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Down among the women: limits of ‘growth’

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, January 14th, 2014 - 97 comments
Categories: capitalism, democratic participation, Economy, employment, equality, patriarchy, political alternatives, sustainability, unemployment, vision - Tags:

The dominant measure used by economists and governments to measure economic well-being, GDP, fails to account for the huge amount of unpaid work on which societies depend.  It is a model based on giving a high value to competition, ignoring human diversity, and fails to account for the ways people contribute to the economy and social well-being through cooperative activities.

capitaism depends on domestic labour

Internationally women do the majority of the informal, unpaid, or underpaid caring work that are essential to keep society functioning. A gender-blind approach to the economy, society and politics will most often result in failing to understand the significant role of cooperative and caring activities in a sustainable society. Focusing on all the ways men, women, children and others contribute positively to society can lead to an alternative way of living: one based on positive life-sustaining values; a way that is not blind to differences between people.

This was highlighted in an excellent article that joe90 linked to under the post, ‘Obama’s TPPA bid to over-ride democracy':  Dr. Vandana Shiva: The Connection Between Global Economic Policy and Violence Against Women.

Dr Shiva begins by stating that, “violence against women is as old as patriarchy”, indicating that it predates capitalism.  However, in her article Dr Shiva focuses on the way violence against women in India has intensified since the rise of neoliberalism there:

And while we intensify our struggle for justice for women, we need to also ask why rape cases have increased 240 percent since 1990s when the new economic policies were introduced. We need to examine the roots of the growing violence against women.

She goes on to argue that the “new economic model” is one based on various kinds of violence.  This begins with the alienating, dysfunctional, and life-destroying violence brought about by the GDP model; a model which ignores vast areas of women’s activities:

The transformation of value into disvalue, labour into non-labour, knowledge into non-knowledge, is achieved by the most powerful number that rules our lives, the patriarchal construct of GDP, Gross Domestic Product, which commentators have started to call the Gross Domestic Problem.

Shiva goes on to explain the problems of the GDP model:

… all women who produce for their families, children, community and society are treated as “non-productive” and “economically” inactive. When economies are confined to the market place, economic self-sufficiency is perceived as economic deficiency.

This ignores two areas vital to the survival of the eco-system and of humans within it:

They are the areas of nature’s economy and sustenance economy. In nature’s economy and sustenance economy, economic value is a measure of how the earth’s life and human life are protected. Its currency is life giving processes, not cash or the market price.

Others working in the area of feminist economics in other countries have come to similar conclusions about the destructive impact of the GDP measure. Some have put forward an alternative model based on human capabailities, which measures what people can do:

This approach emphasizes processes as well as outcomes, and draws attention to cultural, social and material dynamics of well-being.

Elsa Duhagon argues that the 2008 economic crisis shows that an understanding of the impact of gender inequalities on society and the economy is crucial:

To the current economic conception, growth equals economic development and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most used indicator to measure the “wealth” generated. However, feminist economics has shown that over 50% of all human work is unpaid and therefore is not recorded in GDP.

If this invisible work were considered we would see that nearly 2/3 of wealth is created by women.

Consequently, a new economic model is required that includes ” activities that are essential for the existence of the family and community“:

These include maintaining a household, voluntary work, child rearing, caring for the elderly and a large part of food production and crop maintenance. Since these activities are carried out in the context of the family, without any exchange of money, they are considered “noneconomic activities” …

Duhagon goes on to argue that gender blind responses to the 2008 GFC were not helpful.  An ILO report shows that the crisis caused a major and long term drop in wages. Most of the mainstream attention given to raising employment levels fails to account for the way women have been impacted by the crisis:  women

accept lower wages, work all day, they do more unpaid hours or they enter the informal economy. [...] government spending cuts will always tend to cause an increase in unpaid work.

I would also add that in response to an economic/employment crisis, women do more part time, precarious and udnerpaid work. And before any recovery in the measured economy or employment levels gain traction, there is a lot of social destruction that damages lives.

Any alternative model that aims for a sustainable, inclusive, cooperative and life-affirming society needs to attend to gender and other differences between people, as well as focusing on our collective aims and processes.

 

 

 

97 comments on “Down among the women: limits of ‘growth’”

  1. great post, karol. i guess the only thing i have issue with is the fact that we must resort only to economic arguments (in this case the value of unpaid work) to give value to policy issues that come under the area of diversity. sometimes the arguments have nothing to do with economics, but with basic human rights. we need to be able to talk about those rights outside of the economic sphere as well as within it.

    still, unpaid work & the lack of recognition of the value of what is traditionally “women’s” work is something that really does need to change. and you’ve laid out the case really well.

    • karol 1.1

      Agreed, stargazer, and something I have in mind for a future post – not just in relation to gender. The central focus on economics within mainstream politics, is part of a long patriarchal tradition. To me, other things come first – like the wider culture and values underpinning economic and other social arrangements.

      There is too much in there to attend to in just one post.

      And, thank you.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    So let me get this straight, we are supposed to be gender blind in all things except when women who voluntarily don’t work want more money?

    • karol 2.1

      TR, where to start? Have you read the post fully? Comprehension problem?

      Where did I say we need to be gender blind to most things?

      Where did I say women who do unpaid work voluntarily choose to do that and not to work in the paid part of the economy?

      You seem to have missed the whole point about the way paid and unaid work are valued, and have imposed some of the same old economic values onto your response.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        You seem to think that it’s everyone else’s problem when individuals make personal choices. With the exception of care givers for sick family members, it strikes me as awfully naive that you think people can’t factor in the financial impact of their choices. this is a common refrain from you, society needs to pick up the tab for choices made by the individual, often made with only their immediate self interest in mind.

        You haven’t explicitly said in this post that we need to be gender blind in most things, but i remember your ire, if i can’t be arsed finding it, about some aresholes suggestion that women should be paid less as they take more sick day’s and eventually get pregnant and bugger off. hardly a gender blind provocation, or reaction.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1

          Yes, I agree.

          When right-wingers make the choice to vote in incompetent governments who destroy the value of work and wages, and put thousands on the dole queue, they should take responsibility for their cretinous behaviour.

          What’s your excuse?

        • karol 2.1.1.2

          What a confusion of ideas, TR.

          It’s your spin that it’s about individual choices. You don’t want to contemplate a different kind of society. Individual’s are frequently given limtied choices within the currrent system. Women are most often left with care of children and others – either they leave those kids and others to suffer, or they care for their needs. Increasingly women (and some others) are pressured to both do such caring, and take up pid work – often to the detiriment of their caring activities…. some choice!

          But I guess you are following the Thatcher line that society does not exist – just individuals. To such society-deniers, everyone can freely make unrestricted choices.

          The point about women being paid less because they get pregnant etc….. has nothing to do with being gender blind – just the opposite. Of course some women get pregnant, and it requires particular attention. As does the need for parents to take care of their children – hence the whole paid parental leave solution, which laregly impacts on women.

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.2.1

            the sum of individuals choices creates societal choice Karol. Only an idiot, hoplessly outclassed on the intellectual front would start throwing labels around like “-denier” when an alternative, more proven system that conflicts with the OP’s desired world view is presented. good work.

            so because a woman chooses to have kids, the woman can’t work? do kids need to be looked after by a parent to become functioning members of society later in life?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Let’s destroy this neo-liberal nightmare, where the only value attached to people is as workers. Let’s break its adherents and drive them from the Treasury (benches and department). These filth shouldn’t be allowed to breed, let alone govern.

              • TightyRighty

                social engineering through forced contraception. how bigoted and authoritarian of you. Nice to see this kind of thing is allowed to be spouted by those who walk the approved line. those on the right generally ask individuals to think of their own circumstance before bringing offspring into the world, as it’s those circumstances that the child will be raised in. good ole rabid lefty OAK just wants to enforce his views on the world any old way.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Oh, did you not recognise the use of mainstream right-wing rhetoric as sarcasm? Sorry, I must make allowances.

                  The irony is that since (unlike unemployment) right-wing beliefs are genetic – being mostly related to low IQ – the policy would actually work.

                  • TightyRighty

                    right wing beliefs are genetic? you really are living in a fantasy world aren’t you?

                    So many offspring of the middle class do a little “i’m a lefty” rebellion thing against mum and dad. Then they realise how stupid, self-righteous and sanctimonious the whole thing is and quite rightly start thinking properly and vote national. only the moron’s and inter-generational poor vote left after about 28.

                    So your being sarcastic when you say that i’m filth and shouldn’t be allowed to breed let alone govern? so really, I’m valuable, should breed (when I choose to and can afford it of course) and know how to govern? Thanks, but i don’t need the approval of some anonymous commentator to afraid to stand beside their original anonymous comment.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Yes, they’re genetic inasmuch as stupidity is. Hodson and Busseri 2011.

                    • TightyRighty

                      and yet national voters are more succesful than labour voters. they donate more to charity, raise more too. They employ more people and export more goods. The biggest business name i can think of supporting labour is Steven Tindall. Hardly the knowledge led, locally sourcing, high wage paying paragon of business. do correct me if i’m wrong and there is a bigger name.

                    • karol

                      TR @ 4.18pm – continuing to ignore the contribution to society of unpaid and underpaid work – and making a circular argument. TR starts with an assumption about what counts as “success”, then proceeds to show that National voters are better at achieving such “success”.

                    • Paul

                      TR, wealthy people vote National out of self interest.
                      It’s pretty simple. They’re not successful because they vote National.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “…proceeds to assert that…” FIFY

            • Huginn 2.1.1.2.1.2

              the sum of individuals choices creates societal choice

              Societal, or collective choice =/= the sum of the individuals’ choices within that collective.

              Utility, or preference functions don’t aggregate to anything useful; no-one in economics has shown that that they do, and they’ve tried, they’ve really, really tried.
              Only an idiot, hoplessly outclassed on the intellectual front, eg. someone who hasn’t understood what The Prisoners Dilemma is about, would say such a stupid thing.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.3

          Take just one element of “the confusion of ideas”, that “society needs to pick up the tab for choices made by the individual, often made with only their immediate self interest in mind.”

          Yes, society does. When you vote for a personal income tax cut and a raise in GST, for example, vote are taking money from the poorest and putting it into your own pocket. Society picks up the tab for your greed and selfishness.

          I further note that your rhetoric implies that you believe we can have full employment, but the policies you promote require there to be a level of unemployment. Society picks up the tab for your policies, as well as the tab for the depression that your political lies and hypocrisy induce in others.

          What’s your excuse?

          • TightyRighty 2.1.1.3.1

            that i pay far more than my “fair” share of tax still, let alone under the old system. GST impacts higher earners more btw. just because poor people spend a higher proportion of their income, they don’t contribute a larger amount of gst. fwiw.

            my rhetoric implies nothing about employments, it’s purely the financial outcome of choices made. the economy is booming thanks to the votes of myself and people like me. far sighted, optimistic individuals, who see the best way forward for the country is a strong export led economy. I need no excuse for being right about who the best party to govern is. What’s your excuse for not opening up your eyes to reality? in fact, how about a fucking thank you OAK for helping to make this country the best in the world right now?

            • McFlock 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Anyone who thinks capitalism is a merit-based system need look no farther than your comment.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.3.1.2

              If “personal choices” cause unemployment, it implies that their is enough paid employment for everyone, which is only prevented by choice. Not the only chasm between your opinion and reality.

              The economy isn’t booming. Unemployment is double what it was seven years ago. Wages have stagnated, thanks again to your useless incompetent government, and the rate of infectious disease admissions continues to climb, while the causes are known and all you can do is deny them.

              Now, if you’ve finished your self-serving little masturbation session I need to throw up.

              • TightyRighty

                what a bitter little person you are. you failed at the system? must be the systems fault then. Better give me a vasectomy to prevent the system propagating.

                Don’t forget to brush after. It’ll smell like mint bullshit as opposed to your normal garden variety.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Ah, but you you have any substantive rebuttal to the facts I just drew your attention to? No? Didn’t think so.

                  Personal responsibility means it’s always someone else’s fault, so far as you’re concerned, but when someone calls you on it, or runs some of your hate-speech back at you, you get all offended and bleaty.

                  Well guess what, Jobslayer, if we do things your way, you’ll win. We’re not doing things your way.

                  • TightyRighty

                    Personal responsibility means it’s someone else’s fault? Where did i say that? Hate speech? i’m not the one calling for enforced contraception.

                    I’ll give you unemployment is almost twice 2007, the last year of our consumer debt driven boom. Unemployment is a lagging indicator. it’ll be interesting to see what the level is come march. Plenty of jobs in chch and auckland too. Though a few more years in school learning math and english will be of benefit to a lot of applicants.

                    If we do things my way, you will all win. winning for everyone. if we do things your way, we’ll all be equally as poor. that’s your definition of winning though isn’t it? many aspirational. much quality of life. so equal.

                    • karol

                      It”s not just about the total number of jobs – it’s also about how much they pay – since the GFC there was a general drop in wages internationally, and recovery wasn’t expected any time soon.

                      It’s also about how secure the jobs are, and whether they are part or full time.

                      Further, it’s about where the jobs are. When the response to a financial crisis results in cuts to public spending, more of the necessary work in society is unpaid (with women doing a lot of that work) and/or underpaid.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      You said that when you implied that unemployment is a consequence of poor choices, when in fact it is a consequence of the economic policies you voted for (no party having promoted or achieved full employment this is self-evident).

                      I think I’ll go with the Left thanks, on the grounds that they consistently achieve higher per-capita GDP and the lowest unemployment rate NZ has ever seen while simultaneously managing to treat citizens as though they have human rights.

                      No, Tighty, sarcasm is sarcasm. Feeding right wing lines back at right wingers is just my way of giving you a taste of your own medicine. Perhaps you’ve never remarked, for example, that beneficiaries shouldn’t have children, but I doubt it.

                    • TightyRighty

                      If you can’t afford children you shouldn’t have them. Doesn’t only apply to beneficiaries. The left get to enjoy the hard work and long lasting legacy right wing governments leave for them. The right always have to come in and clean up the infants mess after a labour left / government. but pick away. we’ve got enough support thanks.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Yeah, revisionist history might give you a warm feeling, but everyone else can see the stain spreading.

                      The National Party runs up debt. The Labour Party pays it off while delivering higher GDP and employment rates, meaning even the wealthy do better under Labour-led governments. Facts, Tighty. That stain must be getting uncomfortable now it’s cooling down.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If we do things my way, you will all win. winning for everyone.

                      We’ve been doing things your way for thirty years and what we’ve seen is:
                      1.) Increased poverty
                      2.) A decrease in braod manufacturing
                      3.) An increase in pollution especially in rivers
                      4.) A few people making out like the bandits that they are

                      No, if we do things your way only the sociopaths win.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Like the fucking SS handing out loaves of bread to starving Jews in the Ghetto, encouraging them to board the train.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “If you can’t afford children you shouldn’t have them”.

                      This is the hate speech I’m talking about, Tighty. People’s financial circumstances can change rapidly and there is effectively no guarantee of income. What you are implying – that being able to afford children today means you will always be able to afford them tomorrow – means there is no such thing as risk; an odd position for a capitalist to take.

                      So, since the dogma is false, what purpose does it serve, Tighty, other than to imply that poor people shouldn’t breed? Hate speech. Own it, and lift your game.

                    • McFlock

                      OK, TR, Let’s take your example of beneficiaries who callously procreate, knowing that they will never in the next 18 years have the financial ability to feed and clothe that child adequately.

                      What is your solution to that “problem”?
                      Would you have the state ensure they have enough money to raise the child?
                      Would you leave the child to become a criminal simply to survive?
                      Would you force an abortion?
                      Would you remove the child from the family at birth?

                      If none of the above, what is your solution?

                    • Huginn

                      If you can’t afford children you shouldn’t have them.

                      That’s a terrible idea! No-one would have any children until they were well into the most productive years of their careers. And by then lots of them are too old and tired to manage career and children, so they drop out – or cut back, precisely at the time they could be working longer hours for more money. You’re stupid idea has high worth income earners dropping out and paying less tax.

                      Here’s a better idea. Let’s encourage teenagers to have little babies and support them with good quality childcare and a little bit of money while they dawdle through tertiary education, apprenticeships or whatever. They don’t make much money at that age so they won’t be missed from the tax base.

                      They’ll be over the kids by the time they’re in their 40’s and making money.

                      Anyone who can actually afford to have kids should be at work generating a tax liability

                    • Lloyd

                      Since “rich” people have a far greater ecological footprint on the world and require much greater amounts of resources than “poor” people, it is logical to let the poor breed and the rich to not have children. Save the planet.

                • aerobubble

                  …must be the systems fault…

                  Like government were ever perfect, or perfectly imperfect.

                  Black and white, neo-liberal nonsense.

                  Just so we don’t talk about current goovernment policies, the pro-statists make out that they hate government, yet use pro-government arguments of perfection.

                  Oh, and personal-responsibility, no libertarian would use the term for obvious reasons, that they would hate the government using such a measure. Oops.

                  Nobody that has ever voted ACT is a rational libertarian.

                  • Paul

                    Libertarians. Rational?

                    • aerobubble

                      social libertarians? we all love liberty. That’s the problem, the right steal off with the libertarian values and then some people think libertarianism is bad.

                      The constitution of the US guarantees libertarian amongst other values. There is no seclusion or separation, except those who fall for the framing.

                      I mean a socialist is a communist who accepts libertarianism surely?

        • Ennui 2.1.1.4

          You seem to think that it’s everyone else’s problem when individuals make personal choices. I have some sympathy for this viewpoint, but it needs to be tempered by the fact that decisions are not made in a vacuum, and there are lots of factors and influences involved.

          With regard to society picking up the tab, society as a collection of the individuals has its own needs. Needs have costs, costs have bills. Perhaps you might regard “individual choices” as being made within a collective framework (i.e for the greater good society might have decided to fund child, not the parent who chose to have a child, or to stay home and nurture the child).

        • Tracey 2.1.1.5

          you mean like these employees chose for their company to nreeglect safety resulting in their deaths costing a mere 150k to the latest company…

          “Forestry companies must abide by the Approved Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting, Ms de Rooy said.

          “If Complete Logging Ltd had applied it, the chances are Mr Epapara would be here today. Instead, a family and a community grieves over a preventable death.”

          The forestry industry had an appalling year in 2013 with 10 men workplace deaths, she said.”

    • QoT 2.2

      No, you’re supposed to acknowledge a basic reality: you and our economy would be pretty fucked if women stopped having children and raising them for free.

    • Chooky 2.3

      @TR women work all the time!…….people like you dont regard it as work though!

      ….who looks after babies and children, does the housework, does the cooking, gets the groceries and keeps the garden, looks after the elderly and the disabled and sick?….keeps the wheels of the household on track?…..this is WORK!

      ….around the world women should be paid for this work….and also men who choose to do it….because otherwise we have no society

      …..It is perhaps the most important work!….and many women and men choose to do in preference to high paying jobs because it is ESSENTIAL work!

      It is time it is recognised by society, factored in by male economists and democratic governments!

  3. captain hook 3

    Karol these people are just morons and I would say dont waste your time on them but the rest of the world needs to hear the right arguments so keep up the good work.

  4. Ennui 4

    K, I have listened to a lot of Vandana Shiva on mp3, and read plenty of her works. Fantastic reference, the woman is a true colossus.

    • Molly 4.1

      Yes, Vandana Shiva is well worth looking up and researching. I first came across her while watching The Corporation many years ago, when she was interviewed about the rush to patent living organisms, and indigenous plant uses.

      Since that time, have always made the effort to read her interviews and watch her on documentaries.

      Will be taking my daughter along to see her if she ever comes to NZ.

  5. I expect the complaint that economists only measure economic activity isn’t likely to get a lot of traction.

    • karol 5.1

      The compaint is that mainstream economists ignore some of the most significant areas of economic activity, and don’t measure that.

      • Ennui 5.1.1

        I think that the complaint with economists is that they can only measure transactions between individuals and entities that are transacted in coins……if it does not have a set margin they are all at sea. Social transactions make economists feel woozy (maybe they suspect that social transactions are what coin transactions are designed to facilitate…dangerous concept).

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.2

        They ignore a lot of significant ‘productive’ activity, yes – but the accusation that they ignore a lot of ‘economic’ activity is in want of substantiation. In a system that uses money, the ‘economy’ is about what the money is doing, not about who’s doing some work. Criticising economists for only looking at money-based activity is like criticising veterinarians for only looking at animal health.

        • McFlock 5.1.2.1

          Nice line, but it’s more like criticising a vet for never considering what an animal is eating, where it is housed, and other aspects of its environment when determining the animal’s condition.

          Economists just stick a thermometer up the arse of the country and assume that that’s all the information they need to know.

        • karol 5.1.2.2

          Economic activity is about management of, or organisation of, resources, including human resources – it’s only the banksters in a capitalist/market economy who want it to be about what the money is doing.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.2.2.1

            Well, them and anyone who understands what the term ‘economics’ means. If you want a social science of who’s doing what that’s of some tangible or intangible use to society regardless of money or goods changing hands, feel free to create it – lasting fame awaits you if you’re successful. But it’s no use blaming economists for not doing this new social science that hasn’t been invented yet instead of economics.

            • McFlock 5.1.2.2.1.1

              meh: wikipedia:

              Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

              Seems to be pretty much what they told me at school, too.

              • karol

                Yep. And having studied and taught sociology I agree with McFlock. It’s the neoliberals who have narrowed the concept of economics to be something to do with finances and business, and cut out the part of it to do with social sciences – study of people’s uses of resources.

                Interesting that the wikip link shows “economics” has having begun with Marxist politcal economy.

                • McFlock

                  the thing is that if you restrict economics to the movement of money, what’s the point of it? An entire social study dedicated to the movement of bits of paper and their imaginary electronic substitutes? Seriously, who in their right mind would care?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Orthodox economics is actually more narrow than that and does not deal with the impact of money, debt or banks on the economy. Price and market behaviour is its specialty.

                    The disciplines of finance, banking and monetary theory does, in some very slight and glancing ways.

                    The whole thing almost seems designed to make the accumulation and wielding of real physical wealth and power invisible to the theory.

                    • karol

                      When I studied sociology, economics was always included as part of sociology, as it focused on human behaviour in society – Marx, one of the founding fathers of sociology – along with Weber and Durkheim.

                      Anyway, wikipedia takes a similar line: social sciences:

            • KJT 5.1.2.2.1.2

              That is exactly what economics was when it started. A study of social interactions around resource use and allocation.

              Social science.

              Only in recent times it has been narrowed to mathematical chicken entrial gazing.

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, neoclassical economics can be seen as the mathematisation of classical economics, which helped to progress economics as a “real” science (even though in reality it remains the “dismal” science).

    • stargazer 5.2

      missed the point? caring work is economic activity. a lot of volunteer work is economic activity. i sit voluntarily on the governing boards of a couple of NGO’s, don’t get paid but running those organisations has led to an increase in employment, in tangible work outputs & in societal outcomes. all of that is economic activity but my work (& the work of others on that board) is not picked up as economic activity.

      perhaps you could focus your attention on the fact that the definition of “economic activity” by some economists is somewhat deficient.

    • Macro 5.3

      “Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product … if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

      “Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

      Sen Robert F Kennedy March 1968
      http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/blog/posts/senator-robert-f-kennedy-on-the-shortcomings-of-gross-national-product
      80 years ago, economist Simon Kuznets introduced GDP to the world, alongside a clear warning against using it to define the wellbeing of people.

      • Psycho Milt 5.3.1

        Exactly. GDP isn’t a measure of what useful work’s being done or of a population’s well-being. If politicians are treating it as such, the problem is with them, not with GDP as a measure of economic activity or with the economists who measure it.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          Except that you obviously have NFI WTF an economy is – just like the economists and politicians.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Tighty almiighty alwhitey.
    You have got the benefits of a free education you only paid 28% of your tertiary education.
    That hand up allowed you to get to where you are now ,you can Now help others do the same.
    Being a selfish prick doesn”t make you part of the community but a part of society that wants to deny oportunity to others .
    Civilization is about working together as a community.
    Your formula is about stopping communuties working together.
    Its reverting us back to the laws of the jungle where only the strongest and fitest are aloud to participate.
    You and John Key would be on the bottom of the pile Now if it weren’t for socialism.

    • TightyRighty 6.1

      Everyone is entitled to a free education system, everyone got the same helping hand. Am i advocating removing a free primary and secondary education system? absolutely not, i think it’s invaluable. i advocate choice within it though. it’s proven competition leads to better performance by suppliers. what you are pissed about is that i did better out of it than you. So you live in a low rent area, hanging out with low rent people, doing low rent things. You look at those more successful at life than you and hate them for that. Sad really.

      Me and Jk would be on the bottom of the pile if it weren’t for socialism? when has NZ ever been socialist?

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Did you have to cement over the period c1932-1975? Or were you merely significantly overcharged for your free education?

        it’s proven competition leads to better performance by suppliers.
        McDonalds/KFC. Providing what the customer wants, against the public interest.

        • TightyRighty 6.1.1.1

          Pacific Edge Biotech, Xero, Diligent?

          Much better performers than Mcd’s/restaurant brands and providing jobs, export income and forging ahead for NZ’s knowledge economy. Strange how that only flourished under national after all labours emphasis on it

          1932-1975? socialist? hahahahaha. egalitarian, not socialist.

          • Paul 6.1.1.1.1

            You live in a fantasy world.

            • TightyRighty 6.1.1.1.1.1

              yes, your amazing argument and stunning insight have convinced me of that. I live in the real world. the one with income contraints, work to be done, budgets to be kept, choices to be made. where i can make money or lose my job. without moaning once about it. in fact loving it. Helps when you’ve got the right attitude and don’t blame everyone else for your misfortune of being a loser.

              • karol

                In your “real world” who looks after the children, the sick, the injured, the storm damaged? Who cooks th dinners, does the shopping an dhouse maintenance?

                And if you have a low paid job, work hard, but still have few savings, what happens when they lose that job because the government cuts services as the result of a global financial crisis, or when athe business goes bust due to bad or corrupt actions by the managers?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  When that happens, Tighty will smugly remark that you shouldn’t have made bad choices.

                • Paul

                  Yes it would be interesting to see what zealous Randists do if misfortune strikes.
                  Do they lecture themselves or suddenly realise that they need assistance?

                  • Huginn

                    A heavy smoker who refused to believe that smoking was a cause of lung cancer, Ayn Rand liked to sneer at the anti-smoking lobby. Predictably enough, she underwent surgery for lung cancer in 1974 and died of heart failure in 1982.

                    Ayn Rand fiercely opposed all types of Social Security, including Medicare, but when she and her husband needed Medicare somehow she decided that this did not apply to them. Apparently she signed power of attorney and let someone else sign her up under the name of Ann O’Connor

                    Cribbed from:
                    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

                • Sabine Ford

                  in TR’s world, these would all die as they are only resource users. they generate no wealth.

                  cooking dinner? how quaint. And only lazy people loose jobs.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.2

            Your argument that the Oxford English Dictionary has got it wrong is a hint that you might be fucked in the head.

    • Lloyd 6.2

      Tricledown you are so right. Everyone should be asking John Key where he would be if it wasn’t for socialism and social welfare.
      I would suggest he would not have become a millionaire if he had had his childhood in the USA.

  7. Bill 7

    Okay. I’m confused. GDP measures ‘an aspect’ of the market economy. Correct me I’ve picked up the general gist of the post wrong – but what does taking wider factors into account or changing the measurement do in terms of what the market does? I can’t see it making one iota of difference seeing as how the market’s principle economic purpose is profit.

    Alternatively, if the suggestion is that a new economy is necessary, then why bother spending time on the deficiencies of gdp…which is and can only be an economic measurement within the context of a market economy?

    And so to this –

    Any alternative model that aims for a sustainable, inclusive, cooperative and life-affirming society needs to attend to gender and other differences between people, as well as focusing on our collective aims and processes.

    Can that be anything other than a democratic economy…ie, a wholly participatory economy operating in tandem with a necessarily democratic or participatory polity?

    ‘Sustainable’ and ‘life affirming’ might appear to demand attention to resource depletion and AGW. ‘Inclusive’, ‘cooperative’ and ‘collective aims and processes’ would have to attend to gender and all other oppressions (supply whatever list of ‘isms’) …otherwise it would be something other (less then) than ‘inclusive’, ‘cooperative’ and/or focused on ‘collective aims and processes’…ie, something other than democratic.

    • karol 7.1

      Good point, Bill. I think just changing the economy, without attending to changing the underlying system, would result in further problems.

      But I don’t equate economy with “market economy” (some of the sources I linked to may well ultimately imply/require that). The sources do show how flawed our current approach to the economy, is – and the measurement of it is central to the system. They ultimately show that decisions about management of the economy, are based on some underlying (usually not explicit) values, assumptions, concepts etc. And mainstream economics tends to do the opposite – assume that economic arrangements are the bedrock on which society/community is built. It seeems to start with the economic management, and expect that will magically make for a better society.

      And for me the “economy” is to do with management or organisation of resources. Any society or community will do that one way or another.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Of course in truth, the current approach to the economy is not flawed; it is in fact working exceptionally well for the elite patriarchal 0.1% who make the key decisions.

        And for me the “economy” is to do with management or organisation of resources. Any society or community will do that one way or another.

        Yes, this is indeed a proper, more holistic definition of “the economy.” Unfortunately what we usually view as the “economy” nowadays, especially through the lens of the corporate MSM, is merely the metastatic financialised economy. It is that financialisation of people, of resources, and in fact of the entire ecosystem, which is leading our civilisation to disaster.

        However, corporations do not make strategic business decisions based on GDP or even on forecasts of GDP. Partly because they have far more detailed metrics, but also because they know that GDP is actually irrelevant (beyond it’s role in providing convenient political cover and distraction for desired policies of austerity, bailouts etc.)

        So I’ll reflect Bill’s sentiments using different words – will changing the use of the GDP measure (if such a thing can be accomplished after two decades of criticism) convince the power elite to relinquish their exalted position or to share their privilege with the wider population? Of course, it will not.

        What the Left needs to do is provide people with a vision of an alternative democratic socialist economy. One which does not pray head bowed at the altar of parasitic insanity and of Thanatos, and one which stops our world short of the environmental and resource cliff face we are accelerating towards.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        The sources do show how flawed our current approach to the economy, is – and the measurement of it is central to the system

        ‘Everybody’ knows that gdp is a narrowly focused measurement. But it’s only inadequate if we want to measure…how to say?…wider economic phenomena. And then, unless we are suggesting that the measurement predated the realisation of the economy and somehow determined (how?) its shape and character, then no model of measurement will make any difference whatsoever to the reality of what the economy is and how it operates…whether *those* oranges are measured by total number of individual pieces of fruit, weight, volume or anything else or any combination of anything/everything else, barring magic, the measurement can’t impact on the reality of whatever is there.

        The best I can see for adopting more comprehensive or wider ranging measurements is that it/they might lift the veil on some currently ‘hidden’ aspects and dynamics of our economy…offer a better description… and lead to demands for its total reconfiguration ie, a different way to manage and determine production and distribution. If that’s the hope, and if we then want an economy that doesn’t lock in various oppressions (I’ll assume we do) , then we have to bang our heads together and come up with democratic scenarios, no?

        And for me the “economy” is to do with management or organisation of resources. Any society or community will do that one way or another

        yup

        • karol 7.1.2.1

          I’m not sure that everybody knows of the narrowness of GDP measurements. Many people just hear it as a measure, and accept that it measures how well our economy is doing. Some have used it as a measure in the discussion above, without seemingly being aware of it’s limtiations.

          Bill: The best I can see for adopting more comprehensive or wider ranging measurements is that it/they might lift the veil on some currently ‘hidden’ aspects and dynamics of our economy…offer a better description… and lead to demands for its total reconfiguration,

          And I do think this is what the quoted feminist economic arguments about unpaid work do. Many people don’t think of their everyday, non-paid activities as making a positive contribution to the wider society – thus all the beneficiary bashing, and current pressure of single parents to be doing paid work.

          While I also think it’s really important to focus on alternatives, it’s also necesssary to keep highlighting the shortcomings of the focus on GDP. But, ultimately I’d prefer to move away from putting a monetary value on all human worthwhile activities. It’s soemthing that has intensified in the neoliberal period. The commodification of everything.

          There are some alternatives suggested in the links in my post – although, only flagged in a general way. I mentioned the capabilties approach which focuses as much on process as on goals. Wikipedia’s thumbnail sketch of it:

          Unlike traditional economic measures of success, focused on GDP, utility, income, assets or other monetary measures, the capabilities approach focuses on what individuals are able to do. This approach emphasizes processes as well as outcomes, and draws attention to cultural, social and material dynamics of well-being.

          More on it here:

          Initially Sen argued for five components in assessing capability:

          The importance of real freedoms in the assessment of a person’s advantage
          Individual differences in the ability to transform resources into valuable activities
          The multi-variate nature of activities giving rise to happiness
          A balance of materialistic and nonmaterialistic factors in evaluating human welfare
          Concern for the distribution of opportunities within society

          While this starts to move away from a goal oriented, short term, monetary valued approach, I don’t know that “well-being” (of individuals anyway) needs to keep being measured.

          But, before moving to an alternative system, there needs to be some agreement on the underlying values, and a shift in focus away from consumer capitalism.

          • QoT 7.1.2.1.1

            I’m not sure that everybody knows of the narrowness of GDP measurements.

            This. In exactly the same way that every night on the news we get told “the NZX 50 is up ten points!” and the 95% of us who have no clue what that means are meant to accept it as a Good Thing because Michael Wilson says so.

            • McFlock 7.1.2.1.1.1

              the really fucked one is the exchange rate – positive green arrow with a rise, negative red down arrow with a fall – regardless of whether that’s a good thing or bad thing for the economy.

          • Bill 7.1.2.1.2

            So whereas Dr Vandana Shiva calls for a new economy ( a non-patriarchal economy can only be something other than a market economy), the information linked to in your comment appears, on first reading at least, to be looking to inject other, more desirable measures into the context of a market economy. And that can’t work – it’s insane. Even if such other measures were introduced and promoted, the nature and focus of the market economy and its associated institutions would ensure they were rolled back.

            So, if my reading of the links you provided is right, Shiva calls for revolution and the ‘capability approach’ link has people calling for well meaning, but ultimately hopeless, reform.

            But, before moving to an alternative system, there needs to be some agreement on the underlying values, and a shift in focus away from consumer capitalism.

            I can’t for the life of me understand the penchant for dividing thought and action that’s implied there. The alternative is the shift – the shift is the alternative. Anything else is just pushing things out into the ‘never never’ and avoiding action at the cost of preserving current trajectories.

            But anyway, didn’t you already suggest, or at least signpost some reasonable and uncontentious values in your post? Surely it’s not so difficult to determine the values needed to underpin sustainability, inclusiveness, cooperation and achieving collective aims and purposes? And then, just as surely, it’s fairly easy to figure the necessary characteristics of a system that would, not only promote those underlying values, but act as a disincentive or barrier to a resurgence of the current crop of undesirable values that the market economy rewards?

            • karol 7.1.2.1.2.1

              Action and values should go together. But acting without undersanding the values incorporated within the actions could be counter productive.

              While the wrongness of the current system and its values may seem very obvious to you, it clearly isn’t to many – eg the example of the evening financial/market repots on the nightly news.

              And part of my post then went on the cover the wrongness of being “gender blind”. There’s been some people on TS posit such a gender blind approach to the economy. So I think it is useful to have an explanation of how gendered values are incorporated into the current mainstream approach to the economy – and ditto for other significant areas of socially-defined differences between people.

              • Bill

                I don’t think I have any issue with any of that. I guess I’m just wary of descriptive analysis being seen as ‘the be all and end all’ and that it then delays any taking of action. (The endless debates/discussions on AGW come to mind on that front, where winning the argument was seen as somehow doing something, while actually doing something was postponed on the premise that there were people who didn’t believe in AGW.)

                • karol

                  Understand. I’m hoping to do more posts following from this one. Rather than do one long complicated post, sometimes I try to put some of the background source material out there first.

        • Lloyd 7.1.2.2

          GDP measures the flow of oranges around society. It doesn’t measure the total number of oranges. If a single orange is passed around many times a day it has the same effect a single exchange of a bag of oranges.

          A society may be throwing all the oranges away or it may be growing and creating more oranges. The GDP result may well be the same, but the society that is creating more oranges will definitely have more oranges to play with tomorrow.

          If the total number of oranges available to the society is a measure of social success, the society which is growing the number of oranges will be better off than the society with the same GDP which is throwing them away.

          This overall number of oranges in a society doesn’t address the equity of distribution of oranges through the society…..

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    Well if Tighty righty isn’t going to have any kids who is he going to leave all the dosh too? Looks like we’ll all get it in the end.

  9. Macro 9

    Measuring GDP has its place in a developing economy – that was what it was developed for in the first place. But once an economy has reached a level where there is sufficient goods and services to meet the needs of the population it really becomes superfluous. The challenge then for the economy is to ensure an equitable distribution.
    To constantly chase increasing GDP when the needs of the population can already be adequately met is nonsensical and ultimately impossible, as well as endangering the survival of future generations, through the unjustifiable consumption of limited resources.

  10. tricledrown 10

    TA
    Those companies you mentioned.
    Xero hasn’t made a profit yet its just a ponzi scheme for Now it wad started in 2006 its growth is on the back of future predicted earnings it could fall over anytime.
    Pacific biotech startef from govt research at Auckland Uni socialism it hasn’t made aprofit either.
    Did you attend any of your lectures at your state funded Uni.
    I think you were one of those cheats and bought the answers online.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Tighty almighty .
    Diligent not very ru listed on NZ stock exchange 2007 labour govt.
    Another ponzi company hoping for future earnings with no guarantee .
    Profitability zero to .0•25%.
    Where did you get your ecocomics degree!
    You are an example of why so many men in this country are complete failures.
    Your reasoning is that inanimate objects are more important than
    Living beings.

  12. KJT 12

    GDP is hugely flawed measure.

    It has some value in comparing the comparative growth in the monetary economy over time or with other countries, but it excludes so much, as Karol says, that it is a deceptive measure.

    An economy depends on so much more than the proportion that can be measured by monetary flows.

    It doesn’t include the wealth implicit in being able to walk down the road to a clean beach, or the value in living amongst healthy, happy people, for example.

    It equally doesn’t include the value of a retired teacher giving free classes, a volunteer caregiver in the community, an unpaid sports coach or a student learning a trade.

    Paying someone to blow up Christchurch, and the resulting repairs, increases GDP, but has no effect on the real quality of life for anyone.
    Paid child carers increase GDP, but the same essential job undertaken by their mother does not.

    I like Bhutan’s “gross national happiness index”.

    Then there is the whole concept of continual economic growth. A logical impossibility in a world with finite resources.

  13. SPC 13

    This leads onto the UI issue.

    The role of the non working partner recognised in more than WFF tax credits

    Access to the dole in their own right because

    a seeking but yet to find work (by right as independent labour)
    b providing child care (same conditions as DPB)
    c non professional caring for others than their children
    d undertaking voluntary work

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