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Electoral donations reported

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, May 1st, 2008 - 52 comments
Categories: election 2008, election funding, same old national - Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Electoral Commission has published the parties’ donation returns for 2007. It is worth noting from the outset that under the electoral law then in force only donations over $10,000 had to be declared and anonymous donations, including the use of anonymising trusts, were legal.

Labour has the largest return, at $1,030,446.39. But $700,000 was payments from MPs to the Party as part of the ‘big whip around’ to cover the $800,000 that the Auditor-General found Labour had overspent at the 2005 election. Removing that sum, Labour brought in $200,000 in declared donations.

National brought in $704,100.00. Of that, $553,100 was given by anonymous donors or came through trusts designed to hide the identities of the donors.  It is not good enough that in a democracy a major party can take nearly all of it’s donations from secret sources, especially after the beat up they made over the Owen Glenn donations. National (and Labour) should come forward and reveal their secret donors. They know who they are.

Of course, National won’t do that. Fortunately, we now have a law that prevents people secretly spending huge sums in an effort to influence elections. Under the Electoral Finance Act, all parties are forced to reveal the sources of their big donations. And New Zealand’s democracy is stronger for it.

PS. Radio NZ said this morning they had asked Mike Williams to come on to discuss the donations. He is wisely keeping out of the media for now but how come no-one ever interviews National’s President, Judy Kirk? Surely, she’s the one hiding the real secrets. 

52 comments on “Electoral donations reported”

  1. hmm 1

    So Labour spent all that time lecturing us about anonymous donations and they were recieving more than $200k of them.

    Also Tane spent last year telling us that Bell Gully must be National Party supporters because their trust account was used to make a donation. By that logic will Tane now be smearing Simpson Grierson, Morrison Kent and Palmer Theron and saying that because of this http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/party-donations-2007.html they too must be Labour Party supporters.

  2. Tane 2

    Steve, I think it’s also a bad look for Labour to have received sizeable anonymous donations. There’s no place for them in our democracy.

    hmmm, I don’t think Bell Gully are National supporters because they acted as bagmen for secret donations, but I do think their ability to comment on electoral finance reform is heavily compromised.

  3. vto 3

    “Fortunately, we now have a law that prevents people secretly spending huge sums in an effort to influence elections.”

    You have got to be joking Mr Pierson.

    The hugest sum by a long shot will be spent by the labour govt. In an attempt to influence the election.

    It has already been admitted by Mike Williams. And ad spend rates by govt depts are also showing their characteristic election year increase.

    You must think the public are stupid. Your cred suffers with statements like that.

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    I fully agree that Laobur’s anonymous donations are just as bad as National’s but they make up a small portion of what Labour got. Whereas, they make up the bulk of what National got. And, unlike National, Labour does not have trusts established specifically to hide the identities of donors.

    captcha: Happy Smith – Nick?

  5. Ted 5

    People don’t interview Judy because by and large she doesn’t do interviews – there are a few rare exceptions to this but she was elected on a promise to stay out of the headlines.

    Williams on the other hand has sought a high media profile. It’s pretty clear he has been used as an extra-Parliamentary attack dog so it’s newsworthy that he is now keeping his head down.

    I can’t say for sure whether or not Kirk was invited on but I know she would have declined. Either way it’s not newsworthy to report she wasn’t on because she has consistently referred media opportunities to the Leader.

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    cheers Ted. I wasn’t aware of that – guess she makes a nice change after Michelle Boag.

    vto – Ministers don’t control the size of their ministries’ advertising budgets, nor how they are spent. They sign off on campaigns but they cannot go in and direct them.

  7. r0b 7

    The hugest sum by a long shot will be spent by the labour govt. In an attempt to influence the election. It has already been admitted by Mike Williams.

    Not quite sure what you’re claiming there vto. Could you please point me to the comment / quote from Williams that you are referring to?

  8. Daveo 8

    Let’s be clear- however imperfect it might be, the Electoral Finance Act will stop this sort of large anonymous donation. Doesn’t this mean it’s working as intended?

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    I think the Elecotral Finance Act is working just fine. Around the margins some of the provisions can be a hassle, especailly with the likes of Whaleoil and Farrar trying to make their own petty breaches in the hope they can get martyred and then accussing others of petty breaches all in an effort to undermine the law. But it’s main purpose is bieng fufilled and the small problems will be dealt with as the legislation shakes-down – it happens with all new laws, just this one is more in the public eye.

  10. vto 10

    Rob, I was referring to his gaff at the conference a couple of weeks ago.

    Don’t want to start re-litigating the entire EFA debate but in my opinion the legislation and its implementation has damaged, further, ALL of our elected representatives’ credibility. And the institution of Parliament. It’s all been quite shocking. Those of the public that follow, but do not participate in, the political system know this. I think it is one of the major reasons for labour’s non-recoverable slump.

  11. follow the money 11

    Where is John Key’s donation? Why is it never declared in the returns – this year, or any year? Is it because he never gives money to National?

    No, it isn’t.

    Dominion-Post, Feb 21:

    “Key disclosed that he had donated “several thousand’ dollars a year to National for the past six years but never more than $10,000 in any one year — the maximum an individual can give before the donation has to be declared.
    Key said this election he intended to donate between $20,000 and $25,000 to National, which would be disclosed according to the Electoral Finance Act.’

    But the name of John Key is not there. He is not some shy but well-off citizen, who wants privacy – he wants to be Prime Minister. It doesn’t get any more public than that. And the public are fully entitled to know.

    So, how much has John Key donated anonymously to National through a secret Trust? And just as important, WHY does he do it anonymously?

  12. vto 12

    Just a little further to my post above…

    The manner in which the EFA was implemented was excessively partisan. Similar to the Privy Council abolition. Too much advantage has been taken of the unchecked power that rests in the parliamentary and executive wings our of our system.

    The reason for the slump being non-recoverable is that those actions are the type of actions which people get fired for in private enterprise. Helen et al have to get fired. The people that notice these things know this. Their minds are made up.

    The others that don’t notice these things are being viciously beaten by this economic downturn and that’s the nail in the coffin for them. It’s all over.

    2c.

  13. Felix 13

    Steve, for the sake of comparison do you know what proportion of Labour’s donations were anonymous?

  14. Stephen 14

    follow the money, it’s still 2008, so there’s still time for Key to donate, one would imagine.

  15. follow the money 15

    Stephen

    The point is, he already has donated a great deal. But never disclosing how much, and only admitting it under questioning from journalists.

    Key also says that he will declare this year’s donations “according to the Electoral Finance Act” (his words).

    John Key opposes the Electoral Finance Act.

  16. Stephen 16

    Right on

  17. r0b 17

    With proper tags this time:

    vto: The hugest sum by a long shot will be spent by the labour govt. In an attempt to influence the election. It has already been admitted by Mike Williams.

    When queried: Rob, I was referring to his gaff at the conference a couple of weeks ago.

    Well vto, if that’s your source then you need to stop telling lies. There was a proposal to distribute government department pamphlets which Mike initially endorsed, but it was quickly quashed by Helen Clark because of the conflict of interest – government department advertising should be and should be seen to be distinct from party campaigning. So Labour is explicitly and ethically NOT doing exactly what you accuse them of. I’m sure you’re aware of this, there was plenty of publicity. So stop telling lies.

    [lprent: I deleted the bad tag one]

  18. higherstandard 18

    Well then Rob how about the increased advertising we will undoubtedly see on our screens from a number of ministries leading into the election as was the case last time the election came around.

    If there’s one post that highlights how much you chaps have lost the plot it’s this one – berating National for donations via trusts and the like while Labour is doing the same thing.

  19. Dave 19

    Labour does not have trusts established specifically to hide the identities of donors.
    And it doesnt need to either as it spends it before it gets it and so we know how much they have to pay back – but its not donors that are paying it back it is the MPs through the interest they get on their overinflated salaries – salaries that are being paid for by the taxpayer, while these same MPs can currently claim a third of their donations back as a tax rebate. It’s a money go round.

  20. Dave 20

    So, how much has John Key donated anonymously to National through a secret Trust? And just as important, WHY does he do it anonymously?
    If he does donate anonymously its becaue Labour passed a law allowing him to donate multiple times anonymously, while maintaining their silly EFA promoted accountability.

  21. insider 21

    __Ministers don’t control the size of their ministries’ advertising budgets, nor how they are spent. They sign off on campaigns but they cannot go in and direct them.__

    No apparantly that is what Heather Simpson is there for – cf her involvement in MfE comms strategies

  22. insider 22

    Steve

    I’m confused. You say that, excluding the big whip round, Labour received 300k in ‘real’ donations. You then attack National:

    “It is not good enough that in a democracy a major party can take nearly all of it’s donations from secret sources, especially after the beat up they made over the Owen Glenn donations.”

    But Labour got 2/3 of its donations anonymously…

  23. If People want to be anonymous when donating money to a political party that should be their right.

    Oh by the way the Republican party thanks you, I see you have some Google ads on your site, they are a very large donator to the GOP, but hey Im sure if enough people click you will make some money and google will make some money, which they would give McCain.

    Thanks for helping the war effort.

  24. r0b 24

    Well then Rob how about the increased advertising we will undoubtedly see on our screens from a number of ministries leading into the election as was the case last time the election came around.

    I don’t see adds because I don’t have a TV. Did they increase last election? I’d be interested to see the data.

    If there’s one post that highlights how much you chaps have lost the plot it’s this one – berating National for donations via trusts and the like while Labour is doing the same thing.

    HS you seem to be terminally confusing different issues.

    [lprent: I deleted the bad tag one]

    Thanks!

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Insider – Where did you get that info about 2/3 of labour’s donations? If you’re looking at the elections.org website, there’s something funny about your math. $230,000 out of over $1m doesn’t add up to 2/3 in my books.

    Brett Dale – if people could be 100% sure that anonymous donations were kept anonymous then you would be right. This can’t happen, and in a democracy we have a right to know what the interests of a party might be, based upon their funding. Don’t ya hate it when it turns out your opinion is undemocratic?

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    Dave (or anyone) – can you get rebates on donations made to political organisations?

    I thought it was only applicable for donations to charitable organisations, in which case Dave is telling porkies and that whole post makes even less sense than it did when I first tried to decipher it. Happy to be corrected though.

  27. insider 27

    Matthew

    Steve said the 700k donations from MPs for the big whip round didn’t really count. that left 300k in donations, 200k of which were anonymous. Where is the error in my maths (note the ‘s’! On some things I just draw the line)

    r0b

    Bill English had a release on advertising this week –

    “Government advertising spend by rate card – March ’03-’08

    March 2003 $3,235,752 March 2004 $4,096,347 March 2005 $7,922,172 March 2006 $7,188,466 March 2007 $6,147,948 March 2008 $8,098,723 Source: Nielsen Media Research”

  28. r0b 28

    Government advertising spend by rate card – March ‘03-’08

    Insider – why did he pick March?

  29. insider 29

    hmmm, let me think….(could take a while)

  30. higherstandard 30

    It would be interesting to delve into the advertising spend deeper.

    Although it may be dodgy it might be something from left field like additional lotto advertising or an ALAC campaign which is probably captured under government spending but couldn’t be claimed (except via an extreme stretch) to influence voters.

  31. Ted 31

    r0b, because March was the last available month. I think it’s pretty tough to justify a two million dollar jump particularly when Labour had more new stuff to advertise in 2007 than they have this year.

  32. r0b 32

    Insider – why did he pick March?

    hmmm, let me think .(could take a while)

    Please do Insider. I imagine the government dept advertising spend is fairly constant year to year (if it increased dramatically every election year I’m sure we’d have heard about that!). But each year’s spend is probably distributed over the 12 months unevenly.

    If that’s the case then one possibility is that Bill English picked March because of the 12 months it showed a pattern that looked (if you squinted at it in the right light) vaguely sinister (i.e. correlated to the electoral cycle). If that is what he did, then, umm – pathetic. Deliberate lying with statistics.

    Not to mention the fact that March is totally the wrong month to spend up if you want to influence an election.

  33. Ted 33

    That said, I am open to explanations anyone said. This isn’t conclusive proof that Labour are ramping up Government funding to win the election, but it certainly isn’t a good look.

  34. r0b 34

    r0b, because March was the last available month.

    Any month can be picked for years up to 08.

  35. r0b 35

    Further re “why March”, Bill had the data to produce aggregate spends January – March every year including 08. Presumably if there was a big spend up every election year, this would have made his point even better. So why didn’t he? Why March?

    Does anyone actually know where to find this data? I’d be very interested to see it. Has Bill been lying to us with dodgy stats?

  36. Higherstandard 36

    Are the figures for entire year to end of March or just March in isolation if they’re just a month in isolation they’re about as useful as a single poll result with no long term trend data.

  37. insider 37

    single month

  38. Higherstandard 38

    Odd perhaps English will elucidate further in the house. All that’s on Neilsen’s website that I can find is a comment about a 25% increase in government spend but that’s for some years back.

    http://www.nielsenmedia.co.nz/news.asp?newsID=197

  39. Matthew Pilott 39

    Insider – you’re right, I was counting the whole lot when I should have excluded the $700,000 as you and Steve did.

    Also sorry about the ‘math’ call – inappropriate (accidental, if you will believe me)!

  40. darryl p 40

    March is the end of the financial year.

  41. vto 41

    rOb (way back up there somewhere)…

    Sorry, I simply do not believe either Helen Clark or Mike Williams(and most other politicians are only a step behind).

    Reading through this thread you seem to be a blindfolded labour supporter ya? Appears that way. Often difficult to debate with those types, mind you I only new here so you may find me the same.

  42. Scribe 42

    From Felix:

    Steve, for the sake of comparison do you know what proportion of Labour’s donations were anonymous?

    I’ll give Steve the benefit of the doubt that he’s been too busy to respond. Thankfully insider has shown that 61% of Labour’s non-MP donations were anonymous, not as high as National’s, but certainly fairly sizeable.

    From Steve:

    National (and Labour) should come forward and reveal their secret donors. They know who they are.

    Of course, National won’t do that.

    Will Labour, Steve?

  43. lprent 43

    vto: I was there at the congress. For that matter so was rOb and about 398 others. So yes he does (like me) generally support labour.

    There was some moaning about the shortage of campaign material because it was getting updated to conform to the EFA. A respected delegate popped up to the mic, offered a suggestion, and Mike without thinking about it said a good idea.

    I said it was a good idea to the person next to me (or something like that). It was only later that it didn’t look like such a good idea. For a while I even thought it might be illegal – but was eventually corrected.

    No vast conspiracy. It was just an idea that was bounced around and discarded. All of this is in posts and comments on the site (and elsewhere) just after that time.

    It was just the herald and Audrey Young looking for a headline.

  44. r0b 44

    Sorry, I simply do not believe either Helen Clark or Mike Williams(and most other politicians are only a step behind).

    Fine, don’t believe them. But don’t present your delusions here as fact, because that’s called lying.

    Reading through this thread you seem to be a blindfolded labour supporter ya

    I’m an active member of the Labour Party. Whether or not I’m blindfolded, perhaps you’ll make up your own mind on that if you stick around here. You might want to check out the recent thread on questions for the PM: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1601

  45. Dean 45

    “There was some moaning about the shortage of campaign material because it was getting updated to conform to the EFA.”

    Ahem.

    “A respected delegate popped up to the mic,”

    We all know who it was. You can name names. And if he’s respected on the basis that he thinks it’s a good idea to get the taxpayer to front up again after the last time, that just speaks volumes.

    “offered a suggestion, and Mike without thinking about it said a good idea.”

    Oh please.

    Either:

    Mike didn’t think about it, which also says volumes about his integrity, or:

    Mike lied about it on TV, when denying he’d even said the words.

    You can’t have it both ways, but if you’d like to pretend then I’d invite you to comment on the next John Key thread here on the standard where quotes of his will be pasted and denegrated.

  46. Dean 46

    “Will Labour, Steve?”

    I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

  47. vto 47

    rOb, don’t call me a liar. That was not presented as fact, just opinion. Calm down. I stand by my posts.

    Been hanging around on kiwiblog for a bit but it gets a bit boring when most people agree with you most of the time. Thought it may be more ‘challenging’ to launch into the lion’s den for a bit and test out my thought patterns. I aint no expert pollie-hound, just a keen observer.

    Peace.

  48. r0b 48

    rOb, don’t call me a liar. That was not presented as fact, just opinion. Calm down. I stand by my posts.

    OK vto, but when you say things like:

    The hugest sum by a long shot will be spent by the labour govt. In an attempt to influence the election.

    it comes across as a claim of fact which is patently untrue, and that does get me cross.

    Been hanging around on kiwiblog for a bit but it gets a bit boring when most people agree with you most of the time. Thought it may be more ‘challenging’ to launch into the lion’s den for a bit and test out my thought patterns.

    Well good for you. Would that more people did that.

    I aint no expert pollie-hound, just a keen observer. Peace.

    Fine then, peace, good luck on your journey.

  49. Matthew Pilott 49

    Dean, if you’ve seen the transcript then you know what you’re saying is bolloks. Have you ever workshopped or brainstormed an issue before? Everyone chucks the ideas out there and so on? So when you, as the man with the mic, say ‘great idea’ you could mean any number of things, here’s a few suggestions to chew o:

    1) it’s lunchtime, I am hungry. Please sit down and stop speaking
    2) thanks for the idea – worth looking into
    3) I have to say something nice, I can’t tell the delegate to f.. off
    4) in the two seconds I’ve had to think about it, I have carefully considered the difficult ramifications of this idea and (wrongly) applauded the idea as one the Labour Party should adopt as policy.

    To say “it speaks volumes about his integrity”

    Oh please.

    You actually seriously believe what you’re saying?! I honestly doubt it, but whatever floats your boat…

  50. lprent 50

    Dean, one day after the congress, I couldn’t remember exactly what I’d said to the person next to me during that session about the idea. Hell, I couldn’t remember exactly who was sitting next to me. I vaguely remember having a conversation with him. It could have been any number of people that I’d talked to in the hall during the congress. Exactly which one I don’t know.

    At any of these conferences, your mind goes into overload because there is a lot going on. You remember the ideas, but not the context. It is one of the few places that I carry a notepad to, because the spillover is immense.

    Face it, I’m not going to change your mind. It is quite apparent which version of events you prefer to believe, and it isn’t the one from the people that witnessed it. I can just imagine what you’re like on jury service.

  51. Tane 51

    Regarding the discussion earlier in the thread, it was interesting to see National Party President Judy Kirk fronted for the telly last night on TV1.

  52. Ted 52

    Tane, it’s something she does rarely. If you like I can produce a raft of media reports confirming this.

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    DimPostBy danylmc
    17 hours ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    18 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    18 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    21 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    21 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    21 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    22 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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