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Constitutional arrogance

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, May 18th, 2013 - 85 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, national, Parliament - Tags: , ,

The invaluable Andrew Geddis has yet another good post on Pundit:

I think National just broke our constitution

In the wake of the budget, the Government is pushing through a whole bunch of bills in one great rush of non-stop, orgiastic lawmaking. Most of these measures are to do with the budget. But at least one isn’t [...] a bill intended to sort out the problem of paying family members of severely disabled people to look after them.

… it’s a policy with a lot of gaps in it (caring for your kids or your spouse still is unpaid labour), and even those family members whom it covers don’t get the same pay rate as strangers coming in to care for their loved ones. Which has made some of the family caregivers in question a bit angry.

… the Government cannot make policies as to who will/won’t get paid that breach the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (unless specifically authorised by Parliament to do so). After all, the courts backed this argument last time, so you’d think the family carers would have a better-than-even chance of winning this time around.

Now, this is where things start getting a bit weird. I assume the above is roughly the advice that was given to the Minister as the Bill was being put together. I say “assume” because all the relevant discussion of legal risks produced by the legislation has been redacted from the publicly available information about it. You can see this for yourself in the Regulatory Impact Statement that must be provided to the House when the Bill is introduced (there’s a more arresting visual of it here). So not only can’t I say for sure what risk there may have been that the legislation would have had the effect of dumping the Government back in court, neither can the MPs who are being asked to debate it and vote on whether it should be law.

Pause and think about that fact for a moment.

Because, things are about to get even weirder. What’s a good way, you might ask, to create a policy on paying family caregivers without running the risk of it being overturned? And the answer I assume you’d give is “make sure that the policy isn’t unlawfully discriminatory, so there is no reason for this to happen.” If so, you are an idiot. Because there’s a far, far better way to respond.

You simply tell the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the courts that they are not allowed to look at the policy and decide whether or not it is unlawfully discriminatory. That’s just what the Government is seeking to get Parliament to do under section 70E(2):

[When this law kicks in], no complaint based in whole or in part on a specified allegation [that the policy unlawfully discriminates] may be made to the Human Rights Commission, and no proceedings based in whole or in part on a specified allegation [that the policy unlawfully discriminates] may be commenced or continued in any court or tribunal.

You might need a moment to let the implications of this sink in. By passing this law, Parliament is telling the judicial branch that it is not allowed to look at a Government policy (not, note, an Act of Parliament) in order to decide whether it is in breach of another piece of legislation enacted by Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). In other words, the judiciary’s primary function – to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases – has been nullified. Furthermore, the judiciary’s role as protector of individual citizens in terms of ensuring that they are being treated in accordance with the laws of the land has been removed. While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution.

… what Tony Ryall’s doing here is, as far as I know, unprecedented (at least in recent constitutional history).

The quotes above are the short form of a much fuller and better referenced argument, go and read the full post for more.

So let’s take a count of National’s outbreaks of constitutional arrogance here:

• An unprecedented sidelining of the judiciary as described above.
• An unprecedented attempt to tie the hands of Parliament for the next 35 years on behalf of Sky City.
• An unprecedented canceling of democratic elections and the ousting of democratically elected representatives in Canterbury.
• Granting itself unprecedented and unnecessary powers in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes.
• An unprecedented level of abuse of urgency and Parliamentary process.
• And many other lesser examples.

These are the actions of politicians who are drunk on power, and not being held to account for it. It will continue for as long as we let it.

Update: See also an excellent followup post by Claire Browning at Pundit.

85 comments on “Constitutional arrogance”

  1. karol 1

    Unbelievable. When are we going to see the Politburo Bill Boards, and whole pages of the NZ Herald devoted to this outrageously anti-democratic government?

    And what’s truly awful is that it’s being use to further disadvantage disabled people.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      and whole pages of the NZ Herald devoted to this outrageously anti-democratic government?

      Nah … all that ink for the two inch high “Democracy Under Attack” headlines is expensive.

  2. ghostrider888 2

    ffs

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Waiting for right wing libertarians to pipe up about legislative and executive over-reach.

    • Murray Olsen 3.1

      I’ll give you their response: Helen Clark signed a painting.

    • James Gray 3.2

      I’m a libertarian, and I frown on legislative and executive over-reach. And while I believe we would have a much higher standard of care in our health system if we moved to a private, insurance funded model, if a publicly funded health system is what we have then I don’t see why it should discriminate against family carers.

      I also like Andrew Geddis’s article. It weighs the issues quite well, acknowledges the need to ration health resources, and largely sticks to the constitutional issues without getting sidelined by emotive rubbish.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        And while I believe we would have a much higher standard of care in our health system if we moved to a private, insurance funded model

        Higher standard of care only for those who can afford it, and only if we want to simultaneously create a money sucking medical insurance and litigation industry.

        It always surprises me why some people still want to replicate the “success” that is USA healthcare today.

  4. Bill 4

    Is it just me, or is this b/s good ammunition to add to any argument advocating for the introduction of a social wage?

    • ghostrider888 4.1

      not if depends on any democratic (or legal) framework and process to establish.

  5. QoT 5

    Seriously, what the fuck.

  6. Rhinocrates 6

    I am constantly reminded of how fragile democracy is, that the fact that those who speak about “freedom” are determined to corrupt it.

    And what will Shearer/Robertson do to reverse it when it’s “their turn”? Sweet fuck all.

    Whenever I see Key Inc do something awful, I think to myself, “Yep, there’s something else Shearer/Robertson won’t reverse for fear of upsetting “the markets”. We’re going to be stuck with it.

    Remember Clark, despite her competence (and I respect her for that) did not reverse Richardson’s attacks on the most vulnerable. Who on Earth would think that Shearer gives a flying fuck at a rolling donut, that Robertson has the backbone (and I realise that that is an insult to all molluscs)?

    I really wish the so-called opposition would articulate a view of socialist democracy, but instead we have cowardly apparatchiks like Robertson, idiots like Shearer, arselickers like Hipkins, Brides of Our Blessed Lord Roger like Goff and King, chicks allowed in the boy’s treehut like Ardern, mindless thugs like Curran, mallards like Mallard (really, he’s created a whole new noun) packing the senior benches of “Labour” while all their real talent, the people who actually get things done, who actually believe in what Labour is supposed to stand for, are relegated to the back benches. Really, my admiration for people like Louisa Wall is enhanced by the knowledge of the ignorance and denigration that they have to endure. Despite all the shit they have to endure, they hang on. Bravo to them, they are the soul of the Labour Party!

    • RedLogix 6.1

      And what will Shearer/Robertson do to reverse it when it’s “their turn”? Sweet fuck all.

      Because these political middle managers report to much more powerful and wealthier owners than us ordinary people.

      The problem of power being captured and concentrated has been witnessed a thousand times. We let the state capture it and we have tyranny; we let the military capture it and we have a junta; we let the church capture it and we have fundamentalist madhouses; and now we have let the corporates and wealthy capture power … and this is called fascism.

      Point is … what do we do about it Rhino?

      The only stable model that makes sense to me is one where the three fundamental elements of society; the individual, the community and the state are brought into a sane and permanent balance.

      • karol 6.1.1

        I like that analysis. But isn’t there also a 4th layer: the extra- state that is beyond the reach of the majority of individuals, communities or states.

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          Yes… these extra-state powers operate on a global scale; their scope and operation lies beyond the reach of the nation state.

          Most of the most pressing problems facing humanity (eg climate change) are global in nature; therefore ultimately we will require some form of global scale governance in response. This is inevitable; we have been in the process of this transition for at least the last 100 years.

          The vital question will be … what form will this governance take and how will it be democratically accountable? How will ordinary people and communities participate in such a thing?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Most of the most pressing problems facing humanity (eg climate change) are global in nature;

            Sorry, globalism to date as well as sidelining sovereign states has been a major causative factor in things like climate change, co-ordinated neoliberalism and the financial crisis. More of the same perspective is not the answer. Building localised capability is critical.

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I wasn’t excluding localised capability from the picture.

              Our existing social model can be seen as a series of increasingly wider horizons, from the individual, families, communities (including local businesses), local and central government.

              This model has roughly evolved over thousands of years until the first round of globalisation which started roughly in the 1840′s and ending in disaster in WW1 for exactly this reason…the complete inability of the sovereign nation states of the age to resolve the tensions implicit in their expanding global empires. In other words, a global problem with no global mechanism to address it.

              I agree with you that if we narrowly define ‘globalism’ as the rise of corporate and neo-liberal financial power then yes it has been the major causative factor. This gives us two choices; one is a Canute like endeavour to dismantle an ‘out of control’ globalism as, or alternatively accepting the need to create a global political mechanism at the requisite scale in order to constrain it.

              • handle

                Or we could be brave like Iceland was.

              • Arfamo

                For this to happen people need to think of themselves as a national community. But most don’t now.

              • Colonial Viper

                the complete inability of the sovereign nation states of the age to resolve the tensions implicit in their expanding global empires. In other words, a global problem with no global mechanism to address it.

                I suppose that was the original aspiration of the League of Nations.

                I’ll also paraphrase Nassim Taleb here re: WWI

                There were many previous instances of “tension” which did not lead to a world war.

                Instead, these ‘implicit tensions’ were often previously successfully resolved at fun parties where leaders and their senior advisors would get together, involving lots of good music, food and champagne.

                In slightly more olden times, a good marriage or two between royal families would also sort tensions out very nicely.

                • RedLogix

                  Sure … but not sure if that’s going to solve climate change, or tame the power of the global banking cartels for instance.

                  Besides a ‘good marriage between royal families’ is essentially just a process of unification on a regional scale. I’m really suggesting nothing more than the same thing on a larger scale.

          • Michael Whybro 6.1.1.1.2

            Really? Is this a Nth Korean Communist site? You guys are so far left you make commies look like Roger Douglas! lol :) Loosen up – if you dont like democratic centrist governments I hear theyre still looking for immigrants in Cuba, Russia, China and Nth Korea. Good luck with that! lol

            • Murray Olsen 6.1.1.1.2.1

              So far left is defined now as thinking there should be limits to government power? You’ve loosened up so much your non functioning brain has fallen out.

              • rosy

                “So far left is defined now as thinking there should be limits to government power?”
                I’d be quite interested to know the definition of ‘democratic-centrist’ according to Mr Whybro, plus a few examples of people he considers ‘democratic-centrists’.

            • xtasy 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Michael Whybro – why bro, I ask, why bro, do you bother to raise nonsensical points, that lack any substance. We are not talking about democratic governance, but the clear abuse of legislative power, bought for by a free cuppa tea at a Newmarket cafe some time ago.

              A job here and there, a ministerial responsibility, the baubles of office, and hey, it works neatly, to rule with the iron fist of full contempt towards the people and their democratic rights.

              Naturally you seem to love it, so I suspect you to be a prime perpetrator or benefactor of the NatACT (“Natzi”) led government. I presume you wear a tie that can serve as useful sling or rope at times to impose some “justice”, same as an ironed suit, to take you into the inner circles of banking and business, one on one with Key and his gangster government.

              Now North Korea does to my knowledge have rigid censorship, but hey, I disappoint you, even though I am highly critical of Labour and David Sheaerer, I can freely raise my voice on this blog and make my arguments and case.

              I tried the “Kiwiblog” outfit of one Farrar, who is member and supporter of National, but he is an obsessive control freak, soon determined to wipe out any dissent amongst his commenters. Is that democracy? It may be “democrazy”, but not the free expression of views one would expect in a true democracy.

              So while you come up with no arguments but slander, go to bed, have a sleep, sober up and come back to face the music a bit later, I suggest in well meaning compassion for another mentally distressed, or misguided person. Take care and rest in deserved peace, that is for the night, of course.

      • Olwyn 6.1.2

        “And what will Shearer/Robertson do to reverse it when it’s “their turn”? Sweet fuck all.

        Because these political middle managers report to much more powerful and wealthier owners than us ordinary people.”

        While there is truth in this, the fact that there are a group of politicians, presently warming the back benches, who do not think that Labour needs to bow to these forces to the degree that they do, suggests that such a roll-over in the face of power is not inevitable. After all, the people now warming the back benches know as much about what is at stake as those calling the shots.

    • ghostrider888 6.2

      still, following the U.S lead on Democratic decay
      -political bias at the IRS; leaning in on The Tea Party
      -spying on A.P journalists
      -cover-up of the raid on Benghazi consulate deliberations.

      meanwhile, back in Bee-cave; WINZ incorrectly e-mail the personal details of 34 beneficiaries about to be “kicked off the benefit” (MSM-speak).

      Nathan Guy (on resolving meat on the docks in China)- “in a wee while, look, I can’t say when”.
      Tim Ritchie (exporters rep.) – “needs to be fixed as soon as possible”.

  7. ianmac 7

    Constitutional arrogance: Sinister is my word for this. And it is ominous that the people seem either unaware or uncaring. It is a sort of sleight of hand really. Look at my right hand so that I can sleaze through with my left.
    And it is when you put all the parts together to make the whole unscrupulous mess, that the implications be come clearer.
    And remember the dodgy changes to the GCSB. Maybe become a tool to manage we dissenters.

    • McFlock 7.1

      Aye.
      It’s getting to the stage where incompetence is indistinguishable from nefarious plan.

      • North 7.1.1

        Incompetence or nefarious plan ?

        “Shonkey Python” accommodates both possibilities – (1) insanely comedic incompetence, and (2) cold sinisterness.

        The real danger (which I believe has already arrived) is their shaping as not mutually exclusive.

  8. handle 8

    Those poor families fought for a decade to get a ruling against the government, then slimeballs like Ryall do this to them. Should be contempt of court.

    • Just to be clear – the families that fought the case to the Court of Appeal are exempted from the effects of this Act … they presently are in the Human Rights Review Tribunal, seeking an order that they be paid on the same basis as external caregivers. And the legislation specifically permits that litigation to continue (see s.70G) .

      It’s just everyone else who might want to challenge the Government’s actions that is locked out.

      • North 8.1.1

        Well it’s very nice of the government to exempt parties engaged in extant proceedings flowing on from the Court of Appeal decision, but calculated nevertheless.

        To interfere with extant proceedings would be to expropriate retrospectively. Just too much risk that the ensuing uproar would blow cover on the dirt of it.

        Meanwhile, in the face of this patent constitutional slippery slope, the likes of Fran O’Sulllivan romanticise the “deal-maker” ShonKey Python.

        The redactions defiling the Regulatory Impact Statement in this instance are so, so illustrative of how utterly outrageously ShonKey Python is prepared to proceed and the clear and present danger which confronts constitutional democracy in New Zealand today.

        To Michael Whybro at 6.1.1.1.2 – your “North Korea” jibe – as much as I despise intellectual elitism – you are so dumb that you make the points you rail against. Do you not see that ? So pitiably dumb that any further from you will more aptly be under the name “Michael Slowbro “. You’re just not up to being here mate sorry.

        Off to Slater Porn with you !

  9. Anne 9

    the people who actually get things done, who actually believe in what Labour is supposed to stand for, are relegated to the back benches.

    Did anyone here watch parliament Tuesday afternoon, May 7th when the House delivered its eulogies after the death of Parekura Horomia? It was one of the few occasions when ALL Labour members were present. What hit me between the eyes was looking at the visual aftermath of the hate campaign against David Cunliffe and his supporters.Those I could see in the back row (usually reserved for newbies and the talentless) were David Cunliffe, Lianne Dalziel, Louisia Wall, Moana Mackey, Rajan Prasad, Iain Lees Galloway, Sue Moroney and Raymond Huo – all of them Cunliffe supporters. The front row? We all know who they are. It left a very sour taste in my mouth that has not gone away.

    I never thought the Labour Party would stoop to such pettiness and vindictiveness. That had always been the prerogative of the Tories…

    • tc 9.1

      Welcome to new labour Anne, where the Paganis, Hootens, Mallards and Currans etc are considered the moral compasses.

      The holowmen are pissing themsleves at how easy it all was.

  10. No shortage of democratic socialist planning on this blog.
    The first line of defence is to stop the NACT regime’s rip, shit and bust polices of stripping our assets and means of life support by privatising all social wealth as the system goes into meltdown.
    They know it’s coming and have prepared the police spy state to counter our resistance.
    Unfortunately for them they are a tiny minority and while they have the state forces on their side and no doubt hordes of mercenary scum they can unleash on us, we are the huge majority and we are educated and courageous.
    So do we starve on the beach and suffocate when the oxegen runs out, or do we risk life to take back the commons to sustain our lives?

    • ghostrider888 10.1

      had been reflecting today how all these right-wing / conservative initiatives are by pre-meditated design; many of these planners are educated, often aware of left-wing thought, and the issues facing the environment and humanity; hence building new prisons, TPPA, drone stealth-bombers (which are vulnerable to cyber-attack from adversaries, imo), marginalising the ‘poor’, facilitating big pharmaceutical, food and beverage, manipulating commodities…etc. It is part of an “end-game”.

    • Murray Olsen 10.2

      It really does look as if they’re preparing for all out war. It’s up to us to be prepared.

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    And while we still have a vote, the non far right need to be planning the take back and lock up of assets (otherwise we be in a cycle of selling Airnz and buying it back every decade or so) and ways of taking the battle to the Right by decimating their power bases and institutions. Then if they get back into power they still have to rebuild first.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Yep. We should start with their revenue stream: go after the flow of laundered money.

      But first, to be introduced with urgency the “Reversal of everything passed under urgency since 2008″ Act.

      Then the entrenching of the BoRA and a good look at the legal definition of treason.

  12. Appleboy 12

    Oh the deafening silence of the RightWhingers here to argue this is Ok. Come on RWNJ’s, Where are you?

  13. “Our constitutional arrangements work on an implicit bargain – the principle of comity – that the Courts and Parliament don’t mess with each other’s turf.”

    WTF are you talking about Andrew Geddis?

    Comity: Courtesy; respect; a disposition to perform some official act out of goodwill and tradition rather than obligation or law. The acceptance or Adoption of decisions or laws by a court of another jurisdiction, either foreign or domestic, based on public policy rather than legal mandate.
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/comity

    • Not sure if I’m missing a #sarcasm here, but I would have thought it entirely clear what I was talking about. Parliament can, as a legal matter, do what it did. But out of respect to the role of the courts within our constitutional arrangements, it ought not to have done so … and the fact that it did means that it is upsetting the arrangements that underpin how our government (writ large) works.

      Parliament’s Privileges Committee described matters like this, back in 2009:

      General principles concerning the relationship between the House of Representatives and the judiciary are well established. The principle of “comity” was referred to by a number of submitters. This principle is that of mutual respect and forbearance between the legislative and judicial branches … . The principle has recently been described succinctly by the New Zealand Court of Appeal as follows: “that the Courts and Parliament are both astute to recognise their constitutional roles”: Prebble v Television New Zealand Ltd [1994] 3 NZLR at 7 (PC).

      The relationship between the courts and Parliament is a matter of the highest constitutional significance. It should be, and generally is, marked by mutual respect and restraint. The underlying assumption is that what is under discussion or determination by either the judiciary or the legislature should not be discussed or determined by the other. The judiciary and the legislature should respect their respective roles.

      So … principle of comity.

      • Ugly Truth 13.1.1

        No sarcasm Andrew, I simply don’t see any connection between the dictionary definition of comity ….

        “The acceptance or Adoption of decisions or laws by a court of another jurisdiction, either foreign or domestic, based on public policy rather than legal mandate.”

        … and the meaning used by Privileges Committee …

        “This principle is that of mutual respect and forbearance between the legislative and judicial branches”

        • North 13.1.1.1

          Ugly Truth: putting aside Andrew Geddis’s (well-advised or not) use of the word “comity”, you do understand and accept the thrust of what he says do you UT ?

          You do accept that he’s on the button when he cites the Privileges Committee from 2009 do you UT ? That events have shaped in a way careless of what the Privileges Committee said in 2009 ?

          It’s just that your response does suggest a back down from your initial somewhat questionable tone – “WTF are you talking about Andrew Geddis ?” You now take cover in a confessed semanticism.

          So I assume you’re not actually in disagreement with him. That since your rather hastily fired “WTF……..”, he’s persuaded you and you’d grant him the point, I take it. I take it ?

          You wouldn’t ? Well please explain. Expose your reasoning to scrutiny WTF.

          Rather than obfuscating WTF.

        • Andrew Geddis 13.1.1.2

          That’s because you are relying on a single dictionary definition, rather than understanding how the term is used by those who are expert in the field. I, however, am (somewhat) expert in the field. So, I know that of which I speak.

          Sometimes a legal term is used to mean more than one thing. Take, for instance, the word “privilege” and consider how it is used in terms of evidence and in relation to the law regarding Parliament.

          • Ugly Truth 13.1.1.2.1

            “I, however, am (somewhat) expert in the field. So, I know that of which I speak.”

            Here’s the last of the argument from kiwiblog:

            AG: The etymology you provide perfectly encapsulates the way the term is used in public law parlance.

            UT: No, affability/kindness doesn’t describe an implicit bargain, and it doesn’t describe the indulgence of unlawful behaviour between those who are supposed to administer justice and those who are supposed to represent the interests of the body politic.

            Here’s the etymology that I provided:
            comity (n.)
            early 15c., “association,” from French comité, from Latin comitas “courtesy, friendliness, kindness, affability,” from comis “courteous, friendly, kind,” of uncertain origin. Meaning “courtesy” in English is from 1540s. Phrase comity of nations attested from 1862: “The obligation recognized by civilized nations to respect each other’s laws and usages as far as their separate interests allow.”

            Comitas I kom:ld:ls I . Lat. Courtesy; civility; comity. An indulgence or favor granted another nation, as a mere matter of indulgence, without any claim of right made. Comitas inter communitates; or comitas inter gentes; comity between communities or nations; comity of nations.

            And here’s his original description:
            “Our constitutional arrangements work on an implicit bargain – the principle of comity – that the Courts and Parliament don’t mess with each other’s turf. I think that bargain just got broken.”

            http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/geddis_cries_foul.html#comment-1145022

  14. kiwicommie 14

    “Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning “few”, and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning “to rule or to command”)[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.[citation needed] In his 2011 book Oligarchy, Jeffrey A. Winters defines oligarchy as “the politics of wealth defense by materially endowed actors.” In Winters’ definition, massive wealth is the key factor in identifying oligarchs.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Of course there was this discussion the other day.

    So, if a government is sovereign and can cancel contracts, including compensation clauses, then why shouldn’t they also be able to interfere in council processes and the like?

    • felix 15.1

      Could you please clarify whether you mean “why shouldn’t they interfere” as opposed to “why shouldn’t they be able to interfere”.

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      Of course they can interfere in council processes and the like, but they should only do so in such cases where it is really necessary and the only possible avenue that can used to effect necessary change.

      There is of course no written definition of when and why the government can interfere though, which is why we got the government interfering in this (these) case(s), when probably it ought not to have, because their decisions seem quite self-serving and reek of corruption.

  16. ak 16

    Simply incredible on its own; but when tacked onto r0b’s list and enacted by the party that only minutes ago incessantly screamed “Corrupt! Corrupt! Corrupt!” over signing a painting for charity and sitting in the back of a speeding car, arrogant to the point of literal insanity.

    The “Democracy Under Attack” comparison is particularly telling, and here we see in giant living technicolour and statuettes of Lenin, the nub of the problem: the missing link to a sane polity.

    For it was nothing other than an attack on our fourth estate’s advertising revenue that produced the notorious red header; and which is why the current obscenities – by any measure conceivable immensely more sinister than anything Hels mooted – are ignored.

    “By the people” is but a choice of two evils every three years. And the information that determines said choice is controlled by a handful of wealthy private individuals.

    Change that last fact or continue to writhe at the black comedy of Shonkey Python. And endow to your descendants New Bedlam.

  17. xtasy 17

    Well, i have been saying it all along, what we have is nothing much short of a dictatorship, wrapped in fake camouflage to make it appear all as being totally “democratic” and “legal”.

    The dilemmas of only having one house as parliament, treating select committee hearings as stage performances that have no real relevance, and treating the public and voters in utter contempt are showing. Too little checks and balances. Dodgy amnesia declaring one vote majority ensurers, and backroom deals on legislation to be passed are the rule in New Zealand now.

    A media that does not bother paying journalists to research and analyse, let alone report comprehensively on matters of substance, thus serving as complicit facilitators to push policies through, just makes it all so damned convenient.

    And the public is so stunned, speechless or even indifferent, it is shocking what is going on here.

    This piece of legislation exposes it all, the disrespect of this government for justice and fairness.

    What we get is policy and legislative blitzkrieg, nothing else.

    Time to wake up, to realise what is going on, and to take a damned alert, firm stand against all this crap. I cannot see this happen though, as most just worry about their own survival, perks and security, collective action has become as rare as the moa bird that once used to roam this land.

    • Arfamo 17.1

      I agree. Our system of government lacks the check on parliamentary excess of a 2nd House and/or a constitution. It allows the creation of a governing class.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        /facepalm

        The US has a second house, same problems
        The UK has a second house, same problems

        Having a second house doesn’t magically solve the problems. The way to solve the problems is to give the people more say in the development and passing of the laws.

        Oh, and to be able to hold the politicians to account when they do do stuff like this.

        • KJT 17.1.1.1

          The only way to stop rotating elected dictatorships that are figureheads for the ruling oligarchy are BCIR, veto on any legislation with a low enough threshold so they happen, and recalls!

          There would be an initial settling down period, especially as politicians will try and make democracy fail, but after that politicians would not bother to pose ill considered and unsupported legislation as it will be overturned.

        • Arfamo 17.1.1.2

          Yeah, that’s true, DTB. Forget a 2nd House.

    • tc 17.2

      Muldoon would be proud and approving of this lot who have elevated the smear and swindle to new heights especially with their use of media (old and new) which is very coordinated and focused.

      They know how to rule for their backers and take no prisoners as they are rolling on with the agenda so while everyone pauses over the current action they’re onto the next ones already.

      • KJT 17.2.1

        The old bugger would be disgusted with this lot.
        Whatever his faults, he did what he thought was best for New Zealand at the time.

        In fact, please bring back principled and straight up conservatives.

        Instead of this smarmy bunch of used car dealers.

        We could talk to them, because, whatever our differences, we had the same goals in the end.

        • ghostrider888 17.2.1.1

          commentators often judge Muldoon out of historical context; if the average Kiwi is to be considered ill-informed now, remember the Seventies; freakin provinces were dead after Friday night shopping.

    • rosy 18.1

      From Claire Browning’s post on Pundit [my bold]

      Crown Minerals Amendment (the 2nd, done this morning) allows conditional permits for operators lacking the immediate expertise and financial ability to undertake drilling activities – leading Greenpeace to charge our Prime Minister of misleading New Zealanders, with his recent assurances that regulation would be ‘world class’ and would not allow ‘cowboys’ to operate.

      On safety of offshore oil and gas operations and amending Directive 2004/35/EC (formal approval of directive scheduled for 21st May)

      …the licensing authority is required to consider the technical and financial risks, and where appropriate, the previous record of responsibility, of applicants seeking exclusive
      exploration and production licenses. There is the need to ensure that when examining the
      technical and financial capability of the licensee the licensing authority thoroughly
      examine also its capability for ensuring continued safe and effective operations under all foreseeable conditions

      Exploration and production of oil and gas off-shore in Romania, for example, will be required to have more qualified operators right from the start than New Zealand, because it has EU companies operating there.

      Key in his ‘ambitious for New Zealand’ mode, is utterly ignorant of what is ‘world class’.

      The Directive has lots more about (before licenses are issued) operator requirements for
      - safety
      - demonstration of response capabilities in case of spills
      - public opportunity for decision-making
      - separation of permit issuing and regulatory authorities
      - adherence to environmental standards
      - tripartite consultation under ILO convention (operator, regulator, workers representatives)

      • SpaceMonkey 18.1.1

        “World class” is an aspirational statement/label, of course.

        • Arfamo 18.1.1.1

          “World class” has essentially become a meaningless phrase trotted out by any government or council wanting to use your tax or rates to establish a large or expensive private business venue or venture.

  18. AmaKiwi 19

    “These are the actions of politicians who are drunk on power.”

    The only solution is to limit the power of the politicians. How?

    1. Local bodies whose powers are constitutionally enshrined and therefore cannot be overridden by Parliament. This is the role states play in Australia, Canada, the US, Germany, France, etc. Local bodies have absolute authority over things such as property development; culture; parks and recreation areas; alcohol, gambling, and prostitution; etc.

    2. Veto referendums so the people can override ANY decision made by Parliament.

    I wish I could say no Labour government would be drunk with power. I cannot. Some Labour leaders scare me as much as Judith Collins. They, too, are “true believers” in the righteousness of their cause. “Formalities” like democracy are secondary to their “grander visions.”

    Ask Colonial Viper. Ask David Cunliffe’s supporters.

    • North 19.1

      Their “cause” being themselves and their careers, more or less.

      • KJT 19.1.1

        It is notable that ordinary citizens, whatever their political views, do not trust politicians to act in the best interests of New Zealanders.
        A distrust that is richly deserved.

        And vote by overwhelming majority for any measures which restrict politicians power and increase democracy.

        It is no accident that Switzerland is the most stable, prosperous and peaceful state on earth.

        Compare Switzerland to so called “representative democracies”. An oxymoron equal to, “intelligence agencies”.

        http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/democracy.html

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.2

        Their “cause” being themselves and their careers, more or less.

        Yeah for some of them, this is the absolute limit of their “grander vision”. In summary, NZ is a badly managed village where the village elders can’t even plan out to the next growing season.

  19. One Anonymous Knucklehead 20

    Why has the National Party got a majority for this revolting behaviour? Is there not one decent human being among them?

    • ianmac 20.1

      Yes ONK. The governing MPs must have some who care about the rule of Law? Mustn’t there be?

      I expect that the Key/Joyce answer will be. “We have a MANDATE to do all this for the good of the people. We know what is best for you. Be Grateful you silly people.”
      And applaud Claire Browning’s Pundit drawing together.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1.1

        It would only take one: the silence is deafening. I’d call it a new low for the National Party but I guess that’s debatable.

    • No! A.Knuckhead .GThey have not;

  20. gobsmacked 21

    These are the actions of politicians who are drunk on power, and not being held to account for it. It will continue for as long as we let it.

    Agreed. So …

    Dear David Shearer

    Could you please tell us which of the constitutional outrages listed above will be reversed when you are Prime Minister? (Please note – “reversed” means exactly that, not “something to criticise now and keep later”).

    I have tried to find out for myself, but your online presence has more pictures than promises. As for Google …

    Your search – “david shearer” – did not match any news results.

    Hope to hear from you soon, Dave.

    • Murray Olsen 21.1

      Ummm, ahhhh, did I tell you about a guy I saw painting a roof? Ummm, he, or maybe she, I ummm, anyway, ahhh, it’s not fair. Ummm, we want to be fair so, ummmm, ahhhh he shouldn’t be getting a caregiver paid for by ummmm the taxes of the wealth creators. Ahhhh Labour will make this fair.

  21. Rosemary McDonald 22

    Firstly…thank you to Andrew Geddis for an excellent post on this issue. The legislative aspects of this issue at least.

    I don’t expect him…or any of the other commenters here to truly understand the reality of this issue to family carers of non-ACC disabled.

    I do.

    You can all pontificate until the suppositories work(as I am doing right now), but it will not change the fact that hope for this one point of parity with the well entitled ACC disabled has died.

    Forever.

    I have been the 24/7 unpaid carer for my C4/5 tetraplegic partner for over fourteen years.
    I could have taken a ‘backdoor deal ‘ through a contracted provider ten years ago, and I could have been getting paid $17per hour, but we chose not to enter into an arrangement that required any element of deceit.

    We were the exception. Most of you will have no idea how commonplace circumventing that policy has been. We always knew it was discrimination. We also felt that it was important that at least some people were “clean” and could speak out without fear that the “arrangement” would be stopped.

    So we tried to negotiate an exception to the discriminatory policy with the MoH.
    In 2009 we went to the HRC, and were told in good faith that any decision from Atkinson et al would apply to us.
    We attended the High Court hearing.
    We attended the Appeal Court hearing.
    We made a submission to the Technical Advisory Group and the Ministry.
    We attended Consultation Workshops in Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland (on consecutive days, driving) then in Palmerston North and in New Plymouth.
    We both spoke , we wrote, we phoned, we sat outside the Beehive like a pair of dickheads to get an audience with someone from ryalls office so they could ask us what our expectations were of a new policy. What sort of compensation would we expect? What was it like to manage a significant disability as an unpaid carer of someone whose type of impairment is not catered for by the Ministry of Health. “We are reasonable people” we said, “with reasonable expectations.”

    We are not fools. But in all honesty(and at least we haven’t abandonned our integrity), we did not believe that the Ministry and the Government would be so appallingly vindictive.
    We got the heads up on Friday a.m. that this travesty was going to happen.
    There was nothing we could do to stop it.

    We have spent the weekend trying to come to terms with the death of our hopes.
    We are now in debt, with no hope of ever repaying the debt without selling the home that my partner dragged his crippled arse to work for 32 years to build. Me going out to work would leave him without adequate care. The Ministry has no contracted providers who can meet his needs.
    The alternative is a residential facility, and he would rather die first.

    So, wise people who obviously feel qualified to comment, the reality is(as our leaders are fond of saying) non- ACC disabled have finally been put in their place by this government. They always knew they were a lower form of life, but there was always the HRC if things got really nasty.

    Yes this is interesting from a legal and political point of view, giving you all some entertainment on a wet weekend. But hardly any of you has actually written the word “disabled”.

    • kiwicommie 22.1

      The government doesn’t care about the disabled as they meet the definition of parasite in neo-liberal mythology (in their eyes the welfare state is an ‘orgy of self-sacrificing’) i.e. anyone that doesn’t or can’t help themselves and relies on others is a parasite, and deserves whatever suffering comes their way. Here is Ayn Rand on altruism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viGkAZR-x8s

  22. ropata 23

    It’s called Abuse of Power (from Kiwipolitico)

    At the heart of the Gilmore saga is the abuse of power, and the problem is that the coverage is about Aaron Gilmore’s attempted abuse of his own power, not about a culture within the National Party and the government where the abuse of power is not merely acceptable, but routine and expected.

    The deep questions — how such a megalomaniac got into an electable position on a party list; who, having been apprised of these born-to-rule tendencies after previous incidents of this sort, approved his position; and the implications of this for the health of our democracy — these are important questions. They haven’t really been asked, or answered, though Matthew Hooton, of all people, had a go at it early on.

    The John Key National-led government has a lot of form for bad and self-serving appointments, and for the abuse of power… And it’s still going: to hear locals tell it, how Gerry Brownlee and CERA are treating Eastern Christchurch isn’t all that different in its principles to how Aaron Gilmore treats waiters and public servants. (The difference is that they have real power.) Recent appointments on the basis of loyalty or malleability at the expense of quality or expertise include Catherine Isaac to implement charter schools, Ian Fletcher as head of the GCSB and Dame Susan Devoy as race relations commissioner.

    This is a government which has been particularly unconcerned with even the appearance of due process, and this should be acknowledged in every story on this topic. There’s no credible argument they hadn’t done due diligence on Aaron Gilmore — he was already in Parliament once. Why do they appoint people like this, and why do they get away with it?

    The hard truth is that political parties will overlook an awful lot if there’s a financial or electoral advantage to doing so, just as corporations will.

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    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
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  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
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  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
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  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
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  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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