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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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  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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