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David Cunliffe on the State of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 185 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags: ,

I’d just like to say thanks for all of the feedback The Standard’s community gave in the recent post about my upcoming state of the nation. Many of the comments reflect my own thoughts, and also gave me new insight into New Zealanders’ concerns. More than a couple made me laugh out loud. It’s great to see such an enthusiastic progressively-minded group of people in action.

2014 marks an opportunity to do things differently. Over the last thirty years New Zealand has been stuck in an ideological rut, and John Key’s government has made things worse for everyone but the wealthiest few.

Like you, I want a government that ensures opportunity for all Kiwis, one that reduces the gap between the haves and the have-nots. That means supporting a high-value economy, where we learn from the lessons of the GFC and deliver better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders.

Today I have taken a necessary step toward putting these values to work, and have dropped two policies from our manifesto – GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and the first $5000 tax-free policy.

While the aims of these policies were admirable, dropping them frees up around $1.5 billion per annum which can be used more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.

This is a part of a comprehensive economic and social package that we will be announcing in the lead up to the election. I’ll be outlining the first of these policies at my State of the Nation speech on Monday.

I’d like to invite you to that speech. So far we’ve had such a great response we’ve had to switch to a larger venue. If you’ve already signed up for a ticket you’ll get an update, if you haven’t then you can sign up here

We’ll also be live-streaming the speech. Hopefully you can join me online if you can’t make it in person.

The new details are:

Venue: Kelston Girls’ College Auditorium (corner of Great North Road and West Coast Road)

Time/Date: 1pm on Monday the 27th of January

Register now

We need a government that works with everyone for the social and economic benefit of everyone.

This Monday I’ll be outlining my vision for that government.

185 comments on “David Cunliffe on the State of the Nation”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    Great to hear that the next Prime Minister of NZ is reading The Standard and giving positive feedback to comments here.

  2. MaxFletcher 2

    “Today I have taken a necessary step toward putting these values to work, and have dropped two policies from our manifesto – GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and the first $5000 tax-free policy.”

    Isn’t this the third time these policies have been dropped?

    • Grumpy 2.1

      Don’t forget backing out on the “Living Wage”.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Don’t forget backing out on the “Living Wage”.

        How many times do we need to say this on TS today?

        There is no back down on the living wage. The policy remains the same. The living wage is not the same as the minimum wage.

        The living wage policy was in 2013, and still remains, to introduce it in the public service as soon as practical, then include it in a requirement for companies doing contracts for the state, then encourage businesses to adopt it.

        • Not a PS Staffer 2.1.1.1

          Hi Karol

          Two though that come to mind when I see the likes of Grumpy exposing themselves.

          “Don’t argue with idiots: they’ll drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”

          “Don’t argue with idiots: onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.”

          Dont give Grumpy et al the oxygen of a response.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.2

        Don’t forget that you’re dealing with a lying sack of shit, Karol.

        • Rob 2.1.2.1

          Thats a harsh call on David, geez.

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1

            indeed. But not a bad description for the rent-a-tories commenting here today.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.2.1.2

            Oh, ha-ha Rob, I see what you did there. Nice one, well played. I was referring to Grumpy’s mindless repetition of a recently deceased zombie argument, but you knew that.

      • Tracey 2.1.3

        link?

      • tricledrown 2.1.4

        GRRumpy the last time the living wage happened was in the 80s
        feeling hungry
        having a paul henry moment!

    • QoT 2.2

      Nah, the problem is that they were election promises, then Shearer never quite got around to saying whether or not they were still on the table, but they were still in the manifesto so some argued this meant they were technically still policy until explicitly refuted …

      I’m frankly thankful for some clarity on the issue.

      • MaxFletcher 2.2.1

        OK, makes sense.

      • It’s also nice that the reason they’re being dropped is to put a better targetted policy in instead. I liked the thought behind the veggies and fruit reduction, but didn’t think it would be enough to help people who don’t already eat fresh produce.

        Hope to hear that you’ve got some good new ideas on how to better help people get good food while still better targetting the policy than just a GST exemption.

  3. ecossemaid 3

    Yes David …It is time the average man woman and child in this country is able to share in the wealth the country generates.I have had enough of that smug bastard who looks after himself and his mates while ignoring the far greater number of people here that struggle along trying to make ends meet.
    The attitude that only his opinion matters.That the Pike River Families aren’t worth his attention or care.The man who placed a doberman in charge of social welfare.A woman that availed herself of the system when it suited her yet finds it unbearable to think others might need the same assistance.How the hell that ever got elected twice is beyond my understanding.
    So I wish you the greatest success in this election.

  4. George D 4

    Dietary-related factors are 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th among the causes of disease in NZ.

    Together, they impose a huge cost on the people of New Zealand, a cost which is borne disproportionately by the poor – the very people who cannot afford to eat the things that would do them good.

    When you are poor you buy calories, you don’t buy courgettes. There is very strong international evidence that reducing the price of these items increases their consumption, and that removing taxes has little negative spillover (whereas increasing the costs of sugar and fats decreases both their consumption and the consumption of other healthier foods, as food budgets are relatively inelastic among the poor).

    http://www.healthmetricsandevaluation.org/sites/default/files/country-profiles/GBD%20Country%20Report%20-%20New%20Zealand.pdf

    This was a policy that was absolutely worth supporting. Just a few weeks ago this site published an opinion piece looking at how GST increases had disproportionately hurt the poor. Where that GST is applied to the basic necessities of health and life, that injustice is doubly felt.

    • greywarbler 4.1

      The effect of dropping what would be a complex tax to administer on fruit and vegs, should be made up by supplying fruit to schools which they eat at lunchtime or morning tea when they are sitting down. Then they won’t be used as missiles at each other etc. The value would be large in health benefits. And it would be applied equally and direct to the recipients. I see this as ensuring that food and health are delivered in the most effective way.

      • George D 4.1.1

        You know what would be even simpler? A flat tax of 25% for everyone.

        There is a little complexity associated with this. But just a little, and it is a cost that Australia seems to get along with just fine. It’s worth sacrificing simplicity for health and justice.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.1

          so if I go to aus the only tax I will pay is 25%?

          #callingBullshit

        • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.2

          The Australian Tax Office doesn’t seem to have been informed of this 25% flat tax of yours. Back to ACT with you, George D.

    • Bill 4.2

      I dunno George. I don’t entirely disagree with you, but I think there’s more than price has to be taken into account. I’m piss poor but eat a diet comprised of fresh and dried food – ie, fairly healthy by any standard. But then, I’m lucky enough to have lived in the same house for long enough that I’ve been able to establish a veggie garden. As some-one else has pointed out previously, since gardening involves a fair bit of up front cost, those of us on entitlements can’t always afford to get started down that route.

      Then there is the habit of diet. Many people have been trained or taught to buy so-called cheap, pre-packed, stuff in the microwave, throw in the pan chemical…well, it passes as food after a fashion, I guess. Anecdotally, a few times I’ve passed through supermarket checkouts and been asked what *that* – a beetroot – is by the checkout operator. Now sure, they’ve been young people, but even so – to not know a beetroot by sight is kind of scary in my book.

      And then there is the cooking which isn’t unrelated to the above. Many people just can’t. I know of instances where food banks have ‘gratefully’ given away ‘bucket loads’ of basic foodstuff (baking ingredients) to people because they’ve been recognised as belonging to a minority who actually know what to do with the stuff.

      One good thing HC’s Labour led government did was introduce decent food to schools. That would have taken time to filter through and alter eating habits across a proportion of the populace, but them’s the breaks. Then along comes National and stomps it in the name of ‘less government interference and free choice’ with absolutely no thought given to the profit margin or market share of food corporations, of course.

    • Granted, it’s too expensive, especially for those in poverty or below middle income, to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

      But keep in mind that exempting them from GST can “waste” a lot of money in making fruit and veges cheaper for people who can already afford them. If there’s some good targetted policy on poverty reduction and increasing people’s ability to eat unprocessed food, then that’s good. So I’d say wait and see what the “more targetted approach” is.

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    A bigger venue? But, David, I just heard John Key say on the radio that you were under pressure from your caucus and the splits in the Labour Party were now obvious. Surely if that was the case, you’d need a smaller venue? Something doesn’t add up. It’s not like DunnoKeyo is a desperate, dissembling doofus … oh, wait.

    • bad12 5.1

      Another Slippery lie for Blip to add to the ever lengthening list He is compiling from the utterances of our soon to be ex-PM ???…

    • David H 5.2

      Oh look here’s an own goal by Cunliffe on the Drilling FFS they are just giving the NON voters yet another reason to just say “Fuck it” Roll over and go back to sleep on that Saturday!

      • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1

        Nah, it’s a non issue for non voters. As most things are. A perfectly sensible position from Cunliffe; if we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it safely and with NZers getting a fair cut, as they do in Norway. Should be a vote winner in Taranaki, Otago etc.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          The Norwegians don’t just “get a cut.” They maintain significant ownership of the resource and the extraction company. You may have heard of it? Statoil. We’ve just handed them a whole bunch of exploration rights for fuck all in return. The Norwegians have the formula right, we do not.

          • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1.1

            You talking to me?

          • Mongoose 5.2.1.1.2

            So CV are you in favour of what Cunliffe said?

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.2.1

              In terms of fossil fuel deposits, I’m in favour of a high degree of resource nationalism.

          • Skinny 5.2.1.1.3

            Well said CV, this is a great opportunity for DC to take not only the National stage but also the World stage. The NZLP ‘the soon to be Government of New Zealand’ can announce that as a progress Country New Zealand will be introducing regulations that will bring about change to a more equal society. The Banks, the corporates and the mega wealthy ‘can not be allowed’ to continue to dominate at the price of a just society.

            The time is right to steam the tide. Go for it David we have everything to loose if you don’t!

        • The first question is what Labour consideres “safely”. Because I would have thought any reasonable definition of that word would rule out all current deep-sea drilling.

          The second question is why would we want even more oil when we already have more than enough fossil fuels extracted to dramatically alter the climate into something that probably isn’t habitable by civilisation as we know it? Isn’t the oil business already a rogue agent?

      • newsense 5.2.2

        ehhh.

        Honour the current agreements. Not sign up to a whole lot of new agreements?

        Take the wind out of the sails of Joyce.

  6. greywarbler 6

    As for the speech David – We look forward to it whether we can attend or not. Cheers.

  7. One Anonymous Knucklehead 7

    The devil is in the detail. I’m looking forward to seeing how (and how much) we’re going to get out of the ideological rut.

    National’s abuse of urgency means a lot of corruption to undo. There are whole acts to repeal and replace more-or-less in toto.

    Will Labour be honest enough to acknowledge that the SOE model has failed, for example?

    Looking forward to the speech.

  8. just saying 8

    We are not stupid David. We’ll notice if the new policies primarily support the comfortable middle class like the ghastly policy of providing subsidies on brand-spanking new homes for the children of the aforesaid comfy middle – even if such policies might see a few working class people might get some benefit too.

    We are watching with interest. I’d love to be able to feel able to support Labour again.

    • Tracey 8.1

      +1

      We need a leader and partners who have the guts to tackle the long term stuff, otherwise it’s just tinkering at the edges.

      We need a society where people give a shit about their neighbor instead of constantly judging people they never see or meet.

  9. karol 9

    I’m not so bothered about dropping the GST on veges – depends on what replaces it.

    Not so keen on dropping the $5000 tax free zone – but also depends on what replaces it.

    However, I’m not keen at all on keeping of the policy to raise the super age to 67yrs.

    • bad12 9.1

      Definitely second that on the superannuation policy…

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.1.1

        Yep +1 to that

        • Arfamo 9.1.1.1

          +1. Greens get both my votes if the 67 entitlement policy is still a goer for Labour at election time. Figure out a better alternative David.

          • Arfamo 9.1.1.1.1

            And sell your fucking mansion. Why not start leading by example? Think about the impact that would have.

    • Bill 9.2

      Short and to the point there Karol, and probably echoing the thoughts of many.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        yep

        • greywarbler 9.2.1.1

          +2 right.
          Nuts to 67, 65 is right – jobs for the younger, who commit suicide out of depression over not having a job or a future to plan for.
          Advantages for the working over-65s, medical etc. but not super for the individual but spouses can receive half married rate.
          Volunteer work of all sorts to be done part time – contributions by oldsters.
          Right to die at will, after proceeding through various procedures, such as having a will, establishing state of mind.
          Earlier old age pension for the worn-out and invalids and sickness benes. Stop harrassing them.

    • bad12 9.3

      Karol i just asked myself the question, would i trade a move of the superannuation age to 67 for some extremely robust policy which attacks child poverty and bad housing outcomes at the lowest levels of income, my short answer is yes,

      Having said that tho i still remain firm in the belief that raising the age of superannuation coupled with compulsory Kiwisaver contributions is simply Treasury driven neo-liberalism at work,

      In ten years time i am willing to bet that there will be along with a raise in the amount of what is contributed to individuals kiwisavers another push with another TINA attached to again raise the age for super entitlement,

      Such policy i ‘see’ as culminating in very few or no-one getting superannuation, in other words a phase out of the pension by incremental steps…

    • @ karol..+ 1..

      phillip ure..

    • Naki Man 9.5

      People that do manual work will really struggle at age 67.
      I really do feel sorry for people trapped in this type of work.

      • Tracey 9.5.1

        of course you do, that’s why you vote National! :rollseyes:

        • Naki Man 9.5.1.1

          Tracey
          Well done
          National won’t make people work until age 67
          Vote National, retire at 65.
          Are you still struggling with that now?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.5.1.1.1

            I do believe that the only thing Tracey was ‘struggling with’ was achieving this: :roll:

            [It is 'roll' not rolleyes Tracey ;) ]

          • Paul 9.5.1.1.2

            Vote Green so you keep you retirement and your grandkids can still enjoy NZ’s environment.

    • felix 9.6

      + another 1 karol

    • Crunchtime 9.7

      Lower the Superannuation age to 18 or so, replace virtually all benefits with it.

      (in other words, Universal Basic Income)

  10. Will@Welly 10

    Thanks David for fronting up. Won’t be there, but will be watching. Obviously you’ve got more to you than someone else has, you’ve hardly said a word and already he’s squealing like a wounded rat. Ah, the life of a money trader, unless you’re rolling in it, life’s just one big fizzer. Go well, David.

  11. bad12 11

    Great to hear you enjoying yourself at Slippery the Prime Ministers expense this morning on RadioNZ National and it’s good to see you have found the Standard to be ‘useful’ as a platform of ideas,

    My belief is it is the ‘real time’ debates here by mainly those of us from ‘the left’ with the odd ‘wing-nut’ thrown in that allows any and every issue to be examined from all angles which makes this site a good read,

    ‘Nail it’ with your speech on Monday Mr Cunliffe….

  12. Karen 12

    Just heard David Cunliffe on Checkpoint saying Labour will not oppose deep-sea oil drilling. This is crazy on so many levels. Was thinking of going along on Monday but I don’t think I’ll bother.

    • karol 12.1

      I prefer the Greens’ policy on deep-sea oil drilling, and am still looking to vote Green Party ths year. But I don’t see it as a reason not to go to the meeting. I intend to go (Cunliffe is my electorate MP right now – who knows come the election as I’m in the new Kelston electorate?).

      I’m going because I want to hear the details of what will repace the dropped policies, and more. And because I want to see the audience reactions, and how Cunliffe performs live – and I can easily get to the venue.

    • chris73 12.2

      Sensible ideas are now spouting forth, you have to aim for the middle ground and Cunliffes now doing that…good on him

      You want to pay the unemployed more and implement living wage malarky well you have to pay for it and drillings one way

      • Tracey 12.2.1

        If chris is praising DC, then Labour are in BIG trouble. he wont vote Labour even when it reduced debt and ran decent surplus. he didnt trust Clark. Hasnt seen anything to suggest Key cant be trusted.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.3

      Not quite:

      “…a Labour government would change the law to ensure that all permits meet world best standards.
      Mr Cunliffe says a Labour government would not prohibit deep sea drilling, as proposed by the Greens.

      Labour is considering a model similar to Norway, where the government receives royalties from the proceeds of drilling operations, he says, but no decisions have been made.”

      • Tracey 12.3.1

        agree

        • Colonial Viper 12.3.1.1

          Doesn’t the NZ govt already receive royalties from drilling ops? Thats just the status quo, surely.

          • Tracey 12.3.1.1.1

            I am not talking about 1-5% royalties CV…and I don’t support such a pittance so easily got around by clever book-keepers BUT I support a higher return than now in return for the risk that “we” not the drilling companies are taking.

    • Crunchtime 12.4

      My feeling is that a sensible deep-sea drilling policy would be not to oppose it directly – but to immediately change the law so that companies drilling here are:

      1. required to take adequate safety precautions
      2. responsible for ALL costs incurred in the event of any spill
      3. required to pay a fair share of the profits.

      If this causes the venture to suddenly be too expensive for Anadarko and Shell et al and they then have to pack up and go home, that will say something about the procedure of deep sea oil drilling in the first place.

      New Zealand for New Zealanders first, foreign companies last.

      • George D 12.4.1

        Oil drilling is insane.

        Either we keep it under the ocean, or we destroy our climate and our ecosystems, and lose most of north Waikato. We don’t get to do both. Mr Cunliffe and Mr Key seem to think we can, and they are wrong.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.4.1.1

          Not quite, George. Mainstream climatologists pretty much assume we’re going to burn all the oil we can get our hands on. They are far more concerned about the coal: there’s so much more of it.

          • George D 12.4.1.1.1

            The climatologists I read are concerned about the burning of carbon. Oil, as you know, is mostly made from carbon and hydrogen. There are some nice graphics near the top of this page illustrating our current situation – I’m sure some Labour members are invested in not destroying s habitable future for a quick buck.

            Continuing to fossick for fossil fuels is sure way to destroy our future and wed us to our past.

    • Not a PS Staffer 12.5

      What is wrong with New Zealand having an income from oil?
      If it can be produced safely and the right royalty regime is in place them I’m all for it. Go Cunliffe!

      The workers of NZ have bee screwed for ages: this might be a chance to fund significant improvement in housing, education and care for the aged. An oil income might stop the worrying talk of extending pension age to 67.

      It is disappointing to see those who rightly criticize climate deniers for ignoring science on matters of global warming then ignoring science themselves when it come to drilling.

  13. @ david cunnliffe..

    ..cheered to hear you took note of the feedback in that thread..

    ..i felt the ‘there is an alternative’-meme/idea is one with some potency..

    ..as a commenter pointed out..it both appeals to the young/gen xers..(raised on t.i.n.a..)

    ..and it repudiates that rightwing lie/justification..

    ..that has echoed down the decades..for those older..

    ..you could wrap that around almost anything..

    ..i look forward to yr speech next mon..

    ..i will be there..quills sharpened..

    ..leaning forward in anticipation..

    (btw..it would help burnish/flesh-out yr ‘human/person’-image..

    ..were you to tell us which comments in that mega-thread made you laugh out loud..and for why..?

    ..and with..?..or at..?..)

    ..phillip ure..

    • David H 13.1

      And then ignores everything said on the Deep sea oil drilling. And says that labour support it. Great, start a war with the Greens. No wonder Shonky is Pissing hi’sself laughing at Amateur hour.

      • phillip ure 13.1.1

        of course..david h..such oil/drill-pimping from labour..(yoo-hoo..!..c.v..!..in-step with leader there..eh..?..)

        ..will be good for the green vote..

        ..as green labourites..will be able to give the greens their party vote..

        ..knowing it won’t be wasted..

        ..and that the more green mp’s..the greener this progressive coalition will be..

        ..the greens should be morris-dancing in celebration..

        ..phillip ure..

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          don’t know about morris dancing, but they are yweting about it – gives them a distinction from Labour.

          I see Glower is caiming it’s a mistake as it shows a rift between Labour and Greens – if that’s how it works, it’s worse for Key because NZ First disagreees with the Nats on a key policy platform – assett sales.

          But Glower just makes things up anyway.

          • George D 13.1.1.1.1

            It’s a huge rift. The anger expressed within the Greens privately today has been immense and heartfelt. People are talking about voting down a coalition agreement with Labour over this issue – such a coalition has become significantly less likely, and should not be taken for granted.

            It is about equivalent to how I imagine most here would feel if the party they depended on said it was going to abolish unions.

            • Zorr 13.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know your credentials here George D but I would be *very* surprised if anyone in the Greens actually got upset over Labour policy. When Labour says dick things, telling the Greens how to act without any quid quo pro then get upset.

              I mean, isn’t that why you vote Green – so that they represent your interests in Parliament and not Labour? There is always a degree of horse trading in any coalition.

            • weka 13.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s a huge rift. The anger expressed within the Greens privately today has been immense and heartfelt. People are talking about voting down a coalition agreement with Labour over this issue – such a coalition has become significantly less likely, and should not be taken for granted.

              It is about equivalent to how I imagine most here would feel if the party they depended on said it was going to abolish unions.

              That’s all pretty curious. For one, what Cunliffe has said isn’t too different from what Labour have been saying all along, is it (in comparison to the GP policy)? So it’s not like this is new or news. Secondly, it’s possible that this is Labour’s way of limiting oil exploration without being seen to be anti-jobs. If the new laws set the bar so high that companies choose not to drill, isn’t that good? And if this means that Labour gets to form the next govt, is that not also good?

              I’d like to see Labour form a govt this year, for bloody obvious reasons, not least to stop NACT giving the go ahead on ripping out more resources. If the GP don’t go into coalition, are you suggesting that they let NACT form govt, or are you suggesting that they stay out of govt but support Labour as a minority govt?

              • George D

                Until this point there had been contradictory messages, with Labour taking a populist stance against ‘risky drilling’ on the one hand, and Shane (“drill it, mine it, burn it”) Jones talking boldly about the need to facilitate the extraction of oil. I and others were not sure how that would be resolved.

                I am saying that the Alliance experience is instructive – it is hard to imagine the Green Party giving confidence and supply to a Government that allows off-shore oil drilling.


                I’d like to see Labour form a govt this year, for bloody obvious reasons, not least to stop NACT giving the go ahead on ripping out more resources.

                I’m curious as to how (apart from the nationalisation of a share of the profits) KiwiDrill is any different to NACTdrill. Labour still support the expansion of the coal industry, and during the last Government were strong supporters of new coal mines, even on highly important conservation land.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Here’s why I think you’re wrong. In government, the Green Party will be in a position to implement a whole raft of policies, including direct input into new offshore drilling regulations.

                  That’s as good as it gets barring a massive (like 20%) rise in the party’s polling. Personally I’d like to see a ban on new coal exploration and extraction, and if I had to agree to the toughest set of offshore drilling regulations in the world to get it, I’d be in with a grimace.

                • weka

                  “I am saying that the Alliance experience is instructive – it is hard to imagine the Green Party giving confidence and supply to a Government that allows off-shore oil drilling.”

                  You haven’t answered my question. Do you think that the GP will let National form a govt rather than support Labour? Or, if the GP won’t give Labour confidence and supply or a coalition agreement, what are the alternatives?

                  I’m curious as to how (apart from the nationalisation of a share of the profits) KiwiDrill is any different to NACTdrill. Labour still support the expansion of the coal industry, and during the last Government were strong supporters of new coal mines, even on highly important conservation land.

                  We’re all waiting to see if Labour are actually moving away for neoliberalism or not. Have Labour specified what KiwiDrill is? If not, then I still don’t get your comment at 10:14pm last night, where you say that people in the GP are reacting strongly against what Cunliffe has said, to the point of wanting to refuse a coalition. Why are you reacting as if this (Labour on drilling) is all set in stone, or is substantially different than before yesterday?

                  I’d also like to know where the conversations are happening amongst the Greens, where people are talking about refusing a coalition because of Labour’s policy on drilling.

                  • KJT

                    Not hearing much about refusing co-operation with Labour. More on how we can work together. Including around the differences.

                    Greens are discussing the same moral conflict as Labour, between jobs and the environment.

                    And trying to find a way ahead that looks after both.

      • Naki Man 13.1.2

        DC is showing that he will not be pushed around by the Greens
        He has to appeal to the centre left voters

      • Skinny 13.1.3

        You only heard what you wanted to hear chap. To my ears DC said “sure deep sea drill under tough regulations, f**** up and you’ll have a clean up plan in place to our satisfaction, and the compensation costs are going to wound the crap out of ya” It’s called regulation, yes get use to that word as it is going to be in place every which way the mega wealthy look in this country under Labour.

  14. Tracey 14

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0509/S00438.htm

    Dunne on Peters: ‘Can we trust him? No, we can’t!’

  15. freedom 15

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts Mr Cunliffe.
    Hopefully more politicians take the opportunity to experience the interactive political environment that is developing in Aotearoa.

    I understand 1.5 Billion is not chicken feed, but after seeing the 5K policy was to be dropped, I read this, “which can be used more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.”

    I do hope this isn’t polispeak for a political party yet again overlooking the growing number of single adult low income people who populate this land. To whom 5 thousand dollars is certainly not chicken feed.

    • it’s the tax on five grand..freedom..not five grand..

      ..and it should be first 15 grand tax-free..(for those up to a certain income..)

      phillip ure..

      • freedom 15.1.1

        thanks for that phillip, mistakes matter. I will doubleproofread more carefully in future.

        ‘To whom the tax on 5 thousand .. ‘ was what I obviously meant to write

      • Crunchtime 15.1.2

        Flat-ish tax for low incomes with a UBI is how I’d do it – making sure all those currently earning between the median wage and zero are better off, and removing disincentives to work.

        • phillip ure 15.1.2.1

          @ crunchtime..

          ..the beauty of a sweeping ending-poverty-for-all measure..

          ..is that this will mean we will be able to do away with that revenue-gulping behemoth..

          ..the work and income dept..

          ..there will be no longer a need for them..

          ..what’s not to love about that..?

          ..for leftwingers and rightwingers..?

          ..(even the libertarians should be nodding along..)

          ..and there is one guaranteed-economic-fact from such a measure..

          ..and that is that any/all monies funnelled into ending poverty..

          ..provide an immediate and ongoing economic fillip..

          ..as of course all that money goes straight back into retailers’ tills..

          ..spent on the basics of life..

          ..what’s not to love about all that..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • phillip ure 15.1.2.1.1

            and what to do with all those monuments to themselves they have built for themselves in every town..?

            ..that’s easy..!

            ..a very large number of them will make ideal community/arts-centres..

            ..(whatever it is deemed each area needs most.)

            ..give them back to the people..

            ..after all..they paid for them..

            ..eh..?

            ..phillip ure..

  16. gem 16

    Thanks David; it’s refreshing to hear the country’s ”ideological rut” malaise acknowledged
    While premature until we hear more detail on Monday, I am wary of dropping universal policies in favour of more targeted support for people raising children, when it’s at the expense of the aforesaid universal policies. Depending on how it’s configured, such targeted assistance may not reduce inequality, and can become a wage subsidy for employers.
    In Australia, individual income is tax free up to $18,200AU!
    While you have signalled there will be a tax increase for those at the top, the low-end tax break would make a huge difference to people struggling at the bottom.

    • Rodel 16.1

      gem…
      In Australia, individual income is tax free up to $18,200AU!
      Is that true?

      • karol 16.1.1

        Yep – easy to find. Aus tax free threshold.

      • gem 16.1.2

        Yes, that’s right Rodel; thanks for the link Karol. Australia has done a better job of softening the effects of neoliberalism. It’s due in my view to the cultural primacy of the good old Aussie battler, for which we don’t really have an equivalent here.

        • Bill 16.1.2.1

          It’s due in my view to the cultural primacy of the good old Aussie battler…

          Got some vague notion that it had to do with their two tier governance structure. Harder to ram shit through two accountable layers than it is one….too much to hi-jack?

        • George D 16.1.2.2

          It’s one reason Kiwis leave and never come back (I know it’s not fashionable to talk about things that Australia does better). Having a tax free threshold means much more money in the pocket for the working poor. (Though we have WFF, which achieves some of the same things for parents with children under 18).

        • George D 16.1.2.3

          It’s one reason Kiwis leave and never come back (I know it’s not fashionable to talk about things that Australia does better). Having a tax free threshold means much more money in the pocket for the working poor. (Though we have WFF, which achieves some of the same things for parents with children under 18).

        • millsy 16.1.2.4

          “softening the effects of neo-liberalism”?

          WTF?

          You have Victoria’s Labor leader promising to sell the port of Melbourne (quickly), as well as Hawke and Keating openly boasting of cutting government spending and calling for the Coalition to cut, cut cut. — not to mention Labor premiers flogging stuff off like it was going out of fashion.

          The ALP is probably more right wing than our Labour party.

          • gem 16.1.2.4.1

            Millsy, what you have raised does not alter the fact that in terms of taxation, the average Aussie has received more protection from the market economy than the average Kiwi.

          • phillip ure 16.1.2.4.2

            but back when our union leaders dropped their trousers..bent over..and said ‘please be gentle..!’..

            ..and then went and whimpered in the corner..while waiting for knighthoods/seats on boards etc..

            ..the australian union leaders kept their pants firmly buckled..

            ..and told the tumescent neo-lib/randites..

            ..to just ‘fuck off!’..

            ..i think this is the ‘difference’ being referred to..

            phillip ure..

            • gem 16.1.2.4.2.1

              yep … essentially we kiwis have a more defeatest mindset.

              • Colonial Viper

                Some types will even sell out for just half a dozen pieces of silver.

                • tricledrown

                  kiwis were to poor to take time off work to protest and pay unions.
                  and some unions were over the top like the perennial strikes on the inter island ferries which stuffed up huge numbers of poorer peoples holidays .
                  the rich flew in those days.
                  those strikes had a flow on effect because of delivery of products food excetera put others jobs at risk.
                  the unions run mainly by poms just flexed their muscles for the sake of it.
                  tactics were nieve and when push came to shove people deserted the unions because they went to far .
                  those unions now are gone.
                  we need unions to keep the work place safe and pay living wages.
                  now we have only 17% or less of the Workforce unionized its gone to far the other way

                  • KJT

                    A few unions did that, most didn’t.

                    No mention of the rail ferry employers deliberately spinning out the dispute until the holidays. Or the fact that the seaman’s union would always offer to take passengers and cars for no pay, only to be locked out by the employers. “No rail, no sail” it was called.

                    Wasn’t sorry to see the cooks and stewards union go. But if you know the history, of how English shipowners treated seamen during WW2, it was not surprising they were bloody minded.

                    We have no shortage of militant and greedy employers unions, and employers. No one suggests removing them, however.

                    • greywarbler

                      KJT
                      That was good stuff. I didn’t remember about all of the proceedings of the unions and employers. It isn’t surprising to find that both sides could have done better. The unions were pretty well off in the end so there was no excuse for bloodymindedness because of the war, which was long over.

                      The Cooks and Stewards were another story. And I feel that their shenanigans were the basis for the determined anti-union stance becoming rock hard and so destructive right to today.

                      All unions have to think on about their demands. I was looking at Ansett in NZ the other day. The pilots went on a prolonged strike because the airline wanted a change. The pilots apparently had been working 11 hours a week, 15 were wanted, and their holiday time was 9 weeks a year plus 11 statutory days and the idea was to push those extra days into the 9 week period.

                      No wonder Ansett went down in Oz and here, and unfortunately the string of our kite was tied to it. Reading about it is a sad tale.

      • tricledrown 16.1.3

        not completely
        work cover in most states taxed separately
        compulsory health care taxed separately
        compulsory super 9%

        • gem 16.1.3.1

          Fair enough; Australia also has lower GST (10%, compared with our 15%, plus no GST on fresh food, healthcare, approved education courses, and some basic services).

  17. millsy 17

    The tax free threshold and taking GST of F and G were very expensive polices that delivered few tangible benefits (or spread them too thinly).

    I look forward to DC’s speech. He has the golden oppurtunity to make it his “Orewa”. Im not going to speculate on what could be in it, but the the sign that his party is thinking about an SWF is promising. That would really cause a lot of panic in the 9th floor, and would make quite a few people think about voting Labour. as they would see some tangible benefits from drilling.

  18. Jenny 18

    I think the preliminary statements coming from David Cunliffe preceding his speech on the 27th raise more questions than answers.

    Maybe this is his intent.

    So it will be good to see if some of these questions are answered in his speech on the 27th.

    On climate change:

    Gareth Hughes and Jeanette Fitzsimmons of the Green Party have both said that Deep Sea Oil must be opposed on climate change grounds.

    So I was distressed to see that David Cunliffe has given conditional approval to deep sea oil drilling, this is in contradiction of the views on the danger of climate change that he expressed in his famous Dolphin and Dole queue speech.

    This leads me to wonder where David Cunliffe stands on that other Green Party bottom line policy, of No New Coal Mines?

    Will David Cunliffe say anything about the huge proposed expansion of new coal mining on the Denniston Plateau?

    Will David Cunliffe say anything at all about climate change?

    I think that if the Labour leader takes up Greg Presland’s suggestion to make some vague promise to bring agriculture into the ETS, this will signal that Labour have given up on winning the next election, as this policy would only serve to alienate rural voters and will leave city dwellers unmoved. Whereas everyone wants to see deep sea oil drilling stopped.

    Also by not siding with the Greens over Deep Sea Oil and No New Coal mines David Cunliffe is leaving the door open for John Key to attack the Greens as extremists for promoting these policies.

    On tax cuts:

    As well as David Cunliffes support for deep sea oil drilling which will cost Labour votes.

    David Cunliffe says he will reverse Labour’s ‘promised’ tax cuts on the poor, But has said nothing about whether he will reverse National’s ‘actual’ tax cuts on the rich.

    I was also a bit disturbed by David Cunliffe’s announced removal of two of the Labour Party’s proposed tax cuts on the poor, ie the promise to cut the GST tax off fresh fruit and vegetables, and the promise to cut the tax for the first $5,000 dollars of income. David Cunliffe says this is necessary because of the $1.5billion these tax cuts will cost the public accounts.

    Though of course this policy too, will cost Laobur votes, I am prepared to keep an open mind on these reversals in Labour poverty mitigation, awaiting the release of Labour’s “comprehensive economic and social package” of which David Cunliffe said, “I’ll be outlining the first of these policies at my State of the Nation speech on Monday.”

    Hopefully we will be hearing that as well as reversing Labour’s two proposed tax cuts on the poor, David Cunliffe will be removing the whole raft of actual tax cuts on the rich, which will return many more $billions back into the public accounts, way more than will be saved in reversing Labour’s proposed, two, $1.5million tax cuts on the poor.

    On Superannuation:

    David Cunliffe has said nothing on reversing Labour’s manifesto policy on raising the age of retirement to 67.

    If David Cunliffe retains this policy, this is another election loser.
    Everyone knows the older section of the population vote in larger numbers than the younger section of the population. Not only this, but younger voters will be annoyed that they will be kept out of jobs by older people working on longer. This is a definite vote killer for Labour, especially in light of the fact that John Key has vowed not to raise the age of retirement. So if David Cunliffe does not reverse this policy, as well as costing Labour votes, he will also be handing Winston Peters the perfect excuse to go with National. Matt McCarten has forecast that NZFirst will bring in 6 MPs next year. On current polling this will guarantee a National led government.

    The ABC will be rubbing their hands in glee, when Labour loses they will be able to shift the blame to Cunliffe and continue on their hard Right neo-liberal course.

    As Chris Trotter likes to say, “They would rather keep control of the losing side than lose control of the winning side.”

    • karol 18.1

      Cunliffe has said he’ll retasin the 67 yrs super policy, with some manipulations for “social and gedner equity”

      So, no longer the Cunliffe cheerleader, Jenny?

      • the pigman 18.1.1

        Ehm, I don’t think Jenny ever was (you’re not confusing her with Jenny Michie?). IIRC she has always been a million miles left of (post-Rogernome) Labour.

        • karol 18.1.1.1

          Nope. No confusion. Jenny (not Michie) comment many times, very critical of the Greens, and claiming only Cunliffe among the current “left” MPs understood the importance of combating climate change. Major cheerleader for Cunliffe she was.

      • Jenny 18.1.2

        “Confident that the unstated threat of Labour MPs’ exposing the fragility of Cunliffe’s caucus authority will protect dissidents from the wrath of both the Leader’s and the party’s Head Office, the Old Guard are slowly but surely imprisoning Cunliffe in a right-wing policy framework designed to damage his left-wing credentials in the eyes of trade union affiliates, Labour’s rank-and-file and, eventually, the voters.”
        Chris Trotter

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/01/21/incomplete-victory-david-cunliffes-position-in-labours-caucus-looks-increasingly-shaky/

        I have always said David Cunliffe could be great. It is still his choice.

        He knows what needs to be done.

        He has the skills, he has the experience, he has the intelligence, he has the knowledge, despite not having the backing of the caucus, he has the backing of his party. Some have suggested he needs to take a pruning hook to his caucus, (possibly releasing a round of internecine warfare) I don’t necessarily think so, I think Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

        I have met the man and I was impressed and I have met a lot of politicians.

        But as I said, “I am prepared to keep an open mind”. So far most projections point to a Labour/Green electoral loss especially if the non-voters continue to stay away. Who knows? Maybe David Cunliffe will announce that reversing Labour’s promised tax cuts on the poor will be balanced out, by also reversing National’s (and Labour’s) tax cuts on the rich, to pay for a massive expansion in social services to, as David Cunliffe says, “more effectively to help Kiwi families when it is targeted better to deliver help where needed.”[sic]

        There is no reason at all, that all childhood poverty in particular, if it was properly “targeted”, could not be eliminated in this country within three years. Full free universal medical and dental and prescriptions for all dependent children could be a start. The extension of working for families extended to all families. The reversal of the benefit cuts.

        Maybe we could have a fully funded and staffed garden-to-table program in every school as outlined by David Shearer HERE providing luncheon and breakfast and teaching kitchen and garden skills.

        To alleviate the effects of poverty on families, we could have rent controls like they have in the US. A badly needed policy at a time when the State provision of housing has been run into the sand, and since high rents are used to set real estate value, high rents have lent to unaffordable home ownership. As well as lessening the burden of poverty on families, rent control would cool the overheated property market. Not only this but it would cost the government nothing.

        • greywarbler 18.1.2.1

          Jenny was up late writing wisdom, or before the birds getting the worms, in this summary of David Cunliffe’s route to making the Beehive a place of happy production of honey as well as milk, and take its persona away of being the Castle on the Hill, remote and full of unpleasant secrets and people.
          Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 18.1.2.1.1

            Cunliffe just has to go over the heads of the neo-liberal wormtongues and talk straight to the membership and the public.

            The thing is, the membership and the public want different messages. The membership need to be told “neoliberal agenda, thousand years of darkness, dogs and cats living together, but we avoid that if we all work together”. The public will laugh if they hear that.

            The public need to be told “yes things are great, yes the economy’s doing well and unemployment’s down and confidence is up… but Labour can do it even better”. The membership will laugh if they hear that. Because to not laugh is to agree that National is doing a fantastic job of running the country.

            Then Cunliffe gets slammed for “talking out both sides of his mouth”.

            • Crunchtime 18.1.2.1.1.1

              Disagree. Unemployment is still somewhat high, the poverty gap has never been wider, the underclass of poor (not to mention novoting) public wants to hear that Labour will make things better for everyone, wants to hear how Labour will make the country a “fairer” place to live. That’s also what the membership want to hear, I am sure.

    • Puckish Rogue 18.2

      “Whereas everyone wants to see deep sea oil drilling stopped.”

      – Well no, a large proportion of people want to see drilling and mining encouraged

  19. adam 19

    I think I said in the other blog, ( http://thestandard.org.nz/what-should-david-cunliffes-say-in-his-state-of-the-nation-speech/ ) Labour has no spine. I’m feeling that – Hooton (or should we really be calling him – Putin) and co – Have won the “freak out the social democrats debate”.

  20. Ad 20

    Pretty amazing to hear people say this morning that David Cunliffe “has no spine” or roughly ‘I don’t trust him’.

    For people like Chris Trotter who are worried about the ‘old guard’, it’s worth reminding that Labour’s caucus numbers are at their lowest in many generations. Unless a whole bunch more come in in the next election, that’s how it will remain for a bit as well. Most of caucus do know that Labour members have far greater power over them than previously.

    Also it’s worth remembering that he’s not the leader of the Green Party. Mr Russell is, and he can do his own speech whenever he likes for people to project their own idealism onto. David Cunliffe is the leader of the Labour Party.

    Why not turn up on Monday and see what he stands for? It’s going to be one of Those Events. Then comment afterwards.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1

      Huh? DC encourages our commentary and you respond by telling us to shut up? That’ll fly. No, really. Why don’t you believe me?

      • Ad 20.1.1

        Come along and check it out.
        Compare to Keys text today.
        See which version of New Zealand you prefer.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1.1.1

          Um, no contest for me. I’ll watch the speech with interest, but I think Labour/Green will be the worst possible coalition apart from all the other ones.

          • Crunchtime 20.1.1.1.1

            “Um, no contest for me. I’ll watch the speech with interest, but I think Labour/Green will be the worst possible coalition apart from all the other ones.”

            Excellent summary sir, thoroughly agree.

            • phillip ure 20.1.1.1.1.1

              @ oak..

              ..aye..!..

              ..(tho’ i wd add a strong mana presence..to stiffen both labour and green spines..)

              ..forget peters now..key has reached out and touched him..

              ..and thus permanently tainted any nz first vote..

              ..he can’t be trusted..

              ..yr vote wd not be ‘safe’..

              ..you cd vote for economic-nationalist peters..

              ..and end up with supporting tory-toads peters..

              ..and that wouldn’t do..

              ..phillip ure..

    • karol 20.2

      Russel is also not THE leader if the Greens – he’s co-leader. The other co-leader is much stronger on combatting poverty and for a more egalitarian society.

  21. natwest 21

    I just hope for Messiah’s sake that he crunches his numbers before Monday’s “lolly” speach to the nation.

    Because if he hasn’t John Key will take him apart – limb by limb!

    Somehow, given past experience – I doubt very much that he will have, as most of his policy releases have been of the cuff and on the hoof.

    Looking forward to the comedy show come Monday.

    • framu 21.1

      strangely enough, the same isnt demanded from “back of a napkin” key is it

    • greywarbler 21.2

      natwest
      Trouble is with politics about your country, are you a NZ? whether it is funny, ridiculous, unbelievable, it is always serious. The more funny it is, the more serious you should be. So look and listen you might find some laughs but you can run from the serious stuff, but you can’t hide.

  22. Ron 22

    I hope that someone will be at The Kelston School to redirect any people that have not got the change of venue. After spending some time this week advising members of where the speech is being given the last minute change could cause a lot of confusion on Monday.
    Here’s hoping that we fill new venue to overflowing.

    • LynWiper 22.1

      I’ve just had a phone call to ensure I know of the change. I had registered I was going. Someone is onto it! :-)

  23. Yey, David Cunliffe listened to us!

    He announced that fracking, asset sales and low tax for the rich would be off the table and that low and middle class incomes would get reprieve with the exemption of fruit and veggies of GST and the first $ 5000 of income free (something which was the norm in for example Holland) and to top it up he proposes to Nationalize the already looted assets and to start investigations into banking products such as the Derivatives sold to farmers in New Zealand in order to make sure that nobody will be the victim of less than honorable intentions of the international banking elite.

    Ummm…. Well I guess I have my answer about the two heads of the same dragon!

  24. Papa Tuanuku 24

    Is Norway riddled with active earthquake faults like we are?

    All I see is permits being given in locations that are also having a heap of eathquakes (off Whakaari in the BoP), and around Seddon. What sort of nutcase society sees any logic in this? THis makes me want a Green – led coalition, if we dream it, we can make it happen.

  25. Ad 25

    Isn’t it time we got the leader, any leader, of the Green Party to front up on this site?
    Great time for it.

  26. floyd 26

    Can the permits already granted by the national *know nots* be rescinded when Labour gets into power? Or do they have to be honoured anyway? Curious to know.

    • That depends whom you ask. The international holders of the assets will tell you the earth will open and you will go to hell if you Nationalize. People and countries on the receiving end of corporate lawsuits will tell you to go tell those international holders of these asset to go to hell themselves

  27. Rhinocrates 27

    The best thing about this is that David Cunliffe, contra Mumblefuck and Iagreewithmatthew Williams, is that he knows the importance of new media instead of pretending that computers are a fad.

    • Chooky 27.1

      Rhino….imo …. you got rid of Mumblefuck…you wouldnt let up!…and the poor bastard was beached, breached ,blinded, blindsided and blitheringly mumblefucked by the brilliance of your slashing swordsmanship verbosity….

      …just as well imo

      …next target? (Possum is in hiding) ….so how about Steven Joyce?… or John Key?

      • Chooky 27.1.1

        actually that is a silly comment…Mumblefuck got rid of himself by mumblefucking….but where is Possum?….us Chooks want some more fun

  28. As an oldie on just the pension I manage quite well ,however a better coverage of the “gold card ‘ would be welcome. But it is the young who are having a raw deal.Unemployment, bad eating habits and the working poor. These issues need seeing too.So meals in schools including fresh fruit and milk. School uniforms to be standardized each school identified by then badge ,This would enable uniforms to be mass produced and sold at cost price.
    Firms subsidized to take apprentices plus trade training for unemployed but with a livable benefit. All employees to be encouraged to join their union . Firms that have a bad work accident record will be required to enforce compulsory unionism.
    Let us remember that under this Act/National government we have a new class of people “The working poor. ” I hope you will remind the public of this David , Unable to get to the meeting but best wishes and give those bloody Tories hell.

  29. greywarbler 29

    I thought that the venue had been changed from Kelston school? Am I right? Is the address at the top in the post, the right one?

  30. Clemgeopin 30

    I was HIGHLY impressed with the last two minutes of Cunliffe’s talk with the journalists today. Towards the end I felt a glimpse of the real Mr Cunliffe, PM and leader, when he spoke with real passion and conviction. Watch this link.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1401/S00054/cunliffe-underwhelmed-by-keys-state-of-the-nation-speech.htm

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 30.1

      That would be a link to the website of the organisation that is helping set up Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party, yeah?

      • Clemgeopin 30.1.1

        What is that to do with the point of my post? Did you watch the last two minutes?

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.2

        It’s a small country with not many people. Occasionally, conflicts of interest arise and are dealt with.

      • Crunchtime 30.1.3

        You are sadly misinformed.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 30.1.3.1

          You are sadly misinformed.

          domain_name: internetparty.co.nz
          query_status: 200 Active
          domain_dateregistered: 2013-12-18T08:24:04+13:00
          registrant_contact_name: Scoop Media Limited

  31. newsense 31

    ” I don’t think this policy will be enough for a coalition between National and Labour” lolz

  32. fear all 32

    Key wants us to be slaves to the protectionist crap that suits American and European corporate interests and an open door to any another outfit that has more money to pay their way into controlling the resources of this country and eventually replacing the responsibilities we have in the pacific by trading our democracy to the control of the these aforesaid groups

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    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way 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...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 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...
    frogblog | 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...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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