web analytics
The Standard

Growing the Left vote

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 5th, 2013 - 279 comments
Categories: activism, election 2014, greens, labour, mana - Tags:

At the moment the Left and Right political blocs are poised more or less evenly in the polls. So how do we grow the Left vote to win in 2014?

A lot of commenters here think the answer is for Labour to move to the Left. Frustrated at the slow closing of the polls, they think (with the National government being such an obvious disaster) that all Labour needs to do is become more radical, and the voters will come flocking in. With respect, I disagree. If it was as simple as that, The Greens and Mana would be rocketing ahead. And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it. Much as I hate the phrase “center left”, the centre seems to be where the vote are, and my guess is it’s where Labour has to stay to win them. That leaves space for Mana and the Greens to position themselves more strongly, and, thanks to MMP, it means that a Labour / Green (/Mana?) coalition government is likely to be more Left wing than Labour itself (fine with me).

OK, so what does grow the vote for the Left? I don’t have anything to add to the well known factors:

(1) Hammer the Nats. The disaster that is the National government is obvious enough to us, but it clearly isn’t obvious to the electorate in general (yet), or National’s polling would be falling faster. So – all Leftie parties need to keep hammering the government’s record, keep getting the message out…

(2) Have better policy. We need plausible, costed, more equitable, more sustainable, better policy – be bold!

(3) Turn out the vote. The non-voting block is huge – motivate even a fraction of them to vote Left and we win. But we can’t assume that having suitably leftie policies is enough to do it or these people would be voting already for Mana or Green – and they aren’t. So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?

(4) Cooperate cooperate cooperate! I don’t have any hard evidence, but anecdotally voters want to see cooperation between parties of the Left. Coordination and agreement – a government in waiting, building confidence in the policies.

So, that’s my list, no magic bullets, just the usual hard work. What have I missed? How do we grow the Left vote?

279 comments on “Growing the Left vote”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    I would like Labour’s policies to be more to the left, but that will not win more votes: passion, competence, conviction, confidence on the other hand, will.

    Add those to the mix – and demote blundering has-beens like Toxic Trevor – and watch the electorate respond.

  2. karol 2

    Maybe Labour should concentrate on engaging more with voters? Talking about growing the left votes seems like conceding Labour is no longer the force it once was .

    Cooperation is a two-way thing and can’t be dictated.

    • One Tāne Huna 2.1

      “The old guard in Labour is seriously defensive, insecure and lacking any humour. I actually think voters see it.” Duncan Garner.

      • Tom Gould 2.1.1

        Bit rich coming from Garner, I reckon, one of Key’s biggest cheer leaders. The people only know Key and Shearer from the media, and the media love Key, so the polling holds up, and they report his popularity. A virtuous circle, by definition.

    • Agreed Karol.

      To engage more with voters you need activists. To get more activists you have to have a principled coherent policy and stand for something. And you need some passion.

      To do this you have to strop triangulating and be different to the other side.

      My four simple sentences to describe what I think the Labour Party ought to be doing …

  3. IrishBill 3

    Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.

    Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

    Secondly, there is a whole lot of enrolled non-vote who are disillusioned with the process and dropped out. The Greens are trying to reach these people but my gut feeling is they’ll struggle as the ENV is likely to be working class, not university educated and unlikely to find the Greens middleclass brand attractive. It’s not the traditional knocking on doors style of getting the vote out that will capture these voters – they need something to get out for. Which is to say they need a bit of hope that they’ll see some change that will make their own lives better.

    Thirdly, most of my assumptions about the ENV are just that. Assumptions. Because very little analysis of the ENV has been done and as far as I know, none by Labour. I presume Labour’s neglect of their enrollment data has made any meaningful analysis possible.

    Fourthly, people. If you don’t have people on the ground you’ll struggle to capitalise on your support. I’m pretty sure that this is the reason the Greens often lose a couple of percent on election day (compared with the polls).

    That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people. Not being left or right. And right now Labour has damaged its brand, neglected its data, and pushed its people away. Until they get that right any talk about policy is meaningless because there won’t be a chance to enact it.

    • Agreed entirely Irish about the importance of having people on the ground. My strong impression from a number of campaigns I have been involved in is the more activists the better the result. They are directly responsible for building up excitement and momentum.

      I am also not sure about the “left right” divide.

      What people do want are leaders with conviction. The really good ones are able to actually move the electorate. Maggie Thatcher moved the UK well to the right and Key has shown a similar ability.

      Labour has struggled since the first Labour Government. Nash blew his chances with the black budget, Norm Kirk was cruelly taken early, Lange was a potentially great leader but his legacy was wrecked by the rogernomes. Helen Clark did have that ability to communicate a clear vision and her electoral success was a direct result of this.

      • IrishBill 3.1.1

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to be neither left or right to win. I’m saying it doesn’t matter greatly for many many voters. And yes, I agree with you on leaders with conviction, I’d place that quite highly in the “brand” column.

    • fatty 3.2

      nice comment irishbill…I like the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that.

      You also point this out: …Labour as it stands won’t get these people because Labour’s brand isn’t attractive enough right now.

      Rebranding Labour (to give it more sizzle) now that they have stuck with Shearer is impossible as far as I’m concerned. He lacks every trait needed to connect with voters. However, I think the bigger issue that Labour will need to overcome if they want a shot in 2017, is they need to challenge this idea of individual responsibility, rather than encourage it

    • vto 3.3

      Mr Irish I think you are quite a lot wrong on this: “Firstly, the left-right center isn’t where the swing votes are because swing voters don’t generally hold strong political convictions. They buy on the sizzle, not the sausage – which is to say they’ll see a narrative they like and a leader they connect with and that’s that. It’s why National is losing votes directly to the Greens – it’s just people (mostly urban liberals) changing from one brand they like to associate their personal narratives with to another. They’re not concerned about the left right difference between the two because it simply does not exist for them.”

      I think what is happenning with this type of swing is in fact what you say it is not…. It is thought-out individuals changing their base political outlook. (of course, there are surely other types of sizzling swingers, but not the ones you describe) From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity. They see the cheating banks, the grab at the environment, the snake eyes, the various failures of the ‘market’ and put that together with the policy direction of our governments since 1984. They are not silly people and they are swinging back to a more natural political setting for kiwis – the one that existed pre-1984. It reflects a strong movement in political conviction, not a weak one.

      The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement. This is part of it. People I speak to and see say as much and from what I read of comments on here many others are having similar conversations. It is not moving on the sizzle (there aint no sizzle if you look around) it is moving on the sausage.

      This sea-change is a slow tide and the left should learn it and enhance it.

      • IrishBill 3.3.1

        You could well be right but what I see here (and elsewhere) is politically active people having those conversations. I think there’s still a sizable chunk of the nation that only think about politics for a few days out of every term. They’re the swingers (heh – I said “swingers”) I was talking about.

        • vto

          Yes, two types of swingers – the short, quick ones and the long, slow ones.

          I was referring to the long slow ones and it seems like there are a hell of a lot more of them than there used to be. It seems there is such a movement going on – a movement which was not there even just a few short years ago. The jolt from Clark to Key’s second term may have been the spark to ignite the movement. It is relatively recent but it is most definitely underway imo.

          The left can grab both of these swingers with careful and accurate moves appealing to each – some sizzle for the short quickie swingers and some more sausage for the long slow swingers………….

          • billbrowne


            I think you are right.

            It seems to me that there is a real underlying current of desire for a roll back of the policies that have been enacted since 1984.

            Now is the time to act on that current.

            Labour is underestimating the appetite for change, radical change.

            I can remember the movement in the other direction in 1984 – it just takes someone to grab the momentum.

            • Wayne

              I think this nostalgic view of the past is not where most New Zealanders are at. There is very little desire to go back to pre 1984, with its extreme control of the economy (think rigid exchange controls, extremely high tariffs, import licensing, state owned everything, compulsory unionism, on the verge of an IMF bailout, etc).

              As David Lange said, a Polish Shipyard. What young person, say anyone under 40, would want that level of economic control over their lives. In fact you would have to be almost over 50 to have any effective adult memory of the pre 1984 period.

              I can see that people want an alternative, but it has to incorporate the reality of the reforms of last 30 years. Helen Clark recognized this. She did not roll back everything from the 1980’s and 1990’s. But she did soften it, so the ERA replaced the ECA, and is still the basis of industrial law. The major modification, the 90 day period was chosen by the Nats precisely because it was mirrored the Nordics (and as some here will appreciate I know the origins of this policy). Interest free student loans, not grants for all, because 50% of young people do tertiary education, as opposed to 15% pre 1984. It was a realistic approach, which is why she won three terms.

              Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

              Use your imagination about the future. Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Now I know we have had the GFC, but the answer is not a return to the Polish shipyard.

                Nor is the answer the Chinese shipyards. Or Chinese railyards for that matter.

                Interesting article in the Economist on the Nordics, which might be useful, and these nations have actually been quite imaginative over the last decade.

                Yep. And we have to go further, much further.

                The Nordic countries invested in their countries during a time of economic and energy wealth. We have to do much more, with far less.

              • billbrowne

                I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                Probably not very clear above.

                There was a need for change, the pendulum, however, swung too far in the other direction.

                Reference would be the magnitude of changes made in Australia over the same time frames.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  I’m not advocating a complete roll-back, I am advocating a move back in that direction.

                  The principles and objectives of the Old Labour Era B.R. (Before Rogernomics) need to be implemented today but in new modern forms, and using new mechanisms and strategies, taking into account current conditions and constraints.

              • geoff

                Absolutely, Wayne.

                Kiwi’s have no interest in going back to a time when unemployment was low. To a time when you could house, feed and clothe your family on one income.

                Nobody wants that.

                What we want is more rat race, more uncertainty, more stress and less time with our kids. We want low pay and no retirement savings. We want big mortages and no sense of community and a few more starving kids. We want more river pollution and bigger dairy farms. We want rents to go up, we want food prices to go up and we really really want the corporate tax rate to go down. Because, let’s face it, those poor, helpless, legal entities, just can’t catch a break.

      • fatty 3.3.2

        From what I see people have thought long, seen long, and been smacked by the rort that is corporativity.

        I wish I saw that…truth is, I see the opposite far more often.
        I did interpret the ‘sizzle’ as being image, and the ‘sausage’ as being policy (maybe I misread this).
        Perhaps its the people I spend time with, they would be under 35 years of age. I mingle with educated, uneducated, poor and not so poor…one thing that I find is quite prominent within my group of friends is a disinterest in policy. They all vote Green, but generally not for the policy…I guess they have a vague idea of their political philosophy.

        The tide is on the ebb for the above neoliberal movement.

        It disturbs me how many other students I come across who see student loans as natural…once they get into that kind of mindset, individualism becomes embedded in their psyche and then neoliberal ideals become normalised.
        That’s why Labour won’t connect with younger voters until they abolish the student loan scheme. Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day. Its like trying to get slaves to vote for a continuation of slavery.

        • vto

          hmmm, true dat i’m sure

        • felixviper

          “Its not the loans in themselves that is the problem. Its that the student loan scheme is built on the notions of individualism and personal responsibility. Labour can’t force an ideology onto our youth and then expect them to vote against that ideology on election day.”


          And it’s not just student loans either, it’s the acceptance on so many levels that these neolib, individualistic, Randian ideas are ok in and of themselves as long as you hang a red flag on them.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with contracting out Kiwibuild so private companies can extract a profit from the selling off of state-owned land to individuals instead of just building state houses that we all own.

          It’s why Labour don’t see anything wrong with Hipkins buying into National’s pro asset sales narrative and sending a message to the electorate that asset sales in and of themselves aren’t the issue, it’s just a matter of how the loot is divvied up.

          Right wing individualistic greedy selfish sizzle, and Labour don’t even seem to be aware they’re selling it. No wonder the right wing individualistic greedy selfish sausages at the next bbq over are selling so well.

        • billbrowne


          A lot of that is to do with the non-presentation of a feasible alternative.

          Should a large political party come out with a cohesive and overwhelming repositioning of the whole tertiary sector including the two main streams of learning – practical (via polytechs) and academic (via universities).

          The alternative would focus on:

          Eliminating fees from tertiary study
          Supporting trade training
          Eliminating pseudo competition
          Spending money on state institutions

          If this was presented, I think that a whole bunch of people would realise there IS and alternative

      • Polish Pride 3.3.3

        Agreed VTO
        I’d also say that those that are disenfranchised with the system will come from all classes, working, whitecollar, university educated or not. It is really people that have the the ability to think for themselves and cannot see any political party having policies that will fix the problems that they see. They like me see the same old problems persisting never getting resolved no matter who is in the hot seat. I am univerity educated. I have spoken to many others also university educated and others who are not.

        Any party that wants to do really well needs to take a step back from offering token policies (that they think) are geared towrads winning the election….
        Instead they need to provide a cohesive and well thought out group of policies that can capture peoples imaginations of what our country would be like to live in, in 10 or 20 years time. They need to be able to logically show how in the current environment their ideas will help provide a much better future to live in. They need their ideas to resonate with people so that those people see them as something they can be part of and have ownership of rather than how it is now where people see politics as something that is done to them by the political party of the day rather than sometyhing that they are part of.

        I have said many many times that I am no longer voting because I don’t believe in the system. Don’t treat me like an idiot and give me something I can believe in, paint a picture of the future for me and how what you are doing will get us there. If I can believe it, Not only will I vote but I too will own the vision and sell it/explain it to anyone who will listen.

      • Fortran 3.3.4

        Where is the evidence that some Nats are swinging to the Greens – not in the polls.

        • Skinny

          Their out there in droves, Swing voters who voted National 1st time around, took the tax cut then gave Key another term.

           Not next time, they have woken up, middle to higher income earner struggling that’s what turning them off. I make a point of getting a grasp of the mood these people are in. They were only too keen to boast they voted National (mainly cause of Key and the tax cut policy). Not now… they are disappointed & finally waking cut… hearing one say “I don’t trust Key…use too but not now.” Others are disgruntled & rightly so, about all the job losses & stagnant economy..and on and on the complaints go. So asked who they would vote for now, most opt Greens. 
          Why because they see younger, academically smarter MP’s coming thru  no back stabbing trough feeders & and that’s always going to be a attractive & trendy bandwagon to be aboard.

    • r0b 3.4

      That’s what grows votes at the margins, Anthony, brand, data, and people.

      Thank you IB – spot on as usual.

      Brand – now there’s a tricky thing. How does Labour improve its brand?

  4. David H 4

    ” So, find out more! Why aren’t these people voting? And what would it take to get them to vote Left?”

    I did mention this in another post wtf King. I think.
    I have 2 teens that are now able to vote. They won’t even enroll. And the main reasons when I try to get them to vote? is those old guys are more interested in them selves, and not in what we need, to even get a job. And they Don’t Care or listen.
    All they have to look forward to at this time is a life on the dole, and having to jump through even more hoops for even less money. And whats Labour offering??? SWEET FUCK ALL!

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David. I was taken down to the Post Office and enrolled as soon as I was old enough. My folks didn’t tell me who to vote for, but they did tell me why it was important I did vote.

      The Keep Our Asset sales petition still needs support. That’s another thing your kids are missing out on if they are not enrolled; the ability to influence their own futures in a nationwide referendum. Think globally, David and FFS, act locally.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        Lol. How old were you when your parents took you down to the post office and enrolled you TRP?
        When I was 18 I’d left home and was living a long way from my parents. Maybe they should have taken a day-trip and marched me down to the nearest post office. Gross negligence really.

        • Te Reo Putake

          My circ’s were clearly different from yours, js. I was also educated in a time when children were taught civics, so I had the advantage of having a basic knowlege of the democratic system. Youe experience may vary.

          • geoff

            Well don’t you sound out of touch, TRP.

            In your day (I visualise you as a crusty old man), I’m sure that a sound argument could be mounted as to why you should vote. A time when all kiwis (maybe not Maori) had some skin in the game.

            Contrast that with today’s environment and you should be able to sympathise with David H’s children. The best you can offer them is a referendum that isn’t even politically binding!

          • fatty

            TRP, You were brought up in a generation where as a 25 year old, you had political voice. Gen X & Y have no political voice under the main parties, and the smaller parties limited influence means that our young have been depoliticised.

            That parenting failure comment was fucked…a Paula Bennett comment. And then you followed it up below by suggesting negativity is a problem.
            FFS Te Reo Putake…not even Paula Bennett would combine the poor parenting myth with a demand for aspirational thinking. Those neolib memes are never said together…John Key calls for less negativity and Bennett promotes poor parenting.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

              David can pick up a couple of enrolment forms any time he wants. He can then have a chat with his kids and try to convince them that even a flawed democracy is better than no democracy at all and they should take the opportunity to enroll.

              Or he can sit on the sidelines and moan. It’s his choice.

              btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

              • fatty

                btw, David has said he lives in Levin. That’s the odious Nathan Guy David is helping keep in Parliament by opting out. Nice work, Dave.

                If we look at the 2011 results for Ótaki, the National and Labour MPs collected 89% of the votes. Both National and Labour offer youth nothing. That’s right, nothing. In fact National and Labour have created a system that excludes teenagers, both economically and politically.

                I had a voice as an 18 year old and used it to good effect, helping to dump a Tory out of his seat. I’ve carried on in the same vein ever since.

                Lucky you, you lived in a time when the Tories had an opposition. You lived in a time when Labour invested in youth, rather than punished them.
                Looking at the 2011 results, youth in Otaki would be wasting their time voting for the Green MP. Or they could politicise themselves and work hard to oust the Blue Tory and bring in the Red Tory…how would this change their lives?

                • geoff

                  +1, fatty

                • David H

                  Hey asshole I NEVER said I was opting out. I did say that I would NOT vote Labour this time I tick Green. What I did say is that I CANNOT force my teens (again) Who are now young adults with all the privileges and pain that, that brings. And I Will not force anyone to do anything against their will. It’s still a free country, for now.

        • lprent

          I was at university working on Holyoake’s farm in Taupo (as part of the year off before Uni) when I turned 18, a long long way from Auckland. I enrolled then and voted just before I did basic at Waiouru. Didn’t vote National.

          But yeah, my parents had nothing to do with it….

          • Ron

            That explains it. I often wondered why we needed that nice road to Holyoake’s ‘farm’. Obviously he was worried that his farm workers should have a nice smooth road to travel to work on.

          • Wayne

            Basic: National Service or TF? Have you get the Defence Service Medal yet? I hope so, since you have earned it. By the way I did TF Intake 3.

      • CV - Real Labour 4.1.2

        Well, that sounds like a parenting failure to me, David.

        You’re more than a bit of an asshole you know that? Seems to me that David H’s only crime here is that he’s taught his kids to think independently for themselves too well.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.

          • CV - Real Labour

            Did you just call someone’s parenting style “relentlessly negative”. You’re really something you know that.

            • felixviper

              Don’t forget poisonous. What a fuckwit.

            • Te Reo Putake

              No I didn’t call his parenting style “relentlessly negative”. I called David H “relentlessly negative”. You’ve read his comments so you know what I’m talking about, CV.

              And felix, I know you’re still smarting from being proved wrong yesterday, but there is no reason to call David that. Grow up, why doncha!

              • felixviper

                Eh? Where was that?

                Pretty sure you said his negativity had poisoned his children. There’s no way to interpret that other than calling his parenting poisonous.

                You’ve developed a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things and then tying yourself in semantic knots to pretend you didn’t. Get used to being called on it, dickhead, you’re just smart enough to have fun with words but you’re a long way from being able to use them to actually convince anyone of much.

                • TheContrarian

                  Ha! Felix telling someone else they have a nasty habit lately of saying some pretty shitty things. Wow.

                  • felixviper

                    Correct, but did you read the rest of the sentence? It’s not really about the shitty things, lots of people say shitty things.

                    Takes a special kind of fuckwit to immediately turn around and deny saying them though.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Poor felix, comprehension problems two days in a row. That’s most unusual!

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t think anyone’s having trouble comprehending you TRP, you’re being quite transparent.

                      But just to make sure, are you now denying that you accused David of poisoning his children with relentless negativity or not?

              • fatty

                So you’re sticking to your ‘be more positive’ and ‘bad parenting is the problem’ position?

                I’m not saying David H is negative…but I think its time we installed some ‘negativity’ into our children.
                Be careful when you promote positivity, aspirationalism and personal responsibility…have a look at the MTV reality shows for the results of this kind of thinking

                • felixviper

                  TRP is a person who accuses someone of poisoning their children with relentless negativity and then insists that he never passed comment on that person’s parenting style.

                  It should come as no surprise that a mind capable of holding such thoughts simultaneously would also be prone to sticking with them indefinitely.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I suggested it as a possibility because David H is relentlessly negative on this site. I know nothing else about him than what he writes here, so my comment was based on that knowledge. If his comments here are reflected at home, then it is obviously a possibility that it has rubbed off on them. Children learn from their parents, both the good and the bad.

                    Parents do not always give their kids a good impression or always give them good advice. That doesn’t make them bad parents overall and you should be ashamed of suggesting that David is a bad parent based on your misreading of my comment.

                    • felixviper

                      So now you’re accusing me of calling David a bad parent.

                      Care to quote where I did that?

                    • fatty

                      Nice one TRP.
                      You can start rehashing your comments with the words ‘possibility’ ‘do not always’ & ‘suggested’ if it makes you feel better.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV. I, quite literally, raised it as a possibility, not as a fact.

                    • felixviper

                      It was the only possibility you suggested.

                      The context (an alternate suggestion to CV’s directly above) is there for all to see.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And I expand on the possibilities in another comment. And other commenters do so as well. So what? I don’t resile from the possibility I raised. In fact, to be explicit, I think it is a parent’s duty to educate their children. As David rightly points out, a parent cannot force kids to do much of anything these days, but, then, I wasn’t suggesting force, anyway.

                    • fatty

                      Nice one fatty. I suggest you look up the word ‘or’ in a dictionary, because that is the first word in the short sentence in reply to CV.

                      I was referring to this comment …the one where you attempt to tread quietly backwards from your ignorant accusations aimed at David H

                      Try an apology

          • Scintilla

            “Or his relentless negativity has poisoned them against thinking (and acting) for themselves.”

            That’s a deeply offensive comment, TRP. Makes you look like a small-minded, mean-spirited, nasty piece of work.

      • David H 4.1.3

        Why call it a Parenting Failure??? They are 19 and 17 they are considered adults in every aspect of their lives. Drive a Car Buy Shit on HP and go broke. They can Drink Smoke Join the Army /Police/Navy. But these like the Airforce are being gutted by the Nacts, And the lines for even the most basic job is in the hundreds. And all they hear is Silence from Shearer on All the crap Key’s pulling, and they don’t see any alternative to the morons in power. Mana and The Greens are too small to ever Govern alone, unfortunately, So if it means voting in a bunch of self serving ‘old guys, to get out other self serving ‘old’ guys, they say Why bother, they’re all the same. Nothing to do with parenting at all.

        Now Shut up and join the 21st century, the days of telling a teen what to do are long fucking gone! And they signed the Anti asset thing, as did I, if you really must know. And the reason was because it’s for the good of ALL, and not the for the good of a few greedy pricks.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Good on them for signing the petition. But as they aren’t on the electoral roll, their signatures don’t count for anything. They’ve wasted their time and the time of the petition organisers.

          You’re the adult, David. They look to you for guidance, and always will, even when you are an old, old man. However, in political matters, it appears the negativity you feel really does stop you giving them good advice. That is a parenting failure, as I see it. If you are telling them that they will never succeed, that’s its all too tough and they should stay disengaged from society, then you are bright enough to know how that is likely to play out.

          However, if they are engaged enough to want to sign the petition*, then why aren’t you suggesting they go on the roll, so their effort counts? Not just because it’s a legal requirement, but because they do have an influence. They do have a say. They do have a vote. If they are not put off from exercising their right, that is.

          * The petition still needs signatures, folks. I’m told a few thousand more are needed to cover for people like David’s kids who signed but aren’t on the roll or failed to give an accurate address.

          • David H

            Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

            As to being negative Have you been asleep since the NACTS took power???? the biggest negativity I have seen has come from the Labour benches, because they don’t even talk about whats wrong with this country, unlike the people in here, and if I am negative and you don’t like it, Tough shit. NZ has been in Negative mode for the last 6 years.

            • fatty

              Well it’s blindlingly obvious that TRP and fatty are not parents of young adults or they would not even start to bring that sort of argument here. Tell an independent teen what to do. Tui Time there

              What argument did I bring that is no longer valid?

  5. just saying 5

    So, if there is an appetite for social democracy the Greens and Te Mana will ‘soak it up’?

    It’s really just a coincidence that the tribe of voters who would benefit from a change from National to Labour-led, under the current “centre left” regime is the comfortable middle-class* And this iwi just happens to be the one that the party powerbrokers, and all the MPs and their advisors belong to, associate and socialise with, listen to all but exclusively.

    And looking after these special people, puffing up their pillows, pandering to their predjudices, just happens to be the best way of furthering the interests of all New Zealanders. It is in fact the only way.

    It’s really just a pity there’s no alternative.

    *People as yet untouched by the depresssion other than by a growing sense of unease….

    • Olwyn 5.1

      What you are talking about is a party world view dominated by courtiers and careerists, who either want the party to deliver them a cool job among “those in the know” or who want to transform the party’s focus to be better aligned with their own ambitions. Hollow men stuff. I think any party is vulnerable to this when it loses light of what it is supposed to stand for. I notice, on the odd occasion when I hear Matthew Hooton on RNZ, that the “centre” he speaks of is the centre of 2007; the centre he still occupies, and from which many who think they are middle class have since been turfed. In fact I think that a first step toward becoming electable as a Labour Party might be to end Matthew Hooton’s contract if he has one, or stop talking to him if his advice comes free. His conception of a centre left party is in fact a watered down centre right party. Furthermore, he is the enemy of conviction politics because such politics have little need for middlemen such as himself.

  6. geoff 6

    1) Hammer the Nat’s: Dotcom has done a great job, as have the Greens. Labour needs to pull its weight and not allow GCSB videotape debacles to happen again.

    2)Have better policy: Yeah like properly costed housing policy. Labour, get your ducks in a row before presenting policy. Also, R0b, shifting to the left is completely doable right now. You just need leaders who are competent and who are truely left, not cardboard cutouts.

    3)Turn out the vote: NZer’s only vote out a party, not vote one in. Is that the line? If that carries any truth then this point ties into point 1) Hammer the Nats, so turning the vote out entails getting the electorate angry at the Nats, rather than getting them angry about those bloody bludgers

    4)Cooperate cooperate cooperate!: Totally agree. What’s happening with Shane Jones’ having a go at the Greens? Also, I’ve heard that Shearer has been bagging Green’s housing policy. If so, not a smart move.

    The Labour leadership would do well to listen R0b here, they need to improve their performance a great deal and cease cutting their nose off to spite their face.

  7. Ron 7

    In my opinion Labour needs solid policies and most of those policies do need to be left of centre.
    The policies need some boldness. Wish washy will not cut it.
    I would suggest
    1. Get rid of SOE’s and move back to Government Departments.
    Electricity should a full Government Department Stop the silly split models. One Department responsible for all Electricity generation and Distribution.
    Housing back as a Government Department. It should have a firm policy to help NZer’s into housing.
    if private firms cannot build quality affordable housing then the Government should do it
    Consider using the American system of HUD & HEW, It makes a lot of sense to have a minister responsible for Health/Education/Welfare as the three areas are intrinsically connected. If there is a failing in any one area it will affect the other two. If people do not have good health there is little chance they will get good education, Likewise it is pointless to consider Housing with Urban Development. They are connected and should move together.
    Dump the Area Health Boards and bring control directly under Health Department. One point of focus for all health matters

    2. Transport. Move Rail permanent way and train control and Roads infrastructure under a single authority. Rail would pay a fee for use of permanent way the same as road transport operators already do. It would be the job of the authority to consider best use of money and ensure that both road and rail have access to all parts of country. The Railways would then be responsible for providing good reliable transport rolling stock and a service that meets the need of New Zealanders

    3. Social: Announce a full Royal Commission into Gambling in NZ. To focus on the the whole subject including whether we have casinos at all if if we do what controls should be imposed on them.
    What are the benefits and harms of gambling. Should private gambling be banned?

    4. Alcohol. It is well past time that we look at the harm that alcohol causes in society. Might be well worth an enquiry to look at the whole subject with a guarantee of action on recommendations. Do we really want bottle stores on every corner. Watching the ‘Sevens’ footage last night one would have to question why any civilized country would want to pander to people that just drink to get wasted and cause mayhem in the process.

    5. Broadcasting. Come up with a proper Broadcasting policy, support a people owned Radio and TV system that gets back to the inform, educate & entertain of previous years. Ensure that private radio/tv operators cannot hog the system to detriment of the public. Private Radio should; be limited to one or two genres per company. It is stupid to allow two large companies to own just about every radio station in NZ. Let Radio network have a talk and a music network that is it. Someone other company can have some other mix. Likewise with Media Works. We might then get operators willing to broadcast more fringe areas of music. It seems amazing that we have no private radio that offer classical music, no country or blues stations, no jazz etc etc.
    SKY television should be regulated and some of its profits should go into the system to provide funds for NZ on air.
    It should not be allowed to run both a pay and a free to air channels.
    The Government channel broadcast system should be allowed to compete in the pay TV area by marketing a FreeView+ which would be chargeable
    Channels such as BBC, ABC should be rebroadcast as a chargeable service.
    Government Broadcasting should have a charter and it should be structured in such a way to guarantee freedom from government interference.
    Radio should be moved to a digital platform now. This could be used to encourage a wider range of broadcasters.
    Kordia should own the Fibre in NZ and licence the use of such fibre,

    These are just a few ideas that would be good for Labour to consider when making its policies but along with new ideas we need new blood in the party. The old guard needs to be out of office by next election with a new fresh people with new ideas. Michelle Boag managed to do this for National but Labour seems reluctant to draw up party lists to ensure the deadwood gets dumped. Likewise with electorate seats. We need good strong candidates selected not because they have friends in the hire achy but because they have good policies ideas and can articulate them to the public. It would be good to start pressuring some of the older electorate members to stand down before the election. Good chance to get new people into House.

    Enough for now

    • marsman 7.1

      Great stuff Ron, makes good sense.

    • fatty 7.2

      I agree Ron…

      I like the way you have pointed out the failure of the PPPs in points 1 & 2.
      Then 3 & 4 cover gambling and alcohol – two often forgotten issues that cause poverty and violence in NZ
      Your point 5 is also useful if we want to resist the dumbing down of society. I haven’t seen Seven Sharp, but here is a review of how sadistic it really is.

    • Wayne 7.3

      Very pre 1984.

      There is not a chance in hell that Labour would abandon SOE’s and go back to Govt Departments. And it would be crazy to do so. By and large they sell services in the market, which is not what Govt Departments do.

      For instance electricity can be bought from Trust Power, Vector and Contact, along with Mighty River, Meridian and Genesis. That is why the Govt is going for a partial privatization. The SOE’s are similar to their private (Contact) or mixed ownership (Trust and Vector) competitors. Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

      Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange. You would see a better port, more able to meet the competition from Tauranga. But I know this is heresy on this site!

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.1

        Why would you put them into a Govt Department?

        Simple: to destroy competition in the electricity market, and in fact, to destroy the electricity market itself, and in doing so supply power to homes and businesses at cost.

      • CV - Real Labour 7.3.2

        Now I know The Standard loves Ports of Auckland and hates Ports of Tauranga, but it is pretty obvious which is the the better port (not Auckland!). But in my view Ports of Auckland would benefit from having say 30% listed on the stock exchange.

        No, you destroy competition between ports, and instead have an amalgamated public entity which owns and runs a co-ordinated port strategy for all of NZ.

    • David H 7.4

      I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet and also after building all the infrastructure back up to legislate to keep the Rights thieving paws off of them. As for Alcohol Personally for me you could ban it I have seen first hand that damage it can do. Also stop the complete waste of money criminalising people because they want to grow and smoke a weed. A weed that’s one of the best pain relievers out there. NZ needs to have an unhassled medical marijuana scheme as well. We need a benefit system that does not vilify the people who need help, and the has a payment that is above the poverty line. a system that helps people back into work not one that hinders at every step. They need to have a taxation scheme that’s fair that taxes at all levels of income. More public transport and less motorways.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        I totally agree they also need to fund a second cable for internet

        Just require 50% of the shares.

        Pay the current owners a fair price.

        Done by this time next month.

  8. marsman 8

    Labour, the Greens and Mana need to collectively jump on Paula Bennett the moment she opens her mouth so as to dispel, refute and expose her lies about Welfare. Ditto Hekia Parata about Education. Ditto Bill English about Finance. Ditto Steven Joyce about the Economy, Tertiary Education. Ditto Gerry Brownlee about Transport, Christchurch rebuild. Stop the lying scum dead in their tracks don’t give room to move.

    • Ron 8.1

      I am not sure that achieves anything. Instead of jumping on Government members we should be shouting our great policies over and over so that public knows exactly what we stand for. Attacking anyone tells a lot about the attacker but not much else.

      • CV - Real Labour 8.1.1

        I think you draw up a message calendar (I’m sure Shearer’s highly paid staff have started one, although it seems largely blank right now) and schedule time and effort to attacking the Govt, and time and effort to promoting great alternatives.

        • billbrowne

          I don’t think they really need to spend any time and effort on attacking the government – everybody can see their shit already.

          Now’s the time to ignore that sideshow and promote their own vision

    • vto 8.2

      Agreed. Call them out each and every time.

      In the same way Key called out to Goff “show me the money”, grab an easy line and apply it over and over and over and over to each of Bennett and English and Key etc. Get aggressive ffs (and to dispel a seemingly common myth in NZ, aggression is not violence, aggression is not nasty, aggression is merely assertive, bold, energetic).

    • felixviper 8.3

      marsman, in order to be able to do that, Labour would have to fundamentally disagree with National in all the areas you mention.

      It won’t be very effective to shout “YOUR IMPLEMENTATION IS SLIGHTLY FLAWED!”

      • Naturesong 8.3.1

        You could use a slogan like … “Wave good bye to higher taxes, not your loved ones”.
        Worked for National.

        Reduce GST back to 12.5 (or 10%), and exempt food etc, and outline policies which would attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand ….

        • Grant

          You have got to be joking the only thing that will attract New Zealanders back to New Zealand is much higher wages. No government either National or Labour/Green can makes this happen only more growth in higher paying jobs and a more highly qualified population can make this happen. A higher GST is better because it catches tourist dollars, people who don’t pay tax and people who spend more than they earn. If anything we should raise it higher and cut the income tax rate more but only the bottom rate.

  9. The opposition parties should work on getting New Zealand refugees* in Australia and elsewhere to vote, there are at least 565,000 New Zealanders living overseas. They would vote Labour, NZ First or the Greens as they were forced out of New Zealand by the shit economics of the National party.

    *Yes refugees (perhaps political refugees considering the state of the welfare system in New Zealand), because New Zealanders have few rights in Australia in terms of welfare, employment and education.

    • Skinny 9.1

      It’s interesting you point out the oversea’s vote. Last year a close friend who now lives( 18 years) in Switzerland came home for a holiday, she was appalled at the low wages, cost of living, house prices. She is ashamed of not voting previously & is next time. She is as i remember a swing voter, in the short time she was here & following NZ online  she cannot stand Key & the damage National are causing, however  Shearer.. she liked something about him. So there we go Shearer has a likable attraction to flowery voters. 

    • Grant 9.2

      Another rubbish post they have been pouring out New Zealand long before this National government came to power. This government has not done much to reverse the trend but to blame it just on National is just stupid. Its about wages something governments have very or no control over.

  10. Why try to grow the left vote,when one of those in the drivers seat is and has ignored
    left voters now and in the past.
    Labour are now firmly of the ‘light blue’ hue and have no credibilty of being on the left.

  11. CV - Real Labour 11

    And they aren’t. For all the criticism leveled at Labour’s leadership, the Greens and Mana leadership aren’t doing any better at moving in the polls.

    So, sorry to say it, but simply moving Labour further Left isn’t going to do it.

    Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis, and the reason why is simple.

    People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

    But they don’t want to see the Labour Stage Show performed as a cover by the Greens. Or by Hone Harawira. They’re just not The Real Thing.

    Labour voters like the deep red symbology and mana of Coke The Real Thing, not that crappy stuff in a Green labelled bottle which admittedly tastes quite good when you try it but you wouldn’t ever buy with your own money because it’s just not The Real Thing.

    So what happens when the Coke The Real Thing Company decides that its future is in a reformulated but milder, more middling, better focus grouped NEW COKE? Well, a bunch of its die hard fans get pissed off and start complaining loudly and actively inside and outside the company. And a lot of its other customers say nothing much but quietly stay at home and stop buying your product. A few might start buying that shit in the Green labelled bottles (and find that its not too bad, even though its definitely not The Real Thing).

    In other words, the critical flaw with using the Greens and Mana (and the Maori Party) as stalking horses to test out the polling viability of being a properly left wing Labour Party is that they are NOT THE LABOUR PARTY. What you are missing here is the vital scientific tool of blinding. Put the Greens Housing policy in a Red Labour Folder and give it to the focus group to examine. My bet is that its score will be SKY HIGH. It’s what they expect from a Real Labour Party and people like their expectations to be met.

    So while Labour continues it’s dalliance with being a centrist party because that is the sensible thing to do according to its strategists, it’s ceeded a full 20% of the electoral vote to: the Greens, Mana, the Maori Party, and especially, to the biggest party of all of those: The I Don’t Vote Party.

    • Ron 11.1

      yes, yes Yes

    • r0b 11.2

      Morning, r0b. If I may, I find some fault with this analysis,

      Morning CV! Yes of course – that’s why we’re here…

      and the reason why is simple

      If I may likewise raise an issue – the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

      The center-left formula works (and doesn’t cannibalise the votes of other Left parties). I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

      • vto 11.2.1

        I don’t think he is saying hard left, he is saying true labour left instead of mealy mouthed watered down left. Clark imo was a bit of each.

      • The Fan Club 11.2.2

        Both of you are wrong, I think. The last Labour government was barely centre-left; it didn’t actually do much on a large scale to deal with the legacy of Rogernomics. The next Labour government will have to deal with that legacy. But it’s not going to be hard left either.

        I think the how-far-left question is a bit pointless. Especially look at KiwiBuild. Bold policy, not exactly hard left, but very much breaking with post-Rogernomics orthodoxy.

        Jordan Carter (may he return to us swiftly!) used to describe the problem of the Labour party under Clark as being a liberal party with a social democratic membership, and the problem now being how to turn that liberal party into a social democratic party.

        • Skinny

          I figured you followed your mum into social credit principles & probably still carry their torch mum’s Fanny ‘.’

          • The Fan Club

            And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.

            • felixviper

              And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out.

              • Polish Pride

                Regardless of what you think of TFC or his mum, his idea is important as is they way you respond to it. The mentality of your approach towards him is the sort of thing that will switch some/many voters off, If you are serious about wanting Labour in power then you need to listen to peoples ideas and treat them and their ideas with a great deal more respect than you just have. You don’t have to agree with the idea, but you should treat it and the person behind it with respect.

                “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                There are a number of people who have come on here because they see things aren’t working and are looking for solutions and like mided people. Instead they get belitted and insulted. Then they go away and tell 10 other people etc.
                But then perhaps you don’t understand the impotance of a brand and how easy it is to damage it.

                • felixviper

                  I don’t think you realise that “The Fan Club” is specifically here to cause damage to the very brand you’re trying to protect.

                  ps why are you bringing TFC’s mum into it? Bit creepy mate.

                  Actually how about you come out on front street and tell me exactly what I’ve said to TFC that’s so bloody controversial.

                  • Polish Pride

                    I should probably have put the reply under skinny’s, but it was directed at both of you.
                    A long time ago I was a National voter.. My preference is now left but I see pretty clearly that they will not solve the problems either. The point is that in life I have changed my position on things many times as new information has come to light or an experience in life has changed my thinking. The thing is you have the opportunity to change the thinking of every R winger that comes on here. It may not be today, It may not be tomorrow but I can gaurantee if you attack the person you will never change their thinking…

                    I can see how the world can become a much better place either through the Right being in power or the Left. Through the right it will be through unlimited greed and excess and the eventual collapse of the system that will probably result in a lot of pain and destruction along the way.
                    Through the left it will be through a gradual transition to a much better and fairer system. It should be far easier to change someone from righ to left than it would be the reverse…

                    Don’t waste those opportunities.

                    • felixviper

                      So your answer to my question is…

                      ps interesting that you identify TFC as a right-winger.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No don’t identify TFC as any particular persuasion.
                      What was so controversial that you said to him … nothing much

                      His comment – “And lo! the Standard shows again why nobody will ever bother actually engaging with you nutters, because the wages thereof are badly understood and vaguely misogynistic insults.”

                      Your comment in response …
                      “And yet here you are, hard at work, day in day out”

                      Your comment does not make what he has said untrue… in fact it could be taken as accepting what he has said as true but not caring that some on this site are like that.
                      Here’s a question for you was your response adding value to the conversation ?

                      By the way I’m not here to protect any brand at best I see Labour as the lesser of two evils (with the exception of the last 3 policies announced so perhaps they are starting to get on the right track) and that is still not a reason to vote for them in my book.

                    • felixviper

                      Forgive me if I was mistaken in assuming I knew what you meant, but I took all that stuff about not missing an opportunity to sell left-wing ideas to right-wingers to mean that you thought TFC was presenting such an opportunity.

                      As for what I think I might have achieved, probably not much. But TFC has been here every day posing as a devoted Labour Party member and concern-trooling the hell out of these threads, so maybe a few more people are aware of that now thanks to you and I ;)

                      But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that I treat everyone with different ideas the same way I treat obvious trools like TFC.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I agree Polish. It doesn’t really matter how Fan Club gets treated so much as it matters that hundreds of people will read the thread. Many of them will just see personal attacks and get turned off instantly. Unless the purpose of The Standard is to start and maintain an exclusive club, we should be careful what we post. I try to be and think I’m generally successful except with deranged conspiracy fruitcakes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The only answer here is to accept moderation to a somewhat tighter standard. Which I would support because it would turn the Standard into an instant MSM hit and quadruple its exposure.

            • Skinny

              Ok Fan Club no offense intended, just got a tad annoyed with some of your belittling comments yesterday. 

              Point taken Polish Pride.  :)     

            • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

              The Fan Club
              One nutter doesn’t make a (basket) case such as you have described. However it takes one to know one if we’re going to trade cliche insults.

        • geoff

          Gee TFC, you’re so politically savvy. We’ll see how far that attitude gets us when unemployment breaks 10%.

          • The Fan Club

            What the fuck you idiot I’m on your fucking side here.

            • geoff

              You’re not on my side when you’re slagging off The Standard and trying to claim it is irrelevant.


              The Standard is front and centre now. I think Annette King’s presence here yesterday could mean the caucus vote was very close and that ABCers feel they need to engage with us here to save their skins.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous. Some of us have been badgering the Labour leadership since the Clare Cullen bullying incident about the need to engage with the Standard in a mature way. I’d like to think that maybe the penny has dropped and that they now see that TS is here to stay and reflects valid left opinions that they need to listen to. Here’s hoping, anyway.

                • geoff

                  Geoff, the caucus vote was almost certainly unanimous

                  How could you possibly know that?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Ever since Shearer hobbled Cunliffe at the conference the numbers have swung back behind the leader. There hasn’t been any sly leaking of the numbers yesterday, which suggests to me that the most, if not all, voted confidence in Shearer. If there had been a protest vote of any substance, this most leak prone of caucus’s would have let the cat out of the bag by now, don’t you reckon?

                    • geoff

                      Quite the contrary, I think that if it had been a unanimous vote in favour of Shearer then the leadership would have told the papers.

                      Considering that it was an anonymous vote and that only the whip should know the result (I cynically believe the leadership knows the result) then I don’t think it is plausible that MPs who voted against Shearer would have leaked yet.

                    • felixviper

                      Indeed Geoff. TRP is making some huge assumptions – or perhaps misdirections is a better word – about where the leaks in this most leak-prone caucus come from.

                    • geoff

                      Exactly, felixviper. The leaking usually comes from ducky and why would he leak a result that undermines shearer?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Good points, both of you. However, the leaking is not all from one camp and I really don’t think that a serious anti-Shearer vote could be hidden. There doesn’t even appear to be the usual beat ups on the right wing sites or speculation in the media about the vote. Some carping about the numbers not being released, of course, but, honestly, if there was a close vote (and remember close only means a dozen or so MP’s saying no in the 60% plus one system), then I think we’d know about it.

                      Nah, my gut feeling is that Cunliffe gave a broad signal in Parliament last week to those with lingering hopes not to bother rocking the boat. At least for the time being.

                    • felixviper

                      Quite possibly true. Still makes me wonder why ducky wouldn’t leak a unanimous or near-unanimous result though.

                    • geoff

                      Because it wasn’t unanimous felix. I have recently heard that it was very much not unanimous. ;-)

      • Olwyn 11.2.3

        “People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%.’

        That is not a list of hard left values.

        • The Fan Club

          No, but are you backing those commitments up with money? Where does that money come from?

          • vto

            From the 4 million souls who inhabit these islands, where do you think?

          • CV - Real Labour

            The only three places that it can come from. Taxes, borrowing and printing.

          • felixviper

            It’s the same money your lot are spending, TFC. Just spent on better stuff.

            • The Fan Club

              How? Where’s the money coming from and where’s it going? What are you cutting from the present public expenditure or are you raising taxes?

              • vto

                All sorts of changing and massaging and re-prioritising obviously.

                Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                you ask some odd questions

                • felixviper

                  Odd questions for a supposed leftie Labour party member, sure.

                  Not that odd for a NPRU trool though.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  Its coming out of the economy and then going straight back in.

                  That’s a classic line, I like it.

                • The Fan Club

                  Handwave handwave handwave. That’s a Romney-esque set of sums that don’t add up vto. Put the cuts on the table, or explain the tax raises you want Labour to campaign for.

                  This is the problem with the Standard comments section: there’s no coherent program to engage with. What should Labour be doing? Magic, apparently.

                  I mean, how on earth is: let’s make the sums add up, let’s make sure our promises are ones we can actually follow through on, a failure to be insufficiently left? Or is the problem that you guys don’t have a grip on reality-based politics, and being forced to confront these issues is too unpleasant to handle?

                  • Um Fan Club who is making up any signs? Olwyn is talking about some basic principles. I have never seen a Labour Administration spend money that it did not have.

                    I had you placed as a staffer, maybe you are but in a different party.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      If the LP employs this idiot, the party is in worse shape than even Hooten would dream of.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Honestly I really am not a staffer micky. Not quite sure why y’all are so obsessed with the old Fan Club, I don’t really give a fuck who y’all are.

                      Of course Labour’s never spent money it doesn’t have. That’s cause we’ve spent the past century jumping on people who want us to make unfunded promises. Find the money for the promises: put up or shut up. And you want us to start chucking that away so instead we can be “conviction politicians” or whatever the hell this week’s codeword for Cunliffe is?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      That’s precious, Fanny, it’s not as if Key and English aren’t spending $300M per week that they don’t have.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yes because clearly Labour should model ourselves on the Nats? WTF? Are you guys all complete idiots? Labour will need to put forward a credible economic platform. That means no spending that isn’t costed and accounted for. And that means if you want to start splashing money around, you’ve got to be raising taxes, or cutting other spending.

                    • felixviper

                      Enough of the “we” and “ourselves” TFC. That ship sailed a while ago.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                    • vto

                      same amount of money silly, just spent on different things. Net effect on amount of money spinning in economy = nil. As for which ones, don’t ask me I don;’t make the decisions, although I am quite happy to.

                      Anyway, derailer, this mini-thread was about values and guiding principles. Gotta them right first dontcha big fulla? Eh? or not?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Yeah you’re right, I’m a paid up member in good standing and you guys, by and large, aren’t.

                      Clue: you’re yet another one in the wrong party.

              • felixviper

                I’m not doing either TFC, I’m not the govt or the opposition. I’m just pointing out the vacuous nature of your questioning is all.

                How about you ask the same vacuous question of the National govt and tell me what answers you get. Hint: they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.

                • TheContrarian

                  “they’ve raised plenty of taxes in the last 4 years already.”

                  Indeed – I am no longer smoking Dunhills and bought a pack of rollies the other day for the first time in years. I only smoke about two packs a week but that is $36 whereas $40 of rolling tobacco will keep in smoke for 2+ weeks.

                  • felixviper

                    Yep, and there’s also ACC, Vehicle Registration, RUCs, Petrol Levies etc etc.

                    Oh and the 20% rise in GST of course.

                    Wave goodbye to higher taxes. lolz indeed.

                    • TheContrarian

                      It was sneaky political rhetoric:

                      “Oh I only meant income taxes”

                      Part of the game unfortunately

                  • bad12

                    Free yourself from the theft by stealth taxes of this Slippery lead National Government,

                    Dig a garden and grow your own, it is legal,

                    And vote Green of course,

                    (note: this has not been an official Green Party campaign note)…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried and failed at gardening. The only think I have kept alive is an anemic looking lemon tree, some odd looking tomatoes and a large San Pedro cactus.
                      When I last tried to grow chillies I wound up with Bell peppers.

                      I do try to visit the farmers markets though. For the same price as a red pepper and a cucumber at New World I can get a weeks worth of veggies.

                    • bad12

                      Your problem then is that you have failed to feed the soil the nutrition it needs to grow ‘stuff’,

                      A well fed soil will grow anything and i mean ANYTHING, the soil in my main garden was absolute s**t dug out from under my house, a year of feeding this soil everything from the kitchen scraps to cut up rolly paper packets and supermarket receipts along with every weed i have ever pulled from anywhere on my property has allowed me to become self sufficient,

                      My addiction is far more severe than yours, 100 grams a week, economics would dictate that i make best use of the garden to grow most of what is the greatest expense, thus freeing up monies which allow me to buy more of what is less expensive,

                      To address your previous comment: its just sneaky political rhetoric, yes you are correct,

                      However, sneaky rhetoric(and vote buying) have little detrimental effects upon the middle ground comfy with their degrees and the employment this buys them, the detrimental effects are actually felt by those on the income brackets below that comfy middle class,

                      And please don’t give me the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS because any fool can see that for what it is, bullshit…

                    • bad12

                      PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES…

                    • TheContrarian

                      I tried doing that too – bought a ton of soil, fertiliser etc.
                      I am not blessed with a green thumb it would seem.
                      I’ll try again sometime in the future.

                      I wasn’t going to give you the ‘poor should get a uni degree’ BS.
                      I think everyone should try for higher education but for reason of personal fulfillment.

                      But I realise that isn’t for everyone

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      One major success of having done the right thing with your soil is shedloads of WORMS. If you manage to get it to the stage to get that going, you’re on a roll.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “PS, dressing the lies of Slippery the Prime Minister up in terms of ‘sneaky rhetoric’ is simply not very clever spin attempting to deflect attention from what are in ‘fact’ LIES”

                      I am not trying to deflect or spin anything for anyone.

                    • bad12

                      If by Fertilizer you are referring to the chemical variety then that is possibly where the mistake in your ability to grow stuff has occurred,

                      Chemical Fertilizer if applied too liberally will act as a really efficient weed killer which is why you should instead use organic material as ‘food’ for your garden,

                      The rule of thumb being that if it came from nature and has little industrial chemical in it’s composition and will ROT in conjunction with soil and water it will make good ‘food’ for the garden,

                      You cannot over-feed a garden with organic material that has already broken down within the soil of that garden,

                      I have the luxury of growing 1 crop during a 4 month summer window,

                      Having such a long period of down-time in the growing cycle allows me not only to dig what are raised garden beds in a relaxed fashion by simply digging a spade width trench across the width of the garden once a week to bury the scraps,(along with a small bucket of organic compost),

                      That long period of downtime in the growing cycle also allows me to incorporate any weeds i have pulled from elsewhere on the property straight into the garden in the same fashion and allows both the food scraps and the weeds the time needed to break down to the extent necessary to become ‘food’…

                    • bad12

                      PS, if you bought a shitload of soil of the type sold in 40 liter plastic bags that also could be part of your inability to grow stuff,

                      Such soil,full of chemical fertilizer is notorious in an outside garden situation for leaching any growing capability away with each rainfall, it needs a more solid soil mixed in with it so as to ‘hold’ any nutrients introduced in place long enough for any plants to take up such nutrients over their whole growing cycle…

      • CV - Real Labour 11.2.4

        I want to believe that the public would rally round a hard Left Labour too – but is it just wishful thinking? Where is the evidence?

        Well it would have to fall into the category of “action research” :)

        the last Labour government won three terms in office. It did it from the center left – backing the sorts of issues that you raise – but in some cases (too many cases) rather cautiously.

        Or could it be more accurately described as centrist (in political-economic terms) + left (in socially liberal terms)? The more I learn about Labour’s changes to the benefits system, and only moderate realignment of the ECA, the less I am inclined to call Clark’s government “centre-left”.

        The political ability of H1, H2 and H3 as a team were quite something. In my view, a lot of Helen Clark voters kept that government in power, but they were not the same as Labour voters, and when she left, they left.

        Also I believe that the massive surge in private debt (and house asset prices) pushing huge amounts of money into the economy lay behind much of that electoral success. Cullen knew what he was doing, exchanging NZ’s public debt for private debt.

      • billbrowne 11.2.5


        Labour won three terms in office going on for 5 years’ ago (and the last election they won was touch and go) so I’m going to say there’s about 8 years’ worth of change in opinion.

        That change is gradual but it’s out there and it’s accelerating – and from what I can see it’s moving away from the tinkering around the edges market driven setting towards more control.

        Now is the time to start talking about an alternative way of doing things. There is still, just, enough power behind the Labour voice to push this – people will sit up and listen if they perceive the voice has credibility.

        I don’t think the Greens have nearly enough credibility amongst the general population to do this.

    • Wayne 11.3

      But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

      In any event the Nats obviously can also do health. It is no longer a natural advantage for the Left. In any event the Left seems to forget that National voters also want a good health service, since most do not have health insurance. Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue. When did you last read of a major health crisis?

      • Scintilla 11.3.1


      • Rhinocrates 11.3.2

        But most Labour voters don’t actually want socialism.

        Possibly most Labour voters, most people even, wouldn’t want “socialism” if it had that name because it has had so much mud smeared over it, but when pressed they would say that they do indeed want health care, weekends, free education for their children and so on – things that are all socialist in origin, but are taken for granted nowadays.

        Tony Ryall has virtually ensured it is no longer a political issue.

        I get your point there, but the best way to hide a fire is to set off a nuke, even accidentally, and Parata’s been dependable on that front. Nonetheless, Ryall, I have to admit, learned fast from his first stumbling media appearances and understands stealth, spin and media presentation in a way that a lot of other politicians should study. His work only seems apolitical.

    • McFlock 11.4

      People expect the Labour Party to be Labour. They expect it to be strongly social democratic. They expect it to back workers and beneficiaries, and public transport and conservation values and the arts and health and education 100%. Because those are Labour values. That’s what Labour stands for. That’s what Labour voters want to see from the Labour Stage Show.

      [citation needed]

      • CV - Real Labour 11.4.1

        Nah fuck it. What they really expect is Labour to continue BAU like National, but with a bit of softening around the hard edges and maybe some anaesthetic.

        • McFlock

          Dude, I know someone who voted national in 08 because “it was national’s turn”. When you talk about what “people” in general expect, you need to keep people like that in mind. As well as people who tick random boxes on the day, people who expect labour to follow their habits of the last 25 years, and people who have never heard of Michael Joseph Savage.

          That’s reality. You take the knocks democracy gives, because although it ain’t perfect it’s still the best system anyone’s come up with.

      • felixviper 11.4.2

        Srsly McF?

        • McFlock

          yep, see above.

          Some people expect labour to be truly left wing. But as to what most NZers expect labour to be, who the hell knows.

        • CV - Real Labour

          The majority of people dislike having their toe nails pulled out one by one with pliers and a blowtorch.

          [citation needed]

          • felixviper

            Yep, you’ve got to take into account masochists, and people without toes, and people who have never heard of pliers or blowtorches.

            That’s reality, it ain’t perfect, etc etc.

            • McFlock

              But that analogy is extreme pain directly and obviously caused at the will of a specific individual.

              What about folk who grow up thinking less extreme (but still serious) family violence is normal?
              Or the Stockholm Syndrome, where shared external threats can create strong emotional bonds between offender and hostage?

              Torture’s a funny analogy, but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be nationalise and be damned left wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

              • billbrowne

                If you’d written:

                …but for people to “expect” the Labour party to be de-nationalise and be damned right wing any time this decade, they’d have to simultaneously have an in-depth knowledge of Labour Party origins and a wilful blindness to the last thirty years.

                in ’83, you’d have been wrong too.

                Step changes can happen, they’ve happened before. I hope one happens soon – in the other direction this time.

                • McFlock

                  I have a slight problem with the logic that a previous unexpected reversal means that “people” a generation later expect a similar reversal any time now. Or that they’de be logically correct to do so (slightly more likely than the Mayan Apocalypse, but still unlikely).

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    Of course. It just means that your steady-as-she-goes complacency is unwarranted.

                    • McFlock

                      If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right.

                      It’s not, so you’re not.

                    • billbrowne

                      “If the government were likely to be a labour sole government, you might be right”

                      Oh, so Labour’s most likely partner, the Greens, are going to busily be urging Labour to the right???

                    • McFlock

                      no. the left. So I see no desperate need for change in labour.

                  • billbrowne

                    There are still a lot of “people” of that generation, and earlier one’s around, thank you very much, young man.

                    • McFlock


                      2.4 million aged 40+.
                      1.5 aged 15-39 (ie, not voting 20-odd years ago but likely to soon).
                      Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.

                      So just how many expect Labour to be old-school left wing in 2014?

                    • billbrowne

                      “Of those aged 40+, around half would be nats.”

                      Yeah, nats which were around when the nats were more socialist than today’s Labour party.

                    • McFlock

                      So seriously, how many potential labour voters do you think expect labour to be truly left wing? How many even have a rough idea of what that means?

                      I’m not talking about our KB brethren (and usually they are brethren) who scream “C0mmun1st!” at the thought of lightbulbs. How many people actually know of and want NZ implementing free tertiary education and primary healthcare systems and dramatically boosting benefits and the minimum wage, for example?

                    • billbrowne

                      How many do you know that don’t (not counting yourself) ?

                    • McFlock

                      I know a few who believe it’s unaffordable fantasy.
                      I know a few who try not to clutter their minds with politics.
                      And I know a few who simply vote as per their whim on the day (actually, that includes me, but my whims are between labour and everything left thereof, not the same breadth centred straight down the middle)

                    • billbrowne

                      Look, I’m gonna stop arguing with you ’cause you clearly don’t give a shit anyway.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I’ll just sit by waiting for the revolution by the socialist majority in NZ.

                    • felixviper

                      Sit and wait for the revolution? Perhaps it’d be better to methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes.

                      Either sounds better than blindly pretending there’s ‘nothing wrong with Labour’.

                    • McFlock

                      You say “methodically and purposefully work to achieve a series of related, gradual progressive changes”.

                      Part of that would be pretending that “voters attributing their personal poverty and unemployment to John Key’s macroeconomic policies” is totally as easy and automatic as “connecting the agony in you feet with the guy who just ripped your toenails out with a pair of pliers”.

                      Oh, sorry – you didn’t include “rationally” or “reasonably” as adverbs to describe how one works towards those changes. My mistake.

                    • felixviper

                      Err, no, it’s way harder to connect that because it’s a far more complicated relationship with a lot more moving parts over a much longer time-frame.

                      That’s why “gradual.”

                    • McFlock

                      That seems to imply that the torture analogy CV-RL floated was indeed bullshit, then.

                    • felixviper

                      Yeah. Either that or it implies that it was an exaggerated analogy to make a point rather than a direct equation.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, well I must have missed the point then. That’s the trouble with exaggerated analogies.

                      I thought it was supposed to illustrate that people associate “labour” with classically socialist ideals as naturally, fundamentally and automatically as they feel pain. Which is bollocks.

              • CV - Real Labour

                Torture’s a funny analogy

                What analogy? You thought I was using an analogy?

                You think the children stuck in the bottom 10% of the socioeconomic heap aren’t suffering permanent, irreversible psychological and physical damage to their health today, tomorrow, and in fact, every day?

                • McFlock

                  Analogy. Look it up. In that I don’t believe very many of them are being blowtorched and having toenails removed with pliers, and if a few are then I reckon it’s unlikely Key is the one doing it to them.

                  And yeah, I agree about the permanent irreversible damage. But my point is that it’s pretty abstract to connect that with mr smile&wave on telly.

  12. To add to my post,The greens are the genuine left,they walk the talk.

    • kiwicommie 12.1

      True that, next year the greens will get my party vote.

      • Ron 12.1.1

        The strange thing about Greens is that so many people seem to think they are a left wing party but talking to them I see a party closer to National than Labour. A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government. Governments have so many other areas they have to heed when they govern that pragmatism is an essential key to forming a good government. If Greens were somehow to become a government they would suddenly find many of their supporters attacking them for not staying true Green and that would be a novel experience for them.

        • Colonial Weka

          The GP already has experience of being challenged by its voters for not staying true enough to its values. Why do you think Bradford and Tanczos left? Because they were unhappy with the direction that the GP were taking. Which was to attract more of the middle NZ vote. Which puts paid to the other lie in your post, that the GP are fringe. You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

          • geoff

            You don’t get middle NZ voting for you when you are fringe.

            You can if you trick them. Don Brash (With help from the Labour party’s newist strategist, Matthew Hooton!) got awfully close…

        • fatty

          A fringe party is in the enviable position of not really caring about what they say as they are never going to be a Government.

          I hear this kind of statement often, such as…the minor parties can promote unrealistic policies because they’ll never get in.
          I have to disagree.
          Take Mana or the Greens for example. I am yet to see anyone show me how any of their policies are unrealistic. So long as their policies are taken together, they are not only possible, but also preferable. They usually depend on tax increases, and that is where they are supposedly unrealistic, and that is because Labour have normalised a neoliberal tax structure.
          To paraphrase Zizek…he says that the end of the world is more likely than the end of capitalism…we can imagine an asteroid ending civilisation, but adjusting our society to provide more equality, free education, better health systems is seen as impossible.

          There is nothing wrong with any of the Greens or Mana’s policies…the hegemony of neoliberal economics makes leftwing economics appear Utopian. Therein lies another danger for Labour if they chase the central vote…the more Labour embrace neoliberism, the more normalised it becomes, the more extreme Mana and the Greens become, the more ‘dangerously radical’ a coalition with Mana+Greens appears, the more centist voters will avoid Labour.
          Labour has been heading down this road for a while and we think it will lead us somewhere…time to pull a u-turn.

        • Naturesong

          If you have a look at the Greens Policies, they’re pretty firmly Social Democratic.
          I’d like them to be more Green than they are, but I also accept that they need to appeal to a wide range of people to have a voice.
          I have hopes that one day the New Zealand population will realize that the economy is a subset of the environment, rather than the current thinking that the environment is simply another overhead to be costed or ignored.

        • bad12

          Ha ha ha, you see a Green Party that is closer to National then Labour, best you get your eyes tested,

          But while i am having a giggle do you want to explain the why of your assertion…

        • Fortran


  13. shorts 13

    Labour has the policies – needs to articulate them a little better

    But the thing that could ensure victory – solid job creation ideas/schemes – the hands on govt thing I can see gaining traction if instead of “we will grow jobs” type speeches there were concrete plans, costed etc – plus there is no shame or reason why the govt cannot be the employer (chch rebuild, fixing up the infrastructure in the regions – road etc left to fall apart currently)

    And a voice of hope, not pie in the sky stuff but solid practical hope

  14. Blue 14

    You speak as if ‘Labour moving to the left’ means that Labour is a centre-left party and people are trying to move it hard left.

    Labour at the moment is actually a centre-right party, and people are trying to move it back to its natural home.

    The popularity of KiwiBuild shows that Kiwis still want what a real centre-left party can offer – using the power of the state to achieve things that the market can’t.

    That’s what I predict will appeal to non-voters, who of late have seen two similar big parties being all hands-off, tinkering around the edges, ‘the market will provide’ – and they think ‘so what is the fucking point of government if they don’t DO anything?’

    Oh yeah, and getting a leader people can connect with would help. So would getting a competent team who don’t spend all their time stabbing each other in the back and get their message out there.

  15. Pete 15

    Don’t forget Christchurch. The city swung heavily towards National and the need for certainty in difficult times. They’re now getting fed up with the government – in respect of the schools, the rebuild and the Environment Canterbury shenanigans. The “let’s build houses” mantra will resonate there too (and with the construction industry, who will want to keep busy as the rebuild winds down there).

    Keep an eye on the local body elections down there this year too.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 15.1

      Pete 15
      Brownlee has delayed a meeting in Christchurch so he can question long-term plans and finance for them. I wonder if he is heavying them – because he can.

  16. TheContrarian 16

    I also agree that moving further to left won’t help. Labour needs to capture the moderates (of which there are many) that could vote either National or Labour depending on who they feel more comfortable with at the time.

    You’re right in that more hammering of National is required. Labour just seems so invisible at the moment.

    • CV - Real Labour 16.1

      But “Moderates” are only interested in BAU.

      • TheContrarian 16.1.1


        Not an acronym I am familiar with

        • felixviper

          Business As Usual. Either that or Being A Unicorn.

        • CV - Real Labour

          Ahhh, sorry. Business As Usual.

          • TheContrarian

            I thought it described my cooking – Basted And Under-cooked.

            Anyway – I consider myself a centrist/moderate or whatever you (as many of my friends and family are too) and Business as Usual doesn’t cut it for me.

            Those moderates are the ones who can swing from National to Labour and back again. Just look at Nationals miserable performance when Bill English ran for PM – those moderates who voted National last year are the same ones who deserted the National party back then.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Business As Usual is a phrase commenting on the heading of the Titanic, not which shift of officers is on duty.

  17. Has anyone wondered why there is no strong opposition by labour against the nact
    govt’s policies? that is because nowadays labour can’t argue against them strongly,
    because they stand by what the nacts say and promote.
    It would be personally hypocritical of each and every caucus member to stand up
    and put up concerted effort to shoot the nacts down,they just can’t bring themselves do it.
    Pretending to give a continental,is just not acceptable.
    I don’t think people are wanting ‘hard left’ policies,as mooted by some,but a recognition
    for the core labour voter,with policies that include everyone, fairness in some policies
    also would help, a demonstration of the current labour thinking pattern was the housing
    policy,fine with those with the coin, no good for the ones who need a coin.

    • CV - Real Labour 17.1

      And more than that, there is a historical change in process VV.

      It started with the GFC, has progressed on to a resource constrained debt driven depression + sovereign debt distress, and in the next 5 years will enter a more serious phase of energy depletion, ongoing financial collapse, mixed in with increasingly severe climate events.

      The way our political parties are playing around now assumes the pretend normality of Business As Usual where tinkering around to buy a bit more time is all that is needed. So at this rate we are going to drive face first as a country into these troubles.

      • Shudder,oh dear CV

        • CV - Real Labour

          Notice how economic growth was going to return in 2013/2014? Then 2014/2015? Now it’s 2015/2016?

          Regardless of whether Labour or National take power in 2014, expect that growth forecast to be pushed out to at least 2016/2017.

          By then, even the sheeple are going to notice that something is not quite right, just as the truck finally pulls up at the works.

      • geoff 17.1.2

        That sort of thing could never happen to Hobbiton, CV!

      • Scintilla 17.1.3

        This headline caught my eye – could be “trillions” worth of oil under Coober Pedy in the great aussie outback. Needs to be fracked of course and could make Aussie self-sufficient in oil if it’s accessible. Interesting reading the comments section, what our cuzzies over the ditch think of it.


  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 18

    I understand that the delay before WW2 was declared, from appeasement talks by Neville Chamberlain actually gained Britain some time to make war preparations that were gravely needed for defence and survival. I wonder if anything at all has been gained here by the abject servitude of our politicians to big business and the ready dollar so pollies can keep BAU?

  19. Rosie 19

    Point 3 “Turn out the vote – the non voting block is huge….”

    If we can for just a moment put Parties, their policies, what they represent and how they brand themselves, aside and consider the non voting block. Its this group that that is one of the greatest blocks to success for the Left in NZ. As you say Mr Robins “motivate just a fraction of them to vote left and we win”.

    As I mentioned yesterday on Open Mike its this group that we need to educate and motivate and its a really big task.
    So what does the leftie individual do? Just for starters, talk to your friends and talk to your families. Talk to your workmates, if you’re lucky enough to have workmates. Ask them why they don’t vote. What would encourage them to vote? What would they like to see change, and what changes would benefit them in their lives? (Most folks are more interested in what benefits them personally. Some couldn’t care less about the environment or social well being). I often hear the response that they feel disconnected from “all that government stuff” and that all parties are the same. So folks need to know how govt works every day in their lives: from all that GST they have to pay on everything despite the fact that they earn a fifth of the wage of another yet have to pay the same rate of consumer tax – to what would happen if you have an accident and need to go to hospital, but there is no public hospital to go, only private ones. Just examples, but folks need to be jolted out of this belief that they don’t play a part in democracy, and that they are powerless to influence outcomes. Voting is only a start but it the most basic and important one.

    If your social and work network all think like you then think about what you can do to reach non voters and open up a discussion? For instance, some time ago on the Standard the Drinking Liberally group announced they were starting up again in Hamilton. A social leftie group such as this would be a good platform in which to discuss the challenge of turning non voters into voters, and formulating strategy – if one was more inclined towards doing something more than having a chat and drink that is. (which sounds like a perfectly acceptable past time in itself) What ever happened to that group anyway – are they up and running?

    If you’re like me and are in the depressing situation of being surounded by non voters and Nat Party voters you have your work cut out for you. Either way, we have to work collectively and individually to engage the massive non voting block. Apart from the examples given above I don’t know how to go about it but I think its worth discussing ideas around it. Its too important to ignore.

    • bad12 19.1

      Hers 2 little suggestions that would probably get the interest of many in the registered but did not vote category,

      A policy of providing ALL New Zealand citizens with affordable accommodation at 25% of income within 10 years, (for those with an income of less than $40,000 annually),

      A policy of Government provision of 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit…

      • Rosie 19.1.1

        Hi Bad12. Good ideas. I wonder though, how do you get policy announcements to reach the ears of the non voter? Of all the non voters I know, (and alot of the Nat voters incidentially) they don’t watch any TV news, they don’t read papers or online news. The young ones of voting age I know, whose young lives and futures are so shaped by policy think voting is pointless. These non voters, of all ages, are so distanced from their role in democracy that before they can be hooked by policy they need to be engaged and motivated.

        Secondly, can I just ask for clarification around your first idea of providing accom at 25% of income. Is it all NZers as you first mention or is it “those with an income of less than $40,000″?

        Also, in your second idea around govt provision of work for 6 months work per year for anyone with a current requirement to seek work while in receipt of a welfare benefit. What about those who are unemployed but are not entitled to any form of benefit?

        • bad12

          Oh believe me the non-vote bloc does not just include the ‘switched off politics young’ and you would be surprised how fast a Government policy that will effect any particular cohort of people in society will spread through that cohort even if in the main they don’t watch the TV news or read newspapers,

          The first part of my accommodation for all at 25% of income for all would obviously be for those who could not buy a home, obviously proposing that Governments should pay peoples mortgages for them would be pretty outrageous, $40,000 would seem to be a ballpark figure where although a willing and able worker in the economy it would be near impossible in today’s economy for such a person to purchase property,

          I haven’t given serious thought to your second query befor, presumably you are speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse that earns enough to support both partners…

          • Rosie

            Hi bad12. Thanks for that and thanks incidentially for the conversation we had on Open Mike a few weeks back re Charles Chauvels allegience or not to DS. I gather from that conversation around your (changing) political party memberships and voluteer work that you have seen the outcomes of election time policy announcements and therefore have a view of how those non voters can be swayed. Maybe your experience and observations can overcome my doubt of the ability of policy to affect voters. I do hope so.

            I mention non voters not only as the young people that I know but those who are most affected by the current govt policy who are friends and family and they are often renters, home owners, low and middle income earners and parents. Its the indifference/disillusionment of these folks that is such a problem. This is why I was having a wee rave about it. Their non participation in the most basic and important of our democratic process, voting for the govt of their choice affects not just them but all of us.

            Finally. Yes, I was speaking from the point of view of a person with a spouse who is earning so is therefore not entitled to receive any form of benefit. The thing is one income (unless its a massive one) doesn’t cover a households expenses these days. It did in the past but not now. I don’t want to bore you with my experiences of being without an income for over 18 months, except to say there must be thousands in the same boat, with any savings having been bled out due to paying bills. What about all the single people as well who have lost their jobs through the recession or if you’re a govt employee, throught the short sightedness of that govt employer and you couldn’t get a benefit because you had savings. You might have been half way to saving for a deposit on a house, and then its all gone. Just a thought. The F’d up-ed-ness of our country is so deep and on so many levels (economic, social and environmental and all shades of those) that its hard to find a place to begin.
            At risk of sounding hopelessly naive, I would hope that the solution would be in the populations’ will to participate in voting, just as a starting point.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    A lot of valid stuff here about the underlying issues, but we can’t ignore a pretty fundamental part of Labour’s problem. The people.

    I’m a social democrat. I’m not “hard left”. I’d like a Labour/Green gov’t, but I accept that electoral artithmetic and entrenched power on the Right can mean we may have to settle for gradual gains rather than the New Jerusalem.

    None of that turns me off voting Labour. What turns me off is … the Labour MPs who benefit from the vote. Not a hypothetical, liberal-social democratic-centre-left Labour party. But the actual Labour party. Or rather, the Labour caucus.

    I really don’t like them very much. Why would I? They don’t speak for me, about me, or to me. They are the personification of Mallardism. It is all about them and their turf. They love their private club, they want to keep it, and I’m not in it.

    Policies and strategies won’t change that, because they can be torn up on a whim – they are as deep as the latest poll. What makes a difference is believing that the people espousing the policies and strategies actually give a damn.

    Fire in the belly. Not to keep their jobs (like Shearer at the Conference) but to change the world – at least, our little bit of it.

    The saddest part of Labour today is not just the Old Guard, but discovering that the New are no different. Hipkins, Robertson, Adern and co are all very capable politicians, but they could be capable in the service of socialism, or centrism, or centre-right Blairism, or anything …

    And Shearer is just as shallow, minus the capable.

    I have no idea what motivates these people. A book they once read, a speech they once heard, a faith, a philosophy, a life experience, a … what? I know they want power, so they want my vote. Other than that, I have nothing except a vague hope that they stand for something Labour-ish, and a suspicion that they would stand for something else if it got them on the Treasury benches.

    Labour (“social democratic”) ideas and values are worth voting for. The people representing them in Parliament are not. Sorry.

    • Socialist Paddy 20.1

      Well said sir.

      • Tim 20.1.1

        Aye! That about sums it to a T – as I said when engaging with some twerp who is under the misapprehension that he’s god’s gift to humanity – Labour Party ‘scene queens’.
        I’ve no doubt that’ll cause many (including some poster called Fanboy or FanClub or something similar) to assume some disaffected old-fart is commenting, until you realise it encompasses an entire extended family (and friends) across all demographics (age-wise, economic “class’-wise, and by whatever other measure).
        See you in the summer time Labour – you actually had decades to hold true to principle. For me, it ain’t gonna happen and there are alternatives – admittedly not perfect, but a damn sight better than what’s on offer.
        What’s sad for me is that several people that I once held a certain amount of respect for (and I include the likes of Annetted King in that), have been captured.
        The arrogance of them is phenomenal! I’m picking that Trev was a good teacher tho’

    • Bill 20.2

      I know they want power, so they want my vote

      And that’s unfortunately the be all and end all for the majority of the Labour caucus. And it’s why Labour will tank at this coming election. Grow the left? Castrate the power of caucus and its ability to go on its merry way regardless. Unfortunately, that option’s now in the rear view mirror. And…Shearer on radio (from a link provided on ‘ts’ this morning) is reiterating that he doesn’t read blogs and pays no attention to what ‘non-representative’ bloggers are writing.

      Labour is fucked.

      And that means that in a couple of years time, and whether or not Labour lead the government, that I’m fucked, and that thousands of people in a position either parallel to mine or comparable to mine are also fucked.

      • billbrowne 20.2.1

        Yeah and they’ll be fucked under a do nothing Labour govt.

        I mean people expect to be fucked over by the NATZ it’s just part of the cycle, but if you’re gonna get the same from Labour why go to the trouble of voting for them at all?

        • Colonial Weka

          It’s not really any trouble though, is it? Half an hour on a Saturday, once ever three years. Anyone who can’t seen any difference between life under NACT and life under Labour, esp for those at the bottom, really isn’t paying much attention or thinking very well.

          • billbrowne

            Yeah, but if you can’t really see a difference between the two – and at the moment you have to look pretty hard to see it you can either:

            Flip a coin
            Vote for the other lot because it’s time we had a change
            Go to the pub instead (mmm beer)

            • Colonial Weka

              bill, if someone who is looking can’t see the difference then they are willfully blind.

              CV, agreed. People who would otherwise vote on the left but choose not to vote are in effect endorsing a NACT govt.

          • CV - Real Labour

            The problem is where people have consciously decided not to vote, as opposed to a random “got busy, meant to but didn’t get around to it”.

            • billbrowne

              Well, I can’t use my electorate vote – cause that would be for Hipkins and I want him to lose.

              And so far Labour hasn’t earned my party vote so they’re not getting it.

              • Colonial Weka

                Fine, but it’s not like you don’t have some choices about who to vote for.

                You can give your electorate vote to the GP candidate. That sends a message to Labour. Although you do realise that if Hipkins loses, then NACT get another electoral seat?

          • Bill

            I guess I’m not paying much attention or thinking very well then. Or maybe I am, and am fully cognisant of the fact that Labour really are only Labour by name now. And they have tied up traditional expectations of labour to an extent that it poses problems for the Greens and Mana.

            My only hope under a Labour led government would be enough pressure being applied by the Greens and/or Mana. But then, this current pile of shit drops are probably more inclined to attempt hobbling the Greens and Mana between now and the election in the hope they can go with Winston Peters and The Hair and such like, while leaving the Greens and Mana on the cross benches or supplying confidence only.

            • Colonial Weka

              Bill, all of that is true. But in terms of people bothering to vote, can you honestly say that having another term or two of NACT would be the lesser of evils?

              btw, my frustration at the moment is watching so much discussion on ts about what Labour should or shouldn’t do. I don’t even know what that means. It’s not like the caucus are going to do anything different than they’ve been doing, and it’s not like they’re going to listen to anyone else. So that leaves the membership. Maybe the LP activists here need some time to come to terms with the leadership outcome, but at some point the hand wringing has to stop. In this sense I kind of agree with bad12 – except I don’t think the negativity is counter-productive, I think it’s unproductive. Activists need something to do that is going to go somewhere, and I can’t see that as being supportive of a Shearer-led Labour party. So what are the other choices here?

              • Bill

                Personally I’d like to see more Green and Mana input here. To be honest Labour politicians popping over to drop a disengenious comment here or there is just annoying b/s. I’d far rather what I imagine would be some actual engagement from either Mana or Green mps.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Labour will absolutely need the Greens. Let’s assume a best case scenario for a Labour General Election result of 35%

              They’ll have to find another 14% from smaller parties, assuming a 49% target to form the Govt., once wasted votes are taken into account.

              NZF + UF will be able to deliver to Labour 8% equivalent, combined. That leaves Labour short 6%.

              But the Green Party could certainly deliver 14% to Labour alone, if they go strongly. To hit the 14% equivalent contribution, the Green Party in negotiations should form a lockstep negotiating coalition with Mana & Maori. In other words, Greens/Mana/Maori negotiate with Labour as a single block.

              This is a high risk strategy for the Greens (as it opens them to National attacks of being extreme Left) but the pay off with these polling numbers is this: you cut the centrist/right wing Dunne out of the equation. You take the King Maker card away from Winston. You fuck National’s options. And for the Greens: you get a strong arm at the portfolio negotiating table because Labour cannot play NZF, Mana/Maori or UF off against you.

              Oh yeah, one other minor bonus: the 6th Labour Government won’t be steering right, whether it wants to or not.

              • Bill

                So the question becomes not so much ‘How to grow the left’ as ‘how the fuck might the left deal with Labour’.

                Which is a far more sensible question. Bar some remarkable mea culpas and step change, Labour are done. Finished. But they’ll ride the 100 year old tradition they don’t adhere to any more in a dishonest grab at power, no? Leaving the left to do – what?

        • CV - Real Labour

          They didn’t last time. Will they in 2014?

      • just saying 20.2.2

        Me too. I’m probably in a comfier spot than you right now Bill, but with hundreds of thousands of others, we’re in the same boat.

        And I’ve been have exactly this conversation with others too. Desperately trying to find a way out, but knowing all too well that life will just become more and more untenable. And not in some far off time when most people will be in the same boat. Fucked and blamed for being so.

        People wonder why we are angry. Pathologise our anger.
        What would be truly pathological would be accepting a status quo that is hell-bent on destroying us.

    • Colonial Weka 20.3

      “I have no idea what motivates these people.”

      Dave Kennedy posted a couple of days ago about the differences between the Greens and Labour.

      “The Green Party’s principles are philosophical overviews that provide guidance to the party’s operations as well as policy development. The Green Party also has vision statements, value statements, mission statements, success criteria and long term goals for internal operations as well as the work of the party and this means the party is very clear about its direction. As an institution the Green Party functions using contemporary management models that many successful organisations and businesses use. The inclusive, consensus approach to developing all of these principles and statements generally ensures that both the parliamentary caucus and the membership sing from the same song sheet.

      Labour’s principles appear reasonable and do cover similar themes to the Greens, but they read more like a list of human rights rather than a blue print for governance. What does “Democratic Socialist” really mean? Even Wikipedia struggles to define the term, and states “…groups of scholars have radically different definitions”. I also can’t find anything on the Labour Party website that clearly describes its political philosophy or broad priorities and the Party relies on its leadership to articulate and define what these are. This puts a huge weight onto the shoulders of David Shearer who is expected to provide the vision that the rest of the Party will follow. When the likes of David Cunliffe attempts to fill the void with a vision of his own, it is seen as a leadership challenge. Despite the size of the Labour Party it relies too heavily on the abilities of its leadership rather than a widely understood political philosophy and established policy and the National Party are easily able to exploit this weakness.”

      The whole thing is worth the read –


    • Gobsmacked, well said +1

    • Rhinocrates 20.5

      That’s good, honest and clear, Gobsmacked.

      Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

      Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you have a speech problem (Churchill and Claudius were stammerers, and most of us have probably seen The King’s Speech ), if faced with an awkward question for which you do not have a rehearsed answer, then you talk about your principles. Clark could do that but Shearer can’t because they’re vague and unconsidered at best or he thinks that such things don’t have gravitas or whatever.

      (I’ve just had a daydream of someone training Shearer to say “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck, fuck, fucking, fuck. Bugger, bugger, buggedy, buggedy, fuck, fuck, arse, balls, balls, fuckety, shit … and tits.”)

      Probably-fictitious anecdotes about roof painting beneficiaries and salt-of-the-earth types in Napier pubs mean nothing. They’re earnest attempts to appear to be someone who empathises with the working class, whom I suppose the ABC crew imagines wears cloth caps and braces and speak in rhyming slang or use “Opp North” accents and say “Ee, baa goom!” and “Ecky thoomp!”

      Someone please tell the man the difference between an anecdote and a parable. Hint: anecdotes are bullshit, while parables actually mean something and their meaning is clear – there’s no dog-whistling so high-pitched that it threatens to break all of the glass in my flat.

      But it’s not just Shearer.

      The whole fucking front bench/Politburo; the has-beens, the superannuated Rogernomes, the technocrats and their Mini-Mes are just as bad. Now it’s robotic repetitions of how we all have to be unified, we have policy, we’re – oh I love this – “holding the government to account”, but there’s no substance.

      Competence, substance, consistency and above all, representation.

      Oh shit, I just realised that I’m using the wrong language. I’ll try again… translations are added for normal human beings.

      Labour needs to embed core brand values in the market’s perception and manage that brand.

      It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)

      (In English that would mean making people aware that you have a fundamentally different and superior character)

      Everyone has to be on-message.

      (And in English again, that means we don’t want sideshows like Su’a William Sio spending time campaigning for homophobia when he’s meant to be employment spokesperson or Shane Jones being the Member for Sealord or Trevor Mallard being alive and above ground)

      Build persistent personal brand identification

      (Show some loyalty and maybe you’ll get some in return.)

      Become media-friendly

      (Don’t be total fuckups in front of cameras)

      In-tune with media cycles.

      (Be ready with a release within twenty minutes of an inquiry, like the Greens, and not two days late).

      Be cyber-savvy

      (Wax cylinders, pony expresses and even valve wireless sets and mimeographs are history. Pigeons are an urban pest, not cutting-ege communications. The Internet is not simply a means of replicating these things. Realise this and cope with it. Propagating boob jokes (Trevor!) doesn’t count.)

      Synergise social media platforms.

      (Translation: girls at primary school talk to people, have facebook accounts and cell phones… maybe we should talk to people, and keep the dialogue going, not just blither patronisingly at them from behind an autocue)

      Viral blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

      (Say things that will carry, propagate – and in the way you want them to.)

      Incentivise collaborative structures

      (Don’t shit on your potential coalition partners.)

      Our focus groups-BANG!!!

      (Sound of a gunshot, abruptly curtailing some egregious nonsense)

      In order to maximise market penetration we must synergies our customer base through meme-linking, which is best facilitated by embedding a narrative through selective icon-propagation via social media platforms…

      (Horribly, I could translate this into English, but I refuse to do so)

      Maximise brand identity.

      (Wilkins, someone just mentioned something called a “soul”? Could your research unit google that for me? Yes, a “soul”, but I don’t think it has anything to do with shoes. Yes, they were quite clear about that and indeed, when I looked puzzled, they spelled it out to me: S-O-U-L)

      • CV - Real Labour 20.5.1

        Someone here (my apologies to that person for my amnesia) once said that the root cause of Shearer’s verbal, um, ahhh, where’s my bit of paper… awkwardness was the lack of a clear, consistent and coherent set of principles.

        I gotta say you nailed it yourself, right here:

        It’s not a speech disorder, or even a cognitive disorder. It’s a moral disorder.


      • Tim 20.5.2

        “It needs a “Unique Selling Proposition” – or USP. (Never miss out on a good acronym, it carries… like, you know, a “meme”.)”

        Yep, except it’s the tool of the tool. I mean SDLC once meant Synchronous Data Link Control, until some pratt popped up and stole the acronym and made it “Systems Development Life-Cycle” ffs! He/she did so no doubt when pushing some bullshit project akin to NovoPay.

        Acronyms are the language of the bullshit artist.
        Still (even in here) we’re only capable of talking about political engagement in terms of different “brands”. (Which – incidentally, is the reason the once-held respect for the likes of Annie died when she forgot a few principles in favour of -shit! I can’t use the descriptor – but my daughter is one – a [shhhhhhh F.H] -and I’m actually proud of her for it). Really – it was at that point as a professional politician supposedly committed to a cause that she should have resigned!

    • Murray Olsen 20.6

      That pretty much sums them up for me, Gobsmacked. No fire in their bellies, no passion to change the world. Heads so far up their own orifices they think playing stupid games around points of order and speaker appointments are worthwhile pursuits. Nothing people. Just apparatchiks who seem to have chosen their party by accident rather than conviction.

  21. Murray Olsen 21

    There is a huge difference between someone who won’t get out to vote Labour because they don’t think it will be different enough from NAct to bother, and someone who won’t get out to vote Mana or Greens because they don’t think they can get into power. The fact that Mana and the Greens do not get a huge percentage of the vote cannot be used to claim that Labour would not get more people out with a bit more of a left vision.

  22. Skinny 22

    I think I’ll pop up to Waitangi and critique Shearer & co. A sticky question here and there. A bit of a serve to Shearer for asking for my ph number so he could call to gauge my opinion to his idea’s. Talks cheap DS.

  23. GeoffC 23

    Labour’s dilemma in positioning within the electorate is primarily of identity.
    It straddles different groups within he electorate namely the left block social democrats, the marginalised voters who look to labour for saviour type social policy and the wide wide middle who are view equality as meritocracy opportunity.

    Labour faces the rise or capture of the party by the Liberal sect, the supporters of neo lib steady as she goes and a mishmash of other identifiers.
    Unlike the Tories who have one clear ideology, just different shades, a captured or imbedded societal modern construct founded on materialism and individualism labour is simply lost confused and weakened by the need to reposition So as to capture the middle.
    This is the easy path…the harder path is to, in a meaningful and real manner, reorganise, reenergise and utilise the community.
    Rob talks about the left block and labour being of the centre left but what does this mean in actual empirical values of the voter and electorate makeup in modern terms.
    The middle is wide and moving…previous labour promises we’re to buy votes by locking in individual identifying policies such as student loans WFF…this time around labour must swing rightwards and pander to the centre to gain the engaged voter middle.
    My advise after looking at social democratic movements in Europe etc is this is not just a battle for the plush cushy seats or govt power but a war for the betterment of all new zea landers.
    Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.

  24. xtasy 24

    Wow, this thread is “overwhelming” to me, I did not read and post on it, due to other priorities. But it is a great incentive to take the inclusive approach and to share the positives that come out of it. Surely, what we presently get from Labour cannot be it as the whole solution (if at all).

    Keep it up, I agree with most, I am stressed out, I will be back with hopefully some new info on benefit and health related issues soon.

    Never stop considering a totally new, inclusive, more wide spread, leftist party, that could replace the Labour Party we still have, that has disappointed too many. Surely, there are alternative ideas and plans, it just needs to have the right people get together and start a new movement. It will be a total success, given the total disillusionment with politics and most parties at present. I am DEAD SERIOUS about all this.

  25. BeeDee 25

    “…a war for the betterment of all new zea landers….Time for labour to step up quickly…a new direction bold enspirational full of piss and vinegar were the new zea landers the people control the market, the banks and the future.”

    The “war” for betterment is already being fought and our main opponents are the NZers favouring the global corporations who are buying up the land, who need the expanded roading system to get resources out of our country, disregard environmental protection, who would like to change our labour laws much further than they have already, overstep our intellectual property laws, keep financial regulations which favour their investments here, etc.

    Any party wanting to govern for the betterment of NZ citizens has to walk a tightrope between the desire for a better life for all NZers and that enormous pressure from outside factors Or else… or else some sort of chaos will be created to keep our expectations very low. Impoverishing citizens to the point where they think voting will not change anything is such a strategy.

    The protests against the TPPA is one obvious example of the ongoing fight NZers are engaged in. Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA? Labour is against the sale of publicly owned assets – and is against the borrowing by the present government to fund the “roads of national significance” . I’ll remain a Labour Party member.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Would Labour, if in government, be able to walk away from the TPPA?

      Nope. AFAIK Goff and Parker are both strong proponents of the TPPA.

      • Te Reo Putake 25.1.1

        Correct, CV. And it’s already been acknowleged by Labour that buying back the stolen assets from overseas investors may not be possible under the TPPA, because of onerous penalty clauses. That and the empty coffers we’ll find after the election which will make buying them back even more difficult.

        • Colonial Viper

          Just warn potential foreign buyers now that their investments will be at risk if they proceed.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Today’s classifieds
    Are you looking for a challenging job working with ambitious people? This could be the role for you....
    Imperator Fish | 23-09
  •   NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION ON THE TPPA 8 NOVEMBER 2014 1.00pm TPPA – Kiwi’s Fight Back! Political leaders from the 12 TPPA countries, including John Key and Barack Obama, want to finalise a political deal when they meet around...
    NZ – Not for sale | 23-09
  • Thanks for your support
    So we’re a couple of days on from Saturday night’s results. I’ve had a bit of sleep, which has helped, but I’m still experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. As the person in our Caucus with overall responsibility for planning...
    frogblog | 23-09
  • Death by a thousand cuts for Cunliffe
    When Stuart Nash called for David Cunliffe to immediately face a confidence vote in caucus, he was inadvertently playing into Cunliffe’s hands. Cunliffe knows when a confidence vote is held, he’ll lose. He has no hope of getting 60% plus...
    Occasionally erudite | 23-09
  • The Election That Left One Third of Us Behind
    No one should begrudge John Key and the National party the right to celebrate an impressive election victory. It is little consolation to those who opposed them that the win is very much a personal triumph for the Prime Minister...
    Bryan Gould | 23-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #31: The City Centre is a Local Centre Too
    31: The City Centre is a Local Centre Too What if the city centre had local shops like other dense places? Day 31 continues a series looking at things missing from the city centre; in this case thinking about local...
    Transport Blog | 23-09
  • Women’s Representation and that radical notion of equality
    The provisional election results and gender representation are: National: 27.8% women Labour: 37.5% Green: 53.8% (hopefully down to 50% on specials) NZ First: 18.8% Māori: 50% And obviously Act and United Future bring in two men. This all adds up...
    frogblog | 23-09
  • Doubting the election result
    You might have noticed or even signed a petition to get the 2014 election recounted. To date, 8,586 people have put their names to this petition, which in terms of political activism in New Zealand is quite a lot.The people...
    The Jackal | 23-09
  • *That* Herald story on polls
    I have just submitted a formal complaint to the New Zealand Herald about its reporting of its last preselection poll on 19 September. Here is what I said: COMPLAINT - NOT FOR PUBLICATION Dear Editor, I write to complain about...
    Polity | 23-09
  • ACT are rorters
    ACT, the party "standing on your own two feet" and opposing rorts is to be offered a Ministerial role explicitly to give it more resources for party business:The Prime Minister was today is talking up the possibility of making the...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Give Away!
    Film distributors Madman Entertainment have kindly sent us four DVDs of the BBC documentary on the London Underground: The Underground: Narrated by Julian Barrett of Mighty Boosh fame, each of the six episodes is an incredibly in-depth and unblinking look...
    Transport Blog | 23-09
  • The problem with Labour
    And as night follows day, post-election we have another toxic round of Labour bloodletting. Obviously there needs to be accountability in the wake of an electoral thrashing, and a leadership vote is part of that. But there are good ways...
    No Right Turn | 23-09
  • Rebecca Mclean – Hero of the Week
    I sometimes wonder about my fellow New Zealanders and why they would support political parties that seem determined to increase the wealth divide between rich and poor. How could they possibly not care about impoverishment, and instead appear to only...
    The Jackal | 23-09
  • “Something Hugely Dramatic”: The 2014 General Election
    Three In A Row! Defying political gravity, Prime Minister John Key wins a third term with a higher percentage of the votes cast than he received in 2008 and 2011. In the words of Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury, National now enjoys...
    Bowalley Road | 22-09
  • “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”
    This is just a quick note about an event on tomorrow night. Our good friend Dr Sudhvir Singh from Generation Zero is speaking at the Sir John Logan Campbell Annual Lecture on “The emergence of an urban generation of Aucklanders”. Details are...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • What Labour forgot: You’ve got to earn it
    Labour MPs travelling to Wellington today for their first post-election caucus will have their heads crammed full of theories, accusations and advice from all and sundry. But here's the message for them to keep front and centre whichever direction they...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Key’s victory no mandate for dirty energy
    “What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in" -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.” – Howard Zinn.The opportunity to create genuine transformation in society often...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-09
  • Time for a Bluegreen Party
    Congratulations to the National Party. To increase your majority in your third term indicates solidly, reflects public confidence in the leadership team and an endorsement that one’s policies are more attuned to the preferences of voters than those offered up...
    Gareth’s World | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Where to now for transport in Auckland?
    In some respects Saturday night’s election result changes nothing from a transport perspective. It seems as though the government that will be formed over the next three years will be remarkably similar to that we’ve had for the past three...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The strategic dimension to a third term
    Government is always a balancing act. For this term the balance is between an urge in the National party for business-friendly action and staying in touch with the wider public. It doesn’t matter for that balancing act whether National keeps...
    Colin James | 22-09
  • Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To 20th Sep 2014
    Article – Scoop Insights The following five press releases were the top performing press releases (by NZ page view numbers) according to Google Analytics on Scoop for the seven days to 20th September 2014.Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To...
    Its our future | 22-09
  • The rebuild
    Morgan Godfery has described his sense of alienation in the days preceding last Saturday’s election – when poll after poll painted an ever-more-accurate picture of the scale of National’s eventual victory – as being akin to ‘a full-scale culture shock’....
    Bat bean beam | 22-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the troubled aftermath of Scotland’s vote
    Column – Gordon Campbell A week can be a very long time in Scotland’s 300 year struggle for independence. The “ No” vote last week that seemed to end the cause of Scottish independence for a generation, has turned out...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-09
  • Deranged
    Saturday's result was a shock for the left. And for some, it was apparently so shocking that it can only have been the result of fraud. So they're petitioning the head of the Electoral Commission for a recount. Naturally, they...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • The Wall Street Journal downplays global warming risks once again
    As has become the norm for media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, just before a half million people participated in the People’s Climate March around the world, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece downplaying the risks and threats...
    Skeptical Science | 22-09
  • Kiwis concerned about the TPPA: Day of Action
    Saturday.November 8 . 1.00 pmAuckland ~> Aotea Square Facebook EventHamilton ~> Garden PlaceFacebook EventWellington ~> The Bucket Fountain Facebook EventChristchurch ~> tbc Facebook EventTimaru ~> Bay Hill Piazza Facebook Event...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 22-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #30 Small is Beautiful
    30: Small is Beautiful What if we decided small can be beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder sees beauty through the lens of what they hold dear. When it comes to lifestyle beauty relates...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate chan...
    Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced...
    Hot Topic | 22-09
  • Some acting experience an advantage but not required.
    If David Cunliffe were an actor, his preferred acting style might best be described as Shakespearean – declamatory, expansive, grand in tone and gesture, rich in soliloquy. It is a style suited to the stage but unfortunately totally unsuited to...
    Brian Edwards | 22-09
  • Labour and Greens voters are more alike than different
    Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever, to discuss the National-Labour divide without mentioning the Greens is almost pointless. (I’ll...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • The truth about our ‘rockstar economy’
    There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early. He told us it was because there were various international gatherings that the prime minister had to attend. But...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Post-election blues
    Frank Macskasy has written an interesting piece on the Daily Blog about things Labour needs to take away from this election.Some people picked him up on his claim that National has not increased its vote over 2011, pointing out that the special...
    Te Whare Whero | 22-09
  • The minor parties – some thoughts & questions
    The Greens They ran a blinder of a campaign. Their polling numbers were looking great, as they closed on 15% in some polls. Then they got just 10.02% on the night (although their vote share is likely to rise by...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • The threshold has to go
    Another election, and once again we've been reminded of the unfairness the two major parties built into MMP in an effort to stack it for themselves and prevent competition. ACT got 14,510 votes and one seat in Parliament, while the...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • Was Scotland’s referendum rigged?
    Things haven't gone well in Scotland after their historic referendum to choose whether they became independent from Britain or not.As it turns out, an apparent majority of 55.3% chose to stay with mother England.However, there has been a growing disquiet...
    The Jackal | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now
    People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a...
    Public Address | 22-09
  • New Fisk
    John Kerry’s rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives
    Amongst the post-election entrail reading, I've seen a couple of people suggest that one of the reasons labour lost was due to a lack of tactical voting by Greens. If only Green supporters had held their nose and voted tactically...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • On a wave of mutilation : where to now for Labour?
    2014 was a disaster. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaster has now been surpassed. The party will be beginning (another) process of determining what went wrong, and what can be done to fix things. I hope they don’t throw all of...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • O’Connell St officially opened, time to close it again?
    On Friday evening the new O’Connell St shared space was officially opened. The street is by far the best shared space created in Auckland to date thanks in large part to the historic buildings in the area which feel like they’ve been...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The issues that matter
    I'm not bitter and twisted. No, really, I'm not. Much....
    Imperator Fish | 22-09
  • Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
    In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Where to from here for National?
    If John Key wants to have a stab at a fourth term as Prime Minister, there’ll be no one in the party to stop him. He’s weathered the Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth storms, and come out the other...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing governm...
    Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little...
    Hot Topic | 21-09
  • Semi-diamonds in the very rough
    In the midst of the Labour soul-searching (which may be ongoing for some time) I want to give some praise for three especially good Labour performers in the election: The first is Stuart Nash. Stuart has worked his butt off...
    Polity | 21-09
  • A failure to properly report on Climate Change
    I'm not sure if you've noticed the mainstream media, after a grueling 2014 general election, are too engrossed with their continued promotion of brand Key to bother properly reporting on matters of more importance like Climate Change events.While the international...
    The Jackal | 21-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Reward offered in latest seal shooting
    It is with shock and dismay that our organization learns of the latest shooting of a New Zealand fur seal, this one on Stewart Island. This is the third such crime to reach our attentions since May this year and...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Taxpayers Forgotten in Ministerial Horse-Trading
    Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments reported on Radio New Zealand , that he is considering giving Act MP David Seymour a ministerial role because “When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
Public service advertisements by The Standard