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Green Party for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 31st, 2013 - 34 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, democracy under attack, democratic participation, greens, john key, local government, Mining, national/act government, russel norman, social democracy, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Yesterday in Question Time in the House, Green MP Holly Walker put a telling series of questions to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee (Peseta Sam Lotu-Liga).  The Questions were about the National government rushing through the submission stage of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill.  As Holly Walker later explained in a press release yesterday, the government is rushing through the committee stages of this Bill, which enables the government to over-ride local government policies on housing:

National Party chairperson of the Social Services select committee, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, used his delegated authority to set the submission period for the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill after it passed its first reading under urgency after the Budget.

Only two weeks were allowed for submissions on this major Bill that gives central government the power to overrule local democracy and grant development consents without the agreement of councils. …

Submissions on the bill close at midnight tonight. It is understood that very few have been received so far.

“National needs to give councils and members of the public more time to have their say on this major piece of legislation,” said Ms Walker.

“This Bill would give the government of the day the power to ride roughshod over local democracy. Legislation to implement the housing accord that the Government has reached with Auckland Council is one thing, but this Bill will also apply to the rest of the country and allow the government to create new special housing zones without the support of local authorities.

“National knows what it is doing is wrong. That’s why it set a shortened report-back period for the Bill and allowed only two weeks for submissions without informing key stakeholders.

Actually, as far as I am aware, the Bill still has done the dirty on Auckland Council by NOT including key parts of the negotiated “accord”.  So the government’s anti-democratic processes are even worse than stated by Walker.

The questions to Lotu-Liga further exposed the government’s disregard for democracy.  Lotu-Liga squirmed and diverted, trying to avoid answering whether he consulted with the Minister of Housing (Nick Smith) or his staff before announcing the shortened submission date.

1. HOLLY WALKER (Green) to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: When do submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill close?

PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA (Chairperson of the Social Services Committee) : Submissions on this bill close today: Thursday, 30 May 2013.

Holly Walker: Did he consult with the Minister of Housing or his staff before making the decision to close submissions on this date?

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The difficulty the member has with any supplementary questions is that they must be something that is a matter of the responsibility of the chairman. As advised by the Clerk, that one does not meet the Standing Orders.

Various opposition MPs rose to make several points of order as the Speaker was leaning towards allowing that diversionary behaviour by Lotu-Liga.

Question 2: 

2. HOLLY WALKER (Green) to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: What is the length of the period for submissions to the Social Services Committee for the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill?

PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA (Chairperson of the Social Services Committee) : The public call for submissions was made on 17 May 2013. Submissions, as I said in the answer to question No. 1, closed today. The length of time, therefore, was just under 2 weeks.

Question 3: showing Lotu-Liga avoided enabling stakeholder responses to the Bill.

3.HOLLY WALKER (Green) to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: Has he, as

Question 4:  in which Lotu-Liga denies knowing how many submissions have been received so far.

Question 5:

5.HOLLY WALKER (Green) to the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee: Did he decide that submissions to the Social Services Committee on the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill will close today; if so, why?

PESETA SAM LOTU-IIGA (Chairperson of the Social Services Committee): As I said, under Standing Order 192(1) I have the discretion to determine the closing date. I felt that the closing date of today was the appropriate amount of time for submissions, giving a 10-week turn-round period for the closing date.

Quotes from Green co-leader, Russel Norman, in today’s NZ Herald, show how much more democratic the Green Party is, compared with John Key’s NAct government.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman will attack undemocratic lawmaking in his speech to the party’s annual conference this weekend and turn the tables on the National-led Government by describing it as “extremist”.

Norman referred to several pieces of legislation which are the result of the government over-riding democratic process: restricting protests against mining at sea; the government’s abolition of the regional council in Canterbury; and this:

He pointed to the passing of urgent legislation which prevented most carers of disabled family members from getting paid, and removed their ability to challenge the law in court.

The bill was passed into law a day after being introduced and with official advice heavily censored.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the Greens’ annual conference this weekend.  It is being conducted away from the MSM spotlight, in order to enable members to speak openly.  The Green Party has always foregrounded democratic process as a foundation of the party.

 

34 comments on “Green Party for democracy”

  1. Macro 1

    I have been a voter for around 20 elections and have therefore witnessed at least 20 different governments as an adult. I have to say that apart from perhaps the Muldoon govt and the immediate Lange Govt (in which Prebble, Douglas et al held sway) this crowd have to be the most abusive of power that I have ever had the misfortune to witness. Indeed I would say that they outstrip even Muldoon; for theirs is not just a desire to control – but the blatant cronyism, the dishonesty, the greed, the complete disregard for the democratic process, the graft, not to mention blatant theft, makes them the most despicable of all. How ANYONE, who is not a direct recipient of their greed, can continue to support them, is beyond comprehension.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      No, its not beyond comprehension. There’s a class of people who follow, who mimic their betters, and during the ever increasing oil surplus after the oil scare of the 70s, they were rewarded for their compliance to the Tory paradigm, loose monetary policy, banks rising leveraging ratios (banks printing money essentially), deregulation, regulatory capture, etc, all looked good because growth kept coming. But here’s the thing, the growth was going to come anyway, all the policies of the Tories was to funnel it, inhibit it (trickle down was all many were to get), and hand it over to a few global oligarchs. And there’s the rub, all these right of center voters, zombie voters if you will, have created a monster that they now have to consciously disown, yet they’ve spent their rational facilities on blindly supporting their own impoverishment, housing bubble, leak homes, regulation that incentives building a few large homes than lots of quite warm adequate small homes are in heavy demand. Its distortion capitalism gone mad, incapable of revising itself and heading for the cliff.
      So the answer is for voters to be led to the executioner either kicking and screaming (housing collapse) or by electing a rational government who will remove the distorting processes (regulation and laws, and introduce a CGT etc) and let the bubble deflate with some stability.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Jeremy Grantham, founder and investment strategist for hedge fund GMO, said that between 1902 and 2002 commondity, materials and energy prices collapsed by a real 75% – a huge boost for anyone trying to get rich during that time frame. People could look damn clever getting rich, without acknowledging that they were riding a much bigger wave.

        But between 2002 and 2010, that entire 100 years of commodity price deflation was reversed in just 8 years.

        His view – we have hit a one in a million turning point, a secular change in the availability and pricing of raw materials and energy.

        Next 50 years is going to be very very interesting, and not necessarily in a good way.

      • Macro 1.1.2

        Yes I understand all you say aero. But actually I wasn’t talking about that……
        I was commenting on the abuse of power and the collapse of the democratic process, referred to in Karol’s post above, and I was also noting that not only was this Government abusing the process for their own ends and that of their mates, it was corrupt in other ways as well. It’s all very well for voters to support a Party because that is where they think their interest lies, but it is another matter for them to continually turn a blind eye to obvious corruption, blatant cronyism, and greed.

        • aerobubble 1.1.2.1

          The lazy governing practices of our current administration is the culmination of thirty years of zombies voting for these idiot who believe all they need do is spin whatever policy they think in their tiny minds is the best. Unfortunately this both ignores the parliamentary process of consensus building and builds policy in a ever tightening list of neo-liberal assumptions that turns free market thinking on its head, i.e. intervention of govt to support casinos and leave miners high on exhaust fumes, etc, etc. Its precisely because they’ve had it so easy, that zombies kept selecting them for their ability to spin rather than to perform, that they can’t understand, don’t need, don’t care for government, governance, or consequence of poorly thought through policies. Take Judith Collins and her support for terrorism, her new objectionable legislation will make it illegal to depict the prophet, Muslims globally are in awe of her trashing our free speech liberties.

    • asd 1.2

      Everything you said is why I can’t fathom why the polls are not responding more heavily against National than they should be for their continual terrible behaviour. My only guess is that once Shearer is gone and replaced with a stronger alternative the slide and the tide against National will accelerate until Labour/Greens win either the next election or the one after it.

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        One thought was that the new power policy left many who were asked did they feel the country was finally heading in the right direction more likely to leave the election question, as they know who they were going to switch to, but just had less buy in right now the good news of lower power prices…

  2. fambo 2

    Yes, if anyone who is not well acquainted with the Greens investigated its party structure, it would find that the democratic political processes are paramount when it comes to keeping the party going and coming up with policies. This can be a weakness politically in that the public tends to latch on to personalities more easily than a party, but it gives long term strength in that it gives more stability over the longer term and personalities are not able to over-ride policies. However, I believe there is a place for personality in politics as human beings are emotional beings so some balance is required.

  3. Yes 3

    I feel you are mis-guided by the former communist Russel Norman. national have taken austerity measures which i wont deny.

    Russel is taking Labour over by stealth I CANT BELIEVE YOU GUYS CAN NOT SEE THIS.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Feeble. You need better lies.

    • Grumpy 3.2

      News flash!!!

      Ex Aussie Communist Party illuminati goes “democratic” – Tui billboard designer “interested”.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1

        Norman was in the Democratic Socialist Party, not the CP. It’s a Trotskyist organisation not a communist one. Funnily enough, they cancelled my candidate membership because I advocated working with Labor and the leadership of the time actually considered social democracy to be a greater evil than neo liberalism, so I was swiftly culled.

        So, big ups to Russel Norman for leaving that blinkered perspective behind. He’ll be an excellent Minister in the next government.

        • Grumpy 3.2.1.1

          Left it behind?? Yah reckon??

        • Jenny 3.2.1.2

          So, big ups to Russel Norman for leaving that blinkered perspective behind. He’ll be an excellent Minister in the next government.

          Te Reo Putake

          If Norman is to become a Minister in the next government, it will come at a cost.

          That cost will be the Green Party’s advocacy for the environment. In particular their advocacy for action against climate change.

          As you well know TRP, Labour are fully in support of coal mining the Denniston Plateau. Labour, also support Deep Sea Oil exploration drilling. (the same sort of drilling that led to the Deep Water Horizon disaster). As well as this, Labour also conditionally support Fracking. And until recently Labour championed the completely crazy coal to diesel scheme. A scheme that was launched under a Labour administration. This Labour Party supported, boondoggle on the edge of fantasy, as well as being extremely damaging to the climate, almost broke Solid Energy.

          The Labour Party will not bend on Denniston, or Deep Sea Oil Drilling, or even Fracking, as a condition of coalition with the Greens.

          For Norman to become a Minister in a Labour led administration, the Green Party will have to swallow these poisonousness climate changing dead rats.

          As members of the government Green MPs will not be allowed to put up bills opposing government policy. Effectively, this will end the Green Party’s opposition to climate change in parliament, for at least the next three years, (maybe even longer).

          Personally I think this cost is too high. And in my opinion could even, eventually see the end of the Green Party as a political force.

          The Green Party choice couldn’t be clearer.

          Adopt the Maori Party strategy that, “It is better to have a seat at the table”. Or, the Mana Party strategy that it is better to advocate for what you want to achieve in parliament outside of government.

          Which strategy has been more effective?

          I leave it to the readers to decide what strategy works best. But as is being proved daily by the Maori Party. And was proved earlier by the Alliance Party. Trading principal for Ministerial positions, rang their death knell.

    • Naturesong 3.3

      Please explain; Russel Norman and stealth in the same sentence is a bit of a non sequitur.

      And when you say “communism” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism), are you actually aware of Dr Norman’s history?

      He has tied his colours publicly and consistently to the mast of Social Democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy). Centre left for those keeping score.

      Other ideas you may find useful;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_comprehension
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_think

      And a quote from one of the coolest people ever;

      Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

    • weka 3.4

      “I feel you are mis-guided by the former communist Russel Norman.”

      Ae, that needs a citation.

      “Russel is taking Labour over by stealth I CANT BELIEVE YOU GUYS CAN NOT SEE THIS.”

      He’s not even a member of the Labour party. Where is this stealth influence you speak of? I think what you mean is that Norman and the GP are talking over Labour policy and thus votes, and I’m pretty sure that most Labour people are well aware of this. The problem is that some don’t seem to care (and I’m not talking about ts commenters and authors).

      • Yes 3.4.1

        he sees Shearer as weak – easy take over – it is a simple plan used a 100 times before.

        See my argument has always been – if labour want to get my vote again (which I have done before) – I want to know what labour stands for not labour/Green – I have no idea who I am following.

        Guys before you abuse me – please just think about what I am saying.

        I want one leader to follow – not 2 and a committee.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.4.1.1

          The wingnuts must feel genuinely threatened. Watching them squirm makes good sport, despite the limited imagination on display.

          • Yes 3.4.1.1.1

            who are the wingnuts? excuse my lack of understanding on some of the coined phrases on here about people.

            Democracy is important – all I am saying is that the Greens are working very hard to take over the left side of nz voters – attack the middle ground of the labour voters andinflict some damage on the nats.

            they are doing a very good job.

            Its strategic planning 101 and I just want labour to get shot of them – stand on its own to feet and give us some good policies.

            I like that labour defends the poor and trodden – but it will only labour who will be poor and trodden if greens are allowed to continue their march into headlines, policies and fighting for the lost causes.

            maybe I am fighting a lost cause – but at least here is my statement – greens are beating labour at every post – 33% poll vote is vulnerable – if labour got their act together they will get at least 40% – and regained the left wing vote or younger voters who are sitting the green 10 or 15%

            here is a brave move – david asks norman that greens now come under the labour umbrella, even the maori party and mana party.

            If Russell is a good man and cares about the country and democracy – he would say YES.

            bet you he wont

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.4.1.1.1.1

              It’s a contraction of ‘right wing nut job’.

              My expectation is that the Devil Beast will win the next election, and all the cry-baby pants-wetting wingnuts will look like complete tools when Labour/Green form a perfectly stable government that delivers better results than the incompetent troughers we’ve got at the moment.

            • karol 3.4.1.1.1.2

              Yes, you are dreaming. The answer to the Labour caucuses current weak state is not to co-opt other parties that are in a healthier position.

              Of course the Greens are trying to increase their vote, as does any political party. If they are picking up left votes, it’s because the Labour Caucus have deserted the low income battlers, in their attempt to court the centrist voters.

              I have voted Green in recent years, and would be appalled if the Greens put themselves under Labour’s umbrella, especially given the current state of the Labour caucus. A smallish party does better staying independent. Look what has happened to the likes of the Maori Party when they cosy up to a bigger party. Staying independent gives the Greens more potential to develop clear left wing policies.

              It’s up to the Labour Caucus to get itself in order, rather than to try to hi-jack the Greens or any other smaller party.

              • Yes

                Thanks Karol..while I might be dreaming..at least you agree that labour needs to be dominate and get back to it’s traditional base. Maybe my posts aren’t in vain

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Vain? Yep.

                • karol

                  I don’t care which truly left party is dominant, or even if two are fairly equally dominant. Right now, the Labour caucus leadership has lost it’s way. Any party needs to be clear about its values and related policies, however big (or small) they are.

                  • Yes

                    But why can’t labour ditch greens and be alone. Greens are taking over

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You might as well ask why Key has kept John Banks around.

                    • Tim

                      @ Yes
                      Does it really matter IF Greens are taking over – as long as they represent a democratic ‘left’?
                      Unless there is some of their policies you object to that are of such an overriding force that negates their positives, what’s in a name? – or is it just that you don’t like Norman (or some other personality). As you say – you want one leader to follow.
                      Personally I rather have a committee that’s representative of an electorate than one leader that sheeple ‘follow’.
                      I’ve given up on voting for Labour given their recent record. Under the current circumstances, IF I voted Labour, it would be for sentimental reasons only in a vain hope that one day they might wake up and return to their roots and principles. Meantime I’m running out of life waiting.

                      And does it matter if there has to be some sort of accommodation between parties in order to achieve that ‘better deal’ we all strive for? It is, after all an MMP environment.
                      I’m not voting Labour because they’ve quite simply lost their way, and a few over-ambitious self-interested people have managed to hijack the party. Others are showing more signs of stepping up to the plate to fill that vacuum.

    • bad12 3.5

      Oh my god, you have just opened my eyes to the evil Doctor Norman’s plan, having voted for the nice Green Party on the basis of saving the planet i honestly am at a loss of what to do,

      Please help me with advice as even tho you give every indication of being some form of really fucked up retard you must be super-intelligent to have uncovered the devious plot by the Doctor…

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Ahhh back to the Reds Under the Bed and the Dancing Cossack ads

  5. Cant remember my last username 5

    If the green party ever got into sole power, I wonder how long it would take for them to lose all democratic principles and initiate a secret police to keep the ‘naive’ populace in line with the revolution?

    Given how strongly the population rebelled vs. Labours ‘mini ‘nanny state they would have kittens with what the Green’s would ultimately introduce

    • karol 5.1

      LOL. More spin lines from the right. It’s interesting that they are trying to smear the Greens as undemocratic left, when some Labour/left supporters have spent a lot of time on this site, in the last year or so, saying how “blue” and centrist or right wing the Green Party is.

      The NAct government’s record is now one of having made a long string of substantial attacks on democracy, in terms of over-riding democratic democratic process, and restricting citizens and workers’ rights. I just don’t know how right wingers can keep a straight face when attacking Clark’s alleged “nanny state” and the Greens as potentially being dictatorial.

      We already have a pretty radical right-wing Daddy state.

      • kiwicommie 5.1.1

        They want to divide and destroy the center and center-left, by encouraging suspicion and distrust between Labour, the Greens and other opposition parties. Divide and conquer strategy.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      You must be really worried about National’s snooping enabling legislation then.

  6. Holly Walker – Green Party Housing Spokesperson did a very good job yesterday, and I would like to publicly thank her for presenting the following petition:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Presented/Petitions/5/0/5/50DBHOH_PET3157_1-Petition-of-Penelope-Mary-Bright-requesting-that.htm

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics”high”population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon “medium” population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.

    Petition number: 2011/64
    Presented by: Holly Walker
    Date presented: 30 May 2013
    Referred to: Social Services Committee

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    EVIDENCE proving the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics”high”population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan can be found HERE:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?page_id=145

    PS: I DID manage to get a submission in on this Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill, and it is my intention to address the Social Services Select Committee in person.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/ anti-privatisation campaigner’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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    14 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    14 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    15 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    15 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    16 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    17 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    17 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    18 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    19 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    19 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    19 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    20 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    20 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    20 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    21 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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