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Halting Dynamics and Shifting Inertias

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, January 7th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy - Tags: , ,

Like many, I’ve been somewhat bemused and not a little angered that austerity is touted as a pathway to economic recovery. Like many, I’ve come to view both austerity and bail outs simply as means to put public monies and the control of public institutions into private hands – all the while diminishing the power of citizens on both an individual and collective basis. And I’ve been particularly irked that the National led government has tried to hitch NZ to the austerity bandwagon.

But anyway,  why consciously destroy or abandon real economic activity in a quest for power or/and wealth? Why not continue to build on whatever ‘real economy’ bases of power you posses? Idle speculation might suggest a lust for power, y’know… power for power’s sake. Or a reaction to, or recognition of impending peak resources in a world of growing population.

Following that reasoning, if the real economy was deliberately shrunk to postpone resource peak dates, and if that was done in conjunction with shifting the basis for the accumulation of money (and power) to more abstract realms, then current elites could do more than simply hold on to their power – they could augment it.

Shrinking the total size of the ‘real economy’ would obviously require excluding increasing numbers of people from access to resources and productive goods. But that wouldn’t be an issue. The goal would be the retention of power – of market share. And market share, rather than total market size, is what determines levels of influence and power.

And exploring this scenario further – where  market participation recedes from people – social safety nets could be diminished and destroyed because such things are an unnecessary drain on the accumulation of power and wealth that corporations and financial institutions desire.

Too cruel? Too unimaginable?

Think of Africa then, and the recurring situations where people have died while the resources to save them (food, drugs) have sat all around yet out of reach due to a lack of purchasing power. And then cast an eye on Greece where people are increasingly unable to afford food (it’s being sold at prices determined by global market rates that put it increasingly out of reach); where 1/3rd of the population have no access to health care and where cancer sufferers are being given cortisone injections (if they can get anything at all) because hospitals have no drugs any more.

And look at the effects of austerity spreading across Spain or the UK and Italy, the US and elsewhere….increasing levels of homelessness, poverty, joblessness and suicide. And manufacturing continues to be closed down, unions attacked and social safety nets torn away. Meanwhile, financial and corporate entities are posting record profits on the back of speculative ‘investments’ and trading strange and wonderful financial abstractions amongst themselves. And when hic-ups and crashes occur, in rushes our increasingly ‘enabling’ governments…some, like Italy run by unelected technocrats… with injections of  public monies to bouy them up. And then social welfare provisions and real economic activity are wound down further as a consequence in a self reinforcing downward spiral.

And in the interests of finding some reason behind all this lop sided pain and gain maybe a certain philanthropy shot through with a dash of pragmatism could be considered.

Classical economists are pretty insistent that it isn’t possible to reduce CO2 emissions at rates science demands to avoid “dangerous” or “extremely dangerous” levels of global warming. At least, not without crashing the market.  So, in the interests of preserving power, saving the world and (of course) the economy, the idea might be to exclude ever growing numbers of people from market participation in the hope that the denuded real economy ( presided over by the lords of the new abstract economy) will then deliver big enough CO2 reductions.

And everyone gets to live.

Just some live a bit better than others. But that’s always been the way. However, just to make sure – maybe fall back on all those ‘war against terror’ inspired restrictions of political freedoms and the increased scope and power of repressive agencies to contain potential reactions. And maybe let all of this unfold at a fast-ish yet still ‘boiling frog’ pace, so that any realisation that might fuel a reaction arrives too late. Maybe pick off sections of the population one at a time – an incremental process of demonising and ostracising should do the trick.

Okay,  I’ll confess to not believing what I’ve written…well, not with regards the volition. There is no cabal or committee of shadowy bankers or whatever thinking their way through all of this and working hand in hand with governments to enact policies to further some devious master plan for world domination.

The principle of  Occams Razor demands we opt for the simple explanation. And that is simply that the institutions of the bankers and financiers and government encourage a certain degree of ineptitude, defensiveness and stupidity. It’s not that bankers, financiers and government personnel are necessarily cruel and stupid individuals – though I’ve no doubt that some are. But when you work or are involved with an institution, you become subject to ‘institutional capture’ – meaning that you put your personal sensibilities aside and behave and act on institutional sensibilities.

So for example, there can be no peak in resources from a market driven institutional standpoint – there are only resources and profits to be derived from them. And when there are no resources well, there will be no profits. And that’s the real loss from an institutional perspective. The same applies to global warming. Even when global warming is knocking us all for six, institutional foci will still be on profit and economic performance only. And this institutional blindness is something that any and all personnel must adopt as their own if they are to maintain their position.

Banking institutions and corporations accumulate and have no sentience; no moral compass. They are just market driven institutions. Meanwhile, governments are just further institutions that manage the market economy such that it enables banking institutions and corporations to accumulate. And that’s something that must be preserved. And to reiterate;- people within those institutions have to behave accordingly.

The effect is more or less the same as some cabal devising a grand conspiracy and acting out on it. But it’s not a conspiracy. That would be far too easy to counter and deal with.

So the banking bailouts and the austerity measures and the ‘national security’ measures alongside the denial of both peak resources and global warming : these things are going to continue. And they’ll continue, not because of bad or stupid people, but because that’s the inevitable trajectory of both market driven financial institutions and the government institutions whose task it is to manage and protect that same market economy.

And it seems we have few options should we wish to successfully challenge both detrimental  institutional dynamics and detrimental institutional inertias. Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy, our only option is to pile pressure on government. And historically that has meant bringing government to the realisation that it has more to lose by not acceding to social demands than it has by continuing to defend the socially unacceptable status quo.

43 comments on “Halting Dynamics and Shifting Inertias”

  1. Andre 1

    To paraphrase. More selfishness ?….

  2. karol 2

    Excellent reflections, Bill.

    And I agree that it’s no so much a carefully orchestrated campaign by the elites. It’s more what they do to maintain their power and privilege, given the resources and systems they have access to. They will then use whatever arguments they can get away with, to justify their moves.

    This has been happening since the 70s/80s & the (so-called) “neoliberal” shift. The philosophy was “free-market” and “small government”, but they use regulation and government control whenever it’s needed to maintain their power and position. Those that care, probably really do believe the PR of things like “trickle-down” and “lifting all the boats”. Others just care about their own self-interest, and if such PR terms work to keep the masses quiet, they’ll use them.

    Then they resort to the use of the term “pragmatic” which makes them sound in touch with realities. But the realities are to do with whatever works for them. They need to resort to such “pragmatic” solutions, because they are trying to work with dwindling resources and various unknown results.

    So, beware of any politician or leader who says they are being “pragmatic”. It means they are not considering what is best for all, and planning accordingly. It means they are doing whatever it is easiest to do, without upsetting the powerful and wealthy elites.

    I agree we need to pile on pressure on the government. But we also need to develop an alternative set of policies and an approach that works for the many – as IrishBill aims to do.

    • Bill 2.1

      But we also need to develop an alternative set of policies…

      This is true. And why I think Irish’s initiative is a good one. If a parliamentary party breaks with the neo-liberal consensus, and offers up genuine and solid social democratic policies, it would be a good thing. Just not sure it would be enough given the massive ‘either/or’ issues that are building up around any and all market bound orthodoxies* and demanding our attention (like AGW and/or resource depletion).

      * (ie, not just neo-classical or neo-liberal economic approaches)

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Wow! great solid writing Bill

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    Nice one Bill.

    The elite wealthy 0.1% of the world appear to have minimal vision and strategy beyond trying to game the economic system to increase electronic numbers in their virtual bank accounts.

    The concept of trying to build a civilisation to be proud of, a civilisation worthy of surviving? Way beyond most of these people.

    And it seems we have few options should we wish to successfully challenge both detrimental institutional dynamics and detrimental institutional inertias. Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy, our only option is to pile pressure on government.

    Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy…I don’t think that’s going to work, even in the best case scenario. John Michael Greer recommends instead focussing time and energy on yourself, on your family and on your local communities to build resilience. The gap between what can probably be achieved electorally and politically, and what is required in terms of socio-economic movement over the next 15 years is just too huge.

    What would it take to reduce by 80% the number of vehicles on the road by 2028? To reduce the extraction of fossil fuels in NZ by 80% by 2028? To nationalise all key economic infrastructure by 2028? To achieve full employment by 2028?

    When you drill down into it, none of this is possible in this timeframe particuarly “within the bounds of orthodoxy”.

    The Roman, Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Parthian, Babylonian civilisations all came and went, as did the Caliphates. Almost nothing but echoes of their knowledge and culture exist today. We’re basically headed the same way, at breakneck speed.

    World population of c.1B-2B by 2100. And listening to Guy McPherson’s presentation in Petone earlier this year, that could be optimistic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbdfmUt2G9w

    • Colonial Weka 5.1

      I largely agree, although I would note that Greer is commenting from a culture with very different political and social systems than ours.

      We also need to keep any eye out for the wild cards within the orthodoxy that may appear from time to time and prove useful tipping points.

    • weka 5.2

      I largely agree, although I would note that Greer is commenting from a culture with very different political and social systems than ours.

      We also need to keep any eye out for the wild cards within the orthodoxy that may appear from time to time and prove useful tipping points.

    • Bill 5.3

      Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy…

      Maybe I should have phrased that along the lines of – “Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy for the sake of this post…”

      I agree that we need to essentially crash (or crash land) the market economy and halt the burning of all fossil fuels in about 17 years from now. Or much sooner if we are in any way intelligent. But ‘we’ aren’t going to do that and so will have it crashed for us by climatic impacts. By which time run-away global warming may well have set in, if it hasn’t already, meaning temperatures are headed for…well, anybody’s guess really.

      I do have my doubts as to whether there will be any echoes of anything to do with us in the future. 400ppm CO2 hasn’t been seen for about 15 – 20 million years. And I just can’t imagine things being that flash…or even holding at that state given feedback loops.

      Meanwhile, I really do wish McPherson would present something a bit more informative than just a list of conclusions. But hey.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Maybe I should have phrased that along the lines of – “Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy for the sake of this post…”

        Ahh, thanks for the clarification, Bill.

      • Are you kidding? Four hundred essays at Nature Bats Last, about half of which deal with pragmatic aspects of relocalization, and you want “something a bit more informative than just a list of conclusions.” Will you be a little more specific, please?

        • Bill 5.3.2.1

          I’m referring to your presentation style as seen on a couple of youtube vids – not your website.

          For me, your presentations lack supportive background information.

          For example – You say that comparisons with Thoreau’s notes on plants from 1840 tell us that temperatures have increased by 2.5 degrees C (I noticed that in your Petone presentation you do offer a caveat that was absent from a previous presentation I watched on-line). Anyway, effectively you are saying plants are telling us something different to what direct scientific measurements are telling us. But you offer no explanation as to why that should or might be. And I’m curious.

          You also present the conclusions of various reports without presentiing anything of the argument contained in them or pointing to where various reports are or may be flawed. And again, I’d like some indication of what’s what.

          Y’know, why does one report conclude that temperature rise will be around 1 degree C by 2100 (IPCC) and within four years other reports range from that to 6 degrees C by 2035 (IEA)?

          And on the IEA report, I’m sure Kevin Anderson, from the same report, quotes the IEA’s chief economist (Birol) as concluding a 4.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2040. Now Birol may be interpreting his own agency’s report incorrectly. But in that case, surely an indication of where and why he got it wrong is in order…simply making a bold counter statement and attributing it to the IEA anyway isn’t really helpful. (And given that 4.2 degees C is catastophic, I wonder as to why anyone would bother contradicting him rather than [as Anderson does] being simply quite clear on who is saying what.)

          http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cabot/events/2012/194.html

          As for essays dealing with pragmatic aspects of relocalisation – I’ll definately go and have a read since firstly, I have my own fairly well informed opinions on that front and secondly, am keen to reappraise assumptions and fill any ‘gaps’ in my knowledge/understanding.

          A broad take on that front http://thestandard.org.nz/if/ And a desciptive post seeking to reform a previous community based living arrangement written before I became aware of the full extent of current AGW (so obvious modifications in light of new info apply) http://thestandard.org.nz/trading-futures/

          • Guy McPherson 5.3.2.1.1

            Bill, I don’t have time or interest in walking through every projection and assessment. I’m hoping my presentations and writing will lead people to read the articles.

            However, as I often explain, more-recent assessments have access to more data and, importantly, increased computational power relative to older assessments. The IPCC Fourth Assessment from 2007 is irrelevant largely because of the latter factor.

            • Bill 5.3.2.1.1.1

              Hmm. Either the IPCC report and others (Hanson, Stern etc) resulted from a lack of computational power or (and it could be a combination of both) they quite conciously did not use available data.

              And I’ll come back to Anderson who unequivocably demonstrates that :-

              1 – they used very low p.a. increases of emission growth in their models in spite of having the actual data available. (1 – 1.5% p.a. instead of the 2.7% for the 20C and approx 3.5% for this century).

              2. they complied with the demands of classical economists to model for no more than a 4% p.a. reduction in emissions. (Larger reductions would, according to them, crash the market economy – no bad thing in my mind, but hey)

              3. (which follows on from 2) they employed unrealistic dates for the year of peak emissions in spite of knowing how infeasible they were being in setting down the years they did.

              4. they extrapolated from (unrealistic) ‘western’ emission scenarios and applied them globally ie, they ignored the (then) current emissions of China and the likely future emissions of China, India etc.

              And so on.

              Having said that, I’m aware that you attempt to cover much more ground than Anderson does in his Cabot presentation and so can’t do as thorough a ‘fisking’ as he did. And I can appreciate having neither the interest nor the time to go through every assessment in detail, but to better or more informatively signpost how unrealistuc assessments have come about would take a sentence or two – a moment.

              But in the meantime, thanks for taking the time out to comment on a relatively inconsequential blog from ‘the bottom’ of the world.

              • I’ve no doubt the IPCC willingly ignores abundant information. In addition. Moore’s Law indicates more than an eight-fold increase in computing power in five years.

                Thanks for your excellent point about adding a sentence or two about how unrealistic assessments come into the world. IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, already leaked, is another one that ignores important self-reinforcing feedback loops, as I indicate in my latest essay.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.2.2

          Thanks as always for visiting NZ, Dr McPherson (and also The Standard!).

  5. Neoleftie 6

    Oh well said Bill.
    What I see is govt hamstrung by being caught up or simple a large actor within the embeddness of the current dogmatic economic system and it’s powerful and connected self focused influencers.
    What we need is a broadly connected social democratic entity guided by the left coalition with participants from organisation and individuals within society all focused on providing power and support to the left coalitions New Direction, it’s Next Way.
    CC opengovt on steroids.
    NZhui The Next Way. Open source, open involvement, creative, powerful inspirational that provides a build block, a focus and powerful connection across all streams of societial influencers.
    We need to counter the Tory imbeddness within society, the gradual creep to the dark side of this post investment capitalism. Time for labour to anti up.
    Time is now and ticking.

    • Bill 7.1

      You do know that was basically a critique of state communism, don’t you? Not saying some of the sentiments don’t apply, but she, great worshiper of the ‘free market economy’ wouldn’t have intended them to apply to our neo-classical market economy.

  6. Rusty Shackleford 8

    “And I’ve been particularly irked that the National led government has tried to hitch NZ to the austerity bandwagon.”
    How much did they cut the budget by?

    • Bill 8.1

      What area are you referring to? Public schools perhaps? Funding cut by $114 million.

      What non-austerity measures did or have the government released as policy?

      • Rusty Shackleford 8.1.1

        It’s a simple question. How much has the govt budget (ie. total govt spending) been cut by? “Austerity” would imply it has been cut by a lot.

  7. Rusty Shackleford 9

    “Classical economists are pretty insistent that it isn’t possible to reduce CO2 emissions at rates science demands to avoid “dangerous” or “extremely dangerous” levels of global warming.”
    Which ones? And why would you listen to an economist on climate science? That makes as much sense as listening to old Bill here talk about economics.

    • Bill 9.1

      Which one’s? Oh just all of the neo-classical school. They say that max reductions in CO2 emissions can’t be more than 4% p.a. without sending the economy into a tailspin. And that is why the compilers of major reports picked unrealistic peak years for emissions from out of someboy’s arse….to accomodate a 4% p.a. decrease in emissions. ( Apparently the only time country has had above 5% year on year reductions was the Soviet Union when it’s economy collapsed) And we need 40% before the end of 2015….according to the optimistic end of the science.

      Why were they listened to? Because the scientists they were talking at/to work on the cusp between scientists who collect data and government policy makers. And they felt they had to keep the policy guys (their pay masters) happy to keep the funding rolling and hold on to their positions. Or at least, that’s what some in the scientific community claim.

      • Rusty Shackleford 9.1.1

        Not a single name nor reference. Good to know.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          But what actual difference does it make to you Rusty if the top World Bank or IMF or OECD economist swore it were so?

  8. MrSmith 10

    Great piece Bill.

    And I wish I could share your hope, but lately see little hope, looking at our own behavior over the last 2000 years or so, then that should be enough to convince anyone we are are a nasty, selfish, conceited, hypercritical, greedy animal, and yes we can be kind, loving, charitable, forgiving, etc but deep down we mostly only want to protect and propagate our genes, like most other animals, but sadly we mostly still don’t even understand why we want to reproduce, let alone we are one of the animals.

    This doesn’t make me sad at all tho, in-fact I’m quiet happy watching it unfold, watching people dancing around praying for rain can be great fun and is cheaper than most other forms of entertainment.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      This doesn’t make me sad at all tho, in-fact I’m quiet happy watching it unfold, watching people dancing around praying for rain can be great fun and is cheaper than most other forms of entertainment.

      Especially if you have a comfy couch to perch from and beer in hand.

  9. Mike 11

    “There is no cabal or committee of shadowy bankers or whatever thinking their way through all of this and working hand in hand with governments to enact policies to further some devious master plan for world domination.”

    I’m not completely sure about that. For example:

    “Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.

    These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

    – Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, New York, 1924.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      :shock:

    • rosy 11.2

      Whoa. That’s wicked. Do you have a reputable source for that quote?

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 11.3

      That quote, or variations of it, has been bouncing around the nutty conspiracy circles since at least 1892. (“The Bankers’ Manifesto”). It popped up again in the thirties, and it has recently seen a resurgence thanks to rise of the Tea Party movement. BECAUSE IT’S ALL TRUE OF COURSE AND THE JEW-CONTROLLED MEDIA HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SUPPRESS IT.

      Seriously, if you believe that sort of thing you’re just the type of gullible moron who shouldn’t be voting anyway.

  10. venezia 12

    Good piece Bill. I clicked on the link for Spain in your article and discovered the action taken by the Locksmiths of Pamplona – not to cooperate in evicting people from their homes when banks foreclose on them. A small action which needs to be built on to stand up to the greed of these institutions.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The entire machine stops when even a few of the small cogs decide to seize and jam. One of the messages of Fight Club.

  11. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 13

    I like the innovative way the thumbnail image for this story portrays a Jewish banker as a vampire, that’s a visual device that has never been used before, anywhere, ever.

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    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
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 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
  • 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
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • 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
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