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Helen Clark answers your questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, April 25th, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: helen clark, interview, labour - Tags: , , , , , , ,

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We’re very pleased to have Prime Minister Helen Clark respond to your questions as part of our Interview the Leaders series.

Question to all leaders:

Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud?

I am proud to lead a government which has worked so hard to restore fairness, opportunity, security, and hope to many New Zealanders. 360,000 more New Zealanders are in work now than when Labour was first elected. Students have interest-free loans. Doctors’ fees for most people have halved. The rate of New Zealand Super has been lifted, and many older New Zealanders are getting help with their rates. State house tenants now pay fair rents, and workers and their unions bargain on much better terms under the Employment Relations Act.

As a government, we’ve focused on building the infrastructure a modern society requires, with massive investment in transport, and through far reaching telecommunications legislation to facilitate the roll out of faster, cheaper broadband.

We are putting in place far-reaching policies to make New Zealand more sustainable and to fight climate change.

Our government is a force for peace in the world, not only through our work for nuclear disarmament, but also through our opposition to unnecessary wars like that in Iraq. Our Labour-led Government refused to take part in the invasion of Iraq because we believed the case for it had not been made.

Given the privilege of a fourth term for the Labour-led Government, we pledge ourselves to continuing to lead on providing opportunity and security, working for sustainability, modernising the economy, and working world-wide for peace and justice.

From reader Matthew Pilott: Do you think the introduction of MMP has strengthened or weakened New Zealand’s democracy?

In the sense that governments are no longer  single party ones, and so a number of parties must work together for there to be a majority in Parliament, it has probably been strengthened.

Our Labour-led Government has been a minority government ever since we first came into office in 1999. We have been successful because we have worked well with other parties and been prepared to share power.

From Reader Andrew E: I’ve always voted Labour (was even a member of the Party) but this year I’m planning on voting National as I’m very concerned by the erosions in our freedoms that have happened under your watch. Why am I wrong?

I know of no erosions of freedoms which have occurred on our watch. Any such assertion is sheer spin from the National Party and its friends.

If the writer is perchance referring to the legislation on disciplining children, he might reflect on the fact it passed through Parliament on a vote of 113:8 with the National Party voting in support of it!

61 comments on “Helen Clark answers your questions”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    Great to have these. Turned out they arrived on Thursday afternoon but one of the joys of being mutli-author and having a division of roles is that a_y_b, who handles the blog’s email traffic, wasn’t near a computer.

    Interesting, we had thought she would choose a specific event for the first answer, but it’s pretty obvious when you think about it that leading a Labour government would be the achieve she’s most proud of.

    It’s a good answer – in fact all the answers for that question so far have been very good (Jeanette should have refrained from starting with ‘there are so many!’).

    Lynn, lovely touch with the ANZAC poppy.

  2. Wendyc 2

    Clark lists all those ‘achievements’ but doesn’t mention tax cuts at all!

  3. I’d say if tax-cuts were all a leader were proud of it might be time for them to consider if they really wanted to be in politics. These are a bit short but I guess that’s a sign Helen wrote them herself.

  4. milo 4

    I would guess that one of her advisors drafted the responses, but that she reviewed and edited them, which is a standard, and perfectly reasonable practice.

    [lprent: Nope - she wrote them herself.]

  5. East Wellington Superhero 5

    “I know of no erosions of freedoms which have occurred on our watch.”

    This is a classic line. It shows either complete ignorance (and PM Clark is not ignorant) or complete spin and deceit.

    I used to have some respect for the PM. Not anymore.

    Honestly, you Labour guys are just unbelievable.

    I’m off to enjoy the sun on this ANZAC Day. A day on which we can reflect on the precious freedoms we still have in New Zealand.

  6. James Kearney 6

    I’m off to enjoy the sun on this ANZAC Day.

    The Nats aren’t making you work Anzac Day?? Maybe I’ve been wrong about them all along.

  7. East Wellington Superhero 7

    Oh, and the poppy thing is a bloody joke! Indicating either no recollection of history or your own confusion.

    Amongst those who refused to fight in WWI were a number of folk who would later go to be Labour leaders.

    The Left’s attitude toward Vietnam and its veterans has been disgraceful.

    Our current PM was extremely hostile to the armed forces and has, in what I can only describe as embarrassing for her sake, publicly reconcilled her past errors and exorcised her demons with these recent trip across Europe.

    The poppy might seem like a nice touch for some, but it think it looks rather awkward on the banner of thestandard.

  8. susan 8

    I’m sorry EWS? Labour is anti-armed forces? Are you forgetting our wartime PM MJ Savage? If you’re referring to the fact that Helen Clark didn’t want to send Kiwis to die in Iraq, you’re right on there.

    That’s of course unlike your leaders John Key and Bill English (leader at the time) who both thought it was worth sending NZers to die for the failed nutty global ideology of the U.S. neo-cons. And the results… hundreds of thousands of dead children – what a fucking success. Why don’t you try and run that as a campaign slogan “National supports dead children”, because that’s the brutal honesty of your position.

    (And don’t even start me on Vietnam)

  9. AncientGeek 9

    EWS: It is ANZAC day, so I’ll be charitable.

    If you’ve ever read the history of what happened to the CO’s, you wouldn’t consider that it was an easy option. For that matter, how many of the future labour leaders did serve?

    Didn’t the same leaders that you’re denigrating them go on to run the war effort in WW2 where they did agree with the cause (and sent their kids out on the line).

    Going and getting involved in a war should be something that you believe is required. It isn’t something you should do as mindlessly as you (or for that matter the Nat’s over Iraq) seem to expect. You do not put your citizens in harms way without sufficient reason.

    As an ex-soldier who fortunately never had to fight, all I can say is that you are a moronic dickhead. Probably yet another of those ignorant armchair generals. The type that feels it is good to send other people off to fight while never having the gumption to do it yourself or have your children put in harms way.

  10. lonelyavenger 10

    “If you’re referring to the fact that Helen Clark didn’t want to send Kiwis to die in Iraq”

    But she did send New Zealanders to Iraq.

    I’m also surprised that Clark doesn’t recall recently banning party pills, restricting free speech and preventing Auckland International Airport shareholders from exerting their property rights. She must either be suffering from severe memory loss or just be lying outright.

  11. Spectator 11

    Strangely enough, I don’t see any erosion of the freedoms that I exercise; indeed, the only “freedom” that seems to have been lost is the “freedom” of a handful of bestial sub-humans to beat their children half to death with stockwhips, wooden blocks and Alkathene pipes without legal repercussions.

  12. AncientGeek 12

    Ok I’ve calmed down a little after replying to that minuscule self-styled ‘superhero’. You have to wonder what he is compensating for.

    You have to admit that the spin from the tories has been remarkably effective. There is a widespread perception out there that the s59 was from labour. It was a green private members bill, that in the end got voted for by almost every MP.

    As Spectator says, I haven’t noticed any particular diminution in my personal freedoms, except that the police have become much more effective at traffic violations on her watch. I’m actually watching my speed these days.

    I was more interested in her comments about the infrastructure development. Thats what I really notice. It is one of those boring jobs that takes a long time and isn’t a quick fix. But it has been done in the LP’s watch.

  13. Catherine 13

    That last question was pretty badly worded. Dear Leader didnt even know what freedom erosins you were referring to, and who could blame her.

  14. AncientGeek 14

    avenger:

    But she did send New Zealanders to Iraq.

    How about telling the full story.

    From memory, we sent EME’s (engineers) to help restore critical infrastructure that’d been bombed. They did carry weapons but strictly for defense, and were guarded by the brits. I believe that it was at the request of the UN (but I could be wrong). In other words, we sent engineers on a humanitarian mission.

    If you think that is the same as a combat tour, then you have a strange idea about military operations.

    As for the rest of it, I suppose that you think that legalising heroin in a good idea, that the defamation laws should be removed, and that there should be no legislation about contract law. Because without a definition about why you think your one-liners are relevant, then these are the logical extension of your statements.

    Guess what, governments are there to govern. While this may come as a surprise to you (from your statements), that is why we elect them. Looks to me like you need to find a anarchist state to live in – try somalia. It is probably the closest thing at present since NATO intervened in Afghanistan.

    You sound like another pathetic superhero – right down to the name

  15. AncientGeek 15

    Catherine: I actually agree with you. Such an open-ended question is a bit useless. I hope that when they select questions for the Used Car Salesman aka Slippery John aka Mr FlipFlop aka (what is his real name?), that the questions are a bit better defined.

  16. randal 16

    I think history will look back and judge Helen Clark as New Zealands greatest ever prime minister not only for the achievements of her government but for the ability to defuse the cancerous corrosive and corrupt attacks from the mental midgets on the right

  17. Tane 17

    EWS, the early labour leaders who opposed the First World War were right in doing so – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember those who died or reflect on the pointlessness and destruction of war.

    Respect for the dead and anti-imperialism can go hand in hand, and for me that’s what Anzac Day is about.

  18. lonelyavenger 18

    AncientGreek,

    I was responding to Susan who send Clark didn’t send New Zealanders to Iraq. She quite clearly did.

    “As for the rest of it, I suppose that you think that legalising heroin in a good idea,”

    Given that would be both ethically just and, pragmatically speaking, would be less destructive than prohibition, yes I do.

    “that the defamation laws should be removed”

    Rubbish. There’s a difference between restricting honest speech and outlawing lies and deception.

    “and that there should be no legislation about contract law.”

    Rubbish. There’s a difference between enforcing a just legal framework than changing the framework midship in a desperate attempt to appeal to xenophobes leftover from the New Zealand First party.

    “Because without a definition about why you think your one-liners are relevant, then these are the logical extension of your statements.”

    No, you’ve arbitrarily made ridiculous slippery-slope-style assertions that don’t in the slightest follow from my statements.

    But let’s get back to the point: which of the following is not a freedom:

    – the right to party pills
    – the right to sell what you own
    – the right to use your own money to make political statements

    You could argue that the restrictions on freedoms are justified for the greater good (although I would disagree), but you cannot argue that freedoms have not been abridged.

    Since the rest of your post was a mixture of logical fallacies, arguments following from incorrect assertions and immature personal attacks, I’ll ignore it.

  19. AncientGeek 19

    LV: thats a bit better.

    No, you’ve arbitrarily made ridiculous slippery-slope-style assertions that don’t in the slightest follow from my statements.

    Thats because you didn’t say anything. It was in some kind of code. So I caught your attention by extending what you said.

    You have now largely stopped talking in neo-cons code (apart from the slipery-slope stuff). It is as hard to understand as when I start talking techno-geek. You should consider your audience when writing.

    Your general problem is that you don’t look back in history. All of the items you referenced have been in place long before this government. At most, the current government has made the bounds more explicit.

    drugs – well I see we have to disagree. After losing school friends in the 70’s to heroin, I’m entirely happy with not having much entering the country. Jim Anderton (the minister responsible) also has a personal interest in keeping the drug culture down.

    I have no idea of the effect of bzp. But I’d presume that it went through the same process that defines the danger to society and people from various drugs.

    Rather than focusing on one drug, why don’t you set your mind to modifying the process? That process was in place long before this government.

    private property: But contract law restricts your property rights as well. For instance it restricts your right to sell the same item more than once, whenever you feel so inclined. Surely that is a constraining your right to sell what you own? Face it – there is a legal framework that supports private ownership. Without it the concept of private ownership doesn’t exist (at least not without weapons).

    Again there have been restrictions in law on sale of any assets to foreign ownership long before this government for various reasons. In the instance that you’re referring to, holes were detected in the legislation, and corrected. Again you should be looking at the process, not the instance.

    Please read the electoral act 1993. The major change in the act was shifting the electoral period from 3 months, to starting at the start of the election year. Almost everything else was already in the act, but not clearly defined.

    The old act made the assumption that political campaigning could be associated with a political party, and therefore could be put into the spending restriction of a party.

    The exclusive brethren proved that not to always be the case, and the legislation was extended to cover campaign spending of ‘3rd parties’. There was also a more precise definition of the details that had to be on the campaign material. That was because the EB used non-residential addresses.

    ——-

    So tell me why you think that any of these things you’re referring to are new restrictions of your freedom.

  20. Absolute Power 20

    History will be harsh on Helen Clark’s regime.

  21. Santi 21

    “Respect for the dead and anti-imperialism can go hand in hand, and for me that’s what Anzac Day is about.”

    What planet are you on Tane?

    In that line of thinking you should also celebrate the day of the year the USSR collapsed, when the ruthless Soviets invaded Hungary, the Czech Republic and killed freedom in Poland, but being an unabashed socialist I bet you don’t.

    Yes, pay your respect to Castro, a walking corpse.

  22. lonelyavenger 22

    I provided examples of what freedoms have been restricted by the current government. That they are continuations of old principles that restrict freedoms does not mean new freedoms have not been curtailed.

    Prior to the actions of the government, people were free to buy and sell BZP, now they are not. That is a new restriction.

  23. Prior to the activities of the current govenment same-sex couples were not free to have their union officially recognised. Now they are. That is a new freedom and arguably a much more significant one than the right to sell dull and nasty pseudo-drugs.

    And for the record I am in favour of legalising and then heavily regulating all drugs. What I wouldn’t give for a clean and legal supply of opiates instead of stone-age barbaric and dirty shit like alcohol…

  24. Absolute Power 24

    Drug addiction centers are already over flowing with addicts robinsod.

    P is causing huge damage to kiwi society.

  25. Gooner 25

    lonelyavenger said:

    “But let’s get back to the point: which of the following is not a freedom:

    – the right to party pills
    – the right to sell what you own
    – the right to use your own money to make political statements”

    You conflate freedoms with rights in these examples.

    A right guarantees intervention viz a viz the party who owes you a duty against that right: basically, protection of your right.

    A freedom, on the other hand, guarantees no intervention when that freedom is exercised. You can’t ask which of those are freedoms and then assert three ‘rights’. The first is arguably neither a right nor a freedom; the second is a right; and the third is a right in NZ, but should be a freedom.

  26. AP – the biggest problem drug is alcohol. I’ll admit P is not the best but even that pales in comparison with alcohol. And addiction isn’t so bad as long as it’s managed.

  27. Dean 27

    “EWS, the early labour leaders who opposed the First World War were right in doing so – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember those who died or reflect on the pointlessness and destruction of war.”

    That’s an excellent point, and they were right to do so.

    Labour leaders also opposed world war 2. That was stupid.

    Which just goes to show how labour leaders can be stupid.

  28. Dean 28

    “drugs – well I see we have to disagree. After losing school friends in the 70’s to heroin, I’m entirely happy with not having much entering the country. Jim Anderton (the minister responsible) also has a personal interest in keeping the drug culture down.”

    That’ll be why Anderton has an interest in banning booze.

    Anderton has nothing to offer apart from having an interest in being a killjoy of epic proportions. Hey, prohibition works so well, right?

    Please.

  29. Gooner 29

    “And for the record I am in favour of legalising and then heavily regulating all drugs. What I wouldn’t give for a clean and legal supply of opiates instead of stone-age barbaric and dirty shit like alcohol ”

    Sod, we agree on this. Strange times aye!

  30. Dean 30

    “I know of no erosions of freedoms which have occurred on our watch. Any such assertion is sheer spin from the National Party and its friends.”

    I just can’t stop laughing.

  31. Absolute Power 31

    “And addiction isn’t so bad as long as it’s managed.”

    A throw away rubbish tin comment robinsod. What the hell are you on man?

  32. Tane 32

    Labour leaders also opposed world war 2. That was stupid.

    Some may have that I’m not aware of, but wasn’t it a Labour leader by the name of Michael Joseph Savage who took New Zealand into the second world war?

  33. Sam Dixon 33

    Yeah, Tane I think you’re right. In fact, wasn’t the First Labour Government the first Government in the world to declare war on Nazi Germany?

    EWS – do you think World War 1 was a good idea? I hope not because no-one else does. It was an imperialist folly and that is why left wingers all over the world opposed it at the time (when the German front collapsed in 1918 many front line units transformed into soldiers’ soviets, they were eventually crushed by the fascistic forebears of the Nazis, supported by the Allies. After World War 2, the allies were careful to keep military order in the defeated german armies to prevent that happening again). 90 years later and most people agree with those left wingers that it was a war that did not need to be fought.

    That doesn’t stop one showing respect to those who died. In fact, it is an opportunity to reflect on the mistakes that led to their deaths, and vow that we won’t be led into that situation again.

  34. “P is causing huge damage to kiwi society.”

    How exactly would a National approach to crime solve the P issue AP?
    Or are you simply following the classic National approach – which is to identify an issue, and say its terrible – but have absolutely no intention of doing anything about it.

    National was in power during the 1990s. What did they do about P then? Metamphetamines have been around since the 1980s (in pure form).

    The current government’s approach is to target the manufacturers. What do you suggest should change, AP?

    I could come out with inflammatory statement i.e. “National has the potential to do huge damage to kiwi society”. Sure it might be accurate, but it doesn’t actually suggest a solution. Or is power power, AP?

  35. Steve Pierson 35

    what an interesting thread. the PM’s answers and EWS’s dickheadedness certainly sparked off some interesting topics.

    Responding to the criticisms of the wording of the third question: that’s how AndrewE wrote it. We don’t edit people’s questiosn we just try to chose the best of those submitted.

    The PM did write the questions herself, that’s what the office told me when I spoke to them and that’s been confirmed to me by contacts. And if you read them, they’re typically Clark: they aren’t rhetorically flowerly, and they get to the point.

    For the boozos saying that the banning of BZP is a restriciton on freedom – by that measure any regualtion or law that defines permissalbe behaviour is a restriction on freedom. That’s a stupid measure. The question is have any of our fundemental rights been more greatly restricted by Labour? I would argue no. Especially in the case of the EFA. In a democracy, voters have the right to make an informed choice, free of duress – secret campaigning and secret donors undermined that freedom – the EFA, by forcing people who are putting huge amounts of moeny into campaigns to reveal their identity and limit the amount they can spend, enhances the democratic freedom of voters to make their own minds up in an informed manner.

  36. ak 36

    “I am proud to lead a government which has worked so hard to restore fairness, opportunity, security, and hope to many New Zealanders”

    And so you should be Helen. History and the ongoing lot of countless future kiwis will shower your legacy with well-deserved garlands of respect and gratitude: never since Savage has this country enjoyed a leader imbued with such pure motivation, utter dedication, and sheer ability for the task of gently maintaining the world-leading direction of our beautiful country. The accomplishments of your government are appreciiated daily by millions of our citizens, and like those of your Labour predecessors, will colour, enhance and improve our lives forever.

    Take no notice whatsoever of the polls, the infantile and inane tory commenters above, and especially the disgusting “New Zealand Sucks’ campaign of your political opponents. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then National’s unilateral acceptance of your policies is your clearest mandate for even bolder advances.

    Talk to Hone and Pita: their people are still dying years earlier than they should.

    It’s the elephant in the rooom and probably the key to the election.

    You said you were up for it. Your record is already incredible and we thank you immensely, but please, one last effort: don’t let a slippery used car salesman beat you to the howdah.

  37. r0b 37

    I was glad to see the “erosion of freedoms” question got the short, direct answer that it deserved. The rest was much as expected.

    Burt and his ilk like to write off the list of Labour’s accomplishments dismissively as “the good list” and try to move on quickly to the latest beat-up pretend scandal instead. Well let’s not. Let’s take the time to reflect on that list from HC and what the last 9 years of Labour led government have achieved for the people if NZ. Like ak, I am very grateful.

    Win or lose the next election HC’s place in history as one of NZ’s great PMs is assured. That said, winning would be better than losing, so let’s go for it!

  38. AncientGeek 38

    Dean:

    Labour leaders also opposed world war 2. That was stupid.

    Who exactly. I’m a wee bit of student of history of the period. I can’t remember that.

    I can remember a number of major british politicians who did, including quite a number of tories.

    I can remember discussion in NZ amongst the labour movement – it is quite evident in the newspapers at the tme. I cannot remember any major labour party politicians who opposed it.

    While the discussion might seem a bit pointless. We are talking about stuff that happened 50-90 years ago. But the same arguments by NZ conservative politicians for going into the war in Iraq could changed for language and matched with the conservative reasons to go into every conflict in the 20th century. It seems to be a kneejerk reaction to send troops off to get killed because of loyalty, without bothering to see if the conflict is worthwhile or if we were committed to it by treaty. Of course not all of them a like that. But enough to see that there is a distinct pattern

    At least with Labour politicians they will actually use their brains.

  39. toms 39

    EWS: The New Zealand Labour party (founded 1916) and its key leadership team has been historically vindicated as being exactly right in its attitude to every war we’ve fought since 1914. Its members like Frazer and Savage opposed the great War, a pointless slaughter the confirmed the decadent and corrupt nature of the ruling European elites. Under Savage We stood out from the rest in voting to support the valiant struggle of the Spanish Republic against Franco’s fascist rebels. The Labour leadership recognised the evil of Hitler and under our greatest ever pair of PM’s – Savage and Frazer – we fought them from the very start to the final victory. Labour’s current leadership dedected the wrongness of the US war in Vietnam and correctly opposed it. Helen Clark saw that Afghanistan had to invaded to root out Bin Laden and she supported that, whilst also seeing that the attack on Iraq was an act of illegal adventurism that we as a nation must avoid at all costs.

    Labour has been vindicated by history as being right on every international conflict. That’s a proud record.

  40. Absolute Power 40

    toms , is the Labour Party “proud ” that the current Prime Minister called the people of the West Coast “feral inbreds” ?

    [lprent: if you're going to ask someone a question, usually you ask it about something they wrote. What you just did was try to start a flame - grow up or go out]

  41. toms 41

    I don’t know Absolute Power… Is the National “proud” that its last leader was a philander, and a corrupt puppet of big business?

  42. randal 42

    absolute power are you proud to be a nasty little creep?

  43. Even if you believe that 19 Arab hijackers led by a crazy guy in a cave could have perpetrated the attacks of 911, in which case I suggest you get your tuition fees back because you clearly did not understand the laws of physics, then surely it would not have been too much to ask of the United States government to provide proof that Osama Bin Laden was indeed involved before going to war.

    In fact no proof was ever offered to support the official “conspiracy theory’ that Osama Bin Laden was involved in the 911 attacks, Osama Bin Laden was never put on the official FBI most wanted list for the crimes of 911. Osama Bin Laden twice denied having had anything to do with the attacks on 911 in the months after the attacks, and the Taliban leaders offered to hand over Osama Bin Laden if the United States could provide proof of his involvement. Not only has the United States government never offered any proof of Osama Bin Laden guilt, the invasion of Afghanistan never resulted in the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden and his merry band of terrorists. In fact Osama Bin Laden and his men have been allowed to escape on two occasions one of them being from Tora Bora.

    The other reason for invading Afghanistan, the liberation of the Afghanistan people from the evil Taliban, which was initially claimed as a resounding success seems a long gone memory and the coalition of the “killing’ has had to increase troops on the ground several times.

    Ask yourself this: if we only went to Afghanistan to catch Osama Bin Laden and the “Terrorists’ and to liberate the Afghanistan people then why are the NATO and the United States army using depleted uranium shells. Depleted uranium shells explode upon impact and spread billions and billions of highly radioactive nano particles of dust in the year everybody and I mean everybody, not just the Taliban warriors, but ordinary Afghanistan people, men, women and children and coalition troops who breathe in these nano particles will have highly radioactive nano particles, capable of penetrating cell membranes throughout the entire human body travelling around in their bodies causing birth defects, hideously deformed children and myriads of cancers developing sometimes 10 to 15 years later. Ask yourself why NATO and the United States find it perfectly acceptable to cover both Afghanistan and Iraq in a layer of radioactive dust with a ½ life of 4.5 billion years rendering both countries toxic to live in until quite possibly the end of the world’s existence. It doesn’t sound like liberation to me. I call it Genocide.

    The United States used the events of 911 to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and is now building up momentum in order to evade Iran not because they felt compelled to bring democracy and freedom to these countries but because they wanted control of these countries resources. They wanted the oil and they wanted Afghanistan to start growing opium again which had virtually stopped under the rule of the Taliban and which was a main source of income for the CIA.

    Helen Clark in all probability with a misguided sense of solidarity with the American people and probably forced by New Zealand’s indignation that two of its citizens had been killed in the 911 attack sent troops into Afghanistan to assist with an illegal invasion of Afghanistan.

    Only the use of depleted uranium should be reason enough for the New Zealand people, who were after all the most bravest of people when confronting France about their nuclear experiments and who vowed never to have nuclear energy or a weapons on their soil, to ask the question: why are we still in Afghanistan after 7 years, why do we need to send more troops and to demand a new investigation into the events that led up to sending 1200 New Zealand troops in harm’s way, not just from being killed in battle but by being exposed to toxic, radioactive dust from exploded DU shells used by our Allies: The attacks on the day of 911.

  44. AncientGeek 44

    travellerev: Ignoring all of your other stuff, and just picking up on one teeny point.

    Depleted uranium shells are used against armored targets because the mass is required to penetrate the armour. They are ineffective against every other type of target because the mass makes them go straight through (explosive shells are used instead).

    There were very few armored vehicles left in Afghanistan, in fact so few that NATO only sent light armor. After Gulf War I, there were relatively few armored vehicles left in Iraq, which is why the number of heavy tanks sent by the coalition was quite low.

    So tell me this. If there are no significant armored targets, why would the military be firing depleted uranium shells?

    I know that they did in Gulf War I – but that was not Gulf War II or Afghanistan.

    So exactly why should I think much of the rest of the rave, when there is such a glaring error in it?

  45. Pascal's bookie 45

    I doubt EWS will respond to the stuff he no doubt intended to provoke, but I’ll just expand a little on some of the history Toms put forward. In the same spirit that EWS framed his comment.

    Not only did Labour in NZ make the right calls with regard to WWI and WWII, but the western left in general was spot on about fascism from the get go. The supporters and sympathisers for fascism in the west were almost the man industrialists, aristocrats and etsablishment types. Tories.

    The Labour movement in the west opposed the fascist movements in Spain, Germany, Italy and later Chile and Argentina. Western Right wingers, in hindsight, called them Prematurely anti facsist with regard to Spain. They openly supported south american fascists even as those fascists were throwing nuns out of helicopters. The Catholic church opposed left wing religious arguments against the govt in the form of liberation theology. Apparently property rights for capatalists trumps dead nuns.

    The first thing fascist goverments do is destroy the union movement, and they do so with support of the industrialists and owners of capital. As long as they do not nationalise the foreign owned assets of western corporations they will get no complaints from western right wingers when they start with the torture, the death squads, and the throwing of opponents out of helicopters.

    I’ll also note, for EWS sake, the two things that Austria, Spain, Italy, Chile and Argentina have in common. Also, vichy France (the active resistance was mostly leftwing)

    1. Popular fascist support strong enough to allow a govt of that persuasion to rule.

    2. Catholicism.

  46. Martin 46

    EWS I my earliest memory of being told about the ANZACs was at the RSA by a returned serviceman, as part of a cub scout trip.

    He was extremely rude about the whole operation in Gallipoli and about the English military brass who sent us there, one of whom was Churchill.

    The reason ANZAC day is a national holiday is that the ANZAC core found a sense of antipodean comradeship, while bravely and ingenously trying to extricate themselves from the horific and unecessary position their colonial masters had put them in.

    To be opposed to this senseless waste of life is hardly something to be ashamed of.

  47. jh 47

    One of Helen Clarks greatest achievements must be overseeing the changes in Kiwi lifestyles and values. I’m talking about the great coastal flog off , the over development of Queenstown etc .

  48. redbus 48

    There’s still passion in her heart. That’s for sure!!

    Excellent Prime Minister.

  49. Again, I can’t get over how badly informed and ignorant the average Pakeha male is and how they still think that white guys are the good guys and how incredibly arrogant they generally are.
    Ancientgeek, why bother with broadband if you’re only going to play games on your computer and write ill informed comments.
    If you, instead of writing your arrogant little reaction to my comment, had bothered to Google two words: Afghanistan and DU you would have gotten a response of 537.000 hits.
    Let me spell it out for you: We are not the good guys in Afghanistan.
    We being “the coalition of the killing’.
    Perhaps New Zealand troops don’t do a lot of killing themselves but merely by being there they’re giving credence to the fact that NATO and the United States are in the country legally. They are not. The war in Afghanistan is not “the good war’. The war in Afghanistan is like any other war: You either kill or get killed.
    So for your information I will give you a couple of links to websites that show the full horror of using depleted uranium as a weapon and some links to websites that prove beyond a shadow of the doubt that DU is used indiscriminately in Afghanistan and Iraq. As far as I’m concerned every single Western leader who is part of “the coalition of the killing’ is a war criminal and should be sent to the Hague and that includes Helen Clark and Phil Goff. There is absolutely no excuse for ignorance about what really happens in the wars after seven years of brutal occupation of both the Iraq and Afghanistan just like there will be absolutely no justification for the pending attack on Iran.
    Here is a nice site with photos of babies born in Afghanistan. A word of warning though these are not nice cuddly babies, this is what happens with babies when their mothers or fathers are contaminated with DU.
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2412
    When my husband and I saw these photos we opened a bottle of our homemade whisky and got smack faced, and when we came to we got smack faced again. I dare you to have a look at them and not feel the urge to get totally plastered for the next 24 hours. The next sites give estimates of how much DU has been used over the last seven years in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
    http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOR407A.html
    http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2001/msg01050.html
    http://www.countercurrents.org/us-paulinson161106.htm
    http://www.willthomasonline.net/willthomasonline/US_Veteran_Reveals_Atomic_Bombs.html
    And finally this is the site with MP3’s of three DU specialists telling their story about why DU is not a good idea.
    http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2003/Rokke-Depleted-Uranium-DU21apr03.htm
    After you’ve worked your way through these sites I urge you to sit down and just think about what has been happening to the Afghanistan and Iraqi people but also to 1200 of New Zealand’s finest. And not just them but also their families and friends because out of their duffel bags came toxic nuclear dust that will inevitably contaminate their environment in New Zealand for or 4.5 billion years.
    Welcome to the real world.

    Captcha: political light another cool blog name

  50. I found this nice little video. An American soldier testifies about the indiscriminate use of DU in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh oops they found radio active dust on the NASA space station from the DU used. this means that it is everywhere. Still think the war in Afghanistan is the good war?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud0SP5rg_5s

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    travellerev – is the work of the PRT in Afghanistan a bad thing?

  52. Jum 52

    lonelyavenger
    April 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Lonely Avenger – I’m sure you were referring to not being able to sell what you own. I assume you meant the Auckland Airport. That’s very strange.

    I remember owning it in 1998 under a National Government and suddenly I didn’t own it anymore.

    So how can the shareholders profess to owning something they stole from me?

  53. Hi Matthew,

    I had to look the meaning of PRT up because I was not familiar with the term, me not being a New Zealander. I have come to understand that the mentality of the New Zealand soldier is not based on aggression as such and that the PRT in and on itself is doing good work in the Banyan province.
    One of the political leaders of the local tribes visited New Zealand not so long ago and expressed her gratitude for the good work the PRT was doing in helping her people. So is the work they are doing a bad thing; No, it seems they are doing a good job helping people.

    But in my humble opinion that is neither here nor there.

    When Helen Clark was pressured into becoming a member of the “coalition of the willing’ it was done with the arguments that we would only go in there to catch Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda because of their alleged involvement with the attacks on 911 and because the Taliban were suppressing Afghan women and were forcing the entire population to live in medieval circumstances.

    New Zealand as well as a country where I come from; Holland as well as many other smaller countries were roped in to become part of a team.
    All the countries involved in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars signed the Geneva Convention and other what international treaties pertaining to rules of engagement, rules about prisoners of war rules about constitute weapons of mass destruction and the conventional weapons and to what amount of responsibility each individual has when partaking in a war.
    While I have the greatest respect for the New Zealand soldiers and their commitment to helping the local population, this is not what seems to be the purpose of other members of their team.
    To date approximately 2000 tonnes of RW=DU (radioactive waste now named depleted uranium) have been used in Afghanistan alone the result of which is a country contaminated with radioactive waste for the rest of this planets existence. Not only that, the radioactive dust has spread into the atmosphere and is spreading worldwide, in fact in the UK radioactive activity has spiked tremendously since the two wars commenced and they even have found radioactive material on the NASA space station. I suggest you link through to the sites in my previous comments if you really want to know how horrible radioactive contamination is and what it does to unborn children for example.

    If you are part of a war effort no matter in what capacity; you are part of the team and it is your responsibility either as a soldier, officer or as minister of defence or prime minister to make sure that you and your team keep to the treaties.
    RW=DU contaminates indiscriminately, it is impossible to use this particular material as a conventional weapon. Radioactive dust settles everywhere, kills indiscriminately in horrific ways and violates the Geneva Convention in many ways.
    Added to that the Americans and NATO are breaking other Geneva Convention rules with regards to the treatment of prisoners of war and with their use of torture.
    According to the Geneva Convention if you do not separate yourself from and try to bring to justice those who engage in war crimes than you are equally guilty. We have been in this war for over six years, in fact in October it will be seven years.
    That is seven years of RW=DU, illegal rendition and torture and now not only do we not stop being complicit Phil Goff is actually committing more new Zealanders to this never ending war.

    Is a bit like: your mates ask you to help this poor oppressed family living in another neighbourhood, you don’t really feel like it but hey, they’re your mates so you go with them but once you’re there will you go about helping want member of the family you find that the rest of your friends start bullying, torturing and poisoning is poor oppressed family and what’s more your mates start robbing them blind, grow opium in their backyard, steel the tank of oil they had stashed in their garden. And while you diligently help one part of the family the others get massacred and disposed of in other horrible ways, yet when your mates are skewed to get some more friends to come over instead of saying, “you’re nuts I’m leaving,’ you say, “sure’ and when finally someone calls the police and they come and arrest all of you, you say, “But it wasn’t me.’
    My guess is if there is a court case in which you in your mates are being held to account the judge would say, “Maybe you didn’t commit a crime, but they were your mates, you were there and you did nothing to stop them, in fact you even invited another friend to join in.’
    Perhaps, the fact that you and your friend did indeed do everything you could to help that one member of the family will count as a mitigating circumstance but that’s all.
    In fact chances are that the fact that little old respectable New Zealand chucked a few troops made other people in the neighbourhood feel that was probably all right because you were involved, in other words you being they’re partly enabled your mates to commit the crimes that they did.
    The decent thing would have been to try and stop them or leave and try to get help for these poor people. Staying and pretending you’re not part of the violence because you’re really trying to help one or two members of the family while the rest gets tortured and killed is the coward’s way out.

  54. Matthew Pilott 54

    Use of delpeted uranium munitions aside (if you can for a minute), your analogy isn’t the best. Try changing it for something along the lines of one part of the vamily being a violent gang, and the other being innocent family members. We’re looking after the second lot. In real life, my analogy isn’t much better than yours, but yours is actually atrocious; I would prefer not to resort to using them in the first place.

    By your standards, the Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres and co are equally as duplicitous – they’re working in Afghanistan while several countries engage in military operations. Or will you try and claim that it’s not ok for our humanitarian forces to be in there because they’re in unoform, but it’s perfectly ok for non-uniformed humanitarian organisations to be working in the country? That would be a pretty low argument – the colour of someone’s clothes being the difference between right or wrong.

    I suggest your perspective is too strongly tempered by something you see as abhorrent (DU munitions) to clearly see who is involved and complicit in their use.

    Emotive use of ‘cowards way out’ to describe an alteranative to your view isn’t all that productive, although I gather this is something you feel strongly about. I will just point out that you did need to look up the term PRT, which is not specific to New Zealand by any standard – there’s more to the situation that the black and white view you espouse.

    I haven’t looked at your links (I’m at work, and therefore have chosen not to – an option that may prove prudent when I get home and check them out) but your description of their use and effects differs vastly from what I know. Although I generally have a fair distaste for certain military practices and actors, I would have to question why the US would use a weapon that will have such an effect – look at the aftermath of Agent Orange. A cynic would suggect that they’d be unlikely to learn from something like that the first time around though…!

  55. FredFrog 55

    “I think history will look back and judge Helen Clark as New Zealands greatest ever prime minister not only for the achievements of her government but for the ability to defuse the cancerous corrosive and corrupt attacks from the mental midgets on the right”

    Erm….

    no, she’ll go down in history as the kiwi Nero, fiddling while the economy goes into meltdown. Completely ineffectual, as she’s never had a real job, and never been at the coalface, and so has no idea the hardships that her half baked ideas, and even more half baked coalition tails, have forced on us.

    Ah well, it’s all over bar the shouting anyway, even before any ballots have been cast.

    National are in, Labour are out, and I’ll enjoy watching National dismantle the inefficient bureaucracies, stacked with Helens bootlickers, and replace them with streamlined, efficient structures.

    Of course, this will most likely mean that the core Labourites (Hah! The party name is such an oxymoron!), will have to get off their bludging arses, and go out and actually work for a living.

    [lprent: Looks like we have another idiot frothing with stereotypes here.

    Should I save myself some effort and just ban the stupid dickhead right now?

    After all he seems to be implying that as a core Labour supporter, that I don't work for a living. I'm not sure exactly how that squares with the millions in export earnings I generate each year or my tax bill.

    What do you think?]

  56. Pascal's bookie 56

    Now that’s a slow typist.

  57. Matthew Pilott 57

    Do you think this tool has been working on that post since April? Judging by the intelligence contained within, I guess so.

    Honestly, who wanks on about “streamlined, efficient structures”? The government ain’t a friggin’ wind farm. What a gimp.

  58. Anita 58

    Matthew Pilott writes,

    The government ain’t a friggin’ wind farm.

    Wow, currently my favourite comment here :)

  59. Higherstandard 59

    MP

    “The government ain’t a friggin’ wind farm”

    I would suggest you watch parliamentary TV sometime as the evidence presented there suggests it has many similarities.

  60. Matthew Pilott 60

    Thanks Anita. Gotta love fridays.

    Higherstandard – entirely true, metaphorically speaking! I stand corrected. If only we could harness such energy. Winston and Hide alone (well together) could easily power a town the size of Sanson.

  61. higherstandard 61

    True MP very true and coupled with the potential methane output from Gerry and Parekura we may have gone a long way to solving the power issues of the future !

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    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
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    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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