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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.

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    Pundit | 19-04
  • Varying explanations
    I had reason recently, in the context of discussion about a disingenuous lobby group peddling some of its “non-partisan” wares, to remember the quote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not...
    The Paepae | 18-04
  • Mighty River Rail: A Fresh Future?
    Looking at a number of separate but current issues got me thinking about the possibility of the return of passenger services on the existing rail lines through the Waikato. These include: The potential appeal of well connected and well designed...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Global warming can’t be blamed on CFCs – another one bites the ...
    A paper published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B by the University of Waterloo's Qing-Bin Lu last year claimed that solar activity and human chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions, not carbon emissions, could explain the observed global warming over the...
    Skeptical Science | 18-04
  • The Road Marking Dance
    A neat video showing two clearly experienced guys painting doing road marking. Note to AT, see how easy it is to mark a street, perhaps you could get some people doing the same thing but instead of saying BUS STOP...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Boundary changes
    The new electorate boundaries which will govern the election came out yesterday, and I have now had a little time to digest the final changes. Here are my three reactions. 1. Meh One of the nice things about MMP is...
    Polity | 18-04
  • There are no human rights on a dead planet
    Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 18-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Date of Release: Friday, April 18, 2014Body:  The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions."Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    First Union Media | 17-04
  • Could this man be Prime Minister of New Zealand?
    If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as...
    Brian Edwards | 17-04
  • Movies, feminism and postfeminism
    So, a confession: I've never really liked biographical movies about women I otherwise admire. I'm not entirely sure why - there's something about the cliches they indulge in, the Hollywood-isation. (She lapses into total vagueness revealing, yet again, that she...
    The Hand Mirror | 17-04
  • Barabbas – An Easter Story
    "All I know is that he died and I live. Maybe it’s what lies at the heart of that day."  “YOU’RE A HARD MAN TO FIND!”, exclaimed the sharp-featured young fellow, setting a jug of wine upon the table. “I’ve...
    Bowalley Road | 17-04
  • Low Traffic Forecast For Costly Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
          Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a lesser extent to population growth. To...
    Real Climate | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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