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David Shearer isn’t Jesus? No sh*t, Sherlock

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 pm, January 9th, 2013 - 100 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

(Author note: I originally wrote and scheduled this post just at my own blog, but given Imperator Fish’s post has been syndicated to The Standard, I figured I’d reply in kind.)

I’m absolutely certain that Scott Yorke was not thinking of me when he wrote The Post I Never Posted.

I don’t believe I’m personally on his radar. I think he’s responding to a wider trend of Shearer-critical posts, predominantly at The Standard.

And I can see how people who are Labour supporters are getting a little annoyed with the constant pointing out of Shearer’s many clear failings. Look, people, we’ve already explained six times that he can’t answer basic questions about his political ideas in clear complete sentences, do we really need to go for round 7?

And I was feeling all warm and charitable about the broad variety of opinions on the New Zealand left, and how wonderful it is that we have so many leftie bloggers who can put their arguments forward for wider discussion.

And then I got to this sentence.

And even if I was wrong on that point, I went on to write, David Shearer was still not the best man for the job, because he had failed to demonstrate an ability to walk on water or bring the dead back to life.

How droll. Scott thinks we Shearer-critics are unrealistic, over-demanding, petulant children who expect the leader of the parliamentary Labour Party to be not just the perfect politician, but messianic.

It would be a super-cutting little barb if it bore any resemblance to reality. If, say, Shearer had blown the political debate wide open with his first big policy speech, taking the fight straight to John Key, if whoever the Labour Education spokesperson is/was had claimed the easily-findable scalp of Hekia Parata. If, say, Labour were still only at 30-odd in the polls, but this was clearly down to a set of un-Shearer-related botches, like Shane Jones getting caught using taxpayer money for porn. Again. And it was Sea Shepherd-themed.

Basically, if Shearer had turned out to be a fantastic, charismatic, visionary, inspiring leader, but Labour was still doing poorly in the polls because a lot of its MPs are complete muppets … then someone like Scott might very well have a good point to make about criticisms of Shearer being based on unrealistic expectations.

Here’s what I hoped – I won’t say “expected”, since he was such an unknown quantity at the time of his election to the parliamentary Labour leader position – of David Shearer.

Look and sound better on the telly than Phil Goff did

Difficulty rating: not found

Phil Goff was actually a damn fine speaker when he was on form, but on TV he just had an unfortunately grumpy-looking face. Then someone worked magic behind the scenes during the 2011 campaign and he figured out how to smile. Apparently this someone is no longer employed by the Labour parliamentary office.

Tell us what Labour is about

Difficulty rating: minimal

I understand that I’m a big scary ranty feminist with big scary feminist political goals (like SHOCK HORROR comprehensive sex education!) I do understand that mainstream party leaders cannot actually go on Campbell Live and say “First thing I’m going to do is make abortion legal, free and available in every town in New Zealand.”

What I feel it was entirely reasonable to expect, though? A big, sexy commitment to a guaranteed living wage. To a 40 hour working week. To expanding Kiwibank, or offering a public option for KiwiSaver, to crack down on Aussie banks who don’t pay tax and millionaires who hide their assets in trusts.

What we got was analogies about lazy roof-painters not pulling their weight.

Lead the Labour caucus

Difficulty rating: pretty low for a dude whose work experience includes literal warzones

Instead, a damn fine spokesperson and one of the most competent (one might almost say one of the only competent) frontbench MPs gets paddled over a non-coup … and Shane Jones shits all over the Green Party while Clare Curran antagonises the biggest online ally the party has.

Take the hammer to National when the opportunity presents itself

Difficulty: kinda your job

Remember how David Shearer completely caned John Key over the Christchurch school closures debacle? That was totally awesome! … Wait, the dude with the big ears who says “marvellous” all the time isn’t David Shearer? He’s a journalist, you say? Well damn.

And yes, I would’ve liked a giant, fluorescent shift to the left, some repudiation of previous shitty Labour policies, even the slightest glimmer of acknowledgement that the Waitakere Myth was a stupid basis for policy, but guess what, people, the fact I say “fuck” a fuck of a lot doesn’t actually mean I’m a totally unreasonable echo-chamber-constructing bitch.

What I really wanted David Shearer to do, was show he understood that in the first year of a big, public, direction-setting role like leading the parliamentary Labour Party, you need to make an impact. You need to put your mark on the situation. You need to show you have a reason to be there which isn’t “keep the member for Hutt South in bike pants” and a passion for the job. Please note: constantly using the phrase “I have a passion for this job” is just breaking the cardinal rule of show, don’t tell.

For any of the above to be the political equivalent of “walking on water” I must actually be situated on another planet, like Mars. Where the water is frozen damn solid for a lot of the time. What I’m saying is, it’s not hard. Unlike the water.

And the only “dead” that Shearer was meant to bring back to life was Labour’s poll ratings. Given the performance of the government in recent times, Labour clawing its way back to its crushing 2008 defeat levels of support is barely a flicker in Lazarus’ eye.

What’s super-ironic is that the most recent example of Shearer-pedestal-setting I’ve seen comes from … still-a-Shearer-fan Mike Smith, quoted by Colonial Viper at The Standard:

Labour’s new leader promised a fresh approach. He’s delivered already in his speech in reply today. Gone is the ritual opening denunciation of the government’s programme – Shearer begins with where a new Labour government would start.

He puts Labour firmly on the path to winning in 2014 – the intention is clearly stated and the programme for the clean, green and clever New Zealand is exactly the right one. He understands what New Zealanders expect of their MPs. It’s a very good start.

I never expected Shearer to be the messiah of the Labour Party. Other people told us he would be, but I am nothing if not a cynic.

I just wanted a leader.

Apparently this was far too much of me to ask.

~

(Here’s the hilarious thing: before I saw Scott’s post I’d already drafted tomorrow’s post, an apology to David Shearer. Because it is actually possible to seriously dislike a guy and have not a shred of faith he’ll lead Labour to victory and simultaneously not think he’s the Antichrist.)

100 comments on “David Shearer isn’t Jesus? No sh*t, Sherlock”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    well, David Cunliffe is a friend of mine, Jeremiah was…a…bullfrog…

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    QoT, you had me at

    the fact I say “fuck” a fuck of a lot doesn’t actually mean I’m a totally unreasonable echo-chamber-constructing bitch.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Little question for you, QOT…
    http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Whores.+No+doubt+about+it_f15a7e_3930437.jpg

    [QoT: Per Colonial Weka’s description below, Morrissey, cut the bullshit. We clearly do not have the kind of past history or relationship wherein you making sex-shaming “jokes” towards me gets a pass. Future baseless, derailing crap of this kind and you’re simply banned from commenting on my posts.]

    • karol 3.1

      Say what? What’s the question? Where?

    • Colonial Weka 3.2

      Morrissey, it’s so helpful when you post showing how truly misogynistic you are. Sometimes you post things on ts that are very interesting, but let’s not forget exactly where you stand with regards to the politics of women and women’s sexuality in particular.

      Also of note is that you’ve forgotten that it’s against ts rules to attack authors esp in their own threads.

      • karol 3.2.1

        I have no idea what Morrissey’s link is about. It just takes me to a page full of thumbnails. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Shearer, a fresh Labour Party start, or a left wing Messiah.

        And, in response to QOT’s post: has there been a post lately of any substance that supports Shearer, other than he’s the lesser of evils and we should all show solidarity? Any rebuttals of the criticisms that QOT reprises in her post?

        The Shearer support seems to focus on things marginal to these criticisms, or general expressions of optimism for the future of the party.

        • Murray Olsen 3.2.1.1

          Morrisey’s link seems to have taken him straight to WhaleSpew, where he’s now settling in with the good ol’ boys. It took me to a page of thumbnails which I can’t make any sense of whatsoever.

          • karol 3.2.1.1.1

            That happened when I was using Chrome. When I copied and pasted to a firefox browser, the link opened fine to the dreaded piece of drearily unfunny, unwitty piece of misogyny.

      • Morrissey 3.2.2

        [Morrissey’s comment translated from the original Troll: I don’t have to read the rules of forums I comment on! LOL!]

    • QoT 3.3

      Maybe it would help if you typed things out, Morrissey, instead of posting broken links to Funnyjunk. Or would that just prove Colonial Weka’s warning about attacking authors correct?

      • Colonial Weka 3.3.1

        The link works for me. It’s a jpeg of an online postcard (someecards.com). It has a picture of two women from the 1800s. One is in bed, looking chastised and afraid. The other is a nurse I guess, and is sitting on the bed admonishing the first woman. The nurse is saying:

        “Did it hurt you when you fell off the whore tree and banged every guy on the way down?”

        I’m in two minds. On the one hand, this is such a misogynistic piece of shit post from Morrissey, that denigrates women in so many tired old ways, and is aimed at QoT in particular. It also looks like an out and out attempt at flaming. On the other hand, it’s a very useful post that we can refer back to every time Morrissey engages in his dubious sexual politics and hatred of women.

        • QoT 3.3.1.1

          It’s definitely a dilemma. Tell you what, I’ll give Morrissey a little warning, but leave this one up there. And bookmark it for future reference.

        • Colonial Weka 3.3.1.2

          Try this link, and feel free to remove this post as appropriate.

          http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi02NDgxNWI2OWE1NTIzZGQ1

          • QoT 3.3.1.2.1

            Ah, yes. The bonus lulz of Morrissey’s post: linking to Funnyjunk, a site containing no original content, instead of the actual source material.

          • andy (the other one) 3.3.1.2.2

            @Morrissey

            11 out of 10 for being a dick.

            stay classy.

            P.S please stop spamming the open mike threads and crawl back under a rock.

        • karol 3.3.1.3

          Oh, the link works if I copy & paste to firefox, but on chrome it doesn’t.

          Unbelievable. I’m just staggered at the total lack of relevance for this post, compounding the misogyny.

          The questions are all for Morrissey to answer.

          • Morrissey 3.3.1.3.1

            I’m just staggered at the total lack of relevance for this post,

            The relevance, slight as it is, Karol, is that QoT has called me a “rape apologist” because I refuse to join the British Government-led lynch-mob baying after Julian Assange. I took the opportunity to have a dig at her. Yes, you’re right, it is offensive, and I’ll apologize to QoT just as soon as she apologizes to me for her far disgusting accusation.

            compounding the misogyny.

            It is misogynistic, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it—as opposed to the faux-outrage concocted by our foul-mouthed friend.

            The questions are all for Morrissey to answer.

            Hardly substantial questions, Karol; I put up a nasty little graphic link to take the wind out of the sails of a pirate ship, and I apologize to anyone, including yourself obviously, who was offended.

            [QoT: Morrissey, your hurt feelings because I don’t like your hero’s contemptible actions do not make your comments relevant to this thread. This thread is not going to devolve into another circlejerk about Julian fucking Assange. Stick to the topic or fuck off. Final warning.]

            [lprent: too slight – as in I can’t see ANY relevance. Looks like a deliberate hijack to me targeted off topic to attack one of my authors. Whilst QoT is having fun, I’m not. 4 week ban to discourage any repitition of this behaviour. ]

            • Colonial Weka 3.3.1.3.1.1

              Problem is, you ARE a rape apologist, whereas QoT isn’t a Bad Woman if she sleeps with lots of people or not, so whatever you were attempting (and god knows it’s a convoluted and probably disturbed mind that might begin to understand that), your explanation doesn’t stack up.

              I’m of one mind now. This thread is now about to be derailed. Which I assume is/was your intent. People have been banned for lesser attacks on authors than this. It’s tempting to go with the whole let’s prove that Morrissey is a rape apologist, again, but today’s thread by QoT is so excellent it really doesn’t deserve that.

              edit: ah, I see QoT has made it clear which way to go…

              • Morrissey

                [Morrissey’s comment run through the Earth logic filter: I don’t have to follow the rules in other people’s houses! I can keep derailing things as long as I want ’cause I’m awesome!!!!!]

                [QoT: I invite others to refrain from responding to Morrissey on this thread henceforth.]

            • rosy 3.3.1.3.1.2

              ‘anyone who is offended’ is a faux apology. I hate that. At least have the guts to say ‘all who were offended’ because it’s clear people actually were offended.

              • Morrissey

                [Morrissey’s comment run through the Earth Logic filter: me me me me me, it’s all about me, let’s talk about me because I’m awesome and I don’t have to listen to you ’cause you’re not my mum!!!!!!]

    • Populuxe1 3.4

      Antisemitic, misogynistic, what next?

      • felixviper 3.4.1

        I’d wager he’s not all that keen on gay dudes either, but it’s just a hunch.

        • Populuxe1 3.4.1.1

          I sensed as much – see you all in the death camp, guys.

          • Morrissey 3.4.1.1.1

            Another swing and a miss. You’re not clever enough to do this, my friend. You just look desperate.

            I admit my nasty little message to QOT was unacceptable, but you are going way out on a limb. You know, I’m sure, that there’s a special place in Hell for Malicious Liars.

            • felixviper 3.4.1.1.1.1

              Nah, I don’t think I’m far off the mark. The various strains of bigotry tend to be found in close proximity to one another.

      • Morrissey 3.4.2

        Antisemitic,

        Wrong.

        … misogynistic,

        True, it was a nasty little link. I’ve just apologized to people of good faith who were offended by it. That obviously excludes you.

        what next?

        When your fertile brain starts fertilising, who knows what nonsense it will come up with?

        • Populuxe1 3.4.2.1

          I’m sorry, but when I see a writhing pile of maggots, I feel an irresistible compulsion to poke the festering mess with a stick. To that end, these lyrics by your namesake:

          We hate it when our friends become successful
          We hate it when our friends become successful
          Oh, look at those clothes
          Now look at that face, it’s so old
          And such a video !
          Well, it’s really laughable
          Ha, ha, ha …

          We hate it when our friends become successful
          And if they’re Northern, that makes it even worse
          And if we can destroy them
          You bet your life we will
          Destroy them
          If we can hurt them
          Well, we may as well …
          It’s really laughable
          Ha, ha, ha …

          You see, it should’ve been me
          It could’ve been me
          Everybody knows
          Everybody says so

          [QoT: I know the feeling, Pop, but that’s enough for tonight.]

    • felixviper 3.5

      I don’t get the joke, Morrissey. I mean I understand that it’s a variation on an older witticism, cleverly playing on double meaning of “bang”, but I don’t get why it fits this situation.

      Is it because QoT is a woman?

      • Morrissey 3.5.1

        Is it because QoT is a woman?

        What? You think that is the reason why she is baying for Assange’s blood? I think a more convincing explanation lies in the fact that she hasn’t done any serious reading on the case, and hasn’t a clue what she’s talking about.

        [QoT: As this comment was already posted at the time of your previous warning, I’m letting it stay. No more.]

        • Morrissey 3.5.1.1

          [QoT: Morrissey’s comment run through the Earth Logic filter: waaaa waaa waaa how dare you set rules for your own post, I insist on derailing your comments because I can’t let go of a months-old grudge, you called me names first, waaaaaaa.]

        • felixviper 3.5.1.2

          Eh? Are you criticising me for not picking up that you were banging on about Assange? Even though there was literally nothing in the post or in your “joke” that had anything to do with Assange?

          Starting to get a picture of how your mind works though. You’re quite the creepy little stalker, Mozzy.

          • Morrissey 3.5.1.2.1

            Yeah, you’re right, Felix, it did come out of left field a bit.

            I guess I just wanted to have a shot at QOT. I was out of line.

            [QoT: Good to know you can figure this stuff out when a commenter with a male-identified name spells out the obvious to you, Morrissey. Next time stick to the topic, show basic self-restraint, read the fucking rules, because where my posts are concerned you’re on permanent final warning.]

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Shearer has many critics because he isn’t the best of the 34 available candidates for the job. Simple as that, always has been. He’s probably not even in the top 10. There are lots of ways of not saying that (appeals for unity, accusations of closet-rightery or extreme-leftery, trotting out the absurd straw men like Scott has done, etc, etc … we’ve seen them all in the past few weeks). But none of these responses solve the problem.

    Some think Shearer will solve the Shearer problem (I don’t think anybody really thinks there isn’t a problem, whatever they may be prepared to say in public). He just needs time.

    I disagree, but I’ll be happy for Shearer to prove me wrong. He doesn’t have to walk on water. If he could say “walk on water” that would be a start.

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Quite seriously, I thought what you said previously bears repeating once more:

      “The three stages of silence …

      1) Too early … give them a chance.
      2) Still time … don’t panic.
      3) Too late … the election’s coming! Don’t rock the boat!

      It’s an established political ploy, to serve the incumbent leadership in a party. It’s very old.”

      http://thestandard.org.nz/29/comment-page-1/#comment-539150

  5. Populuxe1 5

    Despite being resolutely a Knight of the Brotherhood of the Limp Wrist, I think I love you Queen of Thorns….

  6. Blue 6

    I can skip the walking on water. But I do have some non-negotiable requirements that Shearer is currently not meeting.

    1. I expect the Labour leader to be in control of their caucus.

    I don’t expect MPs to think they can get away with backstabbing colleagues in the media, leaking information that the leader has said only they are allowed to comment on, commenting on whatever they like regardless of whether it’s their portfolio or not (and dumping all over potential coalition partners while they’re at it), or attacking their own allies and members.

    If MPs do engage in this behaviour, I expect them to be publicly disciplined. And if they are not, it shows that the ‘leader’ is not actually in charge and is happy to be undermined by their own caucus.

    2. I expect the Labour leader to be able to communicate their ideas.

    Enough said.

    3. I expect the Labour leader to hold Labour values.

    Bashing beneficiaries may be trendy, but it’s just not cool.

    4. I expect the Labour leader to lead the opposition.

    Instead of leaving it to Russel Norman and Winston Peters. Every article you read these days has these two front and centre for comment from the opposition, rather than Shearer. Except for the articles focusing on Labour’s infighting, of course.

    5. I expect the Labour leader to know what they are doing.

    Instead of, say, claiming knowledge of a certain tape which they do not have and have never seen.

    ****
    Shearer is in a weak position, where his continued leadership relies on keeping the support of the people who have been his biggest headaches.

    It’s not a great place for the party to be in, but until someone else can build a more stable support base, I guess we’re stuck polishing a turd.

    • QoT 6.1

      You can’t polish turds. But you can roll them in glitter.

      • David H 6.1.1

        HAHAH thanks Queen Now I have to clean out another keyboard, And coffee coming out thru the nose fucking smarts when it’s hot.

        Great article as usual. Keep up the good work, and yes I do occasionally visit your site for a read, I find it enlightening.

    • Olwyn 6.2

      I would emphasise point 3. And I expect Labour values to be the motivating values of the caucus, not merely the brand.

      I am also concerned with where authority lies, and by authority I do not mean tough guy antics, I mean the centre of decision making. Half of the cabinet appear to have rank but little authority. Modest left-leaning expressions, such as Cunliffe’s suggestion to his own electorate that Labour will not amputate your leg, are greeted with alarm, while Shane Jones bags the Greens and Hipkins says what he bloody likes. It would be all too easy to think, under the present circumstances, that Matthew Hooton has the final word on things, as some sort of advisor. A man whose stocks would rise sky high if he was able to deliver unto his friends a second right wing for when the other right wing goes to shit.

      So my concern is not with Shearer’s vocals, but with what is happening to the party under his watch.

    • felixviper 6.3

      “If MPs do engage in this behaviour, I expect them to be publicly disciplined. And if they are not, it shows that the ‘leader’ is not actually in charge and is happy to be undermined by their own caucus.”

      Yep, or it shows that they approve. Either way it’s not good.

    • Ennui in Requiem 6.4

      Blue, in response to point 3 I thought it might just pay to refresh commentators on this post with exactly what Labours principles are (taken from their website).

      All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot.

      • The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.

      • All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.

      • Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.

      • All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.

      • All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.

      • The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and that the Treaty should be honoured in government, society and the family.

      • Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and mutual respect.

      • The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

      Might pay to criticise Shearer (and any other recent Labour leaders) on their adherence to the above. Also perhaps any Labour policy directions might be reviewed in light of this.

  7. Tiresias 7

    John 11:35

  8. Pete 8

    I wonder if David Shearer is the kind of guy who can lie in bed at night and think “Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. It’s too much for me”. Is he capable of that kind of self-reflection? I mean, you know if you make a gaffe in conversation. You know if you’re in a job and feel it’s not the right fit for you. You know if your skillset is not a good match. And if he hasn’t realised this. If he hasn’t had a moment of introspection, then I really do fear for the future of our country. Because if that man is the next Prime Minister, and he continues behaving like a petulant child blaming his failings on anyone but himself, then there is no hope. The waka of state is caught between the Scylla of John Key’s malevolence and the Charybdis of David Shearer’s incompetence.

    • QoT 8.1

      I think a major factor standing in the way of such self-reflection could very well be a cadre of sycophants/puppet-masters who keep shutting down any negative self-talk. “No no, David, the speech was great, don’t listen to the haters.” “David, our focus groups really liked these key messages, it must be that the media are conspiring against you. Did you hear Duncan Garner was seen to nod at David C in the corridor?” “David, no one reads blogs!”

      • David H 8.1.1

        And don’t forget to keep some of your invective for that snot nosed schoolboy Gower.

        • QoT 8.1.1.1

          Oh, Paddy Gower. I think I wrote a blistering post about his shitty “journalism” on job numbers in his first month on the job. I’m sure he never saw it, but it makes me feel like we have ~history~ together.

      • just saying 8.1.2

        I don’t think real self-reflection works that way QoT. For a start, with genuine self-reflection you take reassurance from those with a vested interest (even those who want to soothe your dobuts with the most noble intentions) with a big grain of salt. And you seek further information, not mollification. It’s just not that easily fobbed off.

        I must admit to being sick of hearing the failings of those in leadership roles being blamed on their underlings. Not just Shearer either. It seems those with real power get endless excuses made for their fuck-ups while those with none get no passes at all.

        • QoT 8.1.2.1

          Oh, real self-reflection, absolutely. But I’m just thinking about even the most basic flickers of doubt which anyone in an important position feels from time to time. Unless they’re like the protagonist of American Psycho.

          As for underlings … you may find my post tomorrow a little annoying on that front, but (you can probably already see clearly enough!) rest assured I’m not holding Shearer blameless for anything. As a lot of people have pointed out in comments on other posts, the flipside of that is that it can’t all be his fault.

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      Pete, that sort of self-reflection is very rare in people, and much rarer than those who go into politics to massage their egos. Shearer should be embarassed to be in Parliament, taking a salary for being leader of the opposition. Any opposition to Nact’s neolib policies still alive in the Labour Party survives in spite of Shearer, not because of him. What is it that he opposes?
      At a guess, I’d say Shearer will be much more likely to blame others for any future electoral defeats than examine his own limp role in an unnegotiated surrender. He’s as weak and as useless as wet toilet paper.

  9. QoT 9

    Okay, people, the derailing was fun and all and gods know I love seeing a high comment count, but further litigation of Morrissey’s petty bullshit is off the table.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      I note that you obliterated three of my comments entirely, and replaced them with your own witless comments.

      Your display of anger was impressive, but any sensible person would have simply treated my little diversion with a quick “Fuck off!”

      It’s not as if you are adverse to such language.

      [lprent: Which was pretty much what I did when I noticed it. You have noticed your ban right?

      Don’t leave more comments because I usually just double the ban length on each comment.

      I couldn’t give a damn about the language any more than QoT would. It was running a diversion on a post and directing the diversion at one of my authors that I don’t like. Commentators I can live without. People capable of putting up interesting posts are a damn sight more precious. ]

      • QoT 9.1.2

        A general note to future readers: sometimes moderation happens after the fact (otherwise you’d all get stuck in auto-moderation, such as I run on my own site, but on TS it would be completely impractical.)

        So when you choose to derail someone’s post, it might pay to scroll back up and see if they’ve left you any helpful advice, such as multiple, repeated, clear, bold-typed warnings about your behaviour and its inevitable consequences.

        • lprent 9.1.2.1

          …but on TS it would be completely impractical.

          So it would. I happened to just be looking at the numbers of comments a few hours ago (estimating backup deltas). This years comments to date..

          wk dy num
          1 Friday 261
          1 Saturday 263
          1 Sunday 249
          1 Thursday 210
          1 Tuesday 194
          1 Wednesday 268
          2 Monday 294
          2 Thursday 377
          2 Tuesday 417
          2 Wednesday 566

          3099 comments in less than two weeks? FFS: I read over at The Hand Mirror (good blog) Julie stating their stats for 2012..

          In 2012 The Hand Mirror published 247 posts, received around 1700 comments (I think that excludes spam), and passed the 600,000 page views mark.

          My italics… That is why this blog has it’s ratehr harsh moderating style. we simply don’t have time to be anything but harsh

          If anyone needs it the SQL for that table is

          select weekofyear(comment_date) as wk, dayname(comment_date) as dy, count(*) as num from wp_comments
          where comment_type = '' and comment_approved=1
          and year(now()) = year(comment_date)
          group by wk, dy

  10. Excellent post, QoT.

    I wish I had both your clarity and force of expression.

    There’s another aspect to the attempts to get people into line behind Shearer that I can’t understand.

    We’re told that there is still ‘time’ for Shearer and Labour to make headway, politically, before 2014 yet there are not even suggestions, let alone promises, that this will be done or what form it will take. It’s all ‘steady as she goes’ as if how ‘she’ is going is particularly steady. This is a good way to make doubters even more nervous.

    Governments generally have to be winkled out, issue by issue, mistake by mistake so that the narrative becomes irresistible till it takes on its own momentum. Labour under Shearer don’t seem to understand this role the opposition has in establishing a discourse of failure around a government. I guess they occasionally try but none of them seem capable of constructing that discourse in a way that strikes a chord and rallies the disaffected to them.

    I said when Shearer was selected as caucus leader that if he didn’t make a pretty rapid ‘Orewa-like’ spike in the polls based on his ‘back story’ and ‘not a politician’ persona – I think Lanthanide pointed out that it wouldn’t need to be that dramatic, and I agreed – then Shearer would be painted, and tainted, as nothing but a place-holder and all of his weaknesses would be forever available to cane him with whenever necessary.

    Shearer didn’t produce any discernible improvement in Labour’s polling, apart from resurrecting the polling figures Labour had in the early part of the election campaign in 2011. The polling remains the same a year on, with a bit of poll-by-poll shifting of votes between Labour, the Greens and NZF. National are still polling very close to their election night level (yet wasn’t it National Party voters that the choice of Shearer was meant to appeal to?).

    It seems that the recipe for success from here on in is the belief (faith?) that Shearer will, eventually, grow on the public – and no change in his approach is therefore needed.

    Further, the same appears to be the case with the overall caucus performance – it too will somehow grow on the public as being competent, substantive and the performance of a ‘government in waiting’. Little needs to change.

    That may happen – but it’s an exceptionally risky strategy to assume that nothing needs to be done.

    The problem for Shearer supporters, I suppose, is that to suggest that something does need to be done is to concede the very criticisms that are being called disloyal or undermining of ‘the left’s’ chances at the next election. But that’s the corner you paint yourself into when you adopt a paranoid stance to criticism.

    Then, of course, there’s the worry that the next Labour-led Government, if under Shearer, will itself be simply a ‘placeholder’ filling the gap between right-wing ‘reformist’ governments.

    Why doesn’t the Shearer camp throw the doubters some scraps of hope – a few rhetorical mango skins, as it were? Why the reluctance?

    If I were Shearer I would address (already would have addressed) the party members publicly – in a significant speech – and basically admit a ‘mea culpa’.

    I’d say that, ‘yes’, I wanted to make a much bigger impact than I have, that I wanted to communicate my passion for a just and egalitarian society far better than I have. I’d say that I not only understand the frustration but I also take my share of the responsibility for it – but, from here on in, no party member, no New Zealander, need be in any doubt that I stand for working people and for those who struggle week-by-week to stay afloat or have been totally cast adrift by our society and economy and that I am not ashamed to say so very loudly. If there has been confusion over that in the past there should be none now. I will not support policies that allow people to be sacrificed for the supposed sake of the economy. And I will act decisively if caucus members forget that I owe loyalty to all our party’s members and to Labour’s longstanding purpose – and not just to them.

    etc., etc..

    Said with conviction and with the confidence that you could meet the expectations you had set for yourself, I think it would come across very well even to the apolitical members of the New Zealand public. It would also fit with the ‘he’s just an ordinary guy’ meme, if done well – proper apologies generate respect.

    As they say, it’s not rocket science.

    • QoT 10.1

      It seems that the recipe for success from here on in is the belief (faith?) that Shearer will, eventually, grow on the public – and no change in his approach is therefore needed.

      Absolutely pinpointed one of the problems there, Puddleglum. There’s the occasional “he may surprise you yet” comment but it’s not come to anything so far in his leadership.

    • One Tāne Huna 10.2

      +1 Puddleglum

      Thanks to QoT.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.3

      :)

  11. xtasy 11

    As much as I dislike Shearer, and I made it very public, I feel it is time for some here to get clearer on policy and challenge the man on this, than to continue the rants about his mumbling and so on. I want the man gone, but it will not happen with just ratting on him like this. Qualified criticism is needed, he must be exposed and challenged more.

    As a migrant from Europe for over 20 years now, I still do not quite get the Kiwi psyche here.

    Why is it so hard, to speak your bloody mind, not just rubbishing, to some degree insulting, but to say straight out, you are talking fucking bullshit, man or woman?

    I get this all the time, this endless attempt to make it right for everyone else. Now QOT certainly does not fit that agenda and is very outspoken, and I hear her voice, but I expect also from her a bit more qualification of arguments.

    One major problem is that the larger public is totally BRAIN WASHED! We have shit media here, we have endless commercialism, advertising funding media that is so corrupt and dependent on this, it is not delivering the role of the so-called “4th estate”!

    I see and hear it every bloody day. I turn on the radio in the morning to hear the summary of news. What I get on National Radio is not great, but the only reasonable summary I can obtain. I tune to Radio Live, 1 ZB and others, I get shite, shite, shite and more shite!!!

    So turn on the TV and see the same shite there. Information is not communicated. It is NOT wanted to be communicated, as the media is mostly private, or controlled by persons favouring privatised media, and who are totally biased. Hence we got shit Key in government, for a bloody second term. I know NO country in Europe, where the population (also more ignorant and brainwashed there) would put up with such poor media, lack of information, education and else and vote for such shit government. NZ is run like a damned dictatorship, by a damned elite.

    Yet some here even start debating about supermarket prices and so forth, partly perhaps justified, but where is the big picture? I see NONE.

    A country full of lost, soul-less, increasingly desperate, mercenary competitors, all fighting for the few morsels that drop off the table above, where the key stake-holders sit, eat, make decisions and shit on the ones below the table.

    When are you getting the grips of what all this is about???

    Politics, activism and more is about more than some idiot “Shearer” or fake, corrupt Key. You must get a scheme working to reach the bloody people though. I see none of this happening. So sadly Shearer, the lost idiot, devoid of employment alternatives, will keep his “domineering” reign on Labour.

    Get out of damned Labour and start a bloody NEW PARTY, thanks, you are all wasting your times, as caucus the carcas of values, will see to it.

    • rosy 11.1

      Hi xtasy, I understand your frustration with the way New Zealanders psyche. We are indeed, as a society, the passionless people Gordon McLauchlan wrote about all those years ago. I hadn’t realised he’d written an update until I read your comment btw. It’s probably worth getting a hold of. As is some earlier writing on the New Zealand culture like John Mulgan’s ‘Report on Experience’

      McLauchlan reckons the “Smiling Zombies” have now graduated to “Frowning Zombies” and that New Zealanders are superficially cheerful.

      Don’t let the societal lack of concern feed into an idea that individuals are not concerned. We do have a shit media, as you say, and little idea about how to counteract it. I think that part of the problem for New Zealanders is a cultural heart and identity, which is so readily on show in much older European countries that you might be familiar with. Certainly it’s one of the major differences I see. Even in well-to-do, peaceful countries the visibility and acceptance of public action about political issues has been a major learning experience for me.

      But as for leaving Labour – no, I won’t be. With the changes to membership input I feel the basis is there to take the party to a truly socially democratic one. It probably won’t be in February though, more’s the pity. While we can’t afford another term of National, we also can’t afford a term of ‘not’ National in the form of a centrist Labour. But change will happen.

      • The Al1en 11.1.1

        “But change will happen.”

        If it does, it won’t be until after 2014, and likely to be a messy split rather than a glorious unite.
        No joy in 2017 for the fractured party either.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.2

        Red Blooded (Stuart’s popping round for a cup of tea) however, I’m open minded enough to read both sides of the jam sandwich.

      • xtasy 11.1.3

        rosy: Thanks for pointing out Gordon McLaughlan’s new book!

    • Fortran 11.2

      +1

  12. SouthDeezViper 12

    You think David Shearer is competent enough to be on the front benches, let alone lead a political party? Faggedaboutit.

  13. KJT 13

    QOT.

    You have nailed it.

    The strength of the left is it is made up of people who try to be “part of the solution”, who think! Which is why we do not always agree.

    Lock step sycophancy is usually the domain of right wing “authoritarian followers”.

    National do unthinking following of memes and slogans, well!

    When Labour starts doing the same it means they are trying to be National light, and sleepwalk to victory when it becomes, their turn. To do much the same as National, but, “with anesthetic”

    Parachuting in a colourless apparatchik whose only leadership skills seem to be destroying competent rivals, will not win elections.

    David Cunliff spoke to me and my ideals with the anesthetic statement.

    Nothing Shearer has said or done, inspires anyone, from outside, that we have a credible, leader in the making.

    For Labour to get my electorate vote back I want to hear some bold Labour policies and see a leader who actually believes in them.
    They, it used to be we once, until, Labour abandoned their principles in the 80’s, could start with workers rights. It is in the party name after all.
    40 Hour week.
    Protection for so called “independent contractors”.
    Liveable welfare for those dumped by the market.
    Restore the right to strike.
    Recognise that the private sector has failed in what is supposed to be their strength. Take up the economic slack with employing directly to rebuild NZ.

    • QoT 13.1

      Comments like yours are one of the reasons I think IrishBill’s Year of Policy post is going to bring some really good, solid results in terms of what people want to see from a Labour/leftwing election campaign. A lot of us seem to be looking for the same kind of basic, principled policies!

    • just saying 13.2

      Lock step sycophancy is usually the domain of right wing “authoritarian followers”.

      Bryce Edwards summed up the macho, authoritarian nature of the Shearer/ABC Labour leadership in this comment about a possible Labour/NZF dominted coalition:

      ….As with David Shearer, Peters receives much praise for his ‘decisive’ handling of Brendan Horan. It seems ‘strong leadership’ is more important around Parliament than wimpy concerns about natural justice. Look forward to the trains always running on time under a NZ First/Labour government…..

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10857897

      And the words “strong leadership” certainly deserve the scare quotes. The passion and swaggering aggression shown by Shearer has been exclusively meted out to the people whose interests Labour purports to represent, including its own members. And the fire in his belly and these supposed “leadership” traits arise exclusivly in his own power/career interests. He hasn’t gotten hot under the collar about anything National has done, and in fact shows a disturbing obsequience towards those with any kind of power including his supposed opponents.

  14. marsman 14

    QoT you are as always spot on with your observations, another great post.

  15. King Kong 15

    Those on the left often crow about how they have got this MMP thing cracked but I’m not so sure.

    Alot of people on here (including QoT) are anti Shearer because he will not lead the Labour party in a massive lurch to the left.

    If Labour doesn’t represent your political ideals then support a party that does. Under MMP supporting a minor party is not the complete waste of time it used to be. The problem is that those who should just shut up and support the Greens or Mana also want the popular electoral support (twice that of the Greens) that the Labour party has and the power that comes with that. But of course the only reason that Labour has this popular support is because it is a centrist party not a bunch of dogmatic socialist loons (well not all of them).

    So I guess my point is, find a party that fits your ideology and if you truly believe that they have the answers to the country’s ills then surely the votes will follow. Stop trying to hijack someone elses train.

    • felixviper 15.1

      Yeah Labour is doing very well on the centre-right. That’s why they’re polling so high.

      • King Kong 15.1.1

        Higher than the Greens or Mana.

        Maybe you might just have to get used to the fact that the electorate sees your leftist dumbfuckery for what it is.

        • felixviper 15.1.1.1

          And how is your beloved Church of ACT going, KK?

        • Olwyn 15.1.1.2

          I would guess that the majority of commentators on The Standard who have doubts about Shearer’s leadership would be content with a centre left Labour caucus, as opposed to a centre right caucus sailing under a centre left brand. Most of these people supported Helen, and also Goff, albeit with a few qualms. Those who are further left, or who are Green supporters, are generally more than happy to announce their positions. Scroll up to the list of Labour Party principles, put up by Ennui in Requiem. Anyone who claims to subscribe to these principles has no right to pull Labour so far to the right as these people appear to intend. Anyone who does not subscribe to these principles should not be in the Labour Party.

          Yes, KK, you should vote for a party that represents your values. But you should also only put yourself forward as a representative in a party if you are willing to uphold its values. Can you imagine the Green Party members putting up with it if a Green MP decided to endorse whaling or mining the National Parks? Can you imagine the National party members putting up with it if their MPs decided to nationalise the farms?

    • Rogue Trooper 15.2

      on this comment, Me…?…You…?

      -The Ghost Who Walks. :)

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Leaders need to be able to tell their own story (RSA)

    Very relevant. From the RSA (the UK one haha).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=CXFDs2w6dkE&NR=1

  17. Fortran 17

    For Labour to move back to the left impinges right over the Greens policies.
    Surely some sort of accommodation of joint compromise should be sought, because without it the Nacts will not lose the election.
    It is still their’s to lose – but should be ours to win in a joint coalition with the Greens.
    Policy to win in 2014 is what should be seen developing during 2013, not continual deconstruction which appears to be continuing for the last 12 months.

  18. karol 18

    Chis Trotter doesn’t expect Shearer to be the messiah either, but he has produced an interesting post on him. Trotter looks at Shearer’s record, his past writings, his supporters, and concludes:

    But the scope for far-reaching change in a government dominated by Shearer and his neoliberal allies will only be extended to the Right. That being the case, the prognosis for those who entered Parliament with honest left-wing intentions is grim. Promotion to Cabinet will depend not only on making ritual obeisance to Shearer and his clique, but also, following the tragic precedent of the Rogernomics Era, on abandoning their former social-democratic ideals. Such self-inflicted injuries to the soul do not heal quickly.

    That so many people who consider themselves left-wingers cannot see where a Shearer-led Labour Party will take New Zealand is baffling. “Outsourcing War”, alone, should warn them just how far to the right Shearer is content to position himself when his behaviour is not constrained by the role of Labour’s leader.

    And, for me, it’s about TRUST. Shearer hasn’t declared where he positions himself these days, but on the available evidence it’s pretty far to the right for a Labour leader.

    • QoT 18.1

      It’s another very interesting post from Trotter, that one. I’m quite taken by his conclusions about the disconnect between Shearer’s previous forceful writing style (though I personally just wonder how many editors/proofers the Institute of such-and-such has) and his current mumblefuckitude.

  19. kiwi_prometheus 19

    QofT is an excellent illustration of how the Left blows itself apart. That’s why the Right can be a team of drop kicks who grab the money and run, and still win most elections.

    I feel sorry for Shearer, it must be like trying to herd cats.

    • TiggerViper 19.1

      QoT’s expectations are reasonable. Unlike cats (of which I have several and thus can attest).

    • QoT 19.2

      k_p, I note your comment doesn’t include any random, pointless attacks on my “radfem ideology” nor the phrase “rape culture” in scare quotes. Are you feeling okay?

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  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
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  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
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