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Conscience votes

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, August 28th, 2012 - 91 comments
Categories: alcohol, democratic participation, families, Parliament - Tags: ,

Two high-profile conscience votes are coming up in Parliament over the next two days, the marriage equality (gay marriage) bill, and a proposal to split the minimum age for buying alcohol (raise it to 20 for supermarkets and bottle stores, but leave it at 18 for pubs). It will be interesting to see the breakdown of who votes which way on the issues.

Stuff is reporting some of the responses from the public on marriage equality:

Emails already sent to MPs cite a “destructive homosexual political cult”, the “gay mafia” and even suggest the bill is “about legalised child abuse”. “You do not know that there [is a] silent majority who do not support gay marriage. Human rights do not equal marriage rights,” one email says.

Others in support of the bill cite equal opportunities regardless of sexuality. “The vast majority of Kiwis . . . know it’s time for full equality for gay and lesbian Kiwis and they want to finally see their friends enjoy the same rights as them,” a supporter says.

Green MP Kevin Hague said few of those writing to MPs against gay marriage were presenting “strong arguments or arguments that you wouldn’t expect”. Some amounted to “an expression of a view with a bit of menace attached”, he said.

The level of malice is disturbing not only in and of itself, but also as an indication of what it is that drives and motivates many of us to get involved. Not poverty. Not climate change. Not any one of the dozens of important social and political questions of our times. Rather it is the urge to interfere in other people’s bedrooms. Fear and anger. Let’s hope that our elected representatives are capable of rising above it.

91 comments on “Conscience votes”

  1. Carol 1

    The level of malice is disturbing not only in and of itself, but also as an indication of what it is that drives and motivates many of us to get involved. Not poverty. Not climate change. Not any one of the dozens of important social and political questions of our times. Rather it is the urge to interfere in other people’s bedrooms. Fear and anger.

    Actually, some people do get motivated to anger by poverty, but not in the way many of us would wish: it seems some people also get motivated by bennie-bashing.

    So the common theme is that significant numbers of people get motivated by scape-goating, and victimising the poor, the relatively powerless and the already-marginalised.

    It’s quite depressing to contemplate this level of nastiness: not wanting to hold out a hand to those in need or to be willing to empathise with our common humanity…… but kicking those that are already down or demonising those that are in some way different to themselves.

  2. Carol 2

    The youth wings of left and right wing parties are supporting the gay marriage bill. This includes Young Nats, ACT on Campus, Young Labour, Young Greens and Mana Rangatahi.

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_12174.php

    The five youth wings, representing youth members of parties comprising 110 of the 121 MPs in Parliament, believe their combined show of support reflects the overwhelming support for marriage equality amongst younger New Zealanders, which was 76 per cent in a Colmar Brunton May 2012 poll.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Pity the “ACT MP for Epsom” doesn’t believe in his party’s traditional standing on these sorts of issues. It’s almost like he’s not really an ACT MP at all.

    • Dr Terry 2.2

      To my bitter and embarrassed regret, it appears that many of the malicious and hateful messages are coming from people who presume to call themselves Christians. As a pastor, I do not associate myself with them in any way.

  3. BernyD 3

    It’s about time the whole “Marriage” contract was ripped up and re written.
    It’s allowed the “Legalised” Rape and Abuse of Women and Children since it started.

    NZ and many other countries have had to build Laws that allow prosecution of Men who think it gives them the right to rape their wife every night.

    If you removed the Bullshit of “Conjugal” rights from it, then there would be nothing they could deny to Gay and Lesbian celebrants and they could “Legally” marry without any legal obstruction being used to stop them.

    The Fact is men want to marry so they can force themselves on someone else regardless of the other parties wishes in the matter.

    It’s our bodies, we have the Ultimate right to say yes or no to whoever we want.

    • vto 3.1

      Was mindlessly reading through your ramble there BernyD, starting to think hmmmm this one’s on a bit of a one-eyed wagon and then this line pops up … “The Fact is men want to marry so they can force themselves on someone else regardless of the other parties wishes in the matter.” … You’re a fucking idiot.

      • BernyD 3.1.1

        It’s not marriage until it’s consumated is a Barabaric practice in 2012
        I’m a man that’s watched women tortured by this contract for 30years plus.

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          Well you need to pen your thoughts better and not say such stupid things.

          • BernyD 3.1.1.1.1

            I said it that way for a reason.

            All the Men and Women who don’t see it that way would be happy to drop “Conjugal” rights as it’s not the reason they married.

            The rest of the Vehement opposers …..

            • vto 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you’re living on another planet.

              And you do realise of course that women are well aware of conjugal rights, just like men as you point out, and expect to be so taken advantage of. So wtf the problem? Caveat emptor and all that. If they don’t like conjugal rights then don’t get married. Dipshits.

              • weka

                “and expect to be so taken advantage of.”
                 
                Excuse me? 
                 
                You do realise that Berny is talking about women being coerced into sex.
                 
                You do realise that there are people still living for whom getting married was an economic and/or social necessity.
                 
                Beyond that, I’m not sure how many women are aware that they need to service their husbands at his will upon marriage. I would say that most women don’t consider that an absolute duty.
                 
                 
                Berny, I think you overstated the case. Judicious use of the word ‘some’ might have allowed us to focus on the actual issue.
                 
                I agree with you that concepts of conjugal rights are bizarre, but I can’t find anything about that in the NZ Marriage Act. Can you point it out?
                 
                http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1955/0092/latest/DLM292028.html

                • Carol

                  Ah, consummation used to be a necessity, but apparently no longer is:

                  http://www.netlaw.co.nz/family.cfm?PageID=63

                  Netlaw replies: Non consummation is no longer a ground for dissolution but, under section 31 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980, a Family Court can declared void a marriage if there was an absence of true consent at the time of the marriage.

                • vto

                  weka, I am clearly trying to communicate with berny d in a form he is familiar with i.e. gross and unrealistic over-exagerration designed to raise the antagonism levels. My statement is obviously as ridiculous as his own.

                  Seriously though, if you don’t believe that it is a woman’s duty to so service or be subjucated then you should take it up with bernyd, as I did – he was the one suggesting it.

                  Anyways, this is such s stupid side thread, with an attachment to reality about the size of spiders webbing.

                  • weka

                    Ok, vto, sometimes those attempts at sarcasm/satire etc go over my head.
                     
                    I do think Berny was being unnecessarily offensive, but I don’t accept that he has no point at all. I have no trouble believing that some women in some marriages are coerced into sex. I’ve seen it to a lesser degree amongst my own friends where women have needed to have a break from sex for a while for various reasons and their husbands have not handled that at all well. Not that that is restricted to marriage.
                     
                    Despite our self image, NZ is not particularly enlightened about sex and equality.

                • BernyD

                  Fair enough, I was refering to these terms as our politicians were going on about a “Marriage” being between a man and a woman.

                  After a quick scan through the Marriage act(s) (Thanks for the link by the way), I can’t see any reference to “Between a Man and a Woman.”

                  So I wonder why they are saying it’s illegal for Man/Man or Woman/Woman.

                  And I recall some 20 years ago when women were powerless to prosecute their Husbands for rape, and new laws being instigated which allowed them to say “No” in no uncertian terms.

                  I guess the reall problem is peoples perceptions of what Marriage is, and they undertake a marriage with certian expectations which are based more on culture than truth, and the reality only becomes apparent after the fact.

                  • McFlock

                    The bill explains the problem. Although the Marriage Act does mention gender, practise has been to refuse marriage licences to same-sex couples. When it was initially tried, the courts found marriage was customarily defined as man+woman. So parliament need to provide a bit more guidance on the issue.

                    • BernyD

                      So “Marriage” was defined by common conception.
                      Which leads to all sorts of problems, the courts can only do so much.
                      If someone thinks they are acting within the Law it validates behaviour.

                    • McFlock

                      The courts thought that was the common definition at the time. But the precedent stands to this day. Hence the explicit change. Like when parliament explicitly went from saying a husband could legally rape his wife to explicitly stating that rape, even of a spouse, is illegal. Quite some time ago.
                           
                      How does marriage need changing again, in your opinion? 

                    • BernyD

                      It needs to be defined in such a way that people understand where they stand.
                      From young children through to adults.

                      I’m not saying remove peoples rights or choices, just make sure people understand what it does not grant them.

                      A lot of Domestic violence occurs because of these misunderstandings.

                      Many of them are created by Churches, and they are not legal.

                      But prosecuting someone who doesn’t believe they are in the wrong, is not as easy as people seem to think.
                      Let alone expressing remorse or trying to find a fitting punishment.

                      It sounds silly in this day and age, but if someone truly believes they are acting within the Law then they will act on it, what is a valid punishment for that someone ?, they were acting in good faith on an implied contract that had no real qualification.

                      The Equal rights for Gay and Lesbians were already allowed for in the Marriage Act, yet Church based interpretation made it impossible for them to actually marry.

                      The act should define what marriage actually is in a Civilised sense, all the personal choices and options are the participants to decide.

                      A Churchs’ ideology has no place in our Law system, until this is fixed there will always be people trying to abuse the whole concept of “Marriage” for their own advantage.

                    • McFlock

                      Church definitions of marriage have nothing to do with the current definition, other than that a lot of people were religious at the time the definition was fixed in the courts.
                           
                      We are talking about the secular registrar granting a marriage licence – what churches do in the privacy of their own congregation is nothing to do with me. The marriage act, in 1955, was framed around man+woman, e.g. the list of people a man is forbidden to marry involves close female relatives, and the list of people a woman is not permitted to marry involves close male relatives, but not vice versa.
                             
                      As for domestic abuse being the result of a misunderstanding of marriage entitlements, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Their behaviour is not “validated”.
                         
                      But then I notice you didn’t actually supply an alternative definition of your own.  

                    • BernyD

                      Like I said it’s hard to tell them what it is, we should be telling them what it isn’t

                      Without an actual definition (Which I’m not qualified to make), people have no ground to stand on, they just have to accept the common perceptions.

                      The Law enforcers are faced with the same delema.

                      And whilst their actions may be illegal and end up in court, it is after the fact, which doesn’t help women or partners in an abusive relationship.

                      If everyone knew where they stood from day one, they would have a lot more personal power to apply to themselves and their current situation.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not sure whether an information pamphlet that says “you’re not allowed to beat or rape your wife” will have too much of an effect on someone who believes it’s okay to beat or rape their spouse.
                                 
                      This reminds me of the old employment law “but what does ‘good faith’ actually mean?” argument. Anyone who really needs to work off a definition is a dick, and (being a dick) will work to find loopholes in the definition and still not really get that they’re doing something wrong.
                               
                      And getting spouses to realise that they can get out of the situation could always do with more resources, but again often takes more than a definition. 

                    • BernyD

                      True, but these things are not Legislated in NZ, it’s currently a case of “Go and ask the Church”.

                      Which means the actual Law or Contract is based on Hearsay.

                      This isn’t “Ground to stand on” in a civilised world.

                      For evryones sake “Marriage” needs to be defined.

                      If we want our Kids to have a “Future” they need ground like this.

                      It’s a fundamental for everyone.

                      If we leave it up to the individual, then some fundamentalist could “Write” their own law, and enforce it within the family unit. Not legal, but still happening everyday.

                    • McFlock

                      No.

                      The trouble is that the marriage act was obviously designed around man+woman, even if not explicitly defined as such.      
                      Definitions are reached based on what is commonly understood at the time and what, as much as the courts can divine, parliament intended.  
                               
                      This is not the result of consulting churches.
                      This is not “hearsay”.
                      It is judicial interpretation.
                               
                      I don’t see what the problem is. If a religious couple wants to apply their own religious interpretation of “marriage” to the secular paperwork of the same name, then as long as they act within the law (assault, rape, drugs, etc all off the table), that’s none of my business. 

            • Carol 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Are conjugal elements not required to ensure the birth of children and a lineage to pass on property inheritance? And traditionally it has been tied to a patriarchal lineage.

              • weka

                Also traditionally the taking of the woman’s virginity, which establishes her as the property of her husband and no other man, and makes sure any children are his. That’s why the marriage has to be consummated soon after it takes place – proof of virginity ensuring the first born is the husband’s.

    • Carol 3.2

      I’m no fan of the traditional institution of marriage, but the reality is that it’s not going to die any time soon. It’s too embedded in our wider institutions and laws.

      As well as incorporating some dubious patriarchal values, I think traditionally marriage has a lot to do with socio-economic arrangements – ownership of property, role of children in inheritance etc.

      • vto 3.2.1

        You’re right Carol, it has a huge amount to do with the structure of society. It is clearly one of the base foundation blocks. This should be no surprise.

        So here’s a question – if you think society has done pretty well over the last few hundred periods of time then how much of that success can be put down to the particular base foundation stone of marriage?

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          Marriage as we know it now is not universal and not that common in the history of humans. I wouldn’t call it successful. Like Carol said, formalised marriage, sanctioned by the state, is about control of property and progeny.

        • Tracey 3.2.1.2

          vto – or in spite of it in the case of some women and children. Im not dissing “marriage” for those who want it but nor am I prepared to consider it is somehow a beacon for society “success”.

          • vto 3.2.1.2.1

            I don’t disagree that for some the institution has been less than favourable. The long term average is the consideration though, rather than the extremities at each end. But whatever the case there is no doubt that marriage is a beacon for society and its outcomes. Marriage has shaped our society as much as any other structure or institution, if not more. As such it has been one of the main influences on the shape and success of our society, or one of the base foundation stones. Whether it is considered a success or not is immaterial to the influence marriage has had.

            I am not saying it is good or bad, I saying it is one of the main influences. If you consider society relatively successful then marriage has contributed substantially to that, and if you consider society relatively unsuccessfully then marriage has contributed substantially to that.

            • weka 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Here’s another way to think about it. What happens to marriage when you give women economic emancipation?

              • vto

                Well that is quite unrelated to the point I was making.

                But nonetheless I imagine if that happenned then there would be far fewer marriages. Perhaps. I think that society would look rather different. Neither of the sexes would need each other except for procreation. Perhaps procreation emancipation would be an even greater change. But I don’t know – that would appear to be so far from the eons of history that our genes would react against it.

                You don’t seem to have much time for marriage as an institution that contributes to society, which would probably be contrary to the majority view.

                • McFlock

                  Um – surely it would be a marriage between economic equals (well, roughly). Like if same-gender people were to get married.
                         
                   

                • Colonial Viper

                  “economic emancipation”

                  Looking at it in a different way, the large scale entry of women into the workforce was largely forced by wage declines which meant that households needed a second income. Perversely, the entry of a large amount of new labour into the work force depressed wages even further making it worse (overall) for all, both men and women alike. And once you netted out the costs of being in a job eg childcare, transport, clothing, takeaways on the run, the boost to the household from a second income became minimal while life became more stressful.

                  Latest US research suggests that 2 income households are now worse off than 1 income households were 30 years ago.

                  And with both people in a household working, both family life and spousal relationships came under tremendous additional strain.

                  What we need is for households to be economically sustainable on one decent income, whether that is earned by a man or woman.

                  • vto

                    Oh but for that.

                    Perhaps a big brain from the right or from business could explain why that previous position has been lost and how it could be recovered?

                    Problem seems to be that there are no big brains from the right or from business who front on these questions. Perhaps it is worth re-visiting my suggestion of a blog bout with two or three combatants from each side arguing out these propositions. They could each tag-team it. No intruders allowed – only the combatants. There could be Hooton and Farrar from the right, and r0b and McCarten from the left (or some such).

                    There is no decent forum where these important matters can be genuinely and credibly exchanged.

                • weka

                  vto, it already happened, in the 70s with the introduction of the DPB. Once women had access to an income of their own, it was far easier to leave a marriage. And they have. I would guess that many men feel easier about leaving a marriage now too with the knowledge that they’re not leaving someone completely destitute (that’s me being generous, mostly women still end up significantly poorer when a marriage fails).

                  My point being that state sanctioned marriage has been about control of women, children and property rights, and when you take that control away there is less incentive to stay in that particular arrangement. Humans by and large seem much better off in extended family systems with more fluid concepts of partnership. Placing the responsibility for raising children with a wider net of family than with two people who often outgrow their initial attraction and desire to be with each other seems sensible.

                  So really, what is marriage for now? If we now give state sanction, protection and benefits to all couples who stay together a certain amount of time, what is the point of the state being involved in ‘marriage’ at all?

                  And why do those protections and benefits apply only to heteronormative relationships? Doesn’t this actively discourage other forms of family and thus make children more vulnerable?

    • Jaybob 3.3

      “The Fact is men want to marry so they can force themselves on someone else regardless of the other parties wishes in the matter.”

      That is definitely NOT a fact.

      ps Do the capitalised words indicate flecks of spittle?

    • Jackal 3.4

      Most men don’t marry so they can “legally rape their partners”. That’s clearly a statement only a misandrist could make.

      • BernyD 3.4.1

        So why not drop conjugal rights altogether then ?

        • McFlock 3.4.1.1

          sorry? What “conjugal rights”, just to be absolutely clear?

          • BernyD 3.4.1.1.1

            Consumation, ie not valid until sex

            • McFlock 3.4.1.1.1.1

              Can’t find it in the Marriage Act.
              Got a source for your claim that a marriage isn’t “valid” until the spouses have sex? 

              • Carol

                As I understand it, an un-consumated marriage can be reasons for voiding a marriage.

                • McFlock

                  I think the Catholic Church requires the marriage to be unconsummated to get an annulment, but civil law is simply “irreconcilable differences“.
                     
                  Basically, I think BernyD is quite anxious for a change that actually happened quite some time ago. 

            • Carol 3.4.1.1.1.2

              Consummation is required for birthing children and ensuring someone to bequeath property to.

              But the links between these have changed quite a bit in recent years with artificial insemination etc.

              • weka

                I would have thought they changed many decades ago. Many people get married with no intention of having children.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      The Fact is men want to marry so they can force themselves on someone else regardless of the other parties wishes in the matter.

      Spousal Rape has been illegal in NZ for quite some time – I believe from the mid 1970s in fact.

  4. MJC 4

    These issues are distractions from the real issues facing working class new Zealanders.
    I suggest reading “Deer Hunting with Jesus” by Joe Bagent. This book explains why working class voters in the US have been voting for right wing parties– because the left wing parties have been hijacked by middleclass liberal social issues like gay marriage. This is happening in NZ too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Deer-Hunting-Jesus-Dispatches-Americas/dp/030733936X

    • Carol 4.1

      MJC, we can focus on more than one issue at once. And the US situation is not always immediately transferable to NZ. It looks like the marriage equality bill will pass with most young people well behind it…. and the left can continue to focus on crucial issues asset sales, poverty etc.

      It’s not an either/or situation.

    • weka 4.2

      So the left should be made of parties that support prejudiced working class white men?
       
      The US and NZ are such different sets of cultures that I don’t think a useful comparison can be made. 
       
      “This is happening in NZ too.”
       
      How come everyone round here is complaining about Labour moving to the right then?
       

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        weka, no the left should be made up of “right”-thinking people, like ACT and National. ;)

    • Tracey 4.3

      the sky didnt fall when civil unions were permitted (despite such dire predictions from many, including the faith-based) and it won’t when marriage is introduced to all. It’s not gay folks making this a bigger deal than it need be it’s faith-based folk and bigots.

    • gobsmacked 4.4

      Using the “distraction” argument is now itself a distraction.

      The bill was put in the ballot. Can’t be undone. The bill was drawn from the ballot. Can’t be undone.

      Unless you have a time machine, what exactly are you suggesting should be done to prevent the “distraction”? Do you want to make it go away? OK – how about … pass it quickly, with broad support? One injustice addressed, time for the next one.

      So this “distraction” argument clearly fails. Unless “distraction” is code for something else.

    • fatty 4.5

      “These issues are distractions from the real issues facing working class new Zealanders.”

      Typical statement from someone who is not being subjugated….as others have said, there can be more than one issue to focus on. There are many kinds of oppression/exclusion. To focus on one does not mean the others are forgotten, or less worthy. We have gender, ethnic, economic, generational, and sexuality inequality (plus many more). These should all be focused on, not just one.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    “But the level of malice expressed by some of those opposed to marriage equality is disturbing.”

    Compared to what, the level of malice of some of those supporting the Bill?

  6. ak 6

    It’s all over bar the warm glow of satisfaction at Progression’s inexorable march. The Greasy Geek wouldn’t have come out in favour without cast-iron polling confirmation of public opinion.

    The last vestiges of Victoriana and the victims of Catholic barbarism will squeal a bit, but most kiwis are no longer fixated on sex. Life beyond the groin is poised to blossom in all but the fatally afflicted.

    And coming soon, the final stake in ACT and racist hatemongering as Craig scoops up the dregs.

    Happy days.

  7. If we can tear ourselves away from the polarity of gay marriage for a second, is there a discussion here about the value of consciences votes? I’m not sure where I stand on the issue, but they do strike me as very undemocratic. I only ask, because I’m interested in the way politics and morality intersect. Take the US for example (a preoccupation of mine), there they are inextricably intertwined. We separate them with a democratic deficit. Is there a middle ground?

    As I say, I’m not taking a side on this, just interested in people’s views.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Personally, I think every vote should be along the lines of a conscience vote – each mp has to state their position. 
      Maybe the list MPs can to the party-based block/proxy voting, but electorates should be able to see exactly where and why their mp voted X.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      I’m not sure where I stand on the issue, but they do strike me as very undemocratic.

      Translation: I’m not taking sides but this is the side I’m on.
      Almost sounds like Pete G.

      Initially, when representative democracy was first formulated, each MP was envisioned as an independent representative of their electorate and thus only required to vote in accordance with their conscience. With the advent of parties this changed and MPs started voting in line with their party rather than in accordance with their conscience because they were assumed to have been voted for on the parties policies. So this brings us to a members bill where the party doesn’t have a specific political position for a policy. In such a case the vote is left to the MPs conscience as a representative of their electorate.

      For The Greens this isn’t a conscience vote as the party does have a position in favour of marriage equality.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Adolf Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all had a conscience. Big deal!

    Why should any of us give a damn about the consciences of Paula Bennett, Judith Collins, Key, Brownlee, Shearer, Cunliffe, or anyone in Parliament?

    Let the people decide in referendums. If I feel strongly on an issue, I can try to convince my neighbors of my view. If I fail, so be it. Maybe in time the majority will agree with me. Or maybe in time I will come to share their views.

    Do politicians have a conscience? Yes, but they aren’t worth shit because they also think they are entitled to dictate to us. Autocracy is immoral. We should decide. NOT them.

    • fatty 8.1

      I don’t like referendums.
      Sadly, I think the bigots would win a referendum on this issue, despite the majority being in favour of marriage equality.

      • AmaKiwi 8.1.1

        You have more confidence in politicians than you do in your fellow citizens?

        Referendums are not about YOU winning. They are about WHO decides.

        In politics we win some and we lose some.

        I would like to know the decision was NOT made by graft, corruption, and bullies.

        I would like to know when John Key, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee, Paula Bennett, and Judith Collins attempt to impose an unpopular law on us, the PEOPLE can veto it in a citizens initiated referendum.

        • fatty 8.1.1.1

          “You have more confidence in politicians than you do in your fellow citizens?”

          Generally yes, for example the anti-smacking legislation. The referendum was against the change, but the politicians were for it. I think the politicians made the correct call because they had better information and were not swayed by misinformation.
          Don’t get me wrong, politicians are dick-heads, and most of them are selfish idiots that should not be trusted, but I hate on the stupid citizens that vote them in. So, I kinda do have more confidence in politicians than I do in our fellow citizens.

          “Referendums are not about YOU winning. They are about WHO decides.”

          Of course its not about me ‘winning’, that’s illogical. How would I lose on every referendum?
          My issue is with how referendums are done, the wording can change the whole process, and those who vote on them are limited. If it was compulsory for everyone to vote, and everyone had access to a balanced argument from both sides, then a referendum would be better.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        I don’t like referendums.

        And I’m in favour of them. We decide what to do, the politicians and the ministries enact it as our administrators. I think we’d get better policies than we do now because the politicians cater to the capitalists rather than the people.

        Sadly, I think the bigots would win a referendum on this issue, despite the majority being in favour of marriage equality.

        Nope, if this issue was left to a referendum the bigots would lose.

        • TheContrarian 8.1.2.1

          Yah, but the risk you take with a referendum is having to accept you might lose. And that case you just have to suck it up.

        • AmaKiwi 8.1.2.2

          We have been taught to distrust ordinary people. Every day I trust my fellow citizens to not kill me on the road, to not adulterate my food, to care for me when I am ill, etc., etc. I trust them to keep my confidential information private, and they do. But Paula Bennett won’t!

          Why are so many of us afraid to trust our neighbors to make an intelligent political decision when we place our lives in their hands every day and they do not fail us?

          Referendums mean we won’t get extreme legislation.

          It takes a lot of work to write and pass a bill. No MP is going to write a bill they think might be overturned in a referendum.

          • vto 8.1.2.2.1

            Exatly right annakiwi.

            I often hear the smug call, when discussing referendums, “oooooh no, I don’t think those yucky people down the mall could be trusted to make such an important decision” while at the exact same moment, in reverse, be confident as all hell that their own decision in such important matters is one to be trusted.

            It is ignorant arrogance and I see it in the posts up and down around here.

            The exact parallel is the one whereby everyone considers themselves to be an above average driver. ha ha – fools.

            • fatty 8.1.2.2.1.1

              “The exact parallel is the one whereby everyone considers themselves to be an above average driver. ha ha – fools.”

              Not really, voting and political opinions are often shaped by the media, misinformation and a lack of understanding as to how policies will play out. In contrast, the ability to drive is dependant on a number of issues, none of which relate to political opinion.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Not really, voting and political opinions are often shaped by the media, misinformation and a lack of understanding as to how policies will play out.

                Well, the MSM and the misinformation that they publish can be addressed with suitable laws and regulations. Lack of understanding can be partially addressed by making the correct information available.

              • vto

                silly fatty. these decisions concern things that happen every day in every life. nothing more nothing less. it sounds like you consider your driving to be above average but i bet it isn’t.

                • fatty

                  “it sounds like you consider your driving to be above average but i bet it isn’t.”

                  Sorry, I’m a cyclist, don’t drive much these days, but I do have an opinion on drivers. Almost every time my life is endangered by motor-monkeys it is usually an old/middle aged white male who doesn’t have the courtesy to use an indicator, or turn his lazy fat head 90 degrees. I have never had an issue with boyracers, even though I live in Chch and often cycle late at night on weekends…so I get your point about shitty drivers are usually the most vocal about other people being bad drivers.

                  But I just don’t get how this is like political opinions…I also cannot understand why you would go on a political blog and accuse people of being arrogant because they believe they have superior political knowledge (why else would we be here?). Everyone on TS that posts their opinion has a superior knowledge of politics compared with the average person. And almost all are “confident as all hell that their own decision in such important matters is one to be trusted”…there is nothing wrong with that.

                  If I went on a computer blog and announced that everyone on here possesses an “ignorant arrogance” because they talk about their interests and opinions as if they know more than the average person…what would happen? They would tell me the average person doesn’t know shit about computers, they would tell me that they know a lot because computers are their interest, and then they would tell me I was a pompous dick…and they’d be right.

        • fatty 8.1.2.3

          “Nope, if this issue was left to a referendum the bigots would lose”

          I’m not so sure, I think almost all of those that are against marriage equality will vote against it in a referendum, whereas only some of those for marriage equality will vote for it. That’s why I don’t like referendums.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.3.1

            So, no actual reason then, just a feeling.

            I’m reasonably certain that the bigots would vote against marriage equality and that everyone else, which makes up about 80% of the population, would vote for it. My reasoning for this is that a) research shows that most people aren’t bigots and b) the polls give such indication.

            • fatty 8.1.2.3.1.1

              No, its a feeling, based on reasons…

              I’ve never knew it was 80/20?…All I’ve heard is 63% in favour: http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/Media%20Releases/RNZ%20Media%20Release%20-%202011-07-12%20Same%20sex%20marriages.pdf

              “My reasoning for this is that a) research shows that most people aren’t bigots and b) the polls give such indication.”

              I agree with both those points, but questions remain regarding who will turn up to vote in the referendum. ResearchNZ shows that much of the support comes from 18-34 age group…we only need to go back a few months to note how politically apathetic this group is.
              If we look at what happened in Slovenia, more people wanted equal gay rights, but a referendum was forced by the bigot minority, who all turned up for the vote. Many of those (mostly younger) people who were for equality, were not ‘for it enough’ to get out and vote. So in Slovenia, they had opinion polls supporting equality, but when it came time to tick a box, many couldn’t be bothered. And from what I’ve seen, their younger people are far more politically engaged than ours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenian_same-sex_union_referendum,_2012#Opinion_polls

              So I agree that your A & B points are true, I just don’t believe it will carry on over into a referendum, With Family First, the conservatives and many churches bringing massive amounts of funding, it would be a close. Its hard to motivate people to vote on an issue which generally doesn’t affect them – it affects the bigots

              • Draco T Bastard

                I just don’t believe it will carry on over into a referendum,

                Well then, we have to work on getting our people engaged rather than just saying that it’s too hard.

    • QoT 8.2

      Switzerland. Women’s right to vote. 1971.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Nobody said it was perfect. Personally, I suspect that they went about it the wrong way but that does seem to be how affirming basic human rights have gone in pretty much every country. Meanwhile:

        In a nationwide referendum on June 5, 2005, the Swiss people approved by 58% a registered partnership law, granting same-sex couples the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples, except:

        It does seem that they weren’t that far behind us in same sex unions. Considering the numbers I’d say that was a result of that Universal Suffrage that you mentioned.

        • QoT 8.2.1.1

          Nobody said it was perfect.

          Well, no, Draco, but AmaKiwi did say Let the people decide in referendums. This is obviously not actually a guarantee of just or equitable outcomes when the people whose rights are being decided on are either a minority or, in the case of 1971, don’t get to vote at all.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.1

            No, there’s no guarantees but, as I said, on human rights I believe it’s a question of how you ask. If you ask a dominant group if others should have the same rights as them then they will say no (especially if that dominant group is a minority) but if you format and phrase the question correctly then they will have no option but to say yes because saying no would remove their own legitimacy. i.e:

            Looking for universal human rights we would like you to answer these questions:
            Should you be able to vote?
            Should you be able to marry?
            .
            .
            .

            Throw in some counter balancing questions and I’m pretty sure that you’d find out basic human rights quick smart.

            • QoT 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Sure. If we remove all the problems with holding referenda on basic human rights, then they’re totally unproblematic!

              All I’m responding to is the notion that sitting back and saying ~let the people decide~ is an unproblematic statement that we can all aspire to.

  9. Richard Down South 9

    More proof the act of Marriage should have nothing to do with any religion, when it comes to the State. The Catholic church doesnt get upset if someone is married in a Hindu wedding, or a non church wedding (at the beach/in a park), so they and other churches should keep their noses out of this.

    “Thou shalt not judge” & the concept of free will, etc, surely

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    “churches should keep their noses out of this”

    But it’s OK for corporations to meddle in every parliamentary decision?

    • Richard Down South 10.1

      They should keep their noses out too…

      • AmaKiwi 10.1.1

        +1

        We will not get control of our country until we can limit election bribes (a.k.a. campaign donations) and Beehive bribes (a.k.a. lobbyists).

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    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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