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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.

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    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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