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Cuts don’t make costs disappear

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, March 30th, 2011 - 58 comments
Categories: budget 2011, Economy, public services - Tags: , ,

Key and English are trying to soften us up for big public service cuts this budget. They tell us it’ll just be ‘nice to haves’ and that the private sector will step in to fill the gap when they cut too close to the bone. The important thing to realise is that every time the public service doesn’t provide us with something either we have to buy it out of our own pockets (usually at greater cost) or we don’t get it at all.

It’s like when National cut ACC. It didn’t stop people with injuries needing treatment and income to live, it just stopped them getting that from the state. Instead, they have to pay out of their own pockets or if they can’t afford it, as is likely, they just end up bankrupted and destitute.

Now, I’m not a ‘not one step back’ kind of guy. If there is wasteful government spending, chop it. Start with the Don Brash retirement fund, oops, I mean the 2025 Taskforce. Cut, too, motorways where the costs outweigh the benefits and subsidies for polluters. But don’t cut funding for early childhood education which delivers $13 of benefit for each dollar spent. The cuts that have already happened there have just pushed the costs on to parents. Some are now paying $60 more a week. Many simply can’t afford it and we as a country lose out on those kids not getting the best start to their education (of, course the right have never really understood the concept of investment – pillaging is more their forte).

But the cuts that are coming are much deeper than that. $3.75 billion in real terms out of existing programems by my estimate. A lot of that will come just from not giving departments more money to match their increased costs to provide the same level of service due to inflation and population growth. Some more will come from ‘re-allocations’ which will see existing services slashed to pay for Christchurch. And some will come from out and out cuts.

It doesn’t have to be like this. The government has choices. It has chosen to create the fiscal mess we are in by cuting government revenue as a percentage of GDP from 33.5% in 2008 to 29% today. You want to know where the hole in our budget came from? There it is. And it was caused by giving $10 billion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest New Zealanders.

58 comments on “Cuts don’t make costs disappear”

  1. lprent 1

    Yep. The government created its fiscal mess with tax cuts. Roll those tax cuts back.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Too right. It’s important we all keep our eyes on this ball because they’ll try to throw a dozen arguments at us that make their plans seem sooooo reasonable – undo the tax cuts, Bill.

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      $10b tax cuts –> 4.5% GDP hole

      Whoopdeedoo!

      Y’kno wat?
      I’m fresh and I’m ambitious for NZ.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        Wrong. The tax cuts were fiscally neutral.

        • KJT 1.2.1.1

          So_ Thats why we have to borrow 300mill a week for them.

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.3

          The tax cuts were fiscally neutral

          Crack up TS, crackup.

          • Pete 1.2.1.3.1

            Have you kids ever stopped to think that the small percentage of the population who produce either can’t or don’t want to work more to support everyone else.

            • Bright Red 1.2.1.3.1.1

              Which of the following do you not include in this “small percentage of the population who produce”?

              The 2,200,000 workers?

              The 270,000 who want work but can’t find it?

              The 900,000 who are children or retirees?

              The 200,000 students?

              The 180,000 stay at home parents?

              Because that’s nearly everyone. And most of the rest have chronic illnesses.

            • mickysavage 1.2.1.3.1.2

              Pete

              To be frank I got a pretty hefty tax cut thanks to smile and wave. I did not need it. It does not make me work any harder or employ any more people. All it does is tempt me to go on more overseas holidays or to buy more crap, both of which are bad for the economy and the planet.

              The Government should take all the tax cuts back to pay for Christchurch.

              That way I know that the police will still function, hospitals will do their jobs, schools will keep educating and things will still happen. And I would hate to live in a New Zealand where we have huge numbers of people unemployed which is what will happen.

              And to top it all off I would like to know that there will be superannuation still when I retire and it will not require putting my kids through servitude to make sure I am paid it.

              So Mr Key take the tax cut back.

              And Pete. Do you understand that the tax cuts are not fiscally neutral but are running up crown debt?

              • Herodotus

                To be frank I got a pretty hefty tax cut thanks to smile and wave- Well MS many of use needed the cuts no matter how small to counteract the increased cost of living, tax creep etc that Lab turned a blind eye to. Remember Cullens chewing gum tax cut that was to be paid for by ??? a new Carbon tax, Generous to a fault.
                Nat are no answer nor awere and are Lab. Remember many of todays isues relate back to the Lab years and the wasted opportunity that the boom based on short term cheep money and consumerism gave. And to play Devils A, how was Lab to fix the recession- A Christmas budget that we had to blindly believe in with no details.
                NZ has been living well beyond its means (Current Account problems) and all we have had is tinkering. I am sure you will disagree, but I have seen little that Lab did do that was long term, and they have the same senior management who will follow the same old lack of vision. Nat or Lab not a great choice for Kiwiland.

                • Colonial Viper

                  LAB did not address some critical issues quite correct.

                  But I have heard the Labour hierarchy talk about them more plainly than ever before – they are not ignorant of what needs to be done.

                  Of course, the trick is in convincing the electorate and getting the political capital.

                  • Herodotus

                    Unfortunately all I have heard was Phils and Davids post Christmas speeches great words but when ou look a bit closer just like every other speech before, not alot of depth. And all I get here was how great the 99-08 years were. If you look there was some worrying undercurrents that many here have ignored and were never addressed then or now.
                    If the heirachy are so sure of what needs to be done, why are they so reluctant to tell us. The things I have heard inspire me as much as Bill English.
                    Sone the way things are going anyone who is not on welfare will be considered rich !!!!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well you know I’ve a strong lean to democratic socialism, don’t expect me to spin excuses for the torrent of private debt households built up and the continuing exclusion of assets from the tax base through to 2008 and now.

                    • Herodotus

                      Yes, but there are many here who canot see the faults of the left and what they allowed and did not deliver in the years of power. Many of todays current issues have a past, that is not seen by many here. Perhaps if they did then those parties purportedly on the left whould be forced thru a groundswell to change and delivery leftish policies, and many who are confussed as to where the point of difference between Nat and Lab really is/are. But aslong as things are Nat and Lab are interchangable and many see only marginally difference as it relates to their/my/your everyday life and how difficult things were and are.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No doubt. NZ needs a little bit more of its Left than one which is simply a kinder, gentler, more consultative version of the Right Wing.

              • Peter

                Micky

                The tax cuts were not fiscally neutral. Do you have any idea how much tax revenue was lost as a result of the cuts?

                • Colonial Viper

                  According to Cunliffe’s website, $4B p.a. of Govt revenue was lost in the tax cuts, a third of which went straight into the pockets of the top 5% of earners.

                  And of course Govt revenue took another massive hit due to the declining performance of the economy.

                  National really are economic vandals.

                  • Peter

                    Thanks. So the decline in spending and employment added on to the 4 billion or so. Incredible, 4 billion is 80% of what we are told Government requires for CHCH!

                • Peter

                  The tax cuts were not fiscally neutral. Do you have any idea how much tax revenue was lost as a result of the cuts?

                  Agreed entirely. Where I say this in italics above I am quoting TS and I then say “crack up TS, crack up”.

                  From memory the country loses about $500m a year for the first couple of years and it is only the “fiscal effects” from the tax cuts line which is herculean in its expectation which then brings things back into balance. CV’s figure seems about right for the total over ten years.

            • KJT 1.2.1.3.1.3

              No. I do not want to work more to support these people.

              Politicians.
              Australian Bankers.
              Million dollar a year accountants pretending to be managers.
              Insider traders in finance companies which are then bailed out.
              Business people who cannot start their own business so they want to steal ours.
              Paying for trained staff, police protection, rule of law and wage subsidies for businesses that cannot pay their own way.
              Farmers who do not pay taxes then have their hands out if the weather changes.
              Polluters who we are paying for so they can be exempt from the ETS.

              I am happy to pay taxes for a fair and decent society where everyone has a chance and I can live even if I get sick or have an injury.

              • logie97

                Heard on Breakfast TV on Monday to Petra
                “… we don’t carry a lot of debt as government…” is precisely what Key said.

                captcha: admits

  2. ianmac 2

    Patrick Gower noted (much to my surprise) that with the joining of Forestry and Fisheries (which they had separated in the 90s to save money?) they appear to have kept two highly paid Ministers. Surely, he said, it would be hypocritical to keep two Ministers for one new single entity?

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      Is that the TV3 guy? Gosh, a political journalist who is awake and has his eyes open?
      What is the world coming to?? I might even start to watch TV3 news.

      I love how this ‘austerity-for-you-but-not-for-me’ Government works!

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Jim Note I said “much to my surprise” for it is unusual for Gower to say anything other than be down on Goff/Labour. I suspect that Gower is the sort who would first spot who was down to the bullies, then help do the kicking.

        • Jim Nald 2.1.1.1

          My message to Gower, if I meet him, would be simple:

          1. Do your duty as the Fourth Estate and not the Tory’s Estate

          2. Remember and give voice to the vulnerable, the poor and the struggling folks during these difficult times

  3. infused 3

    A 50% increase in the public sector under Labour. I think cuts do make costs go away.

    • KJT 3.1

      Like corporatising power companies does. Yeah right!

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      A 50% increase in the public sector under Labour. I think cuts do make costs go away.

      Providing efficient, timely, *sufficient* public services is an investment in our communities and in our people. It will make communities stronger and ensure that citizens feel cared for.

      Of course National doesn’t give a shit about this, cutting services to pay out tax cuts to the already rich is the usual agenda, earthquake or no.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 3.3

      A 50% increase in the public sector under Labour.

      Please post a link – because Ganesh Nana from BERL said on Morning Report this morning that the government’s share of GDP rose less than 10% through the 2000’s, and was in line with the rest of the OECD at around 20% of economic activity. So what is it that you know that the economists don’t?

      • Lanthanide 3.3.1

        I think he means a 50% increase on the base amount, eg $100bn to $150bn, rather than 50% increase straight, eg 20% to 70%.

    • Peter 3.4

      Cutting 2000 odd jobs over the last 2 years is hardly a game changer. Its more like making scapegoats of a few to make it look as if the Blue team are doing something.

      eg If these laid of Public Servants earned, say, $60,000 salaries on average that’s a loss of about 3 million PAYE and 1.2 million GST and over 7 million in consumer spending directly to the private sector. Those working then have to earn income to pay these people the dole.

      As we know Mr Key believes that the private sector is crowded out by the public sector, although this is not a given. He wants us to believe that cutting back 2000 Government jobs will miraculously bring about 2000 private sector jobs.

      Someone please convince me that he is right?

  4. Rodel 4

    It will be ‘5000 cuts to public service employment’ then nearer to budget ‘4,000’ and on budget day just ‘2,500’… ..”at this time with earthquakes etc etc we are so nice we couldn’t be so mean…”

    Seen and heard it all before but it still works.”

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    I’d love to see the breakdown of which ministries/departments are getting the cuts. Treasury, PM’s dept, NZTA, Telecommunications all seem pretty back office and ‘nice to have’. Wonder if they have lost any numbers?

    • ianmac 5.1

      Hasn’t the PMs office blown out, more than doubled? Probably more staff in security details like two men to guard Key in Hawaii? And the paranoia in the PM’s office takes a lot of guarding and then a huge increase in PR staff who watch the threat from people like Goff and like Peters. I mean someone has to design the strategy for the undermining.
      Any actual numbers of staff pre 2008 until now. There is an angle to counter English cuts. Cut State Service staff but increase PM Staff???

  6. ianmac 6

    Tony Ryall in the Herald: “As of 31 December last year, there were 36,973 people employed in what Mr Ryall called “core Government administration”. (….38,859 state employees under Labour.)

    “The reduction was made up by the 300 police officers, 1600 teachers, 1000 nurses and 500 doctors National had added to “frontline” services,” he said.

    Really? Nice round figures. eg:National has added 1600 teachers? How so? Where? Same questions about the rest. It takes 7 years to train a doctor so to “add” 500 in 2 years….?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10715932

    • Bright Red 6.1

      yup. and what’s the normal rate of addition of new teachers, doctors etc. Who made the funding decisions, given that until July 2009 we were still under Labour’s last budget?

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Cost cutting doesn’t necessarily mean less. It can also mean finding better and more efficient ways to do the same thing. This is exactly why unemployment has been slow to improve both in the US and here. Firms lay off staff at the beginning of the recession and are forced to find more efficient methods. This has lead to firms being more profitable, and less likely to take staff back on because they have suddenly found they can do equally well without them.

    If this is the case in the private sector, then no reason it wouldn’t apply in the public sector also.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      This has lead to firms being more profitable, and less likely to take staff back on because they have suddenly found they can do equally well without them.

      Yeah you hit the nail on the head, the private sector has discovered that you don’t need to employ people or give them good wages to be profitable

      In fact companies have learnt that by making more people unemployed, and squeezing wages down, they become more profitable, not less.

      And who bears the costs of all these newly unemployed, and the low paid workers? Families and communities.

      The same families and communities that now need MORE social services from the Government, not LESS.

      Evil fucking right wing scheme.

      PS at least CHINA of all countries has figured out that if you do not soak up the excess labour pool created by these “productivity” improvements (and the resulting wealth inequality as money gets diverted out of the pool of wages into the pool of shareholder profits), you will have increasing social and political disorder.

      National are just blind enough to think that won’t happen in NZ, or that they can get away with it.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        “Yeah you hit the nail on the head, the private sector has discovered that you don’t need to employ people or give them good wages to be profitable”

        Yeah. We could go back to the days of hand-written invoices and the abacus. That would employ a lot of people.

        “In fact companies have learnt that by making more people unemployed, and squeezing wages down, they become more profitable, not less.”

        I prefer to think of it as liberating people from mind-numbing repetitive jobs such as screwing caps on bottles. Automation is a wonderful thing.

        “PS at least CHINA of all countries has figured out that if you do not soak up the excess labour pool created by these “productivity” improvements (and the resulting wealth inequality as money gets diverted out of the pool of wages into the pool of shareholder profits), you will have increasing social and political disorder.”

        Well, what do you think happened to all those jobs that used to involve hand-written invoices and abacus? We found all sorts of other, often more fulfilling occupations for these people. That’s got to be good. Right?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          I prefer to think of it as liberating people from mind-numbing repetitive jobs such as screwing caps on bottles. Automation is a wonderful thing.

          Yeah you liberate them from mind-numbing repetitive jobs into mind-numbing society excluding, pverty stricken non-jobs.

          Fraking brilliant.

          Point remains though – in a capitalist system these corporations have decided that their shareholders can and should make more money by laying people off and suppressing wages.

          That is what is happening to your friends, your family, your kids, people you know in your neighbourhood.

          Good of you to back that system up, you turncoat.

          Well, what do you think happened to all those jobs that used to involve hand-written invoices and abacus? We found all sorts of other, often more fulfilling occupations for these people. That’s got to be good. Right?

          You’re an idiot.

          Underemployment rate in NZ over 15% and in the US over 20% and you have the nerve to pretend that we found more fulfilling occupations for people? Of course we did. For about 5-10% of the population. Everyone else – your place is on the scrap heap of unemployed, part time, minimum wage, casualised, no-benefits, non-unionised, right to be fired McJobs.

          Wake up asshole.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        Other companies found that by lending money to people so they could still buy things, to keep the profitable companies profitable,. they could take the remainder of those peoples earnings as interest..
        Then they found people, who still had to buy to survive, borrowing to survive on inadequate wages.
        And then they found they could fire pretend money around and take even more off the people who actually made useful things.
        The people who made useful things gave up.
        Until the whole thing fell apart, and they mortgaged the labour of the makers of useful things, for the foreseeable future to make sure they kept the wealth.

  8. ianmac 8

    ts: “Firms lay off staff at the beginning of the recession and are forced to find more efficient methods.”
    But I thought that the private sector was so efficient that they were better than than the State. Are you saying that they are not already running at peak efficiency in spite of the downturn over the last few years of economic failure?

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      And I seem to recall that one of the first things this government did was to get some mates in to run over the govt sector and report to English where all the fat was. I also seem to remember that they didn’t find much.

    • tsmithfield 8.2

      “But I thought that the private sector was so efficient that they were better than than the State. Are you saying that they are not already running at peak efficiency in spite of the downturn over the last few years of economic failure?”

      More efficient on average, not perfectly efficient. This is because the private sector is more directly exposed to the consequences of its actions. For instance, pissing off customers will put you out of business. However, if you are a clerk in the court etc, then who gives a fuck about how “customers” are treated. After all its the only game in town.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        In my observation over many decades in both the public and private sectors (mainly private)… people and their performance are about the same everywhere.

        While it is true that private enterprise has different drivers to the public sector, and the yardsticks you would measure them by are certainly not the same… the end result in terms of ‘efficiency’ is really not a lot different.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        Stop pissing around with this word “efficient”

        Its a bullshit term.

        Its more efficient to get rid of people.

        Its more efficient to pay the ones you keep less.

        Its more efficient to take away their benefits and their holidays.

        Its more efficient to make them work longer hours and pay them nothing more.

        Its more efficient if they get tired or sick, that you can fire them with no recourse and hire someone new.

        Yeah yeah yeah more efficient for whom is what we should be asking.

        For major shareholders and the executive suite, maybe.

        For instance, pissing off customers will put you out of business.

        yeah, wrong.

        • RedLogix 8.2.2.1

          Furthermore, ‘efficient’ often means lacking in redundancy and the ability to cope with changed circumstances or crisis. Such systems are innately fragile… rather like nuclear reactors…wonderful unless something goes wrong.

          Which it always does.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.1.1

            Ah now we turn on to the subject of resilient systems, which you know all about RL

            Multiple redundancies, backups, error correction, fail safe and idiot proof. Well…as much as you can :)

            Look to mother nature.

            Almost no one would notice losing half a litre of blood. You can donate that much easy as pie with no ill effects. The body could just forego making so much blood to start with, for an easy 10% savings on materials and energy.

            It’s completely inefficient to provide 5 fingers and 5 toes per hand and foot.

            People get by fine on just 4 (sure you’ll want to keep the thumb), shit that’s a 20% saving right there.

            You can keep chewing fine even with 1/4 of your teeth missing, wow that’s a 25% saving to be had asap!

            And what is it with TWO kidneys! I can’t even imagine the metabolic cost of building a second, unnecessary, wasteful kidney. Hawk it off for a huge 50% saving!!!

            Fact of the matter is, mother nature knows about resilient systems, ones which are “inefficient” to our oh-so clever analytical way of thinking, but which actually have built in redundancies and reserves for when the shit hits the fan in a big way. We should learn more from her.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.3

        smitty, I’ll let you in on a little non-secret.

        Politicians are highly motivated to have an efficient public service. Every dollar wasted is a dollar politicians have had to tax that they can’t spend on something else. If you pay very close attention to political news stories, by which I mean to say, read some, you will find that this dynamic accounts for a hell of a lot of what the political discourse, is.

      • Armchair Critic 8.2.4

        The thing about public services is that their main goal should not be efficiency.
        Democracy should be democratic before it is efficient.
        Justice should be just before it is efficient.
        Water should be potable before it is efficient.
        Education should be effective before it is efficient.
        Sure, efficiency fits in the equation, but focussing on it before all other outcomes really misses the point.

        • Lanthanide 8.2.4.1

          There was a comment on slashdot today that pretty much mirrors your sentiments, except for code:

          1. Make it work
          2. Make it work correctly
          3. Make it work fast

          • Armchair Critic 8.2.4.1.1

            Hmm, yes, mostly I’d agree, that’s a nice way of putting it.
            I’d note that faster is not always better. Justice, for example, needs to be properly paced.

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    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Ex-TEU member heads Parliament’s education committee
    Former TEU member Dr Jian Yang will chair parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee. Elected to parliament only three years ago directly from his job in the political science department at the University of Auckland, Yang has risen quickly to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Cabinet focuses tertiary education on economic growth
    The government has signalled again that it views tertiary education primarily as an economic tool rather than a tool for social opportunity and equity as well. The government has shifted tertiary education out of its Cabinet Social Policy Committee to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Aged care worker wins historic pay equity case
    Aged Care worker and union member Kristine Bartlett won an historic legal case for pay equity this week. Bartlett’s employer, Terranova Homes & Care Ltd had appealed to the Court of Appeal against an Employment Court ruling that the wages...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Look to international students for funding says Joyce
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce says universities need to expand overseas and recruit more international students to boost their income. Joyce told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that New Zealand universities are not doing enough to generate income from international students. “If...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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