web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Garth George’s best column … ever

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, January 6th, 2014 - 117 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, poverty - Tags:

As part of my holiday reading I happened to come across a copy of the Bay of Plenty Times.  Former Herald columnist Garth George has  retired to Tauranga and writes the occasional column for the local paper.

He is no stranger to TS readers.  Over the years he has been given a hard time by Standard commentators although looking at some of the posts where his views have been discussed it appears that occasionally he has struck a chord with some authors.  It will surprise many but I think that on the basis of Garth’s latest column we should cut him some slack and consider him seriously in the future.

The column is about how to banish poverty.  And his prescription is something that I agree with entirely.  And I never ever thought that I would say this.

Garth’s column needs to be read in its entirety.  He begins by talking about his hope for 2014 and expresses concern for the plight of kiwis who  live in poverty, “and particularly the dreadful effect that has on so many children.”  He then expresses the hope that over the next 12 months there will be real and determined efforts to alleviate the problem.

Thus my first and dearest hope for this year, which happens to be the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Year of the Family, is that the next 12 months will see real and determined efforts to alleviate this suppurating national sore.

For poverty is the trigger for so much else that ails our people – child abuse and neglect, poor child health and inability to learn, to name but three.

I could not agree more.

The next statement starts off on an interesting tract, that money will not solve poverty when by definition it will but Garth then gets all radical on it.

Constantly throwing people and money at these problems has not worked and won’t ever work. What is needed is an almost complete revision of our thinking on the economy as a whole, because that is where the problem really originates.

We have been told for decades that if we improve our economic performance, our wealth-production, the results will be felt by all. That is absolute rubbish, and we know that because the wealthier we have become, the greater the number reduced to poverty.

Wealthy people – and businesses – get that way because by every means possible they hang on to what they have got. Just look at our four major overseas-owned banks, which last year hoisted obscene profits in the billions of dollars.

That sort of profit reveals just one thing: that hundreds of thousands of bank customers are being royally ripped-off.

Again I could not agree more.  The dominance of our banking system by the Australian banks is a major drain on our wealth and has a particularly bad effect on terms of trade as these profits are moved offshore.

Ours is a low-wage economy and, as far as I’m concerned, that is the basic cause of poverty and all the social problems that flow from it. … It is long past time that we revised our attitude to wage and salary earners and paid them their due.

It is also long past time we got rid of terms such as “human resources” and realised anew that wage and salary earners are people and not just bums on seats with a brain and a pair of hands – what Karl Marx labelled “economic units” – but are a valuable investment, not a liability.

I never thought I would see Garth quote Karl Marx!

I am persuaded that the economic model which has driven our fiscal affairs for nearly three decades is seriously, if not irreparably, flawed, and that that is the place to start if we are ever to achieve economic justice for all and reduce poverty to its absolute minimum.

Laissez-faire capitalism has to go – or at least be subjected to some form of strict regulation.

One word Garth, respect.  When an old time conservative like Garth George enunciates clearly the problems with our economic system you know that things are changing.

 

117 comments on “Garth George’s best column … ever”

  1. Bill 1

    So, an old commissar retires and ‘suddenly’ he’s ‘persuaded’ that the economics policies of the past 30 years are ‘flawed’? I’m not going to be so quick to extend him any respect ms. He was, it seems, a more than willing piper during that time. But hey, anything’s justified if it means a regular pay-cheque… in some peoples’ world.

    • TRacey 1.1

      Having railed for 30 years for conservative, back in my day, values in a widely read publication he NOW sees the light? I hope so and hope he reaches farther than the bop to spread this word

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Wow! that is great to hear, thanks Micky Savage. (& Garth George)

    Could it be that rationality and sensible thinking are finally ‘trickling up’??

  3. karol 3

    Wait a minute – Garth is not arguing to give up his relative advantages, nor to do anything specific to help those in poverty – he’s blaming it all on the the greedy wealthy, and saying we need to move from laissez faire capitalism – is he in fact a bit of a litmus test for a general shift in views – harking back to pre-1980s conservatism?

    Any move away from “laissez-faire” capitalism, and toward a more equitable society is to be welcomed. But I’m not holding my breath for him to go very radical on it.

    • Tim 3.1

      Yea but, yea but ….. SOME of those old codger conservatives are beginning to see the light – usually the comfortably off etting a bit worried about their future. Tauranga??? probably was a good place for him to retire to – i.e. IF he chooses to get out and about a bit – i.e. down the line towards Te Puke and Maketu.
      The disparities are all there to see. Cruise ship visits and gated communities juxtaposed against orchard workers -some still awaiting minimum/slave wages – after having reconstructed an industry almost destroyed by PSA (let’s not get into the causes of that – too long to go into – but in short, government departments gutted and under-resourced; multi-million dollar motorways parallel to under-utilised rail; recovery from a Rena oil-spill (again epitomising a lack of government capability, but rather relying on the goodwill of a public)) …… the list goes on.
      Oh….. and all those forests in the vicinity being chopped down at the rate of knots by a workforce whose chances of coming out of it with their lives aren’t that crash hot.
      Maybe he has managed to get out a bit.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      is he in fact a bit of a litmus test for a general shift in views – harking back to pre-1980s conservatism?

      Probably but he doesn’t specifically say that. All he really does is say that we need to question the economic system that we have now. IMO, he’ll probably find that he doesn’t like the answer.

      • Tim 3.2.1

        Eugene Terre-Blanche claimed he had an epiphany – somewhat unconvincing however.
        Just saying …. (the imagery in my mind gets confused at times when I think of the RW guard)

  4. TRacey 4

    he is maybe a case of a journalist writing to pay the piper but once retired can write what they please?

    dj cameron was much more brazen about cricket when he wrote aFTER retiring from the herald.

    ross adams of whangaparaoa was regularly published when George was in charge of LTE.

    Dont see much of him anymore.

  5. Ad 5

    Arise, the new Labour candidate for Wainuiomata. ;-)

  6. Matthew 6

    Garth George is suffering from the same syndrome as many other socialists.

    They become removed from society be it via “working” at academic institutions, retirement or “working” for the government.

    They then dream up perfect utopia’s that in the real world have not and never will work.

    The fact that he quote’s Marx says it all really.

    • karol 6.1

      Matthew, let me introduce you to the desert of the real.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2

      @ Matthew

      ‘Dreaming up perfect utopias that in the real world have not and never will work’ cuts both ways and brings to mind the neo-liberal theory. Although that may not have been based on a Utopian theory – it certainly was intended to provide for society and yet it has failed miserably.

      It is o.k to try something, yet terribly sad when something has been tried and has failed and yet people continue to justify it.

      Have you read Marx?

      His writing appears to be based on some pretty astute observations and I doubt whether we would have gotten as far as we have with quality of life had his writings not been in existence.

      On what grounds do you discard Marx’s writing?

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        @…probably on the grounds of Ayn Rand and Margaret Thatcher…smirk

        • phillip ure 6.2.1.1

          @ chooky..

          ..heh..!..you are a rand-ite..?

          ..seriously..?

          ..woof..!..eh..?

          ..you do know that despite a pillar of her vile/greed-driven ‘ideas’ being that any person who receives support from the state/fellow-citizens..is a ‘leech’..

          ..that rand herself was in there..filling her boots with welfare..

          ..for years and years..?

          ..but under another/different name..

          ..to hide the fact it was her..in her own words..being a ‘leech’..

          ..did you know that..?

          ..you ‘smirk’ing little randite..

          ..rand was one evil/twisted individual..

          ..and her followers are much the same..i’ve noticed..

          ..and there are a huge number of them in national..

          ..and a disturbing number in the neo-lib wing of labour..

          phillip ure..

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2.1.1.1

            @ Phillip Ure,

            Nah, I think Chooky was pre-empting that Matthew was discarding Marx on these grounds….(and smirking at the thought…)

            Actually I smirked in response to this comment because I think Chooky has probably guessed correctly…

            However I continue to wait patiently for Matthew’s reply…suspect he’s gone off to read some Marx and will never reply, realising the dreadful assumption he has made grounded on nothing but excerpts from Rand’s rantings and Thatcher’s soundbytes…

            • phillip ure 6.2.1.1.1.1

              @ blue leopard..

              you are right..my bad/miss-read..

              ..so i should redirect that to natwest..

              ..and yep..of course he is a randite..

              ..his self-reliance-orgasm further down the thread..

              ..could have been lifted from a monologue from atlas shrugged..

              ..apologies to chooky..

              ..heh..!..(it is 11.05 pm..eh..?..that’s my excuse..!)

              phillip ure..

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Yes, you should definitely keep that comment as a quick ‘cut and paste’ answer to any Rand-ites lurking around -it’s just too good to waste! :)

    • TRacey 6.3

      yes, cos having opinions based on the highest bidder is so much more grounded and real?

      this must be the firs column of his you ever read to claim he is a socialist.

    • Sosoo 6.4

      In the utopia I dream of, the apostrophe is used correctly.

    • mickysavage 6.5

      Garth a socialist????

      I guess in your reality Barak Obama is a hard line communist …

  7. Olwyn 7

    On this subject I think that Garth is right.

    This, very roughly, is one of the arguments given for neo-liberalism when it was first being unleashed on us: (1) We are living beyond our means. (2) Businesses are answerable to their share-holders rather than the public. (3) Being answerable to share-holders constrains companies to working within their means. (4) Countries would be similarly constrained by the application of this model. (5) Hence, business should be the model for running the country.

    One might have been justified in thinking that developed countries had become too costly and inflexible to adjust quickly to contingencies, but the analogy between running countries and running businesses brushes aside significant differences. To pick just one, when you sack people from your business you can rely on them to go away, whereas you cannot rely on people to go away in sufficient numbers if they are sacked from citizenship. Instead they hang around as a begrudged cost.

    Following the above model, in which the shareholder is king, the means within which people live can always be made smaller and the returns to share-holders made larger. It is not a model for good governance. So long as it is followed, the results are tiresomely and sadly predictable. There just has to be a better way.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    Garth, are you prepared to put your vote where your mouth is? Is this a personal admission of past serious errors in your political judgement? Or do you write what you are paid to write?

  9. Paul 9

    Maybe, just maybe, some Conservatives have finally woken up to the fact that neo-liberalism is NOT conservative, but revolutionary…for corporations.

  10. KJT 10

    Garth George has always had some degree of social consciousness.

    Now it looks like I am going top have to apologise to him.

  11. Anne 11

    I’m not surprised. Garth George is like a number of ‘old codgers’ who were brought up under conservative National governments – who, nevertheless, maintained (more or less) the principles of the egalitarian society initially set up by Labour in the 30s and 40s. He comes from the same group of National Party supporters who supplied Nicky Hagar with the information that enabled him to write his book “The Hollow Men”. They are basically good people and they would be as horrified at the trends in society since the introduction of neo-liberalism as is the Left.

    Give him credit for his change of stance. We just might need the Garth Georges to help us be rid of the pestilence that is the neo liberal market led economy.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      You are right Anne.

      I am impressed by the very decent members of the National Party who have privately confided in me how worried they are by recent developments. Their world view is totally different to the neocons and they want to have nothing to do with it. There is still a sense of decency in their principles even if their belief structure makes them see it differently to us lefties.

    • Will @Welly 11.2

      For many on the right, the promises of the neo-liberalism have not gone according to plan. Sure, some have done extremely well, but for a lot, they have watched as their children, and perhaps more importantly their grandchildren have become disenfranchised and been forced off-shore to earn a living.
      Remember, the neo-libs promised a “trickle down”, it’s never eventuated, and a lot of “oldies” must be wondering, after 30 years, why it has never eventuated.
      A lot of these “oldies” would once had nest eggs that they would have expected to have handed down to successive generations, but again, the policies of the neo-libs has seen those nest-eggs whittled away. And regardless of whether you’re left or right, many “older folk” had parents who were raised in ‘the Depression’ or they themselves were born in the Second World War, doesn’t really matter whether you were rich or poor, there was a collective unity then of living through the hard times. And most “old codgers” can’t believe that politicians today are so stupid as to want to repeat the lessons of the past. Perhaps the time has come when Garth George has said enough is enough.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        Remember, the neo-libs promised a “trickle down”, it’s never eventuated, and a lot of “oldies” must be wondering, after 30 years, why it has never eventuated.

        Now it’s up to us lefties to inform them that it was never intended to eventuate. Unfortunately, we’ve Labour standing in the way of that.

        • Will@Welly 11.2.1.1

          So true. Initially, we thought they’d get rid of the right, but nooooooo. Look at the hangers on.
          My resignation came just after the 84 election, the writing was well and truly on the wall.
          Reading all the comments today, this has been a very positive day. It bodes well for the revolution. Thanks Draco.

      • Richard Christie 11.2.2

        Remember, the neo-libs promised a “trickle down”, it’s never eventuated, and a lot of “oldies” must be wondering, after 30 years, why it has never eventuated.

        The tragedy is that about two generations have passed since 1984. Those that remember the world pre-neliberalism will soon to be gone. Including all the ‘sincere old-timer conservatives’ mentioned in this thread. Even now nobody under 35 will remember it.

        • Bob 11.2.2.1

          Richard, I am under 35 (just) and I don’t remember a time without neo-liberalism.
          The only time I see NZ pre-1984 (on TV and documentaries) I see a country with real poverty, high infant mortality rates, low quality of living (although a higher sense of quality of life due to a lower sense of commercial need. Food, water and shelter were the staples of life, not Sky TV, iPhones and high speed internet connections, aparently food, water and shelter and being with friends and family alone is not enough to survive on anymore), institutional racism/sexism, blatant homophobic laws, and a country on the bones of its arse due to our over-reliance on British trade up until the late 70’s.

          I look at the country as we sit now and see so many great changes in this country due (in part) to neo-liberalism. The system is flawed, this is without doubt, both the role of the banking sector in the economy, and the Shareholder over worker paradigm needs an overhaul (also, Garth George is absolutely spot on in his assesment (especially “Constantly throwing people and money at these problems has not worked and won’t ever work” I hope Labour and Hone Harawira take this on board!)), but in terms of the overall changes to society under neo-liberalism, New Zealand as a country has been revived from where it was pre-Rogernomics (even though Roger Douglas got it very wrong on a number of counts).

          • Richard Christie 11.2.2.1.1

            I see a country with real poverty, high infant mortality rates, low quality of living….and a country on the bones of its arse due to our over-reliance on British trade up until the late 70′s

            This is subjectively filtered nonsense. NZ post war and pre oil-shock was in top 5 ranked of the world’s standard of living, at one stage topping it. Rather on the bones of our arse being result of reliance on Britain that relationship paid for the high ranking. Britain’s move to the common market owed nothing to neo-liberalism nor its own Thatcherism. Granted NZ’s reliance on the UK was short sighted but that mistake too owed nothing to NZ’s non adoption (then) of neo-liberal economics. Had neo libs been the dominant policy then, no doubt, pursuit of short term easy profit from a captive market would have had the same result – over dependence.

            Further, liberal reforms of social attitudes to sexism/racism and homophobia etc owe nothing to neo-liberal economics.

            You appear to confuse access to an abundance of consumer products produced off-shore by low wage economies with standard of living.

            • Bob 11.2.2.1.1.1

              Richard, neoliberalism is defined as involving “the priority of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state”, it is hard to have an impartial state that enshrines Sexism, Racism and Homophobia into law, so these reforms can be (in-part) owed to neoliberalism.

              “Granted NZ’s reliance on the UK was short sighted but that mistake too owed nothing to NZ’s non adoption (then) of neo-liberal economics.” It is impossible to say in hindsight, but under neo-liberal economics we have endevoured to open as many trade partnerships as possible, since 1984 we have completed free-trade agreements with China, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Australia was signed in 1983), meaning our economy is now far more resiliant to the demise of a single trade partner. Not to mention the TPPA which is currently in negotiations.

              “You appear to confuse access to an abundance of consumer products produced off-shore by low wage economies with standard of living” It seems it is you that is confused, I am saying that a good quality of life then was being feed, watered, housed, clothed and having access to education and healthcare, these things don’t seem to be enough in current society as I continually hear in discussions around ‘The Living Wage’. Do you realise that the living wage calculations include overseas trips for a family of 4? And Sky TV? And Playstations? Is it me that is pushing an unrealistic standard of living here?

              Excerpt:
              Some expenditure captured may not be considered a “basic necessity” by the community at large:
              Subscription TV
              Associated pet costs
              International travel
              Electronic video game systems

              Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand. http://www.livingwagenz.org.nz/index.php

              • Tracey

                “Subscription TV
                Associated pet costs
                International travel
                Electronic video game systems ”

                Yup, they will be much less fucked up and better contributors to the nation than the middle and upper class children who have all these things from birth…

                My nephew has been on two overseas trips this year. Once to New York and once to Malaysia. On both occasions he complained they clashed with a concert he had booked. SO his mother changed his flights and he flew up after the concert seperately to the family. He is 18. No job this summer, by choice.

                • Will@Welly

                  Aged 10, lawn-mowing round, too embarrassed now to tell anyone what I got paid.
                  Aged 14, Christmas holidays, 7 weeks, working on a farm, up at 6 am 6 days a week, my choice.
                  Aged 15, started in the freezing works. Worked there for 12 years.

                  • worked full-time every school holidays..from about age 10..

                    ..phillip ure..

                  • Tracey

                    worked in a stationery shop from 15 to 18. Then worked for Fullers Ferries from 18 until degree complete. BOTH jobs got through friends of family. I recognise the privilege of having a network that can get you work, something not open to many low income.

                    • Will@Welly

                      Not just low income. With so many jobs gone off-shore, and a lot of jobs now “casualised”, the availability of almost any holiday jobs for most is a thing of the past.
                      Student job search had 12, 2×8 hr positions advertised recently, all paying $14.00 an hour. Even if we returned to full employment tomorrow, we have cemented in a low wage economy. Five years ago, two women I was working with, who were paid just above the minimum wage had a discussion. We agreed then that the minimum wage should be around $20 – $22.00. Now it should be around $25 – $27.00. That will upset a few nobs. But then since 1991, we’ve had unrealistic wage restraints.
                      Teachers used to be paid the same salaries as back bencher M.P.’s, and for a reason.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11.2.2.1.2

            Hi Bob

            Yours is an interesting comment – I find your observations on how NZ was portrayed (on TV presumably) aligning with my memories of the pre neoliberalism NZ .

            I do not place the same regard as you do on neo-liberalism – quite the opposite.

            “(although a higher sense of quality of life due to a lower sense of commercial need. Food, water and shelter were the staples of life, not Sky TV, iPhones and high speed internet connections, apparently food, water and shelter and being with friends and family alone is not enough to survive on anymore)”

            I see neo-liberalism as having been pivotal to losing this above ‘sense of quality of life’. (Actually it was quality of life – not just a sense of it) Commercialism/consumerism has been ramped up – unsurprisingly – due to profit becoming the organising principle and the people issues being taken out of the equation.

            You also didn’t mention the levels of unemployment – which bumped up massively from the outset of neo-liberalism and hasn’t come down to the same low levels since. Profit for some, can be seen here as more important than everyone having a livelihood. Too bad for those people who miss out – they are not being told they are the problem to boot. They are not – government policies created these levels of unemployment.

            Food was much cheaper – we used to have roasts and good meats to eat when I was a child – I recently asked my mother how she could afford to feed us certain cuts of meats at that time ‘it was cheap then’ was the reply.

            Fruit has become noticeably tasteless (& less affordable) – this may not be to do with neo-liberalism – however I do believe fruit is being developed to have a good shelf life and the taste appears to be suffering due to this – and this has everything to do with profit over quality. Having worked in orchards – it is very apparent that the best produce is sent overseas – most of what I see in stores are the rejects.

            But its o.k because clothes, TVs and items for the household are relatively cheaper than they were, (they don’t last as long so really even they are not cheaper)…yes so all I see is that the ‘staples of life’ have become more unavailable and the things we don’t need (or at least don’t need to buy on a regular basis) have become ‘cheaper’.

            The things that you list as improving – (homophobia, racism, sexism – yes, I know we are not perfect by any rate, yet there have been improvements in these areas) I would like to hear an explanation on how these improvements are related to neo-liberalism – because I can’t see the connection! (Not saying there isn’t one – I can’t see it)

            Re your comment ‘throwing money at things’ – it is my understanding that both National and Labour throw money at things – just different things – and I believe that Labour tend to invest – put money into projects that bear fruit, whereas National tend to give handouts to wealthy people – in the name of bearing fruit later – yet this never eventuates. Both parties have been working under a neo-liberal paradigm.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11.2.2.1.2.1

              groan – edit re unemployed people: “they are now being told they are the problem to boot”

            • Bob 11.2.2.1.2.2

              Hi blue leopard,

              You make some valid points, “Commercialism/consumerism has been ramped up – unsurprisingly – due to profit becoming the organising principle and the people issues being taken out of the equation.” this in part comes back to the point I made about neoliberalism still being flawed, where shareholders are held in far higher importance than workers. There are theories out there to address this, around linking the lowest wage to the highest wage and both of these to the company profits, all of which could be done without an entire overhaul of our current system.

              The unemployment levels is one that I have often thought about, I don’t quite understand why politicians under a neo-liberal system see the need to have an unemployment rate at all. The way I see it, if there is zero unemployment that increases competition for workers (which is market forces at work, a neo-lib favourite) drives up wages due to supply and demand. I really don’t understand why governments like unemployment, but I also can’t see how this is strictly a neo-liberal phenomenon.

              Meats and Fruits can be found fresh, high quality and cheap at farmers markets, by only using Supermarkets for your shopping (and especially in a duopoly like we have in NZ) it means they have no reason to bring in fresher produce or reduce prices. Farmers markets are brilliant. The only thing that has changed since your parents day is where you need to access this produce from.

              With regards to homophobia, racism, sexism, I have explained this to Richard above, but as I see these changes as a cornerstone of neoliberal politics “the priority of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state”, you can’t have an impartial state that legislates against sections of society. I agree with you that there is still a way to go on all three counts, but the fact that there has been cross party support on legislation on all of these areas shows that real progress is being made.

              “Re your comment ‘throwing money at things’ – it is my understanding that both National and Labour throw money at things – just different things”, I cannot disagree here, the one thing that still gets me though is Hone Harawira still pushing forward with his ‘Feed the kids’ bill because he wasn’t happy the govenment came up with a solution that only cost the tax payers $2M/year, he wanted to see $100M being spent!

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Thanks for your thoughtful reply Bob,

                Ah! O.k I think I see where you are coming from and we may well be in some agreement. I would tend to agree re making changes to the system rather than throwing it out completely (if that is what you are saying). It sounds to me (for the reasons below) that you are more arguing the point of keeping some form of capitalism, rather than supporting laissez-faire capitalism specifically.

                [Some of the problem here is to do with language and concepts, we have been referring to neo-liberalism, whereas Garth George’s article actually refers to laissez-faire capitalism and perhaps it is better to be specific in this regard (I equate the two terms, yet there may be differences), so I will start using the term laissez-faire instead of neoliberalism (just in case there is a difference).]

                Because of the definition of laissez faire, as soon as you start intervening in the economy– it can’t strictly be called laissez-faire capitalism anymore. So when you say you support laissez-faire capitalism with adjustments – perhaps it may be more accurate to say you support a mixed model form of capitalism?

                In actual fact that is what NZ has been functioning on – a mixed model – not a pure laissez-faire capitalism at all. However, the purer the expression of laissez-faire capitalism the more the problems (that we both have listed and agreed upon) start rearing their ugly head. I believe the reasons we have been seeing these problems increasingly in NZ is due to the laissez-faire aspect of our successive governments’ ideology. On these grounds I am a strong supporter of our country moving away from laissez-faire capitalism, yet may be in agreement with you that I don’t (yet) see the need to remove the capitalist system completely – I do believe it is in severe need of fairly major change though (which we may not agree on!)

                I agree with you on the linking low wages to high wages idea – that idea sounds most promising.

                Interesting re the connection you see with neo-liberalism and shifts in social laws – Am glad you acknowledged neoliberalism as only partially responsible – does sound like could have a point there.

                Hone Harawira still pushing forward with his ‘Feed the kids’ bill because he wasn’t happy the govenment came up with a solution that only cost the tax payers $2M/year, he wanted to see $100M being spent!

                This sounds like very specious reasoning for why Hone might be continuing a push for a Feed the Kids’ Bill. You would have to provide a link for this one. It is my view that we wouldn’t have any feed the kids programme if it wasn’t for Harawira’s strong voice on the matter (showing up the two main parties and getting their ‘A’s into Gear’ for that reason). The Mana Party are strongly against corporate welfare and if there is anything in the dim mists of my memory over any objection, it may be that there was an objection to some form of ‘scratch my back, we’ll scratch yours’ going on with the current arrangement. (May be quite wrong on this – if you supply a link I shall look into it)

                • Bob

                  Correct in your assumptions, it looks like we are looking for solutions to the same problems but have just got slightly differing views on how we got to where we are.

                  I completely agree with you that it is too early to scrap capitalism all together, but it is in need of a serious overhaul. The banking system is one area that needs to have some serious regulation but in place (I don’t like the idea of nationalisation as this would give the Government of the day too much power, and too much power can be corrupting. Wide reaching regulation seems to be the best tool available, but it would need someone much smarter than I too come up with an effective model).
                  This along with the wage link would be a great start in getting the system back on track.

                  With regards to Hone Harawira, here is a link to the interview I was referring too:
                  http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Food-in-schools-pledge-a-pittance—Hone-Harawira/tabid/506/articleID/35699/Default.aspx
                  I agree that he was a primary advocate for change, and I can see why he would be against the current arrangement, but it is a classic case of he would be happy to just throw tax payers money at the problem rather than come up with effective solutions.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    @ Bob

                    Do you realise that all the things you are pointing to changing in this system go against laissez faire capitalism? – which I understood you to be justifying in your first comment?

                    I agree with you re addressing banking issues and connecting lowest wage to the highest wage as being mighty fine ways to start getting back on track.

                    It is a complex subject re banking yet my thoughts on it: Any form of banking system is going to be tricky with regards to concentration of power – at present this power is in private hands – this gives some private citizens a lot more power than ordinary citizens and is what I consider led to deregulation of the banking sector and consequently the GFC. There might have been more motivation to pay close attention of the consequences of undermining regulations had the government been part of the banking system.

                    If nationalized, yes, the problem of concentration of power changes to that of the government. If nationalized there would be less requirement for interest on loans – more investment in productive activities likely with this option and less accumulation of debt. A lot more gains than we are getting at present with it in private hands.

                    I do not have broadband, so was unable to watch the link you provided. There was not much in-depth coverage of Mana’s bill that I could find. However I found this link

                    Which mentions re National’s [cheaper] version

                    “Critics said that announcement, made in May, was only a “drop in the bucket” compared to the extent of the problem. “

                    So yeah, it would be my view that throwing not enough money and having the problem continuing is more of a waste of taxpayers’ money than throwing the right amount of money at the problem and solving it. (Remember this is the next generations’ level of education and feelings of connection to society we are talking about)

                    Of course the best solution is to get 100% employment and good wages – that this hasn’t occurred already I would say is directly related to ‘successful’ neo-liberalists’ aims of keeping unemployment high so wages stay low (in the name of more profit); as I observe and understand it, neo-liberalists have no problem with manipulating market forces when it is for their own advantage, such as occurred with the LIBOR scandal and only really adhere to market principles when the market readings suit their agenda – which, quite frankly, could well be why the theory has failed. Too bad for neo-liberalisms’ fans that those most benefitting from that theory didn’t show a little more self restraint.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course the best solution is to get 100% employment and good wages

                      Preparing NZ for a transition off fossil fuels and also preparation for climate change could create several hundred thousand jobs. And I’m not just talking “green jobs.” I’m talking a full scale infrastructure and technology development programme, some of which will require the use of a lot of fossil fuels (while they are still available). At the moment what we are doing is avoiding creating these jobs by avoiding doing the work needed to prepare for a much more difficult future.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Ooh C.V, that sounds awfully like many would need an education – and that has become terribly unaffordable for many now!

                      Yeah, basically we are avoiding addressing all the important issues so that those with the most clout can continue enjoying the profits, and thus clout, that they have become accustomed to – at everyone else’s expense – and the laissez-faire theory has been the vehicle in which this clout and avoidance has been achieved.

                      “Allow to do” = allows a few to do and many others to be entirely limited in what they can do, eat, earn, experience….

      • phillip ure 11.2.3

        @ will-welly..

        ..yep..!..they drank the kool-aid..they were true-believers..

        ..and they must know now that they have been conned by the 1%..

        ..they preached ‘trickle-down’ for them

        ..and it is people close to them who are suffering..

        ..but it has to hard for them to admit they were wrong..were conned by that 1%..

        ..conned into doing their dirty work for them..

        ..that’s gotta be a hard one to swallow..

        ..and if george has done a volte-ace..

        ..and wasn’t just having a magic-realism moment..

        ..then more power to him..

        ..and i hope he uses his influence/pulpit to join/support the progressive movements for meaningful-change..

        ..that will show he means what he says in the above..

        phillip ure..

    • Will 11.3

      I would say I’m one of those ‘old codgers’ except for the fact I’m in my 30s. My parents were Holyoake-style National supporters, and who will never vote Labour. Their disliking of Labour was more a social thing, rather than ideological.

      Like me, my parents, and many other old style National Party people, are appalled by the cult of selfishness, warped values and waste of neo-liberialism (although we differ from the Left in thinking that it pervades not only the economic choices of the rich). Being secular, and tolerant people, my parents look with disdain at the fundamentalist and intolerant fools who wrongly appropriate the label “Conservative”.

      We had hoped that Winston Peters would have brought something new and needed to New Zealand politics (ie, a centre-slightly right-pragmatic critique of neo-liberalism). However, Peters failings became evident very quickly. So we wait and hope.

  12. Sacha 12

    I thought Garth George moved to Rotorua, not Tauranga?

    He seems to be one of the genuine conservatives understandably offedned by right-wing radicalism, though it doesn’t erase the small-minded bigotry he brought to his NZ Herald columns and to choosing which Letters to the Editor got published for so many years. He might be voting Winston First this year rather than the Nats..

    • mickysavage 12.1

      You might be right Sacha. I was dredging my holiday addled brain and thought it was Tauranga but I could be wrong …

  13. Steve Alfreds 13

    More like rats leaving a sinking ship. Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself? Maybe Mr Cunliffe is on the right track and it’s time for a New Deal.

  14. dave 14

    the ground is shifting and 30 years of economic voodoo has caught up with them ,

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    Business managers are required by law to make as much profit possible. Otherwise their shareholders can sue them.

    Businesses are allowed to act “as persons” in order to make whatever deals they can. But unlike real human beings, businesses MUST be socially irresponsible if that is unprofitable.

    Once upon a time, businesses were not “persons.” They had charters which specified what they could and could not do. Result? Few monopolies.

    Bureaucrats and governments prefer to only have to deal with a few large players. They abhor small and medium size businesses. Thus National is destroying local bodies.

    Garth George does not enunciate his solutions. We know what does not work. Now we need to define an alternative system and show that it will work. It’s an opportunity that may arise only once in a century.

  16. Tanz 16

    I wish they would bring Garth back to the Herald miss his column there.
    He is a Christian and a socialist.

    • @ tanz..

      ..a ‘socialist’..heh..!..

      ..betcha george never thought he’d be called that..

      ..as his other hat (until now) has been as a reactionary/poor-bashing-blowhard..

      ..some apologies/retractions from george wouldn’t go amiss..

      ..phillip ure..

  17. tricledrown 17

    Pope francis I see see.
    The new pope is the bomb
    The atom bomb to neo cons
    This is a timely change
    Pope francis is being labeled by the McCarthiests as a communist.
    Which just makes more people listen and like him.

  18. Tracey 18

    If garth has moved to rotorua from his home in auckland what he sees each day is very different to what he saw on his drive to the herald each day. Right wingers arent evil. For many they just believe that life is for everyone as it is for them. Full of opportunity, networks, money etc.

    In rotorua he would be unable to avoid seeing and hearing about another existence. Interestingly the herald didnt puck uo his article.

    • Tanz 18.1

      ‘Right wingers arn’t evil’

      Coruse they arn’t. Even many lefiies are well off, with nice homes, good careers, travel, wealth. Choices. That does not make them evil either.

  19. J 19

    Laissez-faire is deemed to have failed, and it has if you are judging it by its stated intentions ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ and other such disingenuous lies. But if you take a step back and look at the needs of Capitalism then it has served its purpose – it crushed wages & reduced the public share of the economy (privitisation etc). Which injected profitability and liquidity into the system giving it the shot in the arm it needed when the post war boom was over. That has worn off and further stimulus is now needed. Capital can now either push wages down more (off-shoring, free trade agreements, more anti-worker laws), extract natural capital (primitive accumulation) – more mines, deep sea oil etc. It cannot go back to paying good wages and providing a livable society for the working class – its struggling as it is. The booms and busts are getting bigger and closer together, Laisse-faire only bought them 30 years! Global financial crisis still lingering, credit default swaps market larger now than before GFC … Reforms are out of the question. Either we bury capitalism or it will bury us.

  20. Tracey 20

    Plus 1

    when we last had full employment I wonder what percentage of the workforce belonged to unions.

    I keep hearing the right saying its about creating jobs but what changed between full employment times and a living wage and today?

  21. Natwest 21

    Garth needs to throw away his pen and retire like he said was a number of years ago – the man has a losers view of the world.

    When he starts talking poverty in NZ he loses all credibility – “poverty”, really, with all that welfare thrown about like confetti.

    Problem is Garth, you could double the welfare handout and nothing would change. It’s not about money, it’s about attitude and taking personal responsibility for your lot.

    Some numb nuts just don’t get it – talk about entitlement mentality, sheesh!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.1

      Yawn. Vacuous clichés are all you bring to this forum, aren’t they? Correction: other people’s vacuous clichés which you’ve rote-learned like a parrot.

      Polly wanna cracker?

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      When he starts talking poverty in NZ he loses all credibility – “poverty”, really, with all that welfare thrown about like confetti.

      Of course, poverty doesn’t exist in NZ for you, because you use poverty in Ethiopia or in India as the standard NZ should apply. A bit of a sad perspective really, but thanks for reminding all of us how twisted and narrow it also is.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 21.2.1

        Nice to see you back CV, hope you had a good break! :)

        • Colonial Viper 21.2.1.1

          Thank you for your kindness BL, much has been learned and thought about :D

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 21.2.1.1.1

            Thats good to hear – What a way for us all to start the year :shock: I hope we all learned something i.e. people on both sides of the argument (war?) learned something, not just yourself.

            …That way it’ll be onwards and upwards :)

      • Tracey 21.2.2

        The “I’m alright mate so you must just be lazy” attitude superimposed on those who aren’t by those who fail to see their own good fortune and cling to their money as though they are Oliver Twist. “Please Mr Key may I have some more”

        • Colonial Viper 21.2.2.1

          these guys are up against the tide now I believe. More and more people who know that they have been hard working are finding themselves underwater and running out of options.

          The brilliant trick that the Right has been playing through the MSM etc has been convincing these people that it’s their own individual fault, or of a few bad bankers far away, but nothing to do with an entirely (and deliberately) skewed economic set up. The people are slowly (too slowly) waking up, however.

          • Tracey 21.2.2.1.1

            VERY slowly. So slowly some, after 20 years of waiting for the brighter future, as slow to give it up and admit thatmaybe they were duped. No one likes to be made a fool. I believe this is the biggest psychological advantage National has… Labour’s supporters, for whatever reasns, seem quicker to abandon the boat when duped and then hold them to account either by fighting from within, or taking their vote elsewhere.

            As long as Ms Pagani is involved in any way shape or form in the Labour Party election campaign we are all doomed to a slightly lighter version of National if they win.

            My predication is they will need the Green Party more than ever before and won’t be able to lord it over the GP as though they are a minor party per se.

            • Colonial Viper 21.2.2.1.1.1

              Agreed. Support for the Greens and Mana remains as pivotal as ever. Capitalism has become a game of “the Greater Fool” and it is a shame that so many continue to eagerly line up for the title, thinking themselves somehow smarter than the rest.

            • Anne 21.2.2.1.1.2

              As long as Ms Pagani is involved in any way shape or form in the Labour Party election campaign we are all doomed to a slightly lighter version of National if they win.

              A bit unfair to lay it all at the door of Josie Pagani, but one thing that came through at the time of the leadership contest in September is… the neo-liberal apologists within the Labour caucus have all but lost their influence amongst the party faithful.

              • Tracey

                Wasnt laying it all at her door. She is but one example of many. She is the most recent example I have encountered. I did detect a bit of lack of support on her part for Cunliffe. I point to her eagerness to tar Cunliffe through Mickey’s post, which doesnt smell of someone who has been a good loser. Just an observation.

                • Anne

                  Oh yes Tracey. You’re right. I didn’t mean she wasn’t a part of the neo liberal apologist faction because she most certainly was – and is still. I was just observing she wasn’t the only one.

                  Actually you’ve hit on something. She IS a poor loser. I’d say she’s still smarting from Shearer’s demise and Cunliffe’s victory.

    • NZ Femme 21.3

      “…Problem is Garth, you could double the welfare handout and nothing would change. It’s not about money, it’s about attitude and taking personal responsibility for your lot…”

      A great deal would change. And funnily enough, it turns out to be cost efficient.

      https://decorrespondent.nl/541/why-we-should-give-free-money-to-everyone/31639050894-e44e2c00

      (H/T to Qot)

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.3.1

        But if everyone who needs one is given a hand-out as well as a hand up, who will Quisling little wankers like Natwest have to look down upon?

        • NZ Femme 21.3.1.1

          I wonder that myself sometimes. To where would all that sneeringly patronizing energy go? Maybe they’d be reduced to competitive rose growing. At least the world would smell better.

          • Tracey 21.3.1.1.1

            LOL

            My brother is very wealthy and begrudges every bit of tax he pays. I sometimes, when I can be bothered, say to him, “I know how you could pay less tax, work for minimum wage.”

            • NZ Femme 21.3.1.1.1.1

              Gawd. That must make for some awkward family gatherings :(

              Perhaps he needs a rose bush in his life.

            • Tanz 21.3.1.1.1.2

              as he is yourr brother, I hope he shares the wealth. buys you a house etc. A very wealthy family member did that for me. Not many people share that kind of wealth like that.

          • thechangeling 21.3.1.1.2

            lol. great joke!

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 21.3.2

        @ NZ Femme

        Excellent link

        • NZ Femme 21.3.2.1

          It is a great link for which I can’t take any credit for finding! QoT tweeted the link with much happy lefty flailing of arms :)

      • Tracey 21.3.3

        For those who might not bother to click on the link, and we will all be the worse for them not clicking, here is an excerpt

        “‘I didn’t have enormous expectations,’ an aid worker recalls.

        Yet the desires of the homeless men turned out to be quite modest. A phone, a passport, a dictionary – each participant had his own ideas about what would be best for him. None of the men wasted their money on alcohol, drugs or gambling. On the contrary, most of them were extremely frugal with the money they had received. On average, only 800 pounds had been spent at the end of the first year.

        Simon’s life was turned upside down by the money. Having been addicted to heroine for twenty years, he finally got clean and began with gardening classes. ‘For the first time in my life everything just clicked, it feels like now I can do something’, he says. ‘I’m thinking of going back home. I’ve got two kids.’

        A year after the experiment had started, eleven out of thirteen had a roof above their heads. They accepted accommodation, enrolled in education, learnt how to cook, got treatment for drug use, visited their families and made plans for the future. ‘I loved the cold weather,’ one of them remembers. ‘Now I hate it.’ After decades of authorities’ fruitless pushing, pulling, fines and persecution, eleven notorious vagrants finally moved off the streets. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation did a study of this experiment.

        Costs? 50,000 pounds a year, including the wages of the aid workers. In addition to giving eleven individuals another shot at life, the project had saved money by a factor of at least 7. Even The Economist concluded:

        ‘The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them.’”

    • Tracey 21.4

      “about attitude and taking personal responsibility for your lot.”

      Yes, they should be just like John Banks.

    • KJT 21.5

      Please read, and learn.

      http://thestandard.org.nz/how-to-pick-an-excuse-for-not-doing-anything-about-poverty/
      “3. “They are not as poor as they are in (Insert a third world Nation with less than half our GDP, and a 10th of our resources per capita)”.

    • are you an algorithm there..?..natwest..?

      ..funny how those countries with no poverty..

      ..provide a living-income for all their citizens..eh..?

      ..no matter what their personal circumstances..

      ..so it obviously is bout ‘money’..eh..?

      ..and of course..our poverty-problems kicked off just after that richardson gutted welfare support..

      ..are you so arse-bitingly-dumb..you can’t join those dots..?

      ..but i guess..if you really are an algorithm..?

      ..phillip ure..

  22. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 22

    Rich white Baby Boomer decides he has all the answers after not even acknowledging that there was a problem during a lifetime of having the world handed to him on a platter.

    • Tracey 22.1

      Any moment now he will regail us with an anecdote about how hard his life was before he began working 9 days a week for over 320 hours.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 22.1.1

        …oh lol! Natwest decided to take on that role….(see below @ 23)

  23. Natwest 23

    Poverty is being used as a political football, given it’s election year and the Labour/Greens and their repeaters at the MSM have nothing to counter Nationals efficient handling of the economy and, with. International commentary – “NZ ROCKSTAR ECONOMY 2014″ – will have a large number of Socialists choking on their bread and vodka.

    Poverty in NZ! clearly most of you have not travelled overseas!

    And yes, I have worked hard all my life to achieve what I have and, never asked the Govt for welfare, unlike some on this site, I suspect.

    • Paul 23.1

      An international banking perspective, to be more precise.
      Now, I wonder why multinational banks love New Zealand so much.
      Could it be the enormous amounts of profit they take from these shores?
      Great to see who your true masters are.

    • NZ Femme 23.2

      The Cognitive Bias Song. Yay! Sing it again Sam.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RsbmjNLQkc#t=143

    • KJT 23.3

      Another “self made man who worships his creator”.

      Laughing.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 23.4

      I’d prefer to use Natwest as a political football. Nail this gimp’s hate-speech and prejudice and expose it for what it is.

      It parrots the self-serving conceit that its wealth is delivered by nothing but the sweat of its brow. Hence coal-miners and nurses must be wealthy, since (in it’s tiny mind) wealth is delivered by hard work (not to mention good character).

      It fails to mention the benefits it receives from society, the ungrateful piece of trash. The free education, the rule of law, the roads, etc.

      It vilifies anyone less fortunate than itself, and envies those more fortunate.

      It is the disease that infects the National Party.

    • Murray Olsen 23.5

      Haha Natwest, if you had travelled overseas with your eyes open, you would have noticed the extreme inequality, corruption, brutality, and poverty which the rest of us have seen and realised is what NAct has planned for Aotearoa. I’ve got news for you, and it’s not good. You are very unlikely to be on the neoliberal guest list for the rapacious goings on at the parties of the 1%. Prepare to lose what you have, what you’ve worked hard all your life to achieve. I won’t be crying for you, Argentina. I’ll be laughing. You remind me of the idiot German middle class that supported National Socialism as a bulwark against unions and the left, only to see all they had achieved given to the Krupps and their fellow giants of the economy, while they froze to death in front of Moscow. You will end up with nothing except your painful bleating and pleading for the latest incarnation of the ACT government to remember you and reward your services.

      Meanwhile, we’ll work together, cooperatively, because we realise no human is an island, and we will aim for a better world. The good news is that once we beat global warming, not even all your salty tears will raise the level of the oceans. You’ll be lost and helpless, wondering what went wrong.

      • phillip ure 23.5.1

        +1 olsen..

        esp. for..

        “..You remind me of the idiot German middle class that supported National Socialism as a bulwark against unions and the left –

        – only to see all they had achieved given to the Krupps and their fellow giants of the economy –

        – while they froze to death in front of Moscow.

        You will end up with nothing except your painful bleating..”

        phillip ure..

    • Will@Welly 23.6

      NatWest. In a word Smug. If you’ve gotten through life without ever been dealt a bad hand or a crocked deal, good luck to you. But there are hundreds, thousands who put their trust, faith in others, only to find they have been betrayed.
      There are people who work hard all their lives only to be struck down by illness or an accident, and through no real fault of their own, are forced to rely on the state. Then there are others, through circumstances have to give up work to look after others. But you NatWest would have none of that.
      What we now have is a Government who likes to act as Chief Justice, jury, and executioner, who happily takes away everything from anyone it finds entirely not agreeable. This Government is not about one that offers a hand-up or a hand-out, but functions purely to penalize anyone who does not meet their criteria.

    • y’see..natwest..once again..you get it completely wrong..

      ..’cos if the economy is going well..

      ..well that tears away that excuse for doing nothing proffered for so long..eh…?

      ..by both national and labour..

      ..that ‘we can’t afford it’ one..

      ..so..no..’socialists’ like me should be quite chirpy at that news..eh..?

      ..(and we’ll just put your little burst of auto-eroticism in that last sentence to one side..shall we..?

      ..do you need a tissue yet..?

      ..or do you need to say it again..?)

      phillip ure..

  24. tricledrown 24

    Natwesr you sound like you have worked outside NZ so you probably haven’t paid nz tax or had claim no children to educate no parents in hospitals roads and infrastucture police keepingcommunity safe for you etc etc.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    frogblog
  • Hard News: We’re in this together
    A couple of months ago, the excellent Katharine Viner, deputy editor of The Guardian and editor of Guardian Australia, gave a speech called The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web. It voiced many of the...
    Public Address
  • The art of persistence
    I’m an Aucklander who has to travel into the city every day for work. As […] The post The art of persistence appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • The inverted ethics of doxxing?
    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • John Key’s war on P is a failure
    Back in 2009, John Key launched a "war on P", in the form of his Methamphetamine Action Plan. An important part of the plan was regular progress reports, tracking the price, purity and availability of methamphetamine, so we could see...
    No Right Turn
  • Time to cut out the middle-woman
    Four days before the Scottish Independence Referendum, the UK's supposedly neutral monarch intervened, telling the Scots to "think very carefully about the future". While cloaked as a "private exchange", it has now emerged that the whole thing was scripted by...
    No Right Turn
  • The courts and the Public Records Act
    Nicky Hager won an important victory in his case against the police yesterday, forcing discovery of the police's internal working documents about the decision to apply for and execute a search warrant against him. While some of the documents will...
    No Right Turn
  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere