web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Guest Post – Labour Candidate Deborah Russell

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, February 25th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: election 2014 - Tags:

Deborah RussellThis is a guest post by Deborah Russell who the Labour Party candidate for Rangitikei.  She holds a BCom (Hons) in Accounting and Finance, and a PhD in Philosophy.  She has worked as an accountant in the private sector and the public sector, and she has been a self-employed consultant.  She has taught Philosophy, Political Theory, Ethics, Business Ethics, Professional Ethics, Accountancy, and Taxation at universities in Australia and New Zealand, and she has worked as a senior policy analyst for the Inland Revenue Department.  Dr Russell is currently a senior lecturer in Taxation at Massey University.

The first time I came up against a capricious boss, I was a student.  I was working in a shop during the summer holidays.  I worked hard in the run up to Christmas, and my supervisor was pleased.  I was looking forward to the party in the staffroom after late closing on Christmas Eve, but about 4pm that day, the boss and owner of the store came in and threw me out.  “You’re not working tonight.  Off you go at 5pm.”  No explanation, no courtesy, no acknowledgement of my hard work.  Just an order to get out.

It was a small incident, but it was one that taught me about vulnerability.  I had no redress, and no power, and because I needed that job, I couldn’t afford to fight back.  I was vulnerable to his whims and his power.

I do not want to live in a society where people who have less are vulnerable to being ordered around by people who have more, where people who have less are treated as being less worthy of consideration, and are shut out from participating in our society.

I am standing for Labour because I want to help to build a society where each person can flourish, and can live the good life.  This is an ancient ideal, coming to us from the Greek philosophers, and it’s a very contemporary ideal, manifested in our welfare and health and education systems.

In order to flourish, or to live a good life, people need to be free to order their own lives.  They need to be able to choose work they enjoy (or can at least tolerate), live where they are without the threat of being ordered to move away from their community, attend church or not as they see fit, marry or not marry whom they will, and so on.  They can live free from interference, and free from the threat of interference.

As it turns out, we are committed to this ideal in New Zealand.  We may not think of it in the abstract terms of freedom and equality, but in practice, this is how we organise our society.  In our country, if you become ill, then you will get medical care.  If you lose your job, then you will be able to eat, because you will receive the unemployment benefit.  If you are young, then you will receive a top quality education, good enough to take you anywhere in the world.

All of these things make us secure.  We can live free, without needing to bow our heads and scrape before the powerful.  Each of us is worth just as much as anyone else.

That’s the ideal.

The reality however, is sadly different.  Too many of us live in profound insecurity, worrying all the time about whether you will get enough work hours this week, or about how to pay for the kids’ school books, or what you will do if the car breaks down, or you get sick.  Then there’s finding enough money to pay the rent, and trying to manage in cold and draughty houses. Too many of us are looking nervously over our shoulders at politicians who tell us we are failures, business people who see us as cheap expendable labour, or a social welfare system that makes onerous and ultimately pointless demands in return for granting us subsistence.

If you live in a constant state of worry and fear, then you cannot flourish.  And that’s what we have forced on too many people living in New Zealand, through undermining our health and education and welfare systems and developing a horrid narrative of blaming the poor.

Even on straightforward prudential grounds, it’s a bad thing to do.  Each of us may be subject to outrageous misfortune, losing jobs or health or housing, and so becoming vulnerable to the caprices of the powerful.  Our social systems provide a form of insurance for us, so that if the bad times come, then at least we will be able to put food on the table and educate our children so that they have a chance to do well.

Back in the 1930s, we made an agreement in New Zealand, that we would look after each other when times were hard.  Our welfare system was never luxurious.  But it was enough.  We need to renew that agreement.  Not through some sense of charity, but because we are committed to real equality.  It’s the kind of equality that means that even if a capricious boss cuts your hours of work, you can still manage to get along, because there will be something else out there for you.

True equality is hard work.  It doesn’t just happen because we say some magical words.  Instead, we need to work together to ensure that each person has the basics of life.  Enough to live on, and enough to be able to participate in our society, as free and equal citizens.  “Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and something to hope for.”  That’s what we’re aiming for.  It’s not much, and yet it is the most audacious goal we can have.

45 comments on “Guest Post – Labour Candidate Deborah Russell”

  1. karol 1

    Thanks Deborah, for this. I like that you have included a focus on the importance of social security. I have yet to see those kind of ideals realised in current Labour Party policies.

    How can those abstract ideals you have expressed be realised in practical ways?

    I checked where this quote comes from:

    ”Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and something to hope for.”

    It was said by Norman Kirk apparently.

    To that I would like to add something about community and how people spend their time when not “working for the man”.

    Wasn’t Marx’s ideal of a the day, one where there was time for choosing to do what one chose, rather than what was chosen for a worker by the employer?

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    Excellent post! I wish there were more candidates who are prepared to say they want freedom and equality as a basic right. There’s more than a few current MP’s who’d be confused by the concept.

  3. fender 3

    Great post, excellent narrative, and what a fine candidate Rangitikei have. Will be great to see you do damage to the large majority National have in this seat that they have held since 1984.

  4. Stephanie Rodgers 4

    Great post, Deborah!

  5. her 5

    We’d all like to make the world a better place. What I’d like to hear is how you plan to do it.

    • Tim 5.1

      Indeed …. Josie Pagani would like to make the world a better place too. How does your plan coincide with hers – if at all?
      …. and do you “tend to agree with Mathew” ever? or do you put principle and belief over and above the party political machinery?

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Deborah, given that one of your specialist areas is taxation, I’d like to know your personal views on the contribution to economic inequality in NZ played by:

    the highly regressive tax that is GST
    this country’s lack of a comprehensive asset/wealth tax (including the lack of an estate tax).
    whether you feel that large foreign corporates like the banks, Telecom, Apple, etc. are paying their way in our society given the monies they extract out from our communities.

    and whether or not you see changes around those (or other) tax areas as playing a pivotal role in reducing income inequality in this nation.

    • On its own, GST is regressive, and I find that easy enough to demonstrate. It’s a little harder to show that it’s regressive if you combine it with income tax. If you’ve got a person on say $100,000 income, then that person pays $23,920 income tax, leaving them with $76,880 in the hand. Say they spend $20,000 of that on interest or rent, and the rest on GST-able goods and services. They would pay about $7,419 on GST, giving them a total tax bill of $31,339, or 31%.

      Compare that to someone who earns say, $50,000. The income tax on $50,000 is $8,020, leaving them with $41,980. Say they pay $10,000 in rent a year (a little unrealistic, but perhaps there’s an accommodation allowance or something like that), and they spend whatever else they have on GST-able goods and services. They would pay $4,171 GST, and their total tax bill would be $12,191, or 24%.

      (Obviously, there are lots of other confounding factors, like Working for Families, and student loan repayments, and all that. But I’m trying to present a simplified example.)

      So while by itself GST is regressive, when it is combined with progressive income tax rates, it is not so clear that the overall tax package is regressive at all. What we need to think about then is the relationship between GST rates and income tax rates, and the overall package, not just one tax in particular.

      But as you point out, we don’t have a Capital GAins Tax. I think this is a big gap in our tax system, for a variety of reasons, but for me, it’s mostly to do with equity. If you earn your income quickly, through labour or through buying and selling (retail etc), then it is taxed, but if you earn your income slowly, over a long time, then it’s tax free. The artificial distinction between short term income and long term income ends up creating serious unfairness.

      (I’ve got to go and get my kids from school. I’ll come back to your other questions later on.)

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Thanks for your detailed answer, Deborah.

        My main point was not so much that the overall personal tax situation comprising GST and income tax is now regressive in absolute terms, but that it is, in relative terms, far more regressive than when GST was first introduced.

        Also in your example of the person on $100K p.a. – it seems a stretch to say that such a person spends every dollar spare they have in a way which attracts GST, instead of saving it, or investing it paying off their house or in some other financial assets in a non-GST attracting fashion. Someone who is earning the median wage of $42K pa would be far more likely to be in that situation, I reckon.

        • Deborah Russell 6.1.1.1

          I’d have to go and look up some old tax rates and thresholds, and crunch through some numbers before I could make a reasonable comment about whether GST was much more regressive now than it was when it was first introduced. And yes, my example is very much simplified, and if we fiddle around with the assumptions, we can probably get a different answer. As you say, the person on $100,000 is probably spending at least some money on non-GST-able things, like investments, so that reduces her or his current average tax rate. The point is more that I prefer to look at a whole package of taxes, and benefits, and abatements of benefits, and try to think about whether or not an overall tax package is fair.

          • Herodotus 6.1.1.1.1

            The attackers on paye tax top marginal tax rates hits a nerve with me as most left siding contributors here centre all their attention of taxing the wealthy by paye tax scales. As all this IMO achieves is a divide and rule strategy. Even those who some may consider to be earning obscene salaries still pay their paye taxes at the highest marginal tax rate, so the govt collects what is entitled to be collected.
            How about how and Yet another blind follower who centres all the issues of taxing the wealthy by paye tax scales. No wonder nz is troubled, divided and rule allow in fighting between the workers. Even those who some may consider to be earning obscene salaries still paye the highest marginal tax rate. How about how and where wealth is concentrated or created at the detriment to nz inc. or how different mechanisms are put into place to allow some to take advantage of what the state offers yet contribute nothing ?
            Find out who the “real enemy” of nz inc/the state and place structures into effect to capture their contribution to nz. E.g. As a small token Nat did eliminate the stupidity of allowing depreciation to be deducted off an appreciating rental/investment property. But there are plenty of other areas that can be attacked.where wealth is created and then concentrated to the detriment to nz inc. or how different mechanisms are put into place to allow some to take advantage of what the state offers yet contribute nothing ?
            As a small token Nat did eliminate the stupidity of allowing depreciation to be deducted off an appreciating rental/investment property. But there are plenty of other areas that can be attacked, whilst many of these opportunities would fly over most people a coherent tax review is IMO required instead of reactionary responses from govts. That create a greater tax imbalance as those who can afford to manipulate the system do.

    • thechangeling 6.2

      Good post and plenty of thought provoking socialist ideals within it.
      I can’t help thinking though that to pay for many of those ideals our current tax rates are far too low (hence the continual creeping in of user pays (neo liberal) types of charges) compared to the ‘model’ nordic social democrat countries.
      I’d like to see a financial transactions tax (FTT) introduced along with the capital gains tax (CGT) as a first part of a progressive tax plan in New Zealand. GST as it is, is a standard of living attack on beneficiaries and the working/middle class poor in New Zealand so we need more ways to alleviate this via the taxation system as well as a host of other labour market related policy changes.
      Oh, and booze as well as fags should be taxed and regulated at a higher rate to control consumption too!

    • Are large corporates paying enough tax? Well, it’s hard to have a definitive answer to that without the exact numbers, but on the face of it, no. Having said that, it’s actually incredibly hard to write the law in such a way that they end up paying a fair share of tax. It’s comparatively easy to tax wage and salary earners, because the way we measure their income is very straightforward. However there are whole sets of complex rules around the measurement of business income. It’s something that the entire OECD is trying to grapple with at present. One of the things that companies can do is use transfer pricing, and debt equity (c/f plain old capital equity) so that profits are counted in one country, or one tax jurisdiction, rather than another.

      When it comes to income inequality, then intuitively, if we can collect more tax revenue from corporates, then we can tax people on lower incomes less, and that leaves them with more money in their pockets. But I would have thought that a more straightforward way of tackling income inequality would be to focus on increasing wages.

  7. karol and her and Tim, you’ve all asked in one way or another about working from ideals to practical realities. It’s still only February, so a lot of our policies haven’t been announced yet, and I think I would rapidly become a non-candidate if I started announcing them here. But there are a couple of concrete things that I can point to.

    The first is our big plan for building affordable homes for first home buyers. We’re aiming to building 10,000 homes a year, over ten years. There are all sorts of good reasons for doing this, including the basic one of helping people to be secure. A person who has a roof over their head is has a much more secure base to operate from. At present, far too many New Zealanders can’t access this kind of security, because of the surge in house prices. Helping people to get over the threshold of their own home really will make a difference to people. I’ve written a bit about the connection between property and citizenship and freedom here: Property divide creating second class citizens.

    We’ve got other policies in connection with housing too, around the loan to value ratios, and warrants of fitness for rental property, and rebuilding the stock of state houses. The whole thrust of these policies is to work towards ensuring that people have warm, dry, secure homes.

    And another big policy is our Best Start policy, which means that families with a new baby (who are not currently on paid parental leave) will get $60 a week to help with costs. That’s a big help for low income families, and for other families too.

    Tim, I’m sorry, but I don’t get the “tend to agree with Mathew” reference.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Thanks for doing this Deborah. I agree with you about the importance of housing and arguably more devastation is caused by poor housing than anything else. If the accommodation is substandard and cramped then kids will be compromised by bad health, their education will suffer and the chances of them suffering adverse events increase.

      The “tend to agree with Mathew” was a dig at Mike Williams. It is something that he says far too often on the Radio New Zealand politics program to Matthew Hooton!

    • karol 7.2

      Thanks, Deborah.

      As a life time renter, I tend to get a bit frustrated at the dominant stress on home ownership. It’s a security for some, and a stress to achieve and maintain for others. And European countries tend not to put so much stress on home ownership.

      I am pleased to see state housing on your list. I haven’t seen anything on it in Labour’s current housing policy. Does rebuild the stock of state housing many increasing the number of them, or does it refer to replacement of the current stock?

      • I really can’t say much more at present, karol. But it’s a long time until the election, and we do have things to say about housing in the next few months.

        • karol 7.2.1.1

          OK. Thanks, Deborah.

        • bad12 7.2.1.2

          Thanks for your Post here at the Standard Deborah Russell, i like Karol, among many more, have expended quite some energy in the past 3 years talking State Housing and await with interest a Labour Party announcement on a much needed rebuild of both the HousingNZ stock and the offices of HousingNZ,

          Aghast, is not a suitable descriptive at the National Parties moving of the allocation function of the States Housing stock to the Offices of WINZ which is a signal that in the future National intend that the States housing stock will become solely the province of beneficiaries,

          My contention is that just as many low income working families need and deserve to be housed by the State as these low income families as far as i can ascertain will not qualify to partake in the KiwiBuild program,

          Here’s the simple numbers,(to abridge the comment into what might be a readable ‘bite’), at its peak the States housing stock numbered some 75,000 homes servicing a population of some 3.3 million,

          Now??? to service a population of some 4.2 million there are barely 60,000 State rental properties, this would suggest on a numbers alone basis the the actual need is for 100,000 State rental homes, and while the numbers of those who can afford their own home out of that extra million plus population could definitely said to have risen dramatically it simply points out that the numbers of those who are in the demographic best described as the working poor has also increased in number…

  8. ianmac 8

    A clear vision from Deborah is just what we need. And she is young, experienced and very well educated. A future leader in the making?

  9. Ad 9

    OK anyone who can quote Nichomachean Ethics – “In order to flourish, or to live a good life” – in daily life, without sounding BBC4-ish, has my vote. May the caucus have more Phd’s in philosophy!

    I question the 1930s nostalgia for the old social compact. I would rather see a new form of one written that reflects the era in which we live.

    Great to have substantive engagement apparent from a candidate with policy-dense proclivities. Rare.

    Cunliffe needs a speech that talks not only about a new compact, but a New Ladder. And within weeks not months. Deborah, I hope you can help him.

    • Jim Nald 9.1

      “A New Ladder”

      I like that.

      Btw, why is that your gravatar or identicon is sometimes the green one or is that someone else, Ad?

  10. flip 10

    Thanks for your post and comments. I have a couple of questions which hopefully given your background and position you may answer if not now then at some point in the future. I guess you could answer personally but that might make things difficult.

    Will Labour continue with targeting of benefits and the complexity and intrusion into peoples private affairs that involves or will it consider a more universal approach with less intrusion and bureaucracy?

    Will Labour continue with benefit targeting of households and taxation of individuals and the inequity involved in that?

    Other answers around asset tax, CGT, FFT to broaden the tax base would be interesting as well.

    Be interested in the answer if not now then when appropriate. Thanks.

    • They’re pretty specific questions, flip, and at this stage, I can’t give you answers, so yes, for the future, I think. And probably for our Finance spokesperson rather than me.

      And Stuart M (below), the same thing applies to your questions, more-or-less. We’re working on our manifesto, and it will have the answers to some of those questions.

  11. Lionel 11

    Great post Deborah you sound well intentioned hope at the very least you have a high list placing there is some cleaning out required in Labour you have talent I would hope Labour make good use of that talent.Good luck won’t be an easy seat to take

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    It’s a promising start Deborah, and it’s nice to see some technical depth developing in Labour.

    One of my concerns is that, since Rogergnomics, the proliferation of user charges has built a relatively profligate and certainly enthusiasticly grasping culture in local government and regulatory areas. There are many examples of this:

    passport price increases
    building inspection costs (which were not effective in preventing leaky homes)
    the acquisition of Wof fines by local councils as an income stream
    the proliferation of IRD deeming options

    I believe the recent waterfront dispute in Auckland also relates to quasi-coporatist activism from within local government.

    Is there any plan to carry out a significant review of these kinds of activities? They embed fresh layers of cost on almost every kind of activity.

  13. Jenny 13

    Kia ora Debra, Just a few rote questions that you may get asked, and may want to answer here first.

    Debra what specifically do you seek to achieve in parliament?

    As a legislator do you have any burning issues that you wish to address?

    Will we see any private members bills from you on these issues?

    • Thanks for asking these questions, Jenny. I saw them yesterday, and while of course I have answers to them, they’re still in quite diffuse form.

      So what do I want to achieve in Parliament? Very broadly, I want to see legislation and policy that enhances people’s security, rather than decreases it.

      Less broadly, but still at a quite an abstract level, I’d like to see the way we set and deliver social assistance based more on people’s needs, and more aligned with the realities of our economy. That would mean, for example, that if there is a policy which says that sole parents must seek employment once their children turn five, then in order to facilitate that employment, we would need to look at how we provide before and after school care, and holiday programmes, and whether there are flexible jobs available, and so on. (In any case, I think that sending sole parents in search of jobs the moment their child turns five is a solution in search of a problem: most sole parents only spend a limited amount of time using the DPB to survive.)

      I would also like to see some effort put in on helping small business. Small businesses provide employment for their owners, and often enough for other people too, and they provide services in small towns and rural areas, and yet they have to grapple with difficult bureaucratic structures, and finding their way through tax law, and all sorts of things. I don’t think either major party, or even the larger smaller parties (c/f the tiny small parties) pay much attention to small businesses, and yet they’re a vital part of our economy and our social structures. They help to create thriving communities, and that’s part of a good life – living in a great community. (Of course, there are some people who prefer not to engage in community, or who prefer community in small doses, but most people enjoy being part of communities.)

      I think we also need to do some serious work around domestic violence. I know, we do a lot better now than we used to do, but there are still too many women, and children, and men, who live in dread of a violent partner, or parent. I’m thinking in particular of how ineffective protection orders are. It could be that this can be solved by legislation, possibly by a private members bill, but it could also be a matter of getting policy right.

      I want to see unions strengthened. I think that one of the reasons for the drop in wages and productivity in this country is because we decimated our unions. Wages are lower, and when wages are low, it’s usually cheaper for employers to put on more unskilled labour than to invest in new machinery, so productivity drops too. I think that one thing that might help there is creating some form of legislated union preference, so that where a union negotiates a deal of behalf of its members, there is a delay before that same deal can be made available to non-union members. (NB: this is me personally saying this). Even a standard right winger should be happy with this, because it helps to solve a free rider problem.

      Private members bills: well, I do have a couple of things in mind, but again, I’m concerned that saying them out loud here would be interpreted as Labour Party policy, and at this stage, I don’t want to pre-empt the manifesto.

  14. adam 14

    Am I the only lefty who is worried by this post. Nice rhetoric Deborah, Obama does speak in liberal phrase as well. Not one point about fundamental structural problems our society faces. Not one point about the power of corporations and their drive for the all mighty dollar. Not a thing about the embedded corruption and lobbying that infest the beltway. Me thinks you are a good speaker Deborah – but like all your ilk in the beast of labour you do sound very much like a liberal elite trying to win a meal ticket – opps I mean, seat.

    Oh and we going to talk about NZ in the 1930’s cool. How about the antisemitism that infested labour party and the treatment of south island jews by other so called decent kiwis.

    And finally because I’m over that right-wing party called labour. Stop calling it welfare, the middle class get entitlements (which are essentially welfare – mainly via tax credits) and I don’t see national or the press beating people up for that. So this talk of welfare must stop – we are all entitled – or none of us are.

    • Murray Olsen 14.1

      No adam, you’re not the only one. The tone of the post lacked the fire in the belly that I look for. The attempt to explain away GST by appealing to complication worries me. Obama could well have made the same post.

      Still, if Deborah can take Rangitikei off NAct and help open up parliament for Green and Mana participation, good luck. If she gets a seat and manages to do something for the workers of our country from within Labour, even better. I’ve just given up on holding my breath.

    • Oh and we going to talk about NZ in the 1930′s cool. How about the antisemitism that infested labour party and the treatment of south island jews by other so called decent kiwis.

      My God yes, she totally ignored that vital issue. What a giveaway!

      • Murray Olsen 14.2.1

        Well, first they came for the South Island Jews, but I wasn’t worried because……..

        I’ve never heard this side of Labour history before. Is it documented anywhere that’s worth reading?

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    What are your views on ditching the huge bundle of “accounting standards and the detailed prescriptive approach” for something more principled along the lines of “don’t lie, cheat or steal “.

    All these standards over quarter of a century do not appear to have not slowed down the poor behaviour of corporates who still go broke, leaving founder wealth intact, with even more regularity now than they did 25 years ago.

    • It would be nice if we could rely on people to just be decent. As it turns out, most people are reasonably decent, but when it comes to business, it does seem to me that there are some who take Milton Friedman and the business of business is business too seriously. So we do seem to need rules and regulations for the conduct of business.

      One of the problems that I’ve become very aware of in the last few months is interest swap deals, particularly in the farming sector, but I understand elsewhere in the economy too. It seems that some banks may have engaged in some very dubious practices, and they’re now facing legal action, following a Commerce Commission investigation: Commerce Commission takes banks to court. Our institutions have worked in this case, but not before several, or indeed many, businesses have gone to the wall. So perhaps we need to have a look at regulations in this area.

      Another example is building companies that fold, leaving subcontractors unpaid and out of pocket. Not just for time, but for materials supplied. We need to have a look at how to protect the small downstream operators, and that’s something I would like to do some work on, if I’m elected.

      I’m using the word, “perhaps”, a lot. But as I’ve said several times upthread, it’s a matter of waiting for our manifesto at this stage. I have been involved in drafting parts of the manifesto, but it’s not public yet.

      • RedbaronCV 15.1.1

        Sorry I didn’t express myself very well:

        I wasn’t suggesting that we rely on people to be “decent” – that hasn’t a hope but we have gone for very prescriptive legislation that gives us a huge book of rules – that people then work around.

        I was suggesting that we may do better with “principled” legislation – rather like the fair trading act which basically says, have a bit of fun if you like but “don’t fib” when you are selling something. Something along the lines of behave as well as possible, hand out all the facts, don’t enrich yourself unduely and then claim the money has run out.

        And:
        could you see labour investigating a solid look into the clashes between tax and welfare to try to minimise them
        and making the FBT Act residual as just a means of valuing fringe benefits with the value then being added to and taxed as part of the PAYE salary. This then counts the value of the benefit for WFF and Child support and any other government means testing.
        dealing with the depreciation regime by lifting the value to be capitalised and having many, many fewer rates.

  16. best of luck with your campaign, deborah. the equality thing is really important for me as well, and the fact that people have the right to live their lives in dignity. which means they shouldn’t be just struggling to survive, whether working full time or on a benefit. time for empathy, caring & compassion to become more than just ideals but real values that affect our every day decisions.

  17. andy (the other one) 17

    Deborah:

    You have been in the news lately after commenting on the Air NZ swimsuit video. IMO I don’t think this is helpful in an election year to give the right wing a stick to beat you with. I am not interested in the rights or wrongs of the video as such, I think its goes to a wider messaging discipline problem with Labour.

    For the last few years we have seen Labour MP’s and candidates on the news for stupid things, banning facebook, Jacinda Adern giving out lollies at the Gay Parade etc. To my mind the average punter looks at these as side issues, not dinner table bread and butter stuff. How many people fly regularily? Bugger all, so they tune out very quickly.

    The right wing noise machine loves to bash lefty’s and Labour is the gift that keeps giving, what are your thoughts on Massage discipline and getting traction on wider important issues.

    • That was interesting… a reporter rang me for comment one Friday afternoon, via my work phone, and suddenly, I was being quoted world wide.

      I’ve written a bit about the Air NZ video on my personal blog (c/f my candidate blog): That Air NZ safety video.

      I think we can talk about more than one thing at once, and I’m not sure that it was a distraction this early in the year. Perhaps later in the year it might have been more of an issue. And even then, MPs and candidates are not supposed to be rigid clones of each other. So while we want to stay on message, particularly as we get closer to the election, I don’t think it’s a huge deal at present.

  18. Jenny 18

    Deborah, as a tax consultant and a lettered lecturer on taxation, you must have some considered and informed views on taxation. Could you give us your critique of Financial Transactions Taxes, the so called Robin Hood Tax.

    Pros?

    Cons?

    • I can, but it’s going to have to be in a day or two, I’m sorry. I’m just starting to run into the evening rush hour in my home (kids, homework, meetings, dinner etc.). I’ll get back to you on this.

      • Jenny 18.1.1

        Ta for this kind and timely reply Deborah. No rush. When you are ready. Any past lecture notes will do, or even if you are busy some references you might want to point out, that you consider represent your thinking would be valuable.

        I agree, a considered reply is more valuable than a rushed sound bite.

        Thanks again Deborah. Looking forward to your response.

  19. greywarbler 19

    I was looking forward to the party in the staffroom after late closing on Christmas Eve, but about 4pm that day, the boss and owner of the store came in and threw me out. ”You’re not working tonight. Off you go at 5pm.” No explanation, no courtesy, no acknowledgement of my hard work. Just an order to get out.

    This is an interesting memory because it embodies a lot of what I see as wrong about NZs today. When Deborah was young, she did not know how to test a decision, how to ask questions about it, and unhappily obeyed the instruction. She thought she understood, and may have been correct, but she didn”t test her understanding and ask if she could stay on and go to the party.

    NZs do accept too much without seeing if their own wishes can be met. Others call the shots and we just accept that is how it is. If you don’t ask, you don’t find out whether you can get something that has not been offered directly. In Deborah’s example, maybe the boss thought she would be happy to get off and do her own thing.

    One thing that we need to learn in this country is assertiveness. How to look up and ask a question about something, not just look down and accept what we are told. There may be more that the answer to the question may reveal. We may get more, and certainly it is wise to do this as often as possible. The question to put to oneself is ‘What have I got to lose by asking this?’ If it won’t make anything worse, then ask away.

    Assert yourself and find out what you really want to know. And learn how to assert yourself well, there is an art in doing it, but not being aggressive or demanding. Let’s speak about what is on our minds in a straight-forward way, let’s ask and not stew away about something. When that happens the question may grow till it absolutely must be confronted, and then it comes out aggressively. That ratchets the matter up to an otherwise avoidable argument or disagreement, which would not happen if it had been traversed earlier.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline | 22-11
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi | 22-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science | 22-11
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road | 21-11
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address | 21-11
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere