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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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    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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