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Democracy needs straight answers to straight questions

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, March 21st, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: accountability, clayton cosgrove, democracy under attack, Parliament, russel norman, Steven Joyce - Tags:

The current Speaker in the House, David Carter, is a disaster.  Yesterday was beyond a joke as he let the government get away with avoiding providing serious answers to important questions.  It began with a question that had been diverted from the PM to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises.  It was a question to John Key about criteria he had stated in the past.

1. DAVID SHEARER (Leader of the Opposition) to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: Has the Government met the five criteria the Prime Minister laid out for proceeding with asset sales?

Hon TONY RYALL (Minister for State Owned Enterprises) : Yes. In particular, one criterion was that New Zealand investors would be at the front of the queue and that we would need to be confident of widespread and substantial New Zealand share ownership. At 10 o’clock this morning the number of New Zealanders who had pre-registered their interest in Mighty River Power went over 400,000.

David Shearer: When the Prime Minister said that the third criterion would be that companies would need to present good investment opportunities for investors, with which international investors had the Prime Minister had discussions that have yet to be made public?

Hon TONY RYALL: In respect of that answer, of course I am not able to tell them exactly to whom the Prime Minister has spoken, nor am I able to comment on the nature of the investment at this time.

David Shearer: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This just illustrates the inability of the Government to be able to answer a question from the Opposition.

Mr SPEAKER: The Minister addressed the question. He said he was unable to relate a conversation—[Interruption] Does the member have further supplementary questions?

Then, with question 2, Russel Norman and Clayton Cosgrove asked questions that were not answered by Steven Joyce.  Joyce used a lot of smoke screen words to divert from answering the question:

Hon Clayton Cosgrove: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. With respect, that did not even get anywhere near the question. I simply asked whether, having guaranteed the big end of town through the covered bonds legislation, he would commit to implementing the proposal we have put forward. He talked about the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme and responded to an interjection, but he never answered or even addressed that question.

Mr SPEAKER: The Minister said he did not accept the proposition that was put by the member. If the member wishes to ask further supplementaries, he has the ability to do so.

Later during Question Time, when Mallard and Norman attempted to complain about the Speaker’s inconsistencies and not following precedents set by the previous Speaker, Lockwood Smith, they were told Clark just had a different style.

Dr Russel Norman: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I agree with you that it has become very noisy. I would argue the key problem is that the decision or the ruling of Speaker Smith that a straight question gets a straight answer is no longer being upheld under your new Speakership. That is creating disorder.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! That is now questioning the competence and the bias of the Speaker. That is very serious. I am attempting to elicit sensible answers for members, but on many occasions members are wanting the answer designed to their satisfaction. That is not what question time is. The question must be addressed, but it will not necessarily mean that the question at all times will be answered to the satisfaction of the member asking the questions.

Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to agree with what Dr Norman said, but to make it clear that no one—and I do not think Dr Norman did—attributed bias to you. What he indicated what was that there is a different set of rulings, and they are quite different.

Mr SPEAKER: I accept there are certainly different styles. From the moment you have a different Speaker, you will have a different style.

It is parodied well by Imperator Fish

David Shearer: Thank you Mr Speaker, my question now to the Minister of State Owned Enterprises: Has the Government met the five criteria the Prime Minister laid out for proceeding with asset sales?

Tony Ryall: Blue cheese.

Shearer: Point of order, Mr Speaker. What kind of answer was that?

Mr Speaker: The minister answered the question. He may not have given the answer you wanted, but he nevertheless gave an answer. Do you have any supplementary questions?

Russel Norman has now published an open letter of complaint to the Rt Hon David Carter:

I strongly urge you to revert to the set of rules that Lockwood Smith had developed over the course of his Speakership. These rules can be summarised as “A straight question will get a straight answer”.

I agree.  However, what David Carter has exposed is the underlying approach that Lockwood Smith used much more subtly.  He sometimes allowed the PM and his ministers to avoid being fully accountable to the NZ public. Smith was more consistent, and maintained a more orderly House.  Most often he was fair to all sides. But there were limits to how well he served democracy.

 

49 comments on “Democracy needs straight answers to straight questions”

  1. toad 1

    How dare Russel Norman question the Speaker’s self-proclaimed bias.

    That is apparent for all to see.

    As is his incompetence.

    • DR 1.1

      If the speaker has proclaimed himself as biased, he should not only be questioned but reprimanded as well. The essence of democracy is to hear what everyone has to say and then form a conclusion from what everything has been said.

      Unless you don’t understand what democracy is all about, there’s no point for you to try to understand what’s written here.

    • big bruv 1.2

      Toad. I have gone back as far as I can yet for some reason I must have missed the posts where you ripped into Margaret Wilson for her bias. This is the same Margaret Wilson who is widely considered to be the worst speaker the house has seen since the days of Dr Wall.

      Why was it that you did not have this level of “concern” in Wilson’s days?

      Might it be that like all lefties you simply cannot deal with a level playing field?

      Never mind, you have at least another two terms to get used to speaker Carter.

  2. Andre 2

    One house and no accountability How did we get in this pickle?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      A parliament that can do pretty much what it likes and is unaccountable to the public as we have no say between elections. We need the power of recall.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.1

        + 1

        Absolutely!

      • Ugly Truth 2.1.2

        To revoke their power an alternative must exist. To have authentic power an alternative system would have to be lawful, and presumably this system would also be democratic. Such a system could be implemented by re-establishing common law hundred, although it’s purpose is to keep the peace rather than to effect public policy.

    • Civil government was “deemed necessary”. The remedy is to abandon it and re-establish lawful government.

  3. framu 3

    this is the man who rang up talk back and rather unsuccessfully pretended to be a dole bludging maori.. so im not holding out much hope for his role as speaker to be any better.

    its high time the speaker was from the judiciary not a political party

  4. vto 4

    Forget it. Nobody believes any of the shit that comes out of this government anyway.

    A boycott of the entire Parliaentary question time and other questioning would be the effective approach.

  5. Matthew 5

    I would like to see an appropriately timed walkout by all opposition parties, just to press the point.

    • SpaceMonkey 5.1

      Would love to see that!!

    • xtasy 5.2

      It should have happened some time ago, they better talk to each other and do this soon!

      • North 5.2.1

        Yeah, rapid succession stoushes involving a senior Labour member (not Mallard), followed by a senior Greens member, followed by Winston.

        If the shock waves of the latter stoush weren’t enough to stop Mr-Tory-Farmer-Speaker-Carter treating members like his working dogs down on the farm, Hone would rise and deliver a plain language point-of-order perfected with pukana. Then everybody walks out leaving only:

        Dunnokeyo waving his little handies and giggling girlishly

        Blinglish hoarsely booming “Get on back ya bastards !”

        Bunter Brownlee’s corpulence in the throes of a shallow 6.5

        Botox Banks elevating with malodourous flatulence

        Imagine it. Such fun ! Second only to Canberra.

  6. grumpy 6

    Lockwood introduced a degree of responsibility to ministers to answwer questions that had almost been totally destroyed by Wilson, the most partisan Speaker for decades.

    Carter is no Smith but still better than Wilson

  7. mac1 7

    Mrs Mac1′s unsolicited comment when listening to Question Time yesterday, “Is that the Speaker? He sounds very biassed.”

    I’ve listened to the Speaker and thinking about his technique to allow a question to be asked three times if a opposition member complains about the Minister not answering the question, two points come up.

    Firstly, such a practice seems a waste of time if the same non-answer is supplied. It means that not so many parliamentary questions get asked, in the period allowed, yes? A tactic which would advantage the Government.

    Secondly, and more importantly, if the Speaker maintains that Ministers are ‘addressing the question’, as he states is his style of doing things, why then does he feel the need to have the question asked three times if that is all that he is going to require of Ministers, as opposed to the previous Speaker’s insistence upon answering the question.

    Interesting to hear just now (10 a.m.) a RNZ report upon opposition complaints. The only interviewee was Gerry Brownlee as Leader of the House giving a smooth version of QT as being more orderly now. I suspect that things will be much more disorderly as the opposition get more frustrated. The report from RNZ was unsatisfactory in its coverage of this issue with a one sided response.

    This comment was also posted earlier today at Red Alert.

    • xtasy 7.1

      Yes, and I have noticed, that under this government, Radio New Zealand has also become “more orderly” – i.e. is not raising sensitive issues much anymore!

    • ghostrider888 7.2

      yes mac1, this speaker appears to be some sort of parliamentary “village idiot.”

  8. infused 8

    I watched question time yesterday and there was a ton of shouting and what not. It’s a shitfest. Regardless of the speaker. He should be ejecting members.

    • freedom 8.1

      There should be a simple rule, if a member is speaking everyone else shuts their pie holes. Yes it might slow things down a bit but surely and very quickly less of the tragic stuff will end up in Hansard?
      Would that be such a bad thing?

      Seriously if a question is being asked or answered and you open your trap, outside of asking for a point of order, you are out for the day. The level of juvenile bs in our Parliament of late is embarrasing, unhelpful and completely disrespectful to our Democracy. A Democracy that was once about the people of New Zealand is now all about their owners. Do not forget we are discussing behaviour that is unacceptable in a Primary School let alone our House of Representatives.

  9. chris73 acualy is Dolan 9

    Now you have a small idea of what the right were complaining about Wilson and Hunt…except Carters still better then either

  10. Raymond a Francis 10

    As I said to my wife, if you think had a hard day at school today take a look at this

    Talk about pot calling the kettle black and being given an inch and taking a mile……pathetic

  11. Wayne 11

    The supplementary asked by Dr Norman actually was answered by Mr Ryall.

    You could not actually expect Mr Ryall to know who everyone the Prime Minister has met, and it could not have been forseen that this supplementary would have arisen by looking at the primary.

    That is how Ministers have to think about these things and prepare for question time. They look at the primary, and try to think of all the possible questions that might arise as supplementarys. It does not seem to me that Mr Ryall could have reasonably thought that such a supplementary would arise.

    Did Dr Norman know something that he thought would embarrass the Govt, in which case he should have been more direct in his supplementary.

    Direct or specific questions that are within the reasonable contemplation of the primary question should be able to be answered, but a “fishing” question is generally too wide ranging.

    So was this a “fishing” question, or does Dr Norman know more?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      You could not actually expect Mr Ryall to know who everyone the Prime Minister has met, and it could not have been forseen that this supplementary would have arisen by looking at the primary.

      Perhaps that was why the question was addressed to the PM and not the Mr Ryall.

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        No, as I read it the question was to Tony Ryall, as Minister of State Owned Enterprises. Maybe Dr Norman should ask the PM the same question.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          It began with a question that had been diverted from the PM to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises. It was a question to John Key about criteria he had stated in the past.

          Perhaps you need to learn to read then.

          • Wayne 11.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I see that, but Russell Norman would have known by 11.00 am that the Minister of State Owned Enterprises was answering the question, mostly because the qusetion as asked was actually his portfolio responsibilty.

            To require a qestion like this to be answered by the PM it would have to have a quote from the PM in it, referring to something that only the PM could answer. But reference to 5 criteria for the SOE sales is something the Minister of SOE’s could answer, and indeed would be expected to know.

            If Dr Norman has something really interesting about the PM, he will frame the question so it is impossible to transfer it to another Minister. He has been in Parliament long enough to know how to do that.

            Transfer of questions is quite common. Opposition MP’s are suppossed to know the ways of drafting questions, so that it will not happen

            • Wayne 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I note that the primary was asked by David Shearer, and I have now seen the full transcript of the Question One.

              So does Dr Norman have anything specific?

  12. framu 12

    “Direct or specific questions that are within the reasonable contemplation of the primary question should be able to be answered”

    agree there – but i listened to some of the exchange on the raido during the drive home (motorway drive so i got to listen to all of it)

    there were pretty straight forward, direct questions being asked of ministers – and the speaker was letting them answer with some extremely indirect answers – some of which boiled down to “im not going to answer that!”

  13. bad12 13

    The politics of it all, what a shambles of a question time was Wednesdays little episode, by contrast today’s was one hell of a yawn,

    The Minister of Everything Steven Joyce got to revel in the title like a pig in muck as Slippery the Prime Minister, Bill from Dipton (Diptin what is what i want to know), and, Pinocchio, SOE Minister Tony Ryall were all conveniently absent from the House so Joyce got to flex His innate ability to waffle on endlessly saying nothing much at all,

    Back to yesterdays abysmal effort by the Speaker where at the point of Pinocchio/ Ryall saying that He was not privy to any advice Slippery the Prime Minister had received Pinocchio/Ryall was allowed to NOT answer the question and more importantly the Speaker happily let Slippery who was present in the House off of the hook of answering that particular question,

    The politics of it all???, there is ONE thing that National has that make that particular rabble and cohort of out-right fools electable and that is Brand Slippery,

    Watching Slippery closely has become a bit of a sporting occasion round here, and reading the body language and nuances of His speech can be very enlightening,

    At this point in the electoral cycle we have been quietly impressed with the demeanor of our Prime Minister which has gone from that of being almost lost in a form of gay abandon from the initial power rush of Prime Minister-ship to one of dark petulance as the faults of His Leadership become exposed and understood by more and more of the populace,

    In other words the gloss is starting to wear thin on the Slippery one and He, lacking a depth of intellectual rigor is finding that less of us are willing to let Slip His glib attempts at comically sweeping the worst aspects of His Government, becoming more apparent by the week, under the carpet of smile’n’wave or glib assertions of being relaxed about this or that,

    The politics of Wednesdays little charade of having Him pass questions to the likes of Pinocchio/Ryall and today’s ‘no show’ of the 2 Ministers plus Himself are the same,

    It is all designed to protect ‘Brand Slippery’ and His many faults from the scrutiny of the wider electorate, it doesn’t matter to National whether or not the likes of Pinocchio/Ryall becomes increasingly more disliked by the public and the same situation is Nationals strategy around Minister of Everything Steven Joyce,

    Come election time 2014 both Joyce and Pinocchio/Ryall will be shuffled off stage left for the duration and ‘Brand Slippery’ will be the face of the National Party seeking a third term, with bthat in mind National have to ensure that as little of the mud that is flung Slippery’s way in the ensuing 20 odd months sticks and thus National will use any means to ensure that ‘Brand Slippery’ remains untarnished hence the House Speakers abject allowance of the Prime Minister to effectively pass the buck of responsibility at yesterdays question time…

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    In every organization I have belonged to the moderator of the AGM is selected for their capacity to be fair and unbiased.

    How about a binding referendum to have candidates for speaker nominated by the Law Society and elected by the people?

    Yesterday’s freak show was not a condemnation of Carter. It was a condemnation of the system.

  15. xtasy 15

    I used to enjoy some Question Time sessions when Lockwood Smith was Speaker. He did not always get decisions right and in some cases also was soft on his Nat “mates”, but generally he was pretty good and tried to apply sensible rulings and orders.

    With Carter I experienced a sudden shift to disappointment and annoyance, as he is not delivering any good standards at all. The bias shown by him letting off ministers with statements like “the answer was replied to satisfactorily” is appalling. Some questions are not answered at all in substance, and it is also an insult to questioners, having to repeat questions twice or three times, to try and get an answer.

    No this man has turned NZ Parliament into an embarrassment for NZ democracy. It is becoming a “demockery” kind of House now, or a “National Parliament” instead of a “NZ Parliament”.

    So now I wonder about the worth of bothering to listen to or watch Question Time at times.

    Democracy, accountability, transparency and responsibility must be taken serious in government, and sadly the QT we now get is not delivering, sadly also not the Official Information Act and Privacy Act requests, that are answered in a contemptious manner more and more often by government agencies and ministries.

    NZ is really losing its way.

  16. Jane 16

    I regularly watch question time and there is plenty of blame to go around. Shortly after Carter became speaker the opposition were pushing him harder than they had been Lockwood, bouncing up with dodgy points of order and generally messing about (reminded me of my 3rd form class when our teacher changed half way through the year, pushing to see where the new boundaries were) and I heard Carter say ‘the Minister has addressed the question’ and thought right there’s a warning of things to come, if they continue on being stupid then where Lockwood would call on his eloquence and be helpful (often way more helpful than I’d like) Carter is not going to bother with it and will retreat to just moving on.

    The delusion is that question time is about asking questions and getting answers, it’s not, it’s about who can get tonight’s allocated 30 second politics sound bite on the news. In order to make the question sound bite able they wrap it in so much drivial that it’s easy to get out of answering it. In Normans case it’s always some shrill quip about destroying the world, Winston is generally incomprehensible but thundering, Shearer tries but stumbles on the lines. Mallard seems to have got lost in obsecure point of order land and seems to pop up just so he can get his name in the days hansard. It is possible to ask questions that either get an answer or show the Minister is dodging but they would be boring questions and wouldn’t play well on the news.

    • karol 16.1

      I regularly watch question time and there is plenty of blame to go around. Shortly after Carter became speaker the opposition were pushing him harder than they had been Lockwood, bouncing up with dodgy points of order and generally messing about.

      Give examples of these as compared with all/most that have been about questioning the inconsistent rulings contradicting previous standing orders, and shielding the PM and ministers from answering serious and important questions?

      The delusion is that question time is about asking questions and getting answers, it’s not, it’s about who can get tonight’s allocated 30 second politics sound bite on the news.

      I agree that Question Time has become too dominated by game playing (the media has some responsibility here), but the government avoiding being held accountable (under the protection of the current speaker) is contributing to this. Russel Norman is actually one of the MPs least into game playing, endeavours to follow the rule.

      In Normans case it’s always some shrill quip about destroying the world,

      Oh dear. Up to that point you had me.  I was thinking you were making a serious attempt at objective analysis.  Show me examples of Norman doing this?

  17. big bruv 17

    The hypocrisy of the left is breathtaking at times.

    Have all of you forgotten how Margaret Wilson gave Clark a free ride?, have you forgotten how she let ministers get away with not even addressing the question?

    I watch those fools Mallard and Norman stomp their feet in the house when they cannot get their way yet neither of these two losers said a word about Wilson while she running defense for the corrupt Clark Labour government.

    Yes Carter might not be as helpful to the left as Lockwood was, but he sure as hell is fairer than Wilson or that fat waste of space Hunt ever were.

    Suck it up lads, in six or so years you might get a chance to put Trev in the chair, in the mean time you can spend the next couple of terms pondering how bad Hunt and Wilson were.

    • karol 17.1

      Wilson was way better than David Carter as Speaker. I never watched parliament when Hunt was speaker. What evidence do you have of Wilson’s bias?

      I don’t think the answer for the left is to wait for a Labour Speaker (and I certainly wouldn’t want Mallard there).

      A far better solution is to have a neutral speaker – someone with a legal background and a sound understanding of politics.

  18. Chris 18

    Carter is a dick. Especially when he has let the nits off answering a question and then smirking. It is no wonder the nits can just answer anything they like ,usually ending with a long tirade against Labour of a hundred years ago,relevant to nothing and then sitting down with a “you can’t touch me” sneer at the Opposition. They know bleeding well that carter will support them on the basis of “I am satisfied that the question has BEEN ADDRESSED” What does that even mean. The Opposition should just abandon their question of the day and just point out that there is no point in asking anything of those giggling,dribbling excuses for a government and then walk out. This government has totally devalued the whole question/debate process and they should be ignored until they grow up.

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  • NZSIS: Mandated abuse of power?
    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • Bold response required to Blueprint
    The Government must give urgent consideration to recommendations in The People’s Blueprint if it is serious about tackling New Zealand’s deplorable record of child abuse and domestic violence, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The ‘one family, one judge’...
    Labour
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
    Scoop politics
  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
    Scoop politics
  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
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