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From me culture to we culture

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 27th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: business, cost of living, economy, sustainability - Tags:

This morning I saw a report on Al Jazeera News on TV, about the rise of shared consumption in Europe.  The main focus was an a rent-a-present service operating in France.  Children are seen opening Christmas presents that have been rented for a a few months.  At that time, the toys will be exchanged for different ones.  This makes sense because after a few months children often get bored with their Christmas presents.

The Al Jazeera report claimed that a new culture of shared consumption was taking off across Europe, in a shift from “me culture” to one of “we culture”.  This includes practices like car sharing to the sharing of most kinds of consumer goods.

I couldn’t find the report on Al Jazeera, but I did find this article in the November 2012 Guardian about collaborative consumption.

Antonin Léonard hasn’t had a “proper” job since April. This isn’t because he lacks the relevant skills or right temperament. Quite the opposite. The 25-year-old Frenchman holds an MBA, speaks several languages and writes one of the most-read business blogs in France.

No, he doesn’t have a conventional job because he’s all about turning convention on its head.

Paris-based Antonin is one of a growing tribe of sharers. His present curriculum vitae includes descriptions such as “couchsurfer”, “carpooler”, “co-worker” and “skillsharer”. Founder of the online “think tank and do tank”OuiShare, he currently makes his money giving talks and workshops around Europe about the sharing economy.

In the article, Rachel Botsman explains that collaborative consumption is the revival of an old way of doing things.  She says.:

“Basically, we are reinventing things that we used do in village squares – share, barter, rent, swap – but we can do them in ways that are relevant to the Facebook age,” she explains.

Those “things” include buying stuff. The classic example is enterprises such as Zipcar and Whipcar. Instead of paying up-front to purchase their own car, people are tapping into online networks that enable them to rent or share a car as and when they need one.

Where the sharing economy is really taking off, however, is in the exchange of “intangible assets”, such as skills, spaces, time and money, says Botsman: “These are the fastest-growing segments because they are the easiest to make liquid and to share.”

CollaborativeConsumption

I like the shift to a collaborative way of doing things, and that it involves cutting back on consumption.  However, it seems to me that the focus on “consumption” makes it a limiting practice. No wonder some big businesses like Marks and Spencer and big car brands are getting into it.  It also isn’t a lot different from what happens on Trade Me.  Right now many people are re-cycling unwanted presents, as reported by Trade Me:

More than 20,000 items had landed on Trade Me since lunchtime on Christmas Day, and spokesman Paul Ford said the online marketplace provided people with an opportunity to recycle a gift, and make some pocket money along the way.

The above linked Guardian article does indicate ways that collaborative culture spills over into collaborative production, such as with crowd-sourced funding for projects, as facilitated by the likes of Kickstarter.  The article claims that with the shift to collaborative consumption attitudes are changing, so that individual ownership is less important.  This is a shift that is happening for some people, while others still value ownership and have negative attitudes to recycled stuff.

Furthermore, the shift to collaborative culture may just be a pragmatic adjustment to new resource-scarce realities by some capitalists.  Such a limited shift is just putting off a potential economic collapse to a later date. A bigger shift to collaborative production and living is required to ensure a livable future for all our children.

Foodbank

Foodbank

Do you know of any collaborative living practices happening in New Zealand? These could be practices of collaborative consumption, collaborative production, or daily living activities.

How could such practices be encouraged?  The Guardian article says that new technologies of mobile phones, websites and related apps are a key part of the revival in practices of sharing.

[update] Link to Al Jazeera video added.

 

 

49 comments on “From me culture to we culture”

  1. Small bits of content which are explained in details, helps me understand the topic, thank you!

  2. Polish Pride 2

    “The article claims that with the shift to collaborative consumption attitudes are changing, so that individual ownership is less important.” – Brilliant ….a new and much better world is beginning to emerge. I see so many new signs of this every week.

  3. Bill 3

    Do you know of any collaborative living practices happening in New Zealand?

    I used to be somewhat familiar with some intentional communities in the S. Island who would probably lay claim to being ‘collaborative’. Problem was that (in most places) they held onto their individual market relations, ie jobs and whatever were predicated on earning an individual income and houses or homes were the private property of individuals. In the end and in most cases I was aware of, preserving aspects of orthodox individualism weakened or undercut any move towards greater collaboration.

    • karol 3.1

      Can there be small initiatives that lead the way to culture change, away from individual ownership. It’s certainly what is being claimed in the Guardian article. It also is possible that the current economic context may drive such a culture change.

      However, the focus is still too much on individualised production, and choice of which collaborative consumption item to select. Truly collaborative endeavours are less evident.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        I have my doubts about the long term viability of small initiatives in general although…I fully acknowledge that something seemingly small and insignificant can gain legs and momentum and ‘change the game’.

        Legislation already exists for establishing housing co-ops and so on. And they have been formed in NZ. But…it’s that old problem of the power inherent to the dominant culture eventually undermining, subsuming or rolling back whatever has been gained.

        The trick is not to stop once you get going I guess. Never stand still. Keep broadening and deepening whatever it is you started.

        Said before. But the only situation I came across that sustained itself against the dominant market culture was a worker/housing collective I belonged to in N England that had no individual income and no private property (ie, housing). Effectively we were all buffered from ‘individual versus market’ relations and so could get on with developing decent ways of living and interacting without the distraction and worry of ‘earning a crust’ as individuals.

  4. ochocinco 4

    We’ll know we have actually got a “we” culture rather than a “me” culture when people stop abandoning NZ for 40 pieces of silver in Aussie or the UK

    … I’m not holding my breath (and considering Labour has never condemned those economic traitors, perhaps even the left doesn’t get it)

    • One Tāne Viper 4.1

      They aren’t treacherous, they’re just adapting to the conditions.

      • ochocinco 4.1.1

        How is someone going overseas to earn more money ANY DIFFERENT to a fat-cat capitalist business owner finding a low-tax environment to put his head office?

        It’s exactly the same self-centred capitalist approach and I’m disgusted even The Standard has no issues with it.

    • Crimson Nile 4.2

      The economic traitors are the ones who exported our jobs, not the workers who followed those jobs.

      • halfcrown 4.2.1

        “The economic traitors are the ones who exported our jobs, not the workers who followed those jobs.”

        That is an excellent response, and so bloody true

      • ochocinco 4.2.2

        True, but workers should stay in NZ regardless.
        Helping NZ grow is more important than self-enrichment, even if it means working a shitty job here rather than a great job in Australia

        Leftism means thinking of the country first, not the individual

        • Hanswurst 4.2.2.1

          No it doesn’t. That’s patriotism or nationalism. It’s perfectly possible to go overseas and remain “left”, in fact the left and society in general benefit from people from different backgrounds bringing fresh ideas and perspectives. There can be both left and right wing reasons for emigrating, but emigration in itself is neither one nor the other.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    ochocinco. This is manner of thinking about people leaving the country is bizarre. Clearly it is a Biblical reference, so let me suggest that those looking to a future abroad may be, rather, following the journeys of “the Three Wise Men”?

    • ochocinco 5.1

      The whole concept of leftism is altruism. The collective over the individual. People who abandon NZ for their own enrichment are just the same as companies who flee NZ or USA or Australia to find lower tax environments. We need to do what’s best for NZ even if it’s not the best for us.

      Otherwise we’re just Randian objectivists with a facade over the top. SELFISHNESS IS NOT LEFT WING

  6. Hilary 6

    Libraries. (Book, music and toy libraries)

    Transition towns http://www.transitiontowns.org.nz/

    • weka 6.1

      Libraries? You mean those once egalitarian organisations that now operate a kind of user pays?

      • karol 6.1.1

        Yes, libraries are generally community resources, but the user-pays philosophy is an on-going threat. I remember things like Toy libraries in London in the late 70s early 80s. I hope some such things are still going. Neoliberals try to profiteer from any good community collaborative efforts.

        Excellent transition towns website, thanks Hilary. I’ve bookmarked it.

  7. ColonialPete 7

    As a librarian, I have to say this sort of thing has been done for millennia. Now of course they are subscribing to expensive databases hat individuals just cant afford. And it’s not just libraries – video and DVD rentals have been in place for years, as has equipment hire. In each case it’s material that you really only use once or twice and then return. What has been interesting is the emergence of take-a-book leave-a-book pop up libraries as part of the gapfiller project in Christchurch, but that kind of model tends to weed out the good stuff and leave unwanted material over time.

    People have used couch surfing to travel the world.

    YouTube and Vimeo are also interesting avenues where individuals are creating their own sophisticated content and putting it online. Yes, many make money through ad revenue, but I don’t think that is what motivates them to go on there in the first place. We’re social creatures and want to share our talents and help people.

  8. xtasy 8

    What I have repeatedly come across in the local paper here in Auckland is stories about kind of communal gardens being used by groups of people in various suburbs (usually the more economically and socially “depressed” ones).

    There people get together, cultivate bits of land that they seem to be able to get offered for use cheaply or even for free by the council, and they grow vegetables for their own consumption in them. Whether it is based on full sharing, or a system of where lots are subdivided into smaller growing plots, I am not sure of. But I thought this is a great idea and example of people getting together and do something constructively and healthy, to supplement their own food.

    • halfcrown 8.1

      That has been happening in the UK as long as I can remember. They were called Allotments, as the piece of land or plot was “allotted” by the local council. Very popular with competitions for the best produce etc. In London a life saver for some families during the war years

  9. KJT 9

    Employers already do this of course.
    They share slaves through outfits like Allied work force or get the collective to pay towards them with welfare such as WFF.

    • xtasy 9.1

      KJT that is really ‘social’ and “sharing” of our dear employers, is it not? I know what you are talking about, and it sickens me. Of course those “collective” businesses follow above all an agenda serving their own interests. With more outsourcing of welfare planned, there willl be a “welfare business boom’ soon, thanks to Paula Bennett!

  10. marsman 10

    My nephew’s wife organised a domestic garden fruit and vegetable sharing network in Whangarei.

  11. bad12 11

    There is in Wellington’s Newtown a ‘Skill-swap’ organization in operation where people interested can register their relative skills and be matched to swap like for like labour,

    My understanding is that it has been running for about a year and is reasonably successful, there’s a huge scope for such a service to be expanded right across all areas of expertise where those registered could ‘bank’ their contribution and for example when needing mechanical repairs on a car or appliance could ‘spend’ the hours they have banked where the mechanic or electrician would accumulate a pile of hours He or She could then use to swap for ‘other services’

    Of course the down-side to being able to accumulate ‘hours owed’ to oneself is that theoretically the person with the skills in most demand becomes the overlord of other’s by dint of having a private serfdom whose labour He or She could buy with ‘banked hours’,

    I am sure tho that a system could be put in place to avoid such a situation…

    • weka 11.1

      “Of course the down-side to being able to accumulate ‘hours owed’ to oneself is that theoretically the person with the skills in most demand becomes the overlord of other’s by dint of having a private serfdom whose labour He or She could buy with ‘banked hours’,”

      Not really following that. You don’t accumulate ‘hours owed’, you accumulate tradable credits. No-one owes anyone anything. If you want to leave the system, there is nothing you can take with you.

      The other cool think about Time Banks is that the value of the unit of time is the same for everyone. A cleaner’s hour is worth the same as a teacher’s is the same as a mechanic’s.

      Time Banks are the new Green Dollar. It’s interesting that they focus on skills rather than goods. I think ideally you need Green Dollar systems running alongside Time Banks.

      “Timebanking is based on the principle of co-production. This involves co-operating together for mutual benefit.

      Our market economy is based on people using money to exchange things. Money is useful, but markets don’t recognise most of our real value. In a market economy, “value” is based on scarcity. If something is scarce it has a high price. If something is commonly available it has a low price. Many things that people value most (e.g. caring, learning, sharing, socialising, raising children and being a good neighbour) are not valued highly in a market.”

      http://www.wellingtontimebank.org.nz/

      Transition Towns initiatives are inherently collaborative, and very much about we culture – the whole point is to develop interdependent communities that can manage the post-Peak Oil, CC, GFC etc transition well.

  12. karol 12

    Very good initatives described by xtasy, marsman, and bad12. I don’t know how people can avoid hierarchies of status developing, bad. Maybe if people were to discuss their participation in such things more, share their experiences etc, some solutions good develop?

    Actually, I’ve just followed Hilary’s link above to the NZ transition towns website. It’s forum has the potential for the kind of information sharing I was referring to.

  13. TightyRighty 13

    So basically outsourcing ownership? A good idea, why not have pay as you go user pays? I can think of many such initiatives that would work in NZ.

    • karol 13.1

      I think you’ve missed the actual idea. People working together to produce and share their stuff, is cheaper all round if some ticket-clipper is not looking to make money out of it. And there’s less resources used, when not required to keep track of said ticket-clipping.

      • TightyRighty 13.1.1

        I think you’ve missed the point actually. It’s not about people coming together, hand holding kumbaya style, that’s driving the movement. It’s enterprising individuals and companies puttin together a package that involves the crowd owning services or goods in a manner that captures utility when it might otherwise be wasted.

        • Napkins 13.1.1.1

          “It’s not about people coming together, hand holding kumbaya style”

          No such style exists, I daresay. Yes it is “enterprising”, as long as you can accept that many forms of enterprise are non-commercial, or are overtly collective in nature. Also the value of the utility may be non-commercial in nature, or at least, not-for-profit. The elimination of the ticket clipping middleman is crucial however.

          • TightyRighty 13.1.1.1.1

            Dream on. Somebody profits or nothing happens. Incentives, we all respond to them.

            • karol 13.1.1.1.1.1

              For some people money isn’t the main incentive. Otherwise people wouldn’t be involved in the various not-for-profit collaborative activities that people have commented on here: from NZ tansitiontowns, community gardens, etc to menz sheds.

        • McFliper 13.1.1.2

          Indeed. But shared ownership isn’t a new idea – refer to Marx.
          it’s you who decided that it was linked to user-pays.

          It seems to me that a key point of the article is that things look a lot more promising for humanity when we focus on the efficient allocation and use of a resource, rather than making profit from it. But then a satisfycing profit tends to accrue from the former, anyway.

  14. Binders full of viper- women 14

    Men’s sheds.

    • karol 14.1

      Ah, you mean those community-spirited people who have a shed full of tools and miscellaneous stuff, and help out anyone who has something needing fixing or building? Are they a dying breed?

      Also, children tend to bring people together, with parents taking turns in looking after each others kids, taking them to and from school, etc.

      • Binders full of viper- women 14.1.1

        No I meant the growing breed.. http://menssheds.org.nz/
        Looks like there are at least 39 nationwide.. community spaces where there are shared machines and tools. As everyone downsizes and so few people have sheds and tools, lots of people still want to fix old fav toys or furniture and grandparents flock to these to make toys. Having your own shed is no longer an option for so many and tools are very expensive so these places are a brainwave. There is a real sense of community as those with the skills willingly help out newbies and an interesting spin off is that they have been great ‘neutral territory’ to get people talking about and listening to health issues. I encourage any of your readers who fancy fixing or making furniture or toys to check out your local… I assume fees are minimal.

  15. Huginn all God's Vipers 15

    Thanks for this optimistic post, Karol.

    It’s reminded me of a thought proving series on the end of scarcity that came up a few months ago in the Financial Times’ Alphaville, which attempted to pick apart some of our assumptions about scarcity from the ground up:

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2012/06/07/1031561/beyond-scarcity-the-parable-of-water/

    It might help to think about we-culture as a response to abundance, especially an abundance of time. People with time can be flexible, they can work around the needs of others, but they can also take the time to build the trusting relationships that we- cultures need.

  16. Huginn all God's Vipers 16

    The Meetup phenomenon.

    http://www.meetup.com/

  17. weka 17

    I found the trade me article depressing. That lots of people are being given so many things they neither need nor want is yet another demonstration of over-consumption and the craziness of our worlds (and it’s hard not to be thinking of how much carbon emissions are involved having read Bill’s post today). I don’t see people selling excess shit on TM as a sign of the we culture, sorry.

  18. xtasy 18

    The following link should take you to the story on Al Jazeera that Karol was referring to:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2012/12/20121226231349243357.html

    • karol 18.1

      Thanks, xtasy. I’ve added the link to the post. I looked for the video on AJ’s site yesterday morning and couldn’t find it.

  19. xtasy 19

    From a purely economic point of view, this new “sharing” of resources and services approach can only be seen as a re-adjustment to new economic challenges, with their social consequences.

    Naturally it is good to share and use everything more efficiently and effectively.

    Economically though, this will not at all address the core issues, that include lack of growth and future planning.

    Major decisions are overdue, to address the looming energy crisis, to find solutions for the expected shortage of energy and other mineral resources.

    Sharing will become the more economic recipe for the future anyway, as scarcity will force us to rethink our whole lifestyle. The buy and turf away habits will have to go, and they will eventually.

    To achieve economic growth in future can and must be achieved by focusing on investing in the right types of growth, that is alternative energy generation and use, more prudent use of resources for all areas of life, an end to the waste of burning fossil fuels, the production of longer lasting, value products, rather than the short lived products that now dominate all we buy and sell (clothing, appliances and so forth).

    It will necessitate a radical refocus and re-balancing act, and what is going on now, with more and more of the same, to use, consume and turf away, that will become the stone age mentality and behaviour of the past.

    Sadly I see too few in NZ yet realising this, while in Europe and a few other places awareness is growing very fast.

  20. Populuxe1 20

    I am amused that you portray “me culture” and “we culture” as mutually exclusive. In reality it’s a mixed thing – people move between the two ad hoc. It’s largely about driving to suit the conditions, not adopting a particular ideology on the assumption that one size fits all always.

    • karol 20.1

      Partly, it’s s reference to how Al Jazeera framed it. But “culture” is important in that phrase – it’s about the dominant focus of the culture. It doesn’t me that an individual will not shift focus between “me” and “we” within that culture.

    • ochocinco 20.2

      And most of the so-called leftists here obviously don’t get what we-culture is, which is a self-sacrifice for a greater good, not capitalism given a coat of paint

      • Populuxe1 20.2.1

        The greater good isn’t much use unless the individual is getting something from it. Otherwise it’s just jam tomorrow. In any case “we culture” implies some sort of impossible consensus – unless that’s the royal We of fascism.

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  • 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
    20 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
    20 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
    20 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
    20 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… ...
    21 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… ...
    21 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
    21 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
    21 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… ...
    22 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
    23 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
    23 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
    23 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
    24 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… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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… ...
    14 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
    15 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
    15 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
    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
    20 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
    20 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
    21 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… ...
    21 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
    21 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
    5 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
    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
  • 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
    6 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
    7 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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