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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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    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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