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Greens Budget Alternative

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, May 21st, 2012 - 68 comments
Categories: budget2012, Economy, exports, greens, infrastructure, Privatisation, russel norman - Tags:

The Greens launched their Budget alternative this morning. Titled “Smart Green Economics” it lived up to the billing, as did its Economic Policy launch before the Budget. Extra heft was provided by BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana with a commissioned paper arguing that the Government’s asset sales programme leaves the government accounts permanently worse off, and may also worsen the country’s deficit, our “largest single vulnerability”. The BERL paper is here.

Russel Norman  argued our current account deficit is in decline, our net international investment position is declining and that manufacturing, 20% of our export economy, is being decimated. He also said  that the 2010 tax switch was not fiscally neutral as the Government promised, but has left us $2.2billion worse off. Spending $14 billion on roads when the real oil price is likely to double over the coming decade is also a poor quality spend.

Russel Norman didn’t just critique, but also pointed to the opportunities in smart green economics. Openings in the geothermal sector mean it would be tragic to sell off Mighty River Power. Other opportunities combining  economic rebalancing, fiscal resilience and the smart green economy include capital gains tax, reprioritised transport spending, putting a commercial price on water, extending the home insulation scheme and boosting research and development. More included setting higher standards for fresh water, higher mining royalties and royalties reserve fund, putting a real price on carbon, having a public option of Kiwisaver, supercharging our energy SOEs, and investing in our children.

Plenty of positive stuff to think about there.

Ganesh Nana explained the difference between Government debt and deficit, and external debt and deficit. The first may or may not be bad, the second is ll bad. He said lack of clarity in much media comment around the difference between these led to confusion, with which I heartily agree. The asset sales programme as stated does not address the Government’s debt, simply replaces one asset with another. He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates without affecting our external deficit. Again, plenty to think about.

It was good to hear about opportunities and alternatives. We’ve heard enough of TINA.

68 comments on “Greens Budget Alternative”

  1. Carol 1

    The Greens launched their Budget alternative this morning. Titled “Smart Green Economics” it lived up to the billing, as did its Economic Policy launch before the Budget. Extra heft was provided by BERL economist Dr Ganesh Nana with a commissioned paper arguing that the Government’s asset sales programme leaves the government accounts permanently worse off, and may also worsen the country’s deficit, our “largest single vulnerability”. The BERL paper is here.

    Laila Harre earning her salary then?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10795565

    Former Cabinet Minister Laila Harre has taken up a senior policy position with the Green Party.

    The Greens announced Ms Harre’s appointment today, saying she would take up a newly-created advisory role of issues director for the party.

  2. Gosman 2

    Goodo. I’d expect Interest rates to rise significantly under any Green run economy then.

    • Dv 2.1

      Good to see careful reasoned analysis gosman.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Please explain how the following statement doesn’t mean higher interest rates?

        “He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates…”

        • Deano 2.1.1.1

          well, isn’t National saying that there’s plenty of money in term deposits for people to buy shares in the assets with? Wouldn’t that push up interest rates too, in your analysis?

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            I presume people will choose voluntarily to invest in the shares in the part privatised SOE’s because they are attracted by the returns they believe they are likely to be receiving. What will attract them from removing their savings from Term Deposits in Commercial banks and investing in Government Bonds?

            • Ant 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact that a nation state is generally more stable than a bank, also rational irrationality like patriotism.

              • Gosman

                The patriotism argument would apply equally to Kiwibank.

                Given that the Commercial banks have essentially an unwriiten guarrantee of protection for their deposits as a result of recent actions out of the GFC your security argument holds less sway.

                However technically there isn’t an awful lot stopping NZ people from investing in Government bonds now. They could pool their money and put it into an investment company that just buys NZ Government Bonds for example. The fact they don’t do so suggests they possibly would like the higher returns offered by the Commercial banks.

                To get more money from the people with 100 Billion in Term investments in NZ the Government will have to offer something more than just a combination of patriotism and security.

                On top of this fact is that removing a proportion of the 100 Billion will increase the cost of capital for the commercial banks who will then have to raise interest rates to raise the short fall.

                • Matt

                  The government could make interest on government bonds/notes tax exempt to attract more, ahem, interest.

                  • Gosman

                    So how will the Commercial banks make their term deposits more attractive to fill the gap caused by people leaving them to invest in Government Bonds?

                    • Ant

                      How do they compete with each other for deposits at the moment?

                      Commercial banks already exist in a climate of competition, what makes you think that a single new entrant into the market will cause such evil and horrible consequences?

                    • Matt

                      Gee I don’t know, how did they manage everywhere else tax exemptions on government bonds have been used as incentives. 

                    • Gosman

                      You really don’t get it do you? There is no such thing as a free lunch in economics. If the Greens wish to tap into the 100 billion dollars of Term Deposits to help fund their spending plans that will mean higher interest rates pure and simple. They either have to offer better returns for Government debt to tempt investors or even if they do it by reducing tax on returns they will reduce the overall capital available to banks who will have to raise interest rates on their deposit book to satisfy their needs. I am truly astounded by some leftists lack of basic understanding of finance and economics sometimes. The only way they could increase borrowing without this is via printing of money. For some reason they aren’t suggesting that.

                    • Matt

                      To satisfy their needs? Whose needs, the banks?

                      The phrase “fuck them” doesn’t begin to cover it.

                    • Gosman

                      As stated, you really don’t understand economics. At least you acknowledge that the policy will lead to higher interest rates.

                    • Matt

                      You may not be good for much (Soylent Green?) but you do have an elaborate fantasy life.

                • PaulB

                  Commercial banks do not have any sort of guarantee from the government. Get with the programme.

                  • Gosman

                    Given what happened in 2008 they have an implied guarrantee. That is the trouble when you provide it once. It becomes difficult to deny it when banks get in to trouble at a latter date.

                • Fortran

                  Only Kiwi Bank has a guarantee – the New Zealand taxpayer – which is why it has the highest security rating in the country, by Standard & Poors.
                  The overseas banks do not have that only Reserve Bank oversight.

    • Bored 2.2

      WTF have you been? Whole week somewhere else…..did you get somewhat world weary? Or was it that you had to do some “work”?

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      “Goodo. I’d expect Interest rates to rise significantly under any Green run economy then.”

      As well they should. National keep trumpeting how good it is that interest rates are low now and that they did it.

      Of course interest rates are low: the outlook for the economy isn’t great.

      High interest rates show a strong economy, low interest rates show a weak one. Of course the average idiot (and journalist) doesn’t realise this so buy into Nat’s spin 100%.

      Also nevermind that the reserve bank is independent of the government, and if the government actually had a credible economic plan I’m sure Alan Bollard would be itching to raise the rate. As it is, it’s expected it will be cut this year.

      • Gosman 2.3.1

        Not true at all. Many economies have had low interest rates on Government Bonds even when the economy was going great guns.

      • Bob 2.3.2

        In that case Lanthanide, you must have agreed whole-heartedly with Rogernomics? Intrest rates were through the roof in the late 80’s!

  3. Carol 3

    Nice slides & graphs from Norman. But I need more detail on the policies.

    What’s involved in the allegedly lucrative returns for “Green growth” and a “smart green economy”?

    How to improve the quality of water, invest in children, “supercharging our SOEs” etc?

    What is mean by a “Public option for Kiwisaver”?

  4. Peter 4

    Very nice to see it from the Greens. But again, Labour’s strategy is wanting, the major opposition party is missing in action over this Budget, at least thus far, and allowing the Greens to get all the air time. Maybe there is deep strategy in this that I miss, but I’m a bit more politically attuned than most, and if I can’t see it, the general public sure as hell can’t.

    • Ant 4.1

      Yeah Labour seems AWOL on this one…. The beauty of front-footing like the Greens have done is that it comes across as vision and not sour grapes.

  5. Liberal Realist 5

    Great to see some an alternative budget from the Greens.

    Doesn’t Russell Norman come across as a Prime Minister in waiting more and more as time goes on?

    No doubt CFM (“Corporate Fawning Media”) will not air this at all or it will be buried in the 6th page of the Herald…

    The BERL report should be the final nail in the coffin for asset sales but it won’t be. What I don’t understand is that poli pimp “The Hair” could shaft Nationals plans and be hailed as a hero for doing it. I would have thought “The Hair” would care about his political legacy? I guess not as he’ll be remembered as the Nact whoring pimp who’s vote allowed NZ’s strategic assets to be sold off…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I would have thought “The Hair” would care about his political legacy?

      I suspect at this time that he’s only concerned about the baubles of office and shafting NZ will give him those. Actually standing on principal and voting where the evidence tells him would be against giving him that sense of power.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    He argued that with $100 billion sitting in term deposits in the banks there was plenty of opportunity for Government to borrow from New Zealanders at realistic rates without affecting our external deficit.

    Governments should never borrow but print money at 0% interest. Yes, this means that the capitalists won’t have a government guaranteed income and will have to actually take some of those risks that they keep harping on about. I don’t have a problem with that.

  7. AAMC 7

    While the private sector is Deleveraging the Public sector needs to be borrowing and underpinning demand, this would seem perfect territory for the Greens as this Govt spending could be directed towards Green infrastructural development, creating jobs whilst improving the environment and boosting the economy and demand, leading to a natural reduction of debt due to an increased tax take and economic activity. Our central bank should print the money with which to achieve it.

    Yeah yeah Gosman, inflation inflation, seen any outta Japan in the last decade of stagnation and printing??

    Real problem though, the Greens won’t front foot this, the are caught up in the neo-classical narrative around debt in order to appear economically reasonable within the Orthodox framework that brought us the GFC and the GFC2 now rolling out.

    For a look at some stats on what happens to the private sector when the Public sector is in Surplus..

    http://www.slideshare.net/MitchGreen/mmt-basics-you-cannot-consider-the-deficit-in-isolation

    • Gosman 7.1

      I also haven’t seen much in the way of growth out of Japan over the past two decades despite massive investment in infrastructure projects by Government. However your linking to Japan isn’t a good fit anyway as the problem with Japan post the 1990’s has been deflation. I would agree that expansionary monetary policy would have less of a negative inflationary impact in such an environment. A more apt analogy to use is probably the UK at the moment where they have engaged in quantitative easing and also have higher inflation.

      • AAMC 7.1.1

        QE as euphemism for giving money to irresponsible banks.

        Self inflicted Austerity – like their parrots here in Nats – is what’s grinding the UK to a hault. Their QE hasn’t been invested by Govt into the economy, it’s been used to attempt to add some solvency to banks running enormous risk on re-hypothecated bubble money.

        How did you like what happened to the Private sector during Clinton’s surplus in those slides? I gather you likely didn’t look.

  8. Jackal 8

    My only real concern for the next election is that Labour will romp in and not really need to form a coalition with the Greens. But you know, we’ve had nine years of Labour where New Zealander’s standard of living declined, and now we’ve had National inflict even more damage on the country in less than half that time… so there really isn’t anything to lose in trying what the Greens are proposing. It couldn’t possibly be worse.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Bear in mind that western living standards are unsustainable without increasing availability of materials and energy, so those living standards are going to decline regardless of the party in power.

      The question is, whether or not it is organised to happen in a way which is socially sustainable and socially responsible.

      The NATs aren’t interested in any such thing, the many can starve while the few eat cake as far as they are concerned.

      And both the Greens and Labour think that “growth” will be back again tomorrow. Neither have the guts to tell the electorate the truth.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Was just about to make pretty much the same comment.

      • Jackal 8.1.2

        Agreed. I don’t mean to sound like a doomsayer, but even with an egalitarian system in place, our lifestyles are going to have to change and will in all likelihood get more difficult. It’s all about degrees of difficulty really.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          …and will in all likelihood get more difficult.

          It wouldn’t be a difficult lifestyle just one that has a lot less waste than the one we have now. What we’d be looking at is extending the life cycles of the products available, i.e, computers can only be upgraded every 5 years. Recycling would have to become the norm – if the product can’t be recycled then it’s not on the market. High density housing in walkable communities with buses and trains becoming necessary for longer distances.

          • Carol 8.1.2.1.1

            +1

          • Jackal 8.1.2.1.2

            You’re essentially talking about planned obsolescence DTB, which is designed into most items these days. Basically they’re designed to fail at a certain age, usually after the warranty runs out. With some things it’s a technical obsolescence, whereby new developments supersede the old. Computer and program manufacturers are some of the worst, often releasing developments slowly to maximise their profit margin.

            The problem here is that extending the life cycle of products comes at a cost to the manufacturer, so unless governments develop policy that ensures items are not designed to fail, the profit motive will continue to keep low quality products on our shelves. Government’s realize that they gain less tax if things are designed to last, so unless a new measurement of growth is developed, governments are caught in a catch 22.

            What I was talking about is the convenience of our modern lifestyles, whereby things like plastic packaging and cheap transportation will not be so readily available. The end of cheap oil and globalisation will cause a decline in availability of items because governments haven’t properly secured supply chains through localized production. The difficulty is in how fast people will learn to adapt, and to some extent, whether they can at all.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        +1

        Need a party which comes out with the truth rather than the comforting lies that the parties that we have propagate to sooth the populace.

      • AAMC 8.1.4

        I think it’s important to be honest on this point, especially for those of us who vote Green. They are as wedded to the narrative of growth as the rest, I understand their desire to appear mainstream, but as long as we tinker at the fringe of orthodox economics, it’s BAU.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.2

      “My only real concern for the next election is that Labour will romp in and not really need to form a coalition with the Greens.”
       
      Yep, I’m losing sleep over that possible outcome, too. Much rather have the Greens than Winnie, but, realistically, I think Labour will need both. You are completely wrong about living standards in the Clark years, by the way. Life got measurably better after a decade and a half of the ACT in disguise Lange government and the even worse Bolger/Shipley shambles. People had jobs, for starters.

      • Jackal 8.2.1

        While your essentially correct, and many indicators did improve, some did not. Gains in health look to be mainly a result of reducing smoking rates, particularly for females. The bad news is that Kiwi’s got more obese, drank more and became less physically active during the Clark years.

        However the amount of children living below the income poverty threshold halved and suicides also declined, which are often good indicators of how society (and the government) is performing. Government debt reduced and median household incomes increased under the last Labour government.

        Males lagged behind in most statistics and there were marginal lifestyle gains for females… so it’s a pass, but only just.

        Then John Key waved his shitty magic stick, and median household incomes are now in decline, Government debt has increased markedly and inequality and suicide rates are increasing. Home ownership levels are falling as well… so National gets a big fat F for fail.

        Time to give some Green policies a go methinks.

  9. I think all I can say is fucking idiot greens, they haven’t a bloody clue, they are part of the problem, and like every politician they are lying to ya.

    • Jackal 9.1

      About what?

      • AAMC 9.1.1

        About endless growth and the virtue of Govt surplus.

        • Jackal 9.1.1.1

          The old purest versus practical debate eh. Unfortunately the Greens have to work within the current system, whereby their policies will be judged to be competent if they break even or post a surplus… it’s not as simple as just dismissing capitalism. It’s pretty early days to see if there is any financial benefit to their home insulation scheme, but I expect there will be.

          The difference is where money is allocated and a clean green future in fact offers the best of both worlds. Firstly it reduces reliance on fossil fuels, which is important for our continued survivability. Secondly it means the economy will continue to function when the shit really hits the fan and we wont end up riding donkey’s to town.

    • weka 9.2

      No-one would vote for them if they told the truth.

  10. Peter in Papua New Guinea 10

    Smart Green Economics – the ultimate oxymoron.
    All the Greens want is tax tax tax and spend spend spend.
    Energy costs will jump 20% due to carbon taxes, lets see what happens in Aust in July. The polluter will pass on the cost and guess what, either demand falls due to lower spending power of inflation increases.

    • mike e 10.1

      so peter making the rest of us subsidize carbon is not a oxyoumoron

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Hey Peter, you do realise the money taken from you in taxes is being spent on us, in our communities and in our cities?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      You have NFI WTF you’re talking about do you?

      Smart Green Economics – the ultimate oxymoron.

      Nope, the only rational option. Normal economics is delusional and probably psychopathic.

      All the Greens want is tax tax tax and spend spend spend.

      Nope, go read their policies.

      Energy costs will jump 20% due to carbon taxes, lets see what happens in Aust in July.

      An increase in costs isn’t an increase in inflation but an increase in costs. Sure, demand will fall but that’s normal economics. The whole point of the “free-market” is that it will adjust to the new normal.

      Of course, we don’t actually have a free-market as it’s owned, lock, stock and barrel by the 1% and a decrease in demand will see them lose a little income which is what they’re whining about and what you’re swallowing.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        Yeah Peter is locked in a stupid unworkable model of badly thought out and unrealistic neoliberal economics.

  11. Anthony 11

    I boastfully posted the other forums before. But I guess often in self righteousness. But the way I see it, as one of the ones who caused the problem.

    Don Brash was one of the few hopes for New Zealand he said at the time about 5 years ago it would be harder than the second world war to get New Zealand to a Growing sustainable country catching up with Australia. That was over 5 years ago and he was ignored along with many of Acts initial policy’s. So if was as hard as war then well.

    The Solution is:

    I really see it, first we need pleading to international help to help us recover and get international aid. We need to outsource Government departments such as entire health sector to Australia to administer. We need to have boarder-less “passport free” crossing to Australia, common currency just for start.

    We then need to remove RMA completely and privatize the Building Department and all associated acts.

    Sell the entire Tertiary Education sector.

    Reduce income tax to 10%

    Removed GST of all food, and basic living items.

    Introduce Capital gains tax

    Sell parts or New Zealand to Europe and America allowing them to create cities such as a French city in South island ran and administered by France.

    Increase school standards. (Longer Day- Real economic teaching learn anther language from early on.)

    Remove the treaty of Wiatangi form many government items.

    Put some Politicians in jail. ( And look at performance pay- Electronic Elections on the internet).

    Write a CONSTITUTION based on the American.

    Removed number of MPs make it 99 and fix MMP i.e. party percent list choice elected from public.

    Remove Government Standards: i.e allow cheap quality small electric cars on road. Allow Insurance companies to take risk analysis – not Government
    Increase tax on alcohol. Also other government arbitrary standards which may not have cost benefit logical ratio.

    Sell some roads completely.

    Remove many testing and certification schemes.

    Reduce all fines by 50%

    Sell ACC and allow privatization and suing

    Removed 50% of Government Agency’s and ministry’s.

    Stop putting money in the Rugby industry.

    Sue the transport minister for spending millionths on motorways for the Roading Lobby.

    Invest in heavy public transport and bike lanes for the big city’s.

    Gee its going to be hard for someone.

    Will put more later

    • fatty 11.1

      LOL…is this NZ committing a capitalist crucifixion?…I kinda agree with you cause we are so far up shit creek we may as well go out with some fireworks.
      When are you gonna post the rest Anthony? I wanna know how we should slaughter the babies? Is there a mass suicide pact for poor people too?

    • happynz 11.2

      Sell parts or New Zealand to Europe and America allowing them to create cities such as a French city in South island ran and administered by France.

      This is my favourite proposal. If it came to pass I’d be plumping for a Mexican city for my own selfish reasons. The Mexican food situation here is dire. ‘Decent affordable tacos for all!’ is my rallying cry.

      Seriously though (actually, I am serious about the dire Mexican food in this country), Anthony’s libertarian wish-list is more than a bit over the top.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Anthony must be busy rolling the dice to see which neolib policies he can put in at random with other random nonsense. No vision, no philosophy, no sense of community: Anthony is a lost row boat in a big sea.

  13. ad 13

    I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Greens’ well orchestrated set piece, bothin the timing and in the supporting analysis from a good economist. At minimum, it drew the PM out on it.

    Great tactics and go the Green team.

    Sadly, after muzzling Cunliffe, Labour’s team remain quite on the defensive this week. Precisely the wrong week to be defensive. Giving Key a free hit on Shearer – ouch!

    Knock knock Labour – anyone home? It’s budget week.

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    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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