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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.

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    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | Press Release Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • National getting students into science
    National Party Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop today supported the government’s launch of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, a programme to boost community involvement in the science sector....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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