clearly what you object to. Seems I wasn’t the only one who assumed you were just having one of your tantrums.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “You should know the Standard rules by now on respecting pseudonyms. So it’s not worth trying.”

                      I’m not particularly interested in finding out, nor outing, who anyone is so Lynn can rest easy on his alabaster throne.

                      Felix, the trauma was almost too much to bear.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Gee Felix, I’m not sure how much clearer I need to be than:

                      “Are you going to enforce the rule about anonymity or are you going to pursue some personal dislike of me and shit all over any confidence people might have in having their security protected? Either way, I’m not going to cry about it, but I am screencapping as we go”

                      As for: “You should know the Standard rules by now on respecting pseudonyms. So it’s not worth trying.”

                      Um, yeah, lol. Not remotely ironic.

                    • felix

                      Well for a start you could have pointed to the thing you were complaining about.

                      You might think it was clear but I had no idea what you were on about, and neither did karol, and neither (apparently) did mickysavage.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Which is interesting as I would have scrolled up the thread immediately and Contrarian didn’t have any trouble working it out – is he/she smarter than the rest of you or something? Perhaps I didn’t want to open myself up to more nastiness and speculation than I had to? Hmmm?

                    • felix

                      Guess what, Pop. When you see you own name somewhere you didn’t expect to, it sticks out like the proverbial.

                      To you.

                      To others, not so much. Like karol, I took no notice of swordfish’s comment because I assumed it was some kind of reference or joke that I wasn’t in on.

                      And frankly, it’s not unusual to find you sitting in the middle of a thread throwing toys around and screaming about fuck all.

                      Also yes, TheContrarian is smarter than the rest of us sometimes.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Oh damn, this is one of those awful passive-aggressive fugues where you play silly semantic games and feigned obtuseness until your opponent is so worn down they concede you that last word you so desperately crave, isn’t it? Look, you just have that last word, it’s less wear and tear on my nerves. You are of no real interest to me anyway.

                    • felix

                      Oh no you don’t Pop. You’ve changed your mind about semantics and now you believe that the meaning of words is important.

                      Hours ago, but still…

                      ps it’s not a competition to see who can stop typing first.

                    • Populuxe1

                      You win :) Good night

                    • felix

                      Meh. It’s not the winning and losing Pop, it’s how you play the game.

      • Chooky 2.1.2

        lprent +100…I am all for everyone having to vote and no apathetic, unsociable, irresponsible opt outs…or penalties apply

        …and generally the non voter is a Left voter ….so making voting mandatory will improve the Left vote

        • cricklewood 2.1.2.1

          Or maybe left parties should offer something compelling enough to make them want to vote…

          • Chooky 2.1.2.1.1

            well obviously they dont want to vote NACT!

            …fact is people at the bottom of the heap are so often discouraged and apathetic and negative about their situation that they have gotten into a negative frame of mind and don’t think their vote will make a positive difference to their situation

            • cricklewood 2.1.2.1.1.1

              I do agree with that, but what really did the last Labour govt do for the people on the very bottom? I know they refused beneficiaries Working for Families, didn’t reinstate the previous Nat govts benefit cuts… Hence I could well understand why someone would think voting wont make a positive difference, the very party purporting to represent them seemingly abandoned them when it came to the crunch…

              • Chooky

                @ cricklewood

                well they can vote Mana or the Greens…in fact I probably will myself…but I do wish Labour well under Cunliffe ( he is a good man), just as I did under Helen Clark( she was a good woman and a very competent politician)…it is way better than the alternative NACT…there really is no valid reason for anyone on the Left not to vote

                …but as I say when people get into a negative or unsocial frame of mind they often cant be bothered…hence the need for compulsory voting

          • lprent 2.1.2.1.2

            They could vote “none of the above”, just think what a large vote for that does to any claims of ” mandate”

            • cricklewood 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Sure it is possible that the none of the above vote would be significant enough that no govt could claim a ‘mandate’ but what would it really mean? No significant changes unless a coalition can claim a true mandate? or would it be a slightly meaningless stat used by the opposition to squeal you haven’t got a mandate in parliament day in day out…

            • Gosman 2.1.2.1.2.2

              What would that mean in practical terms though? Wouldn’t that hobble government introducing policies?

            • Polish Pride 2.1.2.1.2.3

              Agreed 100%
              If that were an option, I’d vote.

              As of right now, nope, better things to do with my time. Having a clear understanding of the system and how its very nature stops us from solving the problems we face as a society is not a very strong driver to go out and pick one completely useless party from another as things stand right now.

      • Populuxe1 2.1.3

        At least, unlike Russell Brand, I don’t think O’Rourke was being serious

      • adam 2.1.4

        I don’t agree at all with your argument Iprent. The left has had a strong anarchist tradition. So like all authoritarians you revert to abuse and labels to justify a position?

        I find it morally repulsive to vote in a fake democracy. And no I’m not a being childish or churlish, the fact of the matter is we don’t live in democracy and the best simplest way to oppose it it not to participate. Or would you prefer a more violent approach? I and the majority of anarchist in this country don’t want a violent revolution – we’d like a peaceful one.

        I’d even go further to say the authoritarian left is the corruption which hold the people in check. It is this group who think they are so clever which force so many people to vote for the right. The authoritarian left is a festering sore and blight – they should really just go join the right – they act like them in the end anyway.

      • Richard McGrath 2.1.5

        Rather then this proposed North Korean solution (forced labour camps for non-voters) from lprent, perhaps seats in parliament could be left empty in proportion to the proportion of non-votes. With a 74% turnout in 2011, we would then have 31 empty seats, saving tax slaves a fortune in salaries and perks.

        • lprent 2.1.5.1

          Still means that there is absolutely no representation for those who currently aren’t voting. It reduces real democracy.

          But it is a cost-saving measure worthy of a idiot from north korean, a nation well known for their cost-saving ways of political representation. Perhaps you return there.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.5.1.1

            North Korea: you can save a public oficial’s salary by investing 10c in a bullet for said public official.

          • Richard McGrath 2.1.5.1.2

            Never been there, unlike the useful idiot Morgan.

          • Richard McGrath 2.1.5.1.3

            What is the point of democracy when it results in less freedom and more government interference in our lives? Why should the turkey vote for Christmas?

            • McFlock 2.1.5.1.3.1

              less freedom?
              It’s a vote. Every three years.

            • lprent 2.1.5.1.3.2

              As I always say. What freedom? The freedom to starve? Societies aren’t based on freedom. They are based on cooperation and shared responsibilities. Complex societies are required to keep more than a fraction of our current population alive

              Fools who start wanking on about “freedom” are usually noticeable for three things in my opinion.

              1. They are noticeable for their lack of thought on the subject – specifically they invariably want to just make the rules to only free themselves of responsibilities.
              2. They never consider the consequences beyond the second cumming.

              3. Invariably they are personally selfish, usually narcissistic, and notable for their inability to empathise with other people.

              Been near a mirror lately? I suspect it shows a nasacisstic arsehole.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The Election

    • Awww 2.3

      Oh pa-leeze. Stop pretending to be powerless to change things.
      Voting is the only way out of this mess.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    These are both valid viewpoints as far as I am concerned. I think that they should be options in every vote…Lets put them in first and then look at compulsory voting.

    Yep. Give people real options to express themselves more fully and accurately, not just compulsarily forcing them to check tick boxes which do not actually represent their views.

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      Or, you know, stop creating a political elite through public apathy and actually get involved in the political process by joining a party, instigating referenda, submitting policy remits and so forth.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I think you just suggested that the way to stop being apathetic and politically disengaged is to not be apathetic and politically disengaged.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1

          Which one can do and still vote – they are not mutually exclusive scenarios and most effective when used together

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    TBH, I don’t really the see any point in including an official ‘no confidence’ option.

    What does it achieve? A vote isn’t a census, or an opinion poll, it’s a vote.

    If we are going to make it compulsory, (which I’m not convinced we should), then including a non-vote option completely misses the point.

    What changes if ‘non-vote votes’ register 10%, 20% or 30%? Nothing. So what exactly is the point?

    If the answer is ‘signalling my disaffection’ then that is also captured by just not voting, or spoiling the ballot, or protest voting; the tried and true methods.

    • The distinction is – as with the AUSA ballots I mentioned above – having an explicit “no vote” or “no confidence” option does allow us more certainty about the numbers of non-voting people.

      It’s similar to the way people are now paying more attention to the “undecided” category in poll results. If 20% of the population come out to tick “no vote” on election day it seriously undermines the “we have a mandate to do x, y and z” narrative of the subsequently-elected government (whoever that is).

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      PB – political parties should become very afraid if a quarter million people start turning up at the polls just to vote “none of the above.” It states very clearly to the entrenched parties that if you don’t start listening to the electorate and start delivering something quite different, there is room there for other parties to come in and take those votes.

      What changes if ‘non-vote votes’ register 10%, 20% or 30%? Nothing. So what exactly is the point?

      A quarter million no confidence votes is significant pressure for change. Any major political party ignores a message like that at their own peril.

      Also, what SR said about undermining the mandate of any given government to take extremist positions like selling off assets etc.

      • Tamati 4.2.1

        In the AUSA election No confidence always polls extremely well and it doesn’t seem to change much. AUSA’s membership keeps slipping despite membership being free. It’s basically used as a CV filler for wannabe Labour politicians.

      • karol 4.2.2

        How long before parties try to get an advantage by chasing the “none-of-these” vote?

    • Populuxe1 4.3

      Because a vote of no confidence can be counted as that, not as a vote in favour of the remaining majority. New Zealand probably needs it less than the UK or the US who really need to be forcibly pushed into MMP

      • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1

        How is it ‘counted as that’?

        If the opposition plus the no confidence vote is higher than the govt vote, what happens?

        Nothing, that’s what. The ‘no confidence’ votes don’t count, they are irrelevant.

        So in what actual sense do these votes ‘count’?

        • Populuxe1 4.3.1.1

          Because it’s there – a big fat pile of votes against all options suggesting that something is very wrong. Far more useful than just not voting at all.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1.1.1

            But those votes are there anyway, in the ‘did not vote’ pile which is published under ‘turnout’.

            An election is not an opinion poll. Votes matter, and votes for ‘none of the above’, or ‘no confidence’ need to mean something if they are to be counted. Otherwise there is no point in having them. They cheapen the process. If people want to not vote, then that is their option. If there is nothing for them to vote for, then they can stand and vote for themselves. It’s the system.

            Would voted non-votes count towards what, exactly? The MMP list calculation? How would that work, and would it achieve anything good?

    • Pascal's bookie 4.4

      Not seeing anyone actually say what difference a strong ‘non-vote’ would make.

      The idea that is there is a strong non vote, it would encourage new parties to go after them, doesn’t work. You don’t know why these people are voting no confidence anymore than you know why people don’t vote now. The things you need to do to appeal to them are just the same, and they aren’t happening.

      You can’t count them as for or against a mandate, because they have explicitly opted out. All you know is that nothing on offer appeals to them, for some reason or another, and you already know that.

      These aren’t undecided’s, they have decided ‘no’, and if that’s legitimate, then the answer is voluntary voting, not forcing them to vote ‘one of the above’.

  5. BM 5

    With compulsory voting we’ll just end up with parties pitching stupid policies at stupid people.

    If you’re that disinterested or don’t give a fuck about politics then the best thing you can do is not to vote.

    The option of “none of the above” is good though.

    • fender 5.1

      “With compulsory voting we’ll just end up with parties pitching stupid policies at stupid people.”

      National and Act already cover this niche…

      • BM 5.1.1

        What a surprise.

        WFF, Interest free student loans,gold card, what great policies those were.

        How would you feel if a guy like Nigel Farage set up shop in NZ and we had compulsory voting?

        • Naturesong 5.1.1.1

          Big tick to these “Interest free student loans,gold card”

          WFF corporate welfare, not so much.

          The market solution of ensuring that Labour Unions have as much negotiating power as Capital would have been a much better solution.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Remembering that student loans are only necessary because of exorbitant tertiary fees, and are a driver for qualified young NZers to piss off out of the country long term.

            • Naturesong 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, Free Education would be prefereable.

              Imagine the number of people who would have been able to reskill themselves after the corporate retrenchment caused by the GFC

        • fender 5.1.1.2

          What a surprise rort…

          Charter schools, asset sales theft , environmental destruction..

          Compulsory voting doesn’t guarantee the likes of Farage Colin Craig any power.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.3

          how many of those did nact get rid of bm?

          • BM 5.1.1.3.1

            You can’t without being turfed out at the next election, that’s the problem.

            People in NZ now expect hand outs, even people that don’t need them.

            The mentality these days is

            “They’re being given money, where’s mine?”

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      With compulsory voting we’ll just end up with parties pitching stupid policies at stupid people.

      We already have them and they’re presently in government.

  6. Watching 6

    the issue of “none of the above”. I think that this is the key to compulsory voting.

    The second key is to make the ‘none of the above’ vote mean something. Otherwise this will become a one election thing.

    By this I mean if ‘none of the above’ get say get 10% of the vote then this should translate into seats – therefore 12 seats will be remain unallocated or unfilled. For compulsory voting to work a none of the above must have the same voting influence as a labour, greens or Nats vote.

    I do like the idea of compulsory voting but have never supported the view that you must vote for one of the parties standing.

    • dv 6.1

      AND none of the above generates a
      A new election in a year for the places left vacant as watching suggests.

    • mikesh 6.2

      “By this I mean if ‘none of the above’ get say get 10% of the vote then this should translate into seats – therefore 12 seats will be remain unallocated or unfilled.”

      If the number of “none of the above”s is large enough the above suggestion may leave insufficient room for list seats and the system would therefore become a de facto FPP system.

      • Tamati 6.2.1

        In ancient Greece (or Rome or some other ancient civilization), people could choose to vote “none of the above”. The proportion of votes for “none of the above” would then be filled by a random ballot of ordinary citizens. So here, if 10% vote none of the above, twelve random citizens are elected to parliament for the next three years. Food for thought.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          I could go with that.

          • Tamati 6.2.1.1.1

            We could even go a step further where those who don’t vote on election day are assumed to have voted “none of the above”. This would mean the 35% who didn’t vote would be represented by random citizens. It would also give all major parties the motivation to make non-voters vote.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              The MMP threshold of 5% would need to be significantly dropped for any of this to work.

              Also I wouldn’t go with “random citizens.” There would need to be some kind of vetting, and people would need to put their name forward as interested in being an independent candidate.

              • Tamati

                Why the vetting? I’d be happy with just an opt out. It could be seen as sort of a super jury duty. The citizens should be as ordinary as possible.

                Dropping the MMP threshold would probably make it fairer though.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Many reasons for the vetting, including taking out those who would be excluded by electoral law, and also those who have no wish to be an MP or be involved in politics.

                  • Tamati

                    The whole strength of a ballot system is you include those who aren’t interested or involved in politics. They’re there to represent those who don’t give a fuck about politics.

                    Maybe a simple literacy test.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sorry, but making people do a high profile public job that they don’t want to do, or forcing them to be in Wellington far away from their young kids when they don’t want to be, is going to end up a total fail.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “Sorry, but making people do a high profile public job that they don’t want to do, or forcing them to be in Wellington far away from their young kids when they don’t want to be, is going to end up a total fail.”

                      But that’s the idea, changing it to count non-votes as votes for a self selected group of candidates would be an even bigger stupid idea.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So let’s run a txt-in competition. Top 3 ways to turn your democracy from being an occasional laughing stock and plutocracy, into a continuous and farcical one.

                    • Tamati

                      It could have similar screening process to jury duty. As I said before, one of the advantages is that it would give all parties reason to encourage people to vote.

        • Stuart Munro 6.2.1.2

          I liked the Greek ostraka rule – you could banish one politician every election.

          The problem is one might not be enough.

          • Tamati 6.2.1.2.1

            Yes, I would be firmly in favour of Ostracism. Cya, Winston.

            • Populuxe1 6.2.1.2.1.1

              If you think Winston is worse than just about any of the NACT crew, you are deluded

  7. Dave Rutherford 7

    I would strongly support compulsory voting, with some sort of no confidence, or none of the above option.Would also like to see a threshold/ mechanism that invalidates the result if the no confidence vote meets it. Under the current system, there is no penalty to the parties that profit from disengagement.

  8. minarch 8

    politicians are like seagulls….

    If you keep on feeding them they will continue to come back and shit all over you deck ….

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Or it can simply mean that “I’m too lazy and cynical to inform myself about politics and rather than discharge my responsibilities and duty as a citizen of this country to vote with care and intention – I’m going to spout some smart-arse aphorism and pretend how clever I am”.

      I think that about covers it.

  9. minarch 9

    how about the American system of a “write in” option ?

  10. Disraeli Gladstone 10

    I’ve never missed an election and probably never will, but the idea of compulsory voting just seems wrong to me. I very much see the right to vote as just a right. There’s no corresponding obligation or civic duty beyond the obligation of not to infringe upon someone else’s right to vote.

    And I would say there are some good arguments in favour of compulsory voting, but then you look at the countries that do use it and these advantages aren’t really seen.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      I very much see the right to vote as just a right.

      Which is wrong – it’s very much a responsibility.

      • Tamati 10.1.1

        Is it though? Sure society is better off if more people vote, but those who don’t vote are only causing themselves harm.

        In a pure self centered sense, an single vote isn’t going to make a difference. I don’t think there has ever going to an election which was decided by a single vote. Even Bush in 2000 won by around 500 votes. So when people say my single vote won’t change anything, they’re technically correct.

        What we need to do is give people a reason to actually turn up on polling day. The Aussies have sausage sizzles and bake sales and the like, all going to charity. I’m sure hiring a few bouncy castles would also drive a few extras to the polls. Little things like this might actually make a difference.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          but those who don’t vote are only causing themselves harm.

          Nope. Those who didn’t vote last election have caused NZ quite a bit of harm through allowing a radical right-wing government in that has sold of our assets and out us deeply in debt.

          So when people say my single vote won’t change anything, they’re technically correct.

          Voting and democracy are a community action and so it’s really not about single votes. That said, if a few more people had voted in Waitakere last election we wouldn’t have had Paula Bennett in that seat.

          What we need to do is give people a reason to actually turn up on polling day. The Aussies have sausage sizzles and bake sales and the like, all going to charity. I’m sure hiring a few bouncy castles would also drive a few extras to the polls. Little things like this might actually make a difference.

          Perhaps but then such things will probably drive some people away as well.

          • Tamati 10.1.1.1.1

            Who would be driven away by a sausage sizzle and a bouncy castle? We could even have (non-political) bands or concerts.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Who would be driven away by a sausage sizzle and a bouncy castle?

              People who really hate them, people who just don’t want to deal with the extra noise and hassle that they represent.

              I find it amazingly ignorant that some people just assume that everyone will agree with what they see as a Good Thing.

              • Tamati

                Well, for the 1% who really hate sausage sizzles or bouncy castles then some polling places could be left as they are.

              • Populuxe1

                I find it amazingly ignorant that some people just assume that everyone is is twisted, miserable, antisocial and/or otherwise mentally and emotionally fucked up as they are and that the rest of us should pander to that as though it were normal or indeed cared.

                • felix

                  But Draco didn’t assume that. Quite the opposite in fact.

                  Tamati made the assumption that ALL people like sausages and bouncy castles. Draco pointed out that SOME people don’t.

                  Then you accuse Draco of saying NO-ONE likes sausages and castles, which he simply didn’t do at all.

                  Before you get angry and embarrass yourself, go back and read the chain of events again, slowly. Look for key words like “everyone” and examine them in context to determine the meaning.

                  Then politely apologise to Draco for the misrepresentation and leave quietly.

            • Richard McGrath 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I think someone should set up the Polling Booth Party. It would stop the Electoral Commission from putting up those signs saying “Polling Booth”, as that would constitute advertising on election day…

      • Disraeli Gladstone 10.1.2

        [citation needed]

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1

          You’re part of a community as thus you should act as part of that community.

  11. Thomas 11

    If “none of the above” wins, either the seat should be vacant or a by election should happen with new candidates.

  12. Foreign Waka 12

    If people don’t vote, then they have given their right away to affect change. Anyone who disagrees with the main parties could always vote for that party that he/she agrees in some points. There is no such thing as a perfect world. Get used to it and change it with baby steps. But under no circumstance give up the right to vote that has been fought for and paid for with so many lives. These are the fallen NZlanders everybody thinks of at ANZAC day, WW1 veterans etc….Its all hallow if people throw it on the heap because, oooch auchhh no provision for the favorite toy…

  13. millsy 13

    We wouldn’t need mandatory voting if we just had decent candidates and policies to vote for.

  14. McGrath 14

    What about those who simply cannot be bothered to vote regardless?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Incremental steps first…if we can get a voting turnout around 85% we will be amongst the OECD best.

  15. Philj 15

    xox
    In the ‘market’ I suggest giving all voters $5 to vote.hahaha

    • Chooky 15.1

      Philj…now you are talking…how about $20?

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        It’s just a really bad precedent to be handing out money at voting booths.

        • Chooky 15.1.1.1

          well I am sure John Key and right wingers with too much money would agree with you….but beneficiaries and the hard up would be happy to take the money!…it might pay their bus fare and a cup of coffee or tea

  16. greywarbler 16

    Here is a flash mob with Ode to Joy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87qT5BOl2XU
    It would be joy if we could get people to take an interest in politics and what is being done to them and for them. How about some flash mob voting street theatre. How about in the month before the elctions there are flash mobs performing all over NZ with a get out and vote for your country message.

    I am all for compulsory voting, with bells on as suggested. But for goodness sake don’t any progressive person say not to do it. I am sick of hearing how we can’t won’t needn’t do something about the things ahead of us. We can’t move on on so many things. We can’t even decide to do something about problems around for a long time, and are determinedly retreating from the problems of the now, near future and medium future, we don’t care or dare to look too far ahead.

    Let’s give compulsory voting a try, someone suggested over two elections then a confirmation, change or drop. We must have the extras that people here have suggested to make it as fair as possible. It may be just an exercise to make people go to the voting booths (which I endorse rather than on-line) but you have to get them started thinking and doing. We are all drop outs in managing our country sensibly, and I know that will annoy some people, but we would not have the present situation if we had been more aware and active years ago.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Why are you forcing people to vote for MPs whom they feel don’t listen to and address their day to day concerns and anxieties?

      • Chooky 16.1.1

        ….why should we fill in the national census every few years?……everyone has to answer the national census …so why not every New Zealander has to vote?

        …even if once they get into the box they vote “No Confidence”…it is still a civic duty for New Zealanders to have a say on the governance of New Zealand

        ( Only the right wing dont want the left non voters to vote).

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          The foundations for a nation-wide census were put in place in England a thousand years ago well before anyone got the vote.

        • Mike S 16.1.1.2

          In the census I give all the information they require for the statistical data they are collecting. However I don’t give my name, ph number, etc as I fail to see why these are required. I also don’t sign the form. I’ve never had someone come back and tell me to fill it out completely.

      • greywarbler 16.1.2

        Cv
        Because they need to react to that and try for something better not sink into apathy, anger, not vandalise what other people have and are trying to do which is what many disaffected people end up doing especially young males., People should have the opportunity to say none of the above if they can see no other reasonable choice but they need to make their voices heard, show that they are very dissatisfied, that they are still thinking and not just accepting what is being offered, or being badly governed or trodden on.

        • greywarbler 16.1.2.1

          CV
          Sanctuary in Open mike 26/5 No.3 has something on the disaffected being drawn to the far right apparently. I haven’t read it yet – no time at present. But this is the sort of thing that was in my mind that getting people to vote would help diminish. Keeping people in mind when elections show significant numbers disaffected would take the sting out of numbers of people being drawn to such parties. And would also keep track of numbers so as to assess the number of potential firebrands.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.2

          People should have the opportunity to say none of the above if they can see no other reasonable choice but they need to make their voices heard, show that they are very dissatisfied,

          Yes they should have the opportunity to say “none of the above” but forcing them to vote is another matter entirely. These are also people who have often been done over by the system, WINZ staff telling them you must do this you must do that or there will be consequences, ACC staff telling them you must do this you must do that or there will be consequences, now you want to add yet another to that line ‘for their own good.’

  17. greywarbler 17

    Here’s another rousing song on you tube – About people rising and not going to put up with it – whatever.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thjvx51RlFY

  18. Mike S 18

    Compulsory voting in a supposedly free country is a ridiculous suggestion.

    For a start, how would you police it? To enrol as a voter you have to sign a form. Under law, nobody can be forced to sign something they do not wish to sign as that would make it an invalid contract. One of the rules of contracts is that the parties involved must willingly of their own free will agree to the contract. You can’t send someone to jail for refusing to sign a document, that’s the sort of thing that happens in military dictatorships, not in social democracies. That aside, how would the ‘authorities’ even identify non enrolled people? (Maybe send the voting police around to every single house in the country to flush out non-voters)

    A vote under duress is not a vote.

    Why not just make it so that every non vote is automatically a vote for ‘none of the above’?

    This is the sort of crazy idea that makes the left look unpalatable.

    If you want people to vote then give them something or someone they want to jump up off the couch and vote for FFS!

    Convince them to vote, don’t force them.

    • Chooky 18.1

      in Australia it is compulsory to vote( and I think a fine if you dont vote)….doesnt seem to have hurt the Aussies or their democracy ( except the fools voted in Abbott the Bot Fly)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Australia

    • greywarbler 18.2

      Mike S
      Don’t be a fool. Talking about a supposedly free country. There is in reality no such thing and can never be. There are rules that we have to obey so that we can live together, and run our society fairly efficiently, we aim for as much freedom as possible, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be coerced where necessary. Do try and think and not spout out slogans that are popular amongst the loose lipped, loose minded.

      • Mike S 18.2.1

        The only thing foolish Greywarbler is trying to force people to vote. Forcing people to do anything is a surefire way to lose votes.

    • Francis 18.3

      Isn’t it already a legal requirement for every New Zealander to be on the electoral roll?

  19. Chooky 19

    Martyn Bradbury on lifting voter participation:

    “5 ways to immediately lift voter participation in NZ elections”

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/05/25/5-ways-to-immediately-lift-voter-participation-in-nz-elections/

    • Populuxe1 19.1

      You forgot letting everyone who votes kick Bradbury in the balls. That would do wonders.

      • Chooky 19.1.1

        that is very unsociable of you Pop!

        • Gosman 19.1.1.1

          But an effective inducement nonetheless. I myself would vote numerous times given the opportunity and that incentive.

          • felix 19.1.1.1.1

            I would consider posing as a non-voter in order to be eligible for the inducement.

      • thecard 19.1.2

        I don’t agree with your Winston liking policy but I am all in favour of your kick Bradbury in the balls to increase voter turnout policy.

  20. swordfish 20

    Two points:

    (1) I didn’t vote in 2005. Not because I’m lazy or couldn’t be bothered or was alienated or drunk or confused, but because we were off to the UK / Europe on the day that early voting opened and didn’t have time. And yet for that relatively minor sin, Mr Prentice would apparently have me in Boot Camp for the rest of my natural. Seems just a tad unfair.

    (2) A Research New Zealand Poll late last year found 56% supported Compulsory Voting with 42% against. Support was particularly strong among Older New Zealanders (aged 55 +) (64%), among Maori and Pasifikas (66%), and among the middle income (68%)……http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/Media%20Releases/RNZ%20Media%20Release%20-%20Compulsory%20voting.pdf

  21. Not a PS Staffer 21

    An alternative to compulsion is a strong incentive.

    Hand everyone a coupon for a PINT when they have cast their vote.

    QED.

  22. Increasing inequality, secret trade and military deals, spying on the citizenry, money for access and no accountability for the corrupt amongst our politicians.

    This is what a Princeton University study concluded for the US: No influence can be exercised by the 99 % and politicians are only there as a puppet show to placate the masses while gorging themselves at the trough.

    I put it to you that NZ is not that far behind in the 1% takeover coup and the people hereapparently are not stupid. They know they are being screwed by their government and they are walking away from a system that isn’t working for them. I actually think that the people here have spoken loud and clear. Why fucking bother, they’re not listening anyway. Can’t say I blame them. And I have made a point of voting every single election I was eligible to vote in with the same tenasity Iprent still thinks we should vote.

    This year I have for the first time in my life decided that I will not do so. Let the bastards win and let them do their worst, maybe then the docile, mistakenly thinking they are part of the 1%, zombies will finally realize they have been had. Nothing like a revolution to freshen things up. The effect of the one in Holland some 355 years ago only recently started wane.

    • Gosman 22.1

      While I thank you for your decision to not vote this election might I enquire why you don’t vote Mana?

    • Chooky 22.2

      @Travellerev

      Thomas Piketty , ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ would agree with you about the revolution potential

      http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674430006

      Personally i would prefer it didnt come to this….people have fought long and hard for the vote , especially women, minorities and non-property owners….so they must vote and vote wisely!

      • aerobubble 22.2.1

        The problem is historically when the amount of calls on wealth (money) are many many times the ability of the society to provide that value in goods and services, the army/police are pressed into action to seize as much wealth as possible for the rich. And it has nothing to do with what you would prefer did or did not happen, and everything to do with how you traded in liberty for complacency. i.e. asset sales of dams was a crime against NZ, climate inaction is a crime against our planet… …the list is long, but in essence the only economic crimes we as a society deal to our crimes to profit.

        As to the context. As an Australian, the compulsory system coupled with the proportional system delivers everything party hacks could wish for to continue ignoring the citizens and embracing party tuft wars. Abbott would not be PM under any other democracy system. The OZ democracy is sham, people who do not know shouldn’t be forced to. People who are then ask to vote for someone very likely they never would want, that’s the way it works, you number the politicians and eventually one of the detestable ones gets all the flow on votes too win. i.e. the system is as equally like to vote for the common likeable candidate (rare as they don’t get nominated) as the most commonly detested one.

      • Rosie 22.2.2

        +1 Chooky.

  23. Rosie 23

    Every time I hear the word “compulsory” I cringe. To me compulsory represents authoritarianism and an assumption that adults aren’t capable of thinking for themselves.

    However, in regard to voting, adding in the “none of the above” and “I don’t know” options is genius.

    With this system people are not in the senseless position that the Aussies are in, as aerobubble points out above, but they are compelled to participate, even if it amounts to an anti vote. What an excellent way to monitor public dissatisfaction or lack of basic political knowledge.

    The non party voting voters may encourage parties to think carefully about where they could do better or what they need to do to reach people to educate them.

    Bring on compulsory voting with non voting options!

    • bad12 23.1

      Rosie, i find the negative attitude to compulsory voting as expressed by many including you a bit perplexing,

      Reverse up just one step in the democratic process and what do you find, Compulsion, you are required by Law to be a registered voter,

      While not entirely opposed on first thought to an option of ”i choose to vote for none of these people or parties, my second thought is ”do we really want to make even more of a mockery of the democratic process and the Parliament than it already in some quarters is”

      i would much more prefer that all ballots were run through a data base to find those who (a) did not vote and (b)those who failed to even register, fine them all a suitable amount along with a community service sentence of attending a series of lectures on why the should vote paid for with the monies from the fines…

      • Rosie 23.1.1

        Horror of horrors. My epic reply to you has been lost……………

        • Rosie 23.1.1.1

          I’ll start again………….

          Thanks for the reply on open mike re self deprecation……….

          It’s compulsory anything I’m opposed to, not just voting. (maybe this arises from my oppressive upbringing and when I hear “you must do as I say”, I put the brakes on, who knows!)

          One of the appealing things about the two “no vote” options is that it is a perfect way of monitoring the disenchanted and targeting them for education, (seeing the importance of their vote to start with) and the parties can learn from their disaffection as well.

          Punishment will not engage the non voters and it won’t create a genuine interest and enthusiasm for the democratic process, it will only make them resentful. It’s that authoritarian BS all over again, and punishment only serves the ones meting it out.

          Half the folks I know are non voters and it pisses me off no end. No amount of reasoning and persuasion will move them (except for one young friend in the Hutt South electorate).

          If the population were compelled to vote, even if that were a No Vote option they ticked, it would be the beginning of participation for them and it would hopefully trigger to the start of their learning, just by being there in the hall with everyone. That’s half the battle, getting them to that point.

          In the meantime the young un’s are doing something about low youth enrolment and voting:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10081413/Rocking-the-youth-vote

          • karol 23.1.1.1.1

            Actually, I think it’s not just about non-voting. It’s a wider issue than that. I have talked to some people who are just not interested in following politics – they can’t understand why I do. They seem to be saying there are more interesting things to do.

            • Rosie 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I hear that too karol, from more people than I’d like too. I think, perhaps they just don’t understand that they ARE “politics” because they are members of society and the part they play, ie, voting is hugely important.

              I can understand that many people wouldn’t be interested in following politics, but they don’t need to follow it day to day and it doesn’t need to be at the top of their agenda – and I think some people get scared by the idea of “politics” in case they are expected to enter into a complicated theoretical argument at any random point in time.

              I wonder if there is an element of apprehension as well as indifference around voting.

          • Mike S 23.1.1.1.2

            “One of the appealing things about the two “no vote” options is that it is a perfect way of monitoring the disenchanted and targeting them for education”

            Can you not read your post again and see how the sentence above might turn people away or even scare them off.??

            Here’s a clue… The words “monitoring”, “targeting” and “education”.

            • Rosie 23.1.1.1.2.1

              Mike, it wouldn’t be the non voting individuals being targeted as such, it’s not some totalitarian democracy boot camp I’m talking about.

              Say for example, if we were to go ahead with such a voting system we would look at patterns. Are there areas that have a lower party vote rate than others, are the non vote rates changing from election to election? That is monitoring.

              You might look at how to address the issue of non voting. Eg, those area’s that have really low rates of voting, maybe they could have some form of non compulsory free adult community education around how participating in democracy benefits the individual and the community at large.

              Maybe Civics could be taught at schools and subsequent elections would look at if that form of education increased voting rates.

              I don’t see anything sinister in the words monitoring, targeting and education.

              You may not think our low voter turn out rate is a worry. I do and we need to at least look at ways to improve it. Doing nothing isn’t going to help.

      • Mike S 23.1.2

        And how would this database of yours identify these people who didn’t register? As per a previous post, under law, you can’t force someone to sign anything they don’t wish to sign, so if someone choses not to sign the enrolment form thereby not enroling themselves, there’s not alot you can do. Hence the probably small, (if any) number of people who have received fines for not enrolling to vote.

        That aside, you want to force people to vote for a party or candidate who’s policies and ideology they disagree with? If that’s your mindset then why have any votes at all, why not just have a dictatorship.

        The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of people who have not benefitted or been catered for or listened to in the last 30 years regardless of which party or parties are in power and regardless of which type of electoral system is in place. These people don’t vote because they are fully aware that their vote makes no difference to their circumstances whatsoever. Fining them for not voting will simply make them worse off and more anti system.

    • Pascal's bookie 23.2

      “What an excellent way to monitor public dissatisfaction or lack of basic political knowledge.”

      We already know there are loads of people who don’t vote via turnout, this teaches us nothing, unless we dig into it and check to see ‘who’ cast a ‘nonvote’, which would be abhorrent.

      A vote in an election is not an opinion poll where they ask your reckon on stuff and they see what we collectively think and agree to go along with it, it is an act of right.

      If people don;t know what they want, or don’t care for the options, then not voting is legit, as is standing themslves.

      There is something icky about no confidence, it signals that voters are passive to the options. ‘This or nothing’, just a further subtle entrenchment of the political class.

  24. jj 24

    ‘If voting changed anything they wouldn’t let us do it’ – Some one

    The state serves the economy/capital, not the other way around – doesn’t make a blind bit of difference which class enemy is steering the boat (titanic?).

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    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
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • 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
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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