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Has National changed its policy on the super-city?

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, April 21st, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: act, auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, maori party, national - Tags:

democracy-under-attack1Yesterday I pointed out that the Local Government Act requires referenda on boundary changes such as are envisaged for Auckland. To not do so would be to use the parliamentary rights to amend legislation to remove a required consultation with the citizens of Auckland. It appears likely (from Graeme) that NACT will put forward a new bill to enable the changes, thereby by-passing the Local Government Act.

That leaves and interesting question about National. It turns out that National policy before the election was to let Aucklanders have their say on any proposal to change our city. They said in their policy on local government

National will:

  • Support the Royal Commission providing an opportunity for people within the Auckland region to express their views about the structures that will best achieve the goals set out above.
  • Consult with Aucklanders once the findings of the Royal Commission are known.
  • Implement changes that will best achieve the goals of good regional infrastructure, sound and consistent regulation, and economic growth throughout the region, as well as making
    sure each community in our biggest city feels appropriately represented
    .

I’ve emphasised in italics the interesting bits. It appears that their coalition partner Act, in their haste to get the super-city implemented before 2010, is going to prevent any significant ‘consultation’. The Local Government Act sets the standard of a referendum as appropiate consultation.

It is difficult to see how National can consult with Aucklanders if they don’t get Rodney to leave time for a referendum.

Moveover, it is hard to see how local boards are going to be able appropiately represent communities. They may get people on those boards, but Rodney Hide is proposing that the boards are effectively powerless to change the use of resources without the super-city council’s approval. People elected to those boards will be able to ‘input’ but be unable to change anything.

Of course the National Party would probably argue that communities can band together to secure one of the eight at-large seats, as John Key has suggested that Maori do. The problem with that is the level of resources that will be required to run a city-wide campaign and the clear effect that such a campaign will favour groups with a lot of money – leading to excessive venal politics. Hardly likely to favour local communities or even the wider ones apart from the business interests who support both Act and National.

So the question is, are National covertly changing their policy to one of non-consultation and inadequete community representation to keep one coalition partner happy?

They certainly didn’t keep the Maori Party happy.

23 comments on “Has National changed its policy on the super-city?”

  1. bobo 1

    What actual power will community boards have? Cake Stalls and Dog Licenses? Why would anyone bother voting for candidates with no actual power of local body resources. On another note it seems privatizing the airforce/ army bases are back on the table too.. Maybe start with privatizing the Skyhawks or is the US still blocking any private sale?

  2. BLiP 2

    Like a cheap imported onion, layer after layer is being peeled back from the National Party to eventually expose its rotten core.

  3. Kevin Welsh 3

    “The problem with that is the level of resources that will be required to run a city-wide campaign and the clear effect that such a campaign will favour groups with a lot of money”

    Which, I guess, falls in line with the ideology of those on the right where those with the most, get to call the shots.

  4. There is also an argument that the Government changes to the Royal Commission’s report conflict with the terms of reference that the Royal Commission operated under.

    The Royal Commission’s terms of reference required it to come up with a solution that was “consistent with the purposes and principles of local government as described in the Local Government Act 2002″.

    When you read the purposes and principles they talk about “effective local government”, promoting “the accountability of local authorities to their communities’, providing “for local authorities to play a broad role in promoting the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of their communities, taking a sustainable development approach.’ The purpose is “to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and … to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.’

    Under section 14 when making a decision a Local Authority must make itself aware of, and should have regard to, the views of all of its communities, and it should take account of the diversity of the community, and the community’s interests, within its district or region. A local authority should also provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to its decision-making processes.

    Arguably the Nats are in breach of most if not all of these requirements.

    • Graeme 4.1

      None of this really matters:

      1. The current National government is not a Royal Commission.
      2. The current National government is not a local authority.

      The obligations on local authorities that you list will all apply to whatever final form the new Auckland council takes. If it doesn’t “have regard to, the views of all of its communities, and it should take account of the diversity of the community, and the community’s interests, within its district or region. A local authority should also provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to its decision-making processes.” then its decisions will be open to challenge whenever it makes them.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        I agree Graeme that it does not matter:

        1. If the National Government is not committed to the principles of the LGA
        2. If the National Government accept that their amended proposal is based on a less democratic and representative model than the model the Royal Commission was asked to come up with.

        Legally you are right. The provisions of the LGA are not biding on Key and Co. If there is an expectation however that they should live up to what are good principles then they have failed.

        I should not have said “requirements”, I should have said “legitimate expectations”.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        However the NACT government still has to justify its decision not to have a referendum to the voters, it is the standard practice. So why do they wish to ignore that – perhaps the reasons would be embarassing? To have a bloody Rugby World Cup? To allow John Banks to have V8 racing in the streets?

        To date they haven’t even made a case for why they want to get it done before 2010. They haven’t made a case for any of it…

  5. Nick 5

    Graeme is spot on. None of this really matters.

    But I note a real expert on local government, a law professor, has said today that:

    “The Government’s decisions on Auckland governance – “Making Auckland Greater” – are bold, decisive, and overall radical.

    Finally we have a workable prescription for Auckland to speak with one voice and act boldly in the regional and national interest. The Government has moved swiftly on this issue, possibly inspired by the urgency of the global financial crisis. One can speculate whether the previous Government would have done likewise.”

    See here.

    • Nick this was Kenneth Palmer.

      Most planning lawyers go into private practice and earn huge amounts of money. The occasional one stays lecturing …

      They bring Kenny out occasionally to support various conservative views. He is the sort of guy who still wears roman sandals and socks.

      Janet Clews’ comments, also in today’s Herald were far more astute. To paraphrase she thinks that the changes are a load of croc. She has been in Local Government for decades and she is not standing again. But she despairs because local people are going to lose quality representation.

    • lprent 5.2

      Amazing, we have a supporter. However I cannot see any argument by him on the net discussing why he thinks things like:-
      The voice of the communities will still be heard through the local board structures and ward members, striking an appropriate balance between unified representation and local democracy.

      In other words the boards are powerless to be anything more than a institutional lobby group, without significant funding or any way to raise it. They are ineffectual – perhaps he could explain why he thinks this is a good idea?.

      Did you also notice that he’d said that the government threw away all of the ideas from the Royal Commission?
      Although innovative in promoting the Super City concept, the report’s overall thrust was incremental, basically retaining the existing territorial governance level.
      The Government’s decision on Auckland Governance provide a far more radical blueprint.

      I see that he doesn’t like the idea of a referendum. Of course he doesn’t deign to say exactly why. He contented that the reform was in line with the Local Government Act, but doesn’t explain why he’d prefer that the referendum provision that is such a key part of it is ignored.

  6. That’s unbridled power for you. Now you know how the Electoral Finance Bill felt.

  7. peteremcc 7

    I believe it’s called a Select Committee.

  8. Nick C 8

    Its interesting that you are using the ‘democracy under attack’ label for all your posts on the super city proposal now. No doubt an attempt to emulate the successful campaign against the electoral finance act. Its worth discussing clear differences between the two:

    1) The process under which the EFB was run was a farce. Witnesses at select committee (which was ineptly chaired) were told to ‘go and join the exclusive bretheran’. The Human Rights Commission were nearly prevented from appearing, and when they did appear their submission was completely ignored, as was the submission of the Law Society. Labour rammed in last minute ammendments at multiple stages of the bills processes, sometimes in their hundreds. The implications on the Bill of Rights were completely ignored. In addition Labour simply didnt know what it was doing. Mark Burton was sacked as Minister of Justice half way through the Bills process because he had no idea what he was doing.

    The Super City process has so far been relativly good. The Select Committee as Peter points out is working and Public Submissions are being heard. We will have to wait and see which recommendations are adopted, so too early to judge on that one.

    2) The EFB was not only undemocratic in process it was poorly written and undemocratic in nature. The head of the electoral commission couldnt even understand and interprete the Bill, which is quite funny given that it war her job to. The contents of the Bill essentially limited the ability of 3rd parties to participate in the election campaign, although i wont go into that, its well known.

    The super city does no such thing. People still get to vote for their councilers, its just that local government is smaller. And while is unclear what the purpose of the community boards will be at the moment they seem to be a way to provide representation.

    [a select committee is meant to be an acceptable replacement for a referendum? Get real]

    • lprent 8.1

      The democracy under attack banner is largely aimed at the NZ Herald who used it as a logo on the anti-EFA stuff. They haven’t so far bothered to do more on the super-city than a few limp editorials – despite it being a radical change to the local politics in their city. It is a change that had a process through the royal commission. Whose findings were almost entirely dumped by Rodney Hide – they left the Mayor and the single rating system.

      The Super City process has so far been relativly good. The Select Committee as Peter points out is working..

      The select committee hasn’t even started, we haven’t seen a bill yet. And you think that it is good. You must be either an idiot or someone who doesn’t understand much about parliamentary or electoral processes. That probably explains your ideas on the EFA process.

      Besides the standard for changes in governance boundaries and voting systems is referendum. It was what brought in MMP. It has been used in every local government change since 1990 (and some before).

      Act and National need to justify why they feel the need to override the usual democratic process of a referendum for one that involves Rodney making up ideas on the fly (2 weeks) without consultation and then pushing it through parliament. As you point out, the select committee process can be flawed, which is why referendum are the preferred authorizing process for this type of change.

      Perhaps you should study up on the legl process of government a bit. Comments like the one above just make you look like a fool.

      • Graeme 8.1.1

        It has been used in every local government change since 1990 (and some before).

        Exactly. That isn’t all that long ago. And the massive change that happened without referenda before then belies any argument that it is the natural process.

        Bassett and Elwood succeeded where their predecessors failed in rationalizing the structure of local government so that from 1989
        · the number of regional councils was reduced from twenty-two to thirteen with provision being made for the direct election of these bodies;
        · the number of city and district councils (designated “territorial authorities’) was reduced from 200 to seventy-four; and
        · the number of ad hoc or special purpose bodies was reduced from over 400 to seven.

        ref:http://www.une.edu.au/economics/publications/ECONwp00-7.PDF

        A major rationale behind the statutorily-provided referendum process is that these are (proposed) amalgamations that avoid parliamentary and select committee scrutiny. They don’t have Royal Commissions, and they don’t really have much government involvement at all. etc.

        We had a referendum on a retirement savings scheme in 1997, where was the outcry about the lack of democracy when the Cullen Fund and Kiwisaver were started?

        We used to have lots of referenda about liquor licensing. The abolition of the six o’clock swill happened following a referendum, why didn’t the drinking age get a referendum?

    • Graeme 8.2

      It was argued that a select committee process was enough for major constitutional change such as the creation of the Supreme Court, and major change in the lives of New Zealanders, such as the amendment of section 59 … why isn’t it enough here?

      Now I think there there should be a referendum, but to argue that this is anomalous just isn’t accurate. There weren’t referendums following the last re-organisation of local government – and there were mergers and dissolutions all over the country.

  9. Malcolm 9

    The normal process is a referendum. You should be ashamed of yourself, Graeme, as someone who supposedly stands for open government, for trying to make excuses for not having a referendum. You say you would support a referendum but you speak against it at every oppportunity.

    The question should not be ‘why have a referendum?’ it should be ‘why not?’ Sure, in a total national reorganisation of all local government, it is understandable that you wouldn’t have 700+ referendums but this is just a merger and you’ve provided no reason why Aucklanders shouldn’t get a referendum like the people of Banks Peninsula, Christchurch Napier, and Hastings had.

    Face it Graeme, you’re just trying to make excuses for the Nats and ACT. You’re not standing up for democracy when you have the chance.

    • Graeme 9.1

      I support there being a referendum.

      I am not speaking against a referendum at every opportunity. I am speaking against many of the arguments that have been advanced as to why there should be a referendum. The arguments aren’t very good. I am speaking against some arguments that seem ignorant of history, etc.

      A good argument goes like this: this a major change in the democratic structures that govern the live of Aucklanders. They should have the final say over what democratic structures govern their lives and their city. A referendum is a must.

      Arguments that the government is violating the terms of the Royal Commission, or is going against a process that is set up to occur in situations where there is no parliamentary input, and the reorganisation is proposed by a petition of residents do not add to this, they detract.

    • Maynard J 9.2

      Agreed Malcolm. Comparing this to the liberalisation of drinking laws, when there’s a specific Act that calls for a referendum in this very situation that NACT are consciously bypassing is a pretty weak comparison – weasel words.

      Unless there was an Act that calls for a referendum on drinking laws that the recent changes deliberately bypassed, it would appear you’re being an apologist for NACT, Graeme, despite protestations to the contrary.

      • Graeme 9.2.1

        there’s a specific Act that calls for a referendum in this very situation

        No. There really isn’t.

        Thus, my point.

        • Maynard J 9.2.1.1

          “this very situation”

          So the situation is different because there is parliamentary involvement.

          But this detracts from the argument for a referendum? If you’re taking a very narrow viewpoint, then I could see why you’d make that argument, but fail to see why you think it would apply to the real world.

          If every newspaper ran with this, saying that there is legislation that calls for a referendum, in certain circumstances, you can bet John Key would be on Breakfast at 7:54 am on Friday saying that “we’ll look into it, it’s definitely something we’re considreing, I can’t rule it out”. Sure, Bill English or someone else might say that he’s wrong two weeks later, but as far as detracting from calls for a referendum – nope.

          Perhaps you could provide a legal reason for your presented ‘good argument’ above instead of shooting down those who are trying…

          • Graeme 9.2.1.1.1

            That’s the problem. There isn’t a legal reason. There is a moral and democratic reason.

          • Maynard J 9.2.1.1.2

            So explaining that there is a legal reason, in some circumstances, detracts from calls for a referendum by…?

            Ain’t nothing wrong with saying “hey, in some circumstances there needs to be a referendum – surely there should be one here too”.

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  • DSC selects Mischele Rhodes for Hamilton West
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Patient’s Rights Advocate Mischele Rhodes has been selected as the Democrats for Social Credit Partys candidate for Hamilton West. As Vice President of Patient’s Rights Advocacy Waikato, Ms Rhodes says she is “passionate...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Green Party launches key election priority, rivers clean enough for swimmin...
    The Green Party has announced today that its number one environmental priority for this election is making our rivers clean enough to swim in again and keeping our beaches safe from oil spills. The Green Party will make a series...
    Greens | 12-07
  • Greens say John Key must clarify where he stands on marriage equality
    John Key has left many with the impression he will repeal marriage equality if elected into Parliament again, said the Green Party today. Reports have emerged that at a meeting with Pacific church leaders in Mangere, on Tuesday, many attendees...
    Greens | 11-07
  • McCully mustn’t shirk scrutiny during inquiry
    The inquiry into Foreign Affairs' handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian diplomat must investigate all the actions taken by Murray McCully during this fiasco, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.A Ministerial inquiry has been launched into...
    Greens | 11-07
  • Government punishes beneficiary babies
    Papers released to the Green Party shows that the Government turned their back on babies of beneficiaries against official advice, said the Green Party today. Documents released by Treasury to the Green Party under the Official Information Act show that...
    Greens | 10-07
  • Te Hamua to do ice challenge so others can survive cancer too
    At noon tomorrow in the Kaiti Mall in Gisborne, Te Hamua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti, is taking on the ice challenge to raise awareness of the importance of getting regular health checks for testicular cancer and raise funds...
    Mana | 10-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    National has broken its promise to insulate every state house by the end of 2013, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today."Of the 68,386 houses under Housing New Zealand's management, 30 percent have not been insulated. That is a dismal...
    Greens | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    The Green Party is calling for the review into Foreign Affairs' handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian Diplomat to be expanded to cover actions of Ministers, and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stand down while...
    Greens | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    “Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which would be supported by Mana but we are concerned at the “user pays” proposal for children to get the educational benefits of access to the internet,” says Mana Education...
    Mana | 09-07
  • Internet Mana – “the Roadtrip!”
    Internet MANA will change the Government because it’s time to create an inclusive and independent Aotearoa. We are not afraid to disrupt the status quo, to fix what is not working and innovate with new ideas. Let’s reconnect New Zealand,...
    Mana | 09-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    Evidence heard in today's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly highlights the Police's ongoing failure to protect people on bicycles, the Green Party said today. The Police decided not to prosecute the driver involved in a fatal collision with...
    Greens | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of the year are a reminder of what we're up against with climate change, the Green Party said today.According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand,...
    Greens | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    National has done a deal with a company that continues to flout New Zealand's gambling regulations, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.In a media sting earlier this year, an elderly man was allowed to play pokie machines continuously...
    Greens | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Our exports of partially processed casings to China have been halted and no...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Information Technology issues, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Reporting directly...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high
    There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its highest level this century, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “New Zealand once valued itself as the...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Government in denial over income inequality
    Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “The report shows income inequality has increased over the past year and remains higher...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes
    National’s decision to cut nearly $2.5 million from adult and community education in Canterbury over the past five years was short-sighted and Labour is committed to restoring funding for the sector, Labour’s Associate Tertiary Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “The...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis
    Latest Government data proves John Key is not working for all New Zealanders as the incomes of the poorest half of kiwis stayed the same in the 6 years under National, while the top 20 percent's rose by thousands, the...
    Greens | 08-07
  • Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour
    Labour has been very clear that it is necessary to review and evaluate the effectiveness of Whanau Ora for Māori, says Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. "I was pleased to meet with social service, youth, justice and health providers who...
    Labour | 08-07
  • No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy?
    Another significant shortfall in the Government’s books suggests the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by, Labour’ Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “With unemployment still high, wage rates stagnating and inequality widening, only the lucky few are...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes
    A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Post-Primary Teachers' Association survey of 750 people conducted by UMR Research found 54 per...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions
    Police are being instructed to charge fewer people in order to meet National’s crime reduction targets, Labour says. “Front line police and others in the criminal justice system are telling us police have had pressure put on by senior officers...
    Labour | 07-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners in the regions are facing declining equity in their properties, while in Auckland and...
    Labour | 07-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    The number of Auckland households in urgent and serious need of housing has increased tenfold since March 2012, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.The Ministry of Social Development, which took over Housing New Zealand's assessment responsibility for social housing...
    Greens | 07-07
  • Fed Farmers leading wrong way on water
    Federated Farmers needs to show greater leadership on water quality, the Green Party said today. The Green Party is responding to claims by the outgoing and incoming Federated Farmers' dairy section chairs that 'there is no need for urgent action"...
    Greens | 07-07
  • John Key must get whaling assurance from Abe
    John Key must seek a concrete assurance from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will not flout the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling on whaling, the Green Party said today.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is meeting with...
    Greens | 06-07
  • HAVE A KITKAT DAVID, THERE’S A LONG WAY TO GO YET – Harawira
    “Internet MANA is not ruling out the possibility of a entering into coalition with Labour after the election”, said Internet MANA leader Hone Harawira with tongue firmly in cheek, after Labour leader David Cuniliffe said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that...
    Mana | 06-07
  • Government underfunding jeopardises recycling
    The Government's underfunding of the TV Takeback scheme jeopardises the whole e-waste drop-off network across the country, the Green Party said today. The TV Takeback scheme was put in place to deal with the glut of old TVs needing to...
    Greens | 04-07
  • Whaling must be top of agenda for Japan PM visit
    New Zealand must make protecting whales a priority during next week's visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make an official visit to New Zealand next week...
    Greens | 04-07
  • ACC investments risking native species
    The National Government has invested in a gold drilling company whose activities threaten a critically endangered native frog species, the Green Party has revealed today.Despite being a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)...
    Greens | 03-07
  • Small class sizes and school meals get another big tick in schools report
    “Congratulations to the Child Poverty Action Group for making it crystal clear what’s needed to ensure kids from the least well-off communities can get the best out of school” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau. ...
    Mana | 03-07
  • Government’s bottom lines for water create a licence to pollute
    The Government has pulled the plug on cleaning up our dirty rivers so they are safe for swimming, the Green Party said today. The Green Party was commenting on the Government's national bottom lines for water quality released today by...
    Greens | 02-07
  • Green Party’s answer to climate Big Ask
    The Green Party has welcomed a Gen Zero report calling for concrete climate commitments from all parties ahead of the election."Gen Zero's Big Ask report is a timely reminder about what real climate action looks like," said Green Party Climate...
    Greens | 02-07
  • Shots fired at Mana office – Harawira
    “I get threatened with violence and I get death threats, but when somebody starts taking shots at my office then that’s another matter altogether”,  said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira after shots were fired at one of...
    Mana | 01-07
  • Protecting Papatuanuku a Priority for MANA – Harawira
    “Big ups to Greenpeace for their Climate Voter initiative http://www.climatevoter.org.nz/”, said Hone Harawira, MANA leader and MP for Tai Tokerau. “Letting people see which parties stand up for Papatuanuku and which parties stand for overdevelopment and pollution should help focus their...
    Mana | 01-07
  • Ae Marika! 1 July 2014
    I got a really good response to last week’s article about forestry safety, including this gem from an old mate - “Back in the early 70′s our Maori bush gangers showed you the ropes. You never forgot a thing they...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Green Party MP Holly Walker to step down from party list
    Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party's list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list."Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change...
    Greens | 30-06
  • Pasifika Immigration Plans for Labour- too little, too late – James Papal...
    The Labour Party has recently announced that it has plans to speed up family reunification for Pasifika people. “I have seen these plans and I believe that these are too timid” says MANA Pasifika vice President, James Papali’i. “After waiting...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Support for USA in Iraq “not a deal to die for” – Harawira
    “When John Key says ‘New Zealand fully supports the current steps announced by President Obama (in Iraq) 100%’ he is one step away from committing our troops simply to get a good trade deal with the USA,” said MANA Leader...
    Mana | 24-06
  • Ae Marika! 23 June 2014
    Another key spot for me to meet people is Auckland Airport, on my way back from parliament to either go to Waitakere or the North Shore, or to catch link flights to Whangarei, Kerikeri, or Kaitaia on constituency business. Every...
    Mana | 23-06
  • National’s ghost crime stats
    Police made burglaries vanish Police altered official crime statistics to make hundreds of burglaries disappear, a Herald on Sunday investigation has found. A damning report obtained by the newspaper reveals the burglaries were instead recorded as more minor crimes, or as incidents,...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • Key thought you said Maui’s golfing not Maui’s Dolphin
    Key thought you said Maui’s golfing not Maui’s Dolphin...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • Media Take: Brown-washing
    First there was Media7, then there was Media3, now the Russell Brown appreciation society is called Media Take and screens on Maori TV at the traditional NZ On Air niche-funding dump time of 10:30pm, on the niche-funding mid-week dump day of Tuesday, with a repeat – also at...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • Herald on Sunday Guest Column: Women – your votes are vital this year
    My latest guest column for the Herald on Sunday is here...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • Blaming Palestinians for Hamas rocket strikes while ignoring Israel’s occ...
    Since the violence between Israel and Palestine escalated, I’ve been avoiding the major news outlets such as BBC and CNN because I already knew what they were going to say and how they were going to frame the events. It...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • A brief word on Murray McCully’s inquest into nothing – nobody was expe...
    Ummmmmm, what? Diplomat case: Attacks on sex inquiry’s terms of referenceThe inquiry into the Government’s mistakes in its handling of the alleged sex case involving a Malaysian diplomat is being denounced for not specifically putting the roles of Foreign Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • National MPs – giving us the finger in election year
    . . National MPs and ministers have been busy this year with more botch-ups, scandals, an attempted smear campaign, and spinning bullshit to cover their arses with multiple policy failures in health, education, the environment, child poverty, etc, etc, etc…...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • The Nation review: Paula Bennett on drama queen domestic violence stats
    You really have to see the train-wreck of an interview Paula Bennett pulls off today on The Nation. With Judith Collins and Hekia Parata’s demise, National need to promote one female talent and this has prompted a very head girl...
    The Daily Blog | 12-07
  • There is a war being waged on NZ men… at least according to this Facebook...
    Men’s masculinity is under attack in New Zealand and four people, one of whom is a woman (it always stings that little bit more when a woman is pushing anti-feminist ideas), have created a Facebook page to do something about it....
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Dear hysterical NZ Men – Women’s rights are no threat to our masculinit...
    How insecure in your masculinity must you feel to buy into believing Labour are declaring a war on men? This Facebook site, The Labour Party’s War on Men, is a real voyage through the psyche of angry men angry at...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Education reforms – there is a choice
    To have the Education Minister and the sycophantic mainstream media constantly asserting that the only way to improve the education our children get is to reform the system by privatisation, performance pay, and the collection of a few data sets...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Not That Different After All: Some thoughts on Neoliberalism
    OVER THE PAST 35 YEARS,  the neoliberal ideology has been adopted by virtually the entire Right. Certainly, there is no serious right-wing political party – either here in New Zealand or elsewhere in the developed world – that does not...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Hone Harawira
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • #TeamKeyJr
    #TeamKeyJr...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Random Thoughts on Random Things #7 – the fate of the Maori Party
    . . Watching Pita Sharples interviewed on TV3′s ‘The Nation’ on 5 July, two things occurred to me. 1. There is every likelihood that, come election day,  the Maori Party is doomed. If they are really, really, really lucky, they...
    The Daily Blog | 11-07
  • Every bomb Israel drops on Gaza creates 10 new ‘terrorists’
    The latest round of horror Apartheid Israel is using to justify their latest disproportional response seeds from a couple of events. America’s need to talk to Iran because of Iraq has spooked Apartheid Israel into manufacturing a new crisis that...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD 10 July 2014 CPAG says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand’s poorest children should expect a far greater...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • How can New Zealand help defend the Palestinian struggle?
    FOR MOST NEW ZEALANDERS the Middle East is shorthand for war without end. When I was growing up most of us knew no better than to believe Israel was a small, plucky state standing up to big, thuggish neighbouring bullies....
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • “I got an apology”… said no survivor of rape or gendered violence eve...
    When I was 15 my cousin who lived with me and my mum would come home black and blue. Her dealer and boyfriend, Nick Ge used to beat her for whatever reason, for whatever justification he saw fit. Men who...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • NZ – Inequality and poverty measured
    The Household Incomes Reports by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are providing powerful evidence that New Zealand is a deeply unequal society with intractable levels of poverty that includes many with jobs as well as those without. The reports which are...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Child Poverty Action Group – Those with the least left furthe...
    This week a delighted – and no doubt relieved – Minister of Social Development gave us the news we had all been waiting for: under her careful watch, child poverty has fallen 3%. The figures are in the latest Ministry...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Charter Schools are working, why not ...
    Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day Parliament dumped the TVNZ Charter, ceremoniously, by 64 MPs to 56.   The Broadcasting Minister of the day, one J Coleman, said without too much of a smirk that the removal of the charter would have little...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Motorists passing people on bicycles and other vulnerable road users owe them a high duty of care.”...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: High cost of storm damage sign of things to come Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release National’s deal with SkyCity means that a company that flout’s New Zealand’s gambling regulations has the opportunity to greatly...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Please explain Minister… yet again Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says....
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’ A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Murray McCully must go: sign the petition to demand his resignation
    Sign the petition to demand Murray McCully resign and stand with Tania Billingsley and the thousands of women who have survived sexual assault in New Zealand. Tania Billingsley, who is at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat case, has lifted her own...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • More mining our protected places
    Today is the last day for submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) marine consent application to mine the seabed in a protected area, in our most productive fishery. I just got my submission in which you can read here. This...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Poverty and inequality denial are no reasons for celebration
    The headlines proclaim that concerns about poverty and inequality is just a lot of left wing PC guilt squawking because according to cherry picked statistics there isn’t really any inequality or poverty. Cue a rousing round of ‘we don’t know...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National breaks promise to insulate every state house Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release “It’s not just a broken promise, it’s poor economics.” National has broken its promise to insulate every...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • “World Class Welfare System” My Arse. Come Clean Nathan Guy!
    Pigs are not safe in New Zealand. How many farms do activists have to film before the Ministry of Primary Industries comes clean and admits their accreditation scheme is an absolute failure? Do activists need to do the job of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Tania Billingsley – hero
    The astounding courage exhibited by Tania Billingsley last night on 3rd Degree should put the Government to shame. Her criticism of those charged with upholding her rights is to the bone and righteous… The woman at the centre of a...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: McCully should stand down while review considers his actions Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, why I love John ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game
    If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto  Posted on July 10, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press Releases“Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • 7 reasons why online voting isn’t a solution
    Online voting is being waved around again as a means to increase participation.  Here are the 7 reasons why I think online voting is a bad idea. 1 – 21% of those asked why theory didn’t vote in 2011 gave ‘didn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Greg Presland – National and Pacifica
    John Key and National have recently been claiming that Pacifica are leaving Labour en masse and are heading towards National.  I am sorry John but there is no chance of this happening.  But Key and co have been able to get the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Police sweeping domestic violence under the carpet?
    Pressure to lower stats – MPPolice were under government orders to “minimise” the number of domestic violence charges they lay to make crime statistics look good, Labour MP Andrew Little claimed yesterday. This latest allegation of Police downplaying domestic violence...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Invite: AGM & Political Forum
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Invite: AGM & Political ForumCPAG AGM & Election Year Political Forum 08 July 2014 When: Wednesday 30 July Where: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland RSVP here! Please...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Housing figures National’s shame Monday, 07 Jul 2014 | Press Release “These figures are a shame on the Government. All New Zealanders deserve secure housing, whether renting or owning.” The number of...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: QV figures show two-track housing market The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • GUEST POST: Michael Wood – Just Structures
    The headline number at this weekend’s Labour Congress was a very good speech from David Cunliffe, the centre-piece of which was the well-received announcement on class sizes. The Congress ended on a high note, with delegates energised and positive media...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Cunliffe vs Key
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A letter to Hekia
    A letter to Hekia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Animal abuse unacceptable for pigs and consumers
    I was a kid on pig farms in the 1970s. Piglets were castrated using a scalpel without anaesthetic, wire cutters were used to trim their teeth and cut off their tails. Wire was forced through their sensitive snouts. Row upon...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A better Canterbury and a better NZ
    Labour’s first 100 days is going to be a busy time – we’ve got a lot to change!  Kick-starting the Canterbury recovery is going to be a crucial part of those first 100 days.  Labour has announced several Canterbury specific...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Dear Leader loves you! Our cult of no personality
    .   The Cult of Dear Leader . It was inevitable. The poll-rated ‘popularity’ of Prime Minister has evolved into a full-blown, carefully-choreographed, Cult of Personality the likes of which this country has never before seen. The recent National Party...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial crisis, lack of adjustment of the accommodation supplement and high housing costs show...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Internet Party to Stop High-Risk Resource Extraction
    The Internet Party wants a moratorium on fracking, the dumping of oil wastes, deep-sea and undersea extraction and other risky energy and mining industry practices....
    Scoop politics | 12-07
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour’s David Shearer
    David Shearer says Labour’s policy backs oil drilling and indicates not keen to be swayed by the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 12-07
  • Lisa Owen interviews Paula Bennett
    Paula Bennett says Government won’t raise benefit levels, disagrees with Children’s Commissioner that current levels do not allow children to participate in society....
    Scoop politics | 12-07
  • The Return of the Worm : Introducing The NZ Election Reactor
    Scoop Independent News has formed a partnership with leading polling company, Roy Morgan Research, to bring the original Worm back for the NZ 2014 Election....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Brazilian tourist behind bars for cocaine smuggling
    A 20-year-old Brazilian tourist will not see much of New Zealand, after being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for trying to smuggle around $656,000 of cocaine into the country. He will be deported after...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Naenae College to benefit from ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot
    National Candidates Lewis Holden and Chris Bishop welcome the news that local students at Naenae College will directly benefit from being involved in ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot programme against sexual violence....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Mr Ismail’s bail conditions
    Mr Ismail was required by the Court to surrender his passport by 5.00 pm on 12 May. By this time, Police had been able to confirm with MFAT that he had diplomatic immunity and therefore the bail conditions were unenforceable....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • What Stops People Moving Out of Poverty
    Speaking For Ourselves is the title of a new report drawn from ground-breaking research that follows 100 families for one year. The families are long-term users of the Auckland City Mission’s food bank and have contributed their experience of what...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Police continue to build pressure on the Headhunters Gang
    Three patched Head Hunter Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) members and an associate have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery following the conclusion of a successful Police covert operation....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • The Nation 12,13 July: Poverty, Offshore Drilling, Regions
    Then as it tries to balance environmental concerns with jobs, Labour energy spokesperson David Shearer reveals his party’s new policy on offshore drilling....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Sexual and reproductive health in the Pacific
    Today on World Population Day, the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) calls on governments in the Pacific to urgently invest in sexual and reproductive health, particularly family planning, to improve the choices...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Its the economy stupid
    A poll being conducted on the Massey Birdwood Settlers website asks the question - Its Election Year - what will you base your vote on?...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Global Thinking Needed to Spark New Zealand’s Digital Future
    Giving Kiwi digital innovators the tools to help them think globally from day one is how New Zealand will become world-leader in the digital economy, says the Internet Party....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application
    The seafood industry strongly opposes Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, saying it will have “significant and irreversible adverse effects on the marine environment.” In its submission to the Environmental Protection...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Māori Parenting Course already a hit
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has commended programmes that rise up out of the community that work ‘with’ families, as opposed to interventions that do things ‘to’ families. She was speaking as guest of honour at the recent launch...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Royal visit no king hit
    Support for a Kiwi Head of State is still high after April's royal tour....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Captioning to give hard of hearing community greater access
    New Zealand political programmes on TV will soon be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Able is pleased to announce that from Wednesday 23rd July, it will be providing closed captions for TV ONE’s Q+A, TV3’s 3rd...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Conservatives Law and Order Policy Based on Mythology
    “The Conservative Party’s Law and Order current slogan ‘Stand for Something’ should be changed to ‘Stand for Anything’ says Kim Workman, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, in its latest ‘Smart on Crime’ blog....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Billingsley reminds us that sexual abuse can be prevented
    Tania Billingsley’s choice to have name suppression lifted and to talk about the wider issue of rape culture that facilitated her assault has highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence in New Zealand and reminds us that it can be prevented....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • 90 jobs lost in the Waikato as NZ Post closes mail centre
    New Zealand Post has confirmed that 90 jobs will be lost when it closes its Waikato mail processing centre. The confirmation comes after NZ Post announced in June last year that it would be closing its Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Award for excellence in International Development journalism
    VSA is proud to launch its award for excellence in International Development journalism. VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in International Development....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Marchers Keep Maui’s to the fore
    After successful marches around the country, Maui’s dolphin campaigners continue their pressure on the Government with a march to John Key’s electorate office in Kumeu on Sunday 13 July at 10am, leaving from the Kumeu Arts Centre at 10.30, 300...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • ESC announcement ‘shamefully late’, says safety campaigner
    The government announcement that Electronic Stability Control will become compulsory on new vehicles is effectively locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, says the car review website dogandlemon.com. Electronic Stability Control detects...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee. “Let’s replace the barbed wire of refugee camps with our own No. 8 wire mentality. Let’s be there for some of our planet’s most vulnerable...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Internet Party Wades in to Fix Sick Waterways
    New Zealand’s waterways will be cleaned up and much higher standards set on water quality in a 10-year plan to be introduced by the Internet Party by 2016....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Time for Kiwis to start punching above weight in Humanity
    Acknowledgments and warm greetings to you all. I would especially like to welcome the relatively new representative from the UNHRC Thomas Albrecht..welcome to our part of the world, the Deputy CE for Immigration Nigel Bickle and the Ian Axford...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • SSC Releases Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) Reports
    The Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) reviews released by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today include the full reviews of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Treasury....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?
    The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • President of PGA to attend Workshop for Arms Trade Treaty
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson will be attending a Workshop next week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to promote signature and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Calls for Government Intervention Premature But Inevitable
    The Taxpayers’ Union is reacting to calls for a Crown Manager to be appointed to shepherd Auckland Council through its budget crisis, with disappointment. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Seeking Sanctuary
    What would you do if you were forced to flee your home because of war or persecution?...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration
    Child Poverty Action Group says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand's poorest children should expect a far greater level of ambition for their well-being....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Cyclists want answers from political parties
    Cyclists are calling for better protection, following the Coroner's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly, held in Hamilton this week. Mrs Farrelly was killed after being struck by a truck near Taupo on March 16 last year....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Malaysian embassy employee
    Police are continuing to support Tania who has recently applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved. Police did not oppose this course of action as we wanted to support...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity
    Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Margaret Mahy boat unveiled on anniversary of ship bombing
    Greenpeace is naming a new boat after one of New Zealand’s best known children’s authors, Margaret Mahy, at a ceremony today on the 29th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland harbour....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • ACC announces schools in sexual violence prevention pilot
    ACC has announced the nine secondary schools and facilitators who will pilot its new sexual and dating violence prevention programme....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • PISA results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels
    PISA financial literacy results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels for young New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles
    The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is urging the Government to consider a suite of NZPI-developed guiding principles on freshwater quality issues when it implements its upcoming freshwater reforms....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Labour Party Policy a Mixed Bag
    The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) would welcome any review of insurers’ response to the Canterbury earthquakes, rejects the Labour Party’s proposal for another regulator of the industry and supports its policy of transferring levies...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
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